Content Warnings: Bloody Sweet contains colored pages depicting bullying, abuse, blood, and suicide.
Naerim is having a rough time. Her school life is plagued with bullies, her mother is never around, and her introverted personality makes it hard to reach out for help. The fact her mother is a shaman is also a point of contention, and Naerim is considered a witch and outcast even more because of it.
While on a school trip, her bullies force her into an abandoned building for a test of courage. The group comes across a wardrobe covered in talismans, and the other girls force Naerim to open it. A handsome man is inside asleep, but once he gets a whiff of Naerim’s bloody cuts, he wakes up and licks them clean! The girls run away and everything seems fine, except this red string seems to be emanating from Naerim’s injury and leading back into the woods. Even weirder, she seems to be the only one who can see it.
The following night, after being pushed out onto the balcony of her hotel by her bullies, the strange man returns and whisks her away into the night. Turns out, Fetechou is a vampire and he is desperate for more of Naerim’s blood. He’s not the type to just take it, though. With a contract in place making Naerim his master, Fetechou is more than happy to earn the right to drink from her.
Naerim is hesitant to go along with the whole contract thing. She’s dealing with enough as it is–adding a hyperactive, cuddly vampire to the mix is just going to make everything harder. But Naerim needs someone to be there for her, and Fetechou makes it his mission to be just that.
Fetechou might be a bloodsucking vampire, but he’s proving to be Naerim’s knight in black armor.
When I picked up Bloody Sweet, the last thing I was expecting was a thoughtful deep-dive into bullying, depression, and loneliness, but that’s exactly what the volume gave me.
The book is incredibly eye-catching. The unique art and the bright colors is what originally attracted me to Bloody Sweet, and it’s thanks to both of those things that I noticed it at my local bookstore. Neatly tucked between predominantly black-colored manga, the vivid yellow and soft pastel lettering had me pulling it off the shelf to flip through it. This extends beyond the cover, too. The entire volume is filled with rich colors and cute art, but as nice as both of those things are, they’re not what convinced me to purchase the volume.
For anyone who experienced bullying or a difficult home life, Naerim will be hard not to relate to. This young woman has been through a lot, and she has no one on her side that she can count on. But even if she did, it’s not something she’d find easy to do. Naerim has been betrayed by the people she’s cared about, and that’s not easily overcome. As sad as this plotline can be, it makes Bloody Sweet feel incredibly real, and it was the main pull that convinced me to pick up the title.
To see these internal struggles so well depicted had me invested in Naerim’s plight early on. Everything from her actions, feelings, and words–spoken and not–demonstrates an understanding of depression and loneliness I’ve not seen often in manga, and it was jarring in a good way. Her character is so well crafted in this aspect that I half expected to see her walking down the street, and I was quickly flipping through the pages to learn more about her.
As a side character and potential love interest, Fetechou is marvelous. His puppy dog attitude is adorable, yet his maturity with how he handles Naerim’s struggles speaks to a much deeper personality. Seeing him be more than happy to help her simply because he can was incredibly endearing, and it makes me excited to see how his relationship with her grows.
Though the volume tells a powerful story, it’s by no means perfect. At times, the comedy brought in to soften the harder-hitting subjects did more to detract from the situation than ease it, and some of the jokes came off as more awkward than funny.
This title definitely isn’t for everyone, either. Though the colorful art makes it look fairly happy-go-lucky, it’s a poster child for not judging a book by its cover. The dark themes and horrendous situations that Naerim finds herself in are not to be taken lightly, and people with sensibilities concerning bullying, depression, and/or suicide should take care when considering this title.
This coming-of-age title is beautiful–art and story wise. Bloody Sweet hooked me in with its looks and kept me turning the pages because of its content. It was interesting to read such a realistic story with a vampire plot thrown in to break up the mood, and it wasn’t what I expected the title to be when I first picked it up. Watching Fetechou and Naerim’s interactions was heartwarming, and their character growth in regards to how much they learned from each other was the highlight of my time reading this volume. While this title definitely isn’t for everyone because of its dark themes, it is a powerful and enjoyable read that has me looking forward to the rest of the series to release physically.
Story and Art by NaRae Lee
Translation by HKPP
Lettering by Abigail Blackman
- Pretty art printed in full-color
- Interesting characters and setting
- Powerful story about depression and bullying
- Book contains dark content that isn't suitable for everyone
Big thank you to our supporters
From their continous support, we are able to pay our team for their time and hard work on the site.
We have a Thank-You page dedicated to those who help us continue the work that we’ve been doing.See our thank you page