This isn’t quite what I had in mind for a love story. In fact, the act of love isn’t quite the objective in Call of the Night Vol. 1. Mixing skillful plot devices and beautifully drawn characters, creator Kotoyama creates quite the quirky yet alluring tale. This is the story of Ko Yamori. He’s somewhat of an insomniac. This condition leads him to wander the city streets in the middle of the night. One fateful evening he encounters a girl who offers to help Ko with his sleeping problem. Almost without reluctance, he agrees to follow her. And what do you know? She’s a vampire! Her name is Nazuna Nanakusa.
There are thousands of different stories about Vampires out there in all parts of the world. There are even a select few vampire mangas that turn the concept of the vampire on its head. Call of the Night Vol.1 has a subtle yet highly effective approach. Ko, being the night-loving insomniac that he is, wants to be a vampire too. This can only be achieved if one is fed on while in love with the vampire. This becomes a search for what love is essential. The only caveat is that falling in love is merely a means to an end… At least for now?
In his search for love, Call of the Night Vol.1 throws Ko into many dilemmas. There are real-life consequences to just quitting normal life for the life of a nocturnal bloodsucker, after all. If societal pressures aren’t enough, the temptation of love during the day is another obstacle Ko has to wrestle with. Nazuna isn’t free of her own challenges. The two characters in this volume seem to be in a symbiotic relationship where they benefit from another’s company. It’s a dynamic often seen in similar genres; the introverted non-romantic boy and the extroverted, bubbly girl with a deep-seated desire. They are most definitely foils of one another in that regard; Their banter is genuine and enjoyable to experience.
The art style in Call of the Night Vol.1 is elegant and displays a skilled understanding of form. Kotoyama’s techniques for human posture and controlling perspectives do justice to a story about a dark yet innocent tale about love and desire. Despite her small frame, Nazuna is drawn larger than life. Ko, on the other hand, usually blends into the background at times. Perhaps that’s on purpose, but that isn’t too so that our main character is boring. I could see his diminished persona being a good way to illustrate Ko’s desire to be left alone, unnoticed, allowed to exist in the comfort of the dark.
The story did give a slight hint at there being, of course, other vampires. I am curious to see how much the world of night grows around its new resident, Ko Yamori. The darkness hides much mystery. I have many questions about Nazuna that I hope are answered in all the comical and clever ways this volume has given me. Most importantly, I appreciate Call of the Night for beckoning some quite enjoyable memories for me, walking by myself at night in and around my childhood neighborhood. Probably not the safest thing I was allowed to do in hindsight but fond memories nonetheless. There’s something magical about watching the sunrise after a sleepless night. It is like a lost temptation coming back to check on you. Or is all that just me?
Call of the Night Vol.1 is cunning as much as it is humorous and witty. I enjoyed the direction we are taking with Vampires to the point where I’m committed to learning more about them now. I hope to enjoy more nighttime adventures with Ko and Nazuna soon. The art style is very much attuned to the more grungy modern manga out there and works very well with the story’s atmosphere. Go check this one out! You might fall in love with the night again as I did.
Call of the Night Vol.1 Review
Call of the Night Vol.1
A story of love turned on its head! Ko Yamori falls in love with the peacefulness of the night. In order to keep living in it, he must fall in love with Vampire Nazuna Nanakusa.