Gene has enough trouble being treating like a guy without a bunch of vampires getting in the way. He’s always being mistaken for a girl, so he’s developed the fighting skills needed to kick the butt of any guy who dares hit on him. That’s gotten him to the exalted position of “leader” of his all-boys school’s gang. But when his gang decides to confront a serial killer who is leaving behind the corpses of young girls, all with two fang mark-like holes at their throats, Gene isn’t ready to stumble into the middle of a vampire power struggle. To make things even worse, Gene somehow seems to have turned into a girl — literally — and that girl seems to be very eager to take whatever she wants, power or kisses or blood. Add in a new school and Gene’s whole world is turned upside down.
Han dumps a lot of elements into the first four volumes of this series — vampires, gender-swapping, boys who look like girls, bullying, romance, humor, action, gang fights, political machinations, an orphan boy (sometimes girl) in a private school for rich kids, arranged marriages, jealous girls, etc. The set up seems to continue well past the first two volumes and some readers may not appreciate a seemingly abrupt shift in plot in volume three, though there are enough hints to give readers hope that Han may reunite loose ends by the end of the series. Despite the series’ newness (it was published in Korea in 2010), there are a lot of homosexual and gender-swapping jokes that fall rather flat, their having been made earlier in stronger series such as Hana Kimi. But the cheerful, sparkly art, which features lots of dramatic hair, shimmery eyes, and shocked expressions, is fun enough to help readers push past any dated plot lines, even though the art itself breaks no new ground.
Han’s manhwa is cute and amusingly over the top, but it remains to be seen whether or not readers will be eager to stick with the scattered plot for all fourteen volumes. Luckily, Seven Seas is releasing the series as omnibuses, a delivery that is increasingly popular with manga publishers, making the series more affordable. It also makes the series faster to acquire, which may hold the attention of readers who are attracted to its quirky charms. The “Teen” rating is appropriate as 13 to 15 year-olds are the most likely target for this lightly enjoyable, but non-essential, series.
My Boyfriend is a Vampire 1-4
by Yu-Rang Han
Volume 1-2 ISBN: 9781935934110
Volume 3-4 ISBN: 9781935934134
Seven Seas, 2011-2012
Publisher Age Rating: Teen/13