Canon, Vol. 1 and 2
written by Chika Shiomi
Oftentimes in stories, the only way to defeat a vampire is to slay it (sunlight, stake through the hearts, etc.). Not so with Canon, a Japanese schoolgirl with a lot of bravery and compassion. She knows a way to turn some vampires back into humans, so that’s what she does instead.
But there’s another twist here. Canon is a vampire herself. She has fangs, long fingernails, and a cross on her neck, making her one unique-looking vamp. She used to be human. Six months in the past, a vampire came into her school, killing her 39 classmates and sparing her. He turned her into a vampire like himself. She hates what she is…and while she aims to help others, she’s willing to destroy the one who changed her and killed her friends.
The very first page is a flashback to the day she’s made a vampire, putting you into the action and intensity right away. Then characters are gradually brought in and the storyline gets explained. Canon is staying with a wisecracking vampire crow who has the ability to speak and is helping her out. She turns vampires back into humans whenever she’s able, while scouring for Rod, the vampire who made her what she is.
She comes face-to-face with Rod in the second volume. At the time, she’s been attacked by another vampire and is dying. Rod could easily finish her off, only to save her life instead. Canon’s bewildered by his pathos, and the plot thickens. She begins to remember details of the day of the attack, and they can change everything she believed to be true. Here the plot line of the manga really gets going. The story may have begun seeming black and white, but now suddenly you don’t know whom to trust or what’s true or false. This causes things to get all the more exciting—and brings about a need to get volume three in your hands as soon as you’re done with this one!
Canon was originally published in Japan in the 1990s, so it has a distinct, older style to it. No, not much older, but you can see differences between it and manga being published now. Connoisseurs might notice the style and erroneously believe it’s been in the United States for some time. Actually, it only recently got licensed, and it’s about time it did. Canon is a strong but merciful heroine with lots of appeal, because she’s on the side of darkness but aims to do good. This is actually a short manga series—only four volumes—which has the upside of making it easier to own an entire series. And once someone’s read up to volume two, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be curious what will happen to our vampire heroine next.