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Literature / Vamp!

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The island of Growerth in northern Germany is home to Viscount Gerhardt von Waldstein, a vampire who rules the island as the Master of the Night. His accepting and merciful character has naturally attracted many nonhumans to the island in search of a place to call home. All sorts of colorful characters, from fellow vampires to witches, werewolves, and even Eldritch Abominations, inhabit Waldstein Castle. Chief among its residents, however, are the viscount's family—his twin children Relic and Ferret.

Only a slight distance from the castle is the city of Rukram, whose mayor is a trash-talking Dhampyr with a bone to pick against the viscount. Oh, there also seems to be a young woman with a taste for vampires' flesh, a shapeshifter with a complex about his true form, and a Salaryman with a knack for magic tricks.

And then there's the mysterious Organization—a group of vampires plotting... something. No one quite knows what they're up to, not even the members themselves.

A vampire series by Ryohgo Narita, Vamp! is an early installment in Naritaverse, along with Baccano! and Durarara!!. The series was published from 2004 to 2010 for five volumes. The novels were briefly licensed in English by Seven Seas Entertainment, but the license was later dropped after the series proved to be unprofitable. A fan translation can be read here.

Vamp! is part of an overarching Verse of light novels and serialised works of fiction written by Narita Ryohgo that includes Baccano!, Durarara!!, Hariyama-san, Etsusa Bridge, Wednesdays Smiling with Otsuberu, and Pandora Shark.

Tropes in Vamp! include:

  • Break the Cutie:
    • While not exactly a cutie, Rudy was still pretty young and innocent when he brought Theo home only to result in the slaughter of all his loved ones.
    • Theo himself was on the receiving end of one that ultimately resulted in his rampage in the first place. Agreed to become a vampire to meet a girl he was in love with, was experimented on by the vampire that turned him and nearly had his soul destroyed and was being overwhelmed by the souls/memories of other vampires, failed to achieve the goals of the operation and was thrown away like trash, and to top it off, was told the vampire girl he'd wanted to meet again had been killed by humans while she foolishly tried to live in harmony with them. Keep in mind..he was only about 14 at the time
  • Can't Catch Up: Watt suffers from this due to being a half-breed. Until later, when he becomes one of the single strongest characters after gaining Relic's powers. Still held back by his half-vampire nature so he can't use that level of power for an extended period, but it's enough to overwhelm most opponents in quick bursts.
  • Cool Shades: The narrator goes to great lengths to describe Watt's sunglasses.
  • Covered with Scars: Cargilla is described as having a heavily scarred face, to the point where the reader is encouraged to assume that the rest of his body is just as damaged.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The Magic Man lets himself get beaten to a pulp by Watt, but reveals pretty early on that he's actually perfectly capable of beating the shit out of him if he chooses to.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Relic is definitely this, as he refuses to take blood by force.
  • Funny Foreigner: Despite the book being Japanese, the Japanese Magic Man (among various European characters), initially comes off as this. He's soon revealed to be a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, though.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The vampires seem to take a lot of unnecessary damage.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Watt will consider some of the most minor offenses as slights...and usually responds with violence.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Watt, whose father was a human and his mother was a vampire.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Otherworld Welfare Inc. Branch 666 has a website that sells garlic spray, stake kits, and talismans, in addition to exterminating vampires themselves.
  • Info Dump: Lampshaded by Relic, when his sister explains his crush on Hilda.
    "W-watch it! I could make a whole movie out of my problems. You can't just sum it all up that quickly!"
  • One Degree of Separation: The viscount seems to know and be acquainted with the majority of the main cast, though it's justified since vampires live for a loooong time, so there's enough time for the viscount to make some life long acquaintances.
  • Our Vampires Are Different - Cargilla explains it best in the first chapter, that vampires' powers vary from person to person.
    "Every country and region has a different vampire myth, and that's how things are in reality. Some of 'em can fly through the air, and others are slower than humans. Some can transform into bats, breathe fire, or hypnotize people by making eye contact. But I've never seen a single vampire who could do all of those things, like the ones in movies. I don't understand why, but just think of each vampire as being an entirely different species from another. That goes for their weaknesses, too. Some of 'em can cross running water just fine, and others are immune to crucifixes but scared of garlic, and so on. Staking 'em through the heart usually works, but some vampires are even immune to that. [...] One thing most of them have in common, though. They can't stand daylight. Some of 'em turn to ash before you can blink, and others are just weakened by the sun."
  • Parental Abandonment: It's revealed in the 3rd volume that Watt's parents were so in love with each other that they neglected their child; which is what lead to Watt being the man he is today
  • Past Experience Nightmare: Rudy has had quite a lot of flashback dreams of when Theo murdered his family, often when he's about to make a kill.