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Manga / Vampire Game

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Vampire Game is a manga series by Judal that was first published in 1996.

A hundred years ago the vampire king Duzell tried to take over the world. The king Phelios was the only one who could stand against him, eventually giving his life to defeat Duzell. As they both died, Duzell swore to be reborn a hundred years later to defeat Phelios.

True to his word, he returns a hundred years later... as a cat. Not just any cat, an orphaned cat that gets adopted by princess Ishtar, Phelios's direct descendant. To keep the bloodline pure for when Phelios returns his descendants are all horribly inbred. Furthermore, the whole family is a mess of intrigue, murder, double-crosses, political maneuvering, and more murder, all with the aim of wanting to rule Pheliosta. Ishtar, sick of being treated specially simply because of who her ancestor was (not to mention fed up with the multiple assassination and arranged marriage attempts trying to either bump her off the throne or yank it out from under her), agrees to help Duzell find and kill Phelios in his current incarnation.

This series provides examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Yorick: Duzell plays with this trope with a random orc head
  • And Your Reward Is Infancy: At the end of the last volume, Duzell is reincarnated as the son of Ishtar and Darres.
  • Anti-Hero: Duzell, before his meeting Ishtar (and probably a little bit after, too). He IS an ancient vampire king who started a war against humanity and tried to destroy the world just because he was bored, after all.
  • Avenging the Villain: Sharlen. For a given degree of "villain".
  • Babies Ever After: Ishtar and Darres end up having twin boys; Duzell and... cue for the Irony Phelios.
    • Also quite possibly known as Yuujin/Yuujel.
    • Or, ya know, Phelios.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family
  • Bodyguard Crush: Ishtar has been in love with Darres pretty much since the age of five, whereas he's never seen her as anything other than the cute kid he's in charge of babysitting...for much of the series, the only part that changes is whether he'd still use the word 'cute'.
  • Book Ends: La Gamme. And a mother promising to give birth to Duzell's reincarnation in return for services rendered.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The half siblings Illsaide and Falan.
    • Also Laphiji and Seiliez though this might not count considering they are Not Blood Siblings
  • Chekhov's Gun: La Gamme, which is mentioned in the first volume and then used by Duzell in the final chapter.
  • Child by Rape: Illsaide
  • Disproportionate Retribution: "My childhood sweetheart rejected me! I WILL START A CIVIL WAR."
  • Ditch the Bodyguards: Ishtar. Every time. Although Darres is very tenacious about tracking her down.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, with the exceptions of Darres, Falan, Vord, and Ishtar, and of those four only Darress doesn't encourage unusual relationships anyway.
  • Evil Twin: Vord. Kind of.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Duzell; his newly reincarnated form is...less than impressive, and far more likely to incite "awwwwwww"s than screams of terror.
  • Forgot I Could Change the Rules: "Why not make a law saying no one should go hungry?"
  • Genocide Backfire: The monsters imprisoned and experimented on in the Ci Xeneth arc just need one chance...
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Jill and Krai, Ishtar's OTHER two bodyguards, must have tenure or something. Seriously, these two can't keep a teenage princess from sneaking out of the castle, let alone keep the monsters from coming IN. Although Krai does at one point claim that the reason he applied for the job was because everyone knew keeping her in was impossible so no one actually cared if they screwed up.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Duzell performs 'La Gamme' at the end of the series in order to save Ishtar and Darres
  • Lady of War: Captain Selen of Pheliosta is called the "Dark Angel" and commonly known to be able to kick the ever-loving crap out of anyone, ever, probably with her hair looking fabulous the entire time. Her role as Darres' adopted mother, as well as her formidable sword skills, probably qualify her for both Action Mom and Action Girl status as well.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Lucy loves Ashley loves Leene is crazy about Yuujel who's got a thing for Darres and also Ishtar who's in love with Darres who she thinks is in love with Selen who actually loves Galahad. Laphiji loves Seiliez likes Ishtar while everyone thinks he's sleeping with his mom but he's actually banging Sharlen who's also doing Jened who raped the Old Man of the Sea's daughter and has a creepy obsession with Falan only matched by Illsaide's creepy obsession with Falan who herself loves Illsaide but who is also very fond of Vord who loves Ishtar. Also on the Ishtar-loveboat is Duzell, who also has feelings for Illsaide and used to have a thing with Rishas/Lailis while flirting up a storm with Diaage and having Foe Romance Subtext with Phelios. Phelios, meanwhile, had an affair with Diaage while telling Duzell "I want you to be mine". Lailis loves Duzell but Lassen loves her. Hume loves Illsaide and Jill loves Maura loves Jill. Nobody loves Krai.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Leene, although she calms down a lot after her murder attempt fails. And, of course, the star of this trope is Lassen. And Illsaide, although in Illsaide's case it's more Love Makes You Morally Confused.
  • The Matchmaker: Yujinn to Leene and Ashley and Ishtar and Darres. He admits that he may not be very good at it.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Leene tries this.
  • Oblivious to Love: Darres, Darres, Darres.
  • Older Than They Look: Captain Selen; Duzell.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: For one thing, the only time we ever see one bite anybody is when Kitten!Duzell's in a very bad mood.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Ishtar.
  • Parental Abandonment: Vord qualifies for this. Considering He was originally supposed to be killed due to being the younger twin born into the Razenia royal family, but was conveniently traded to Lady Ramia instead, he probably could have fared a lot worse.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Jened to Falan and Illsaide, for good reason.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Both Seilez and Darres with Seilez's mom.
  • Produce Pelting: Implied. Lady Sonia's marriage to a non-relative resulted in a riot and a kingdom-wide ban on eggs and tomatoes.
  • Princesses Rule
  • Protectorate: Ishtar for Darres.
  • Rags to Royalty: Darres, who used to be a street kid. Also, to a lesser extent, Lassen.
  • Rebellious Princess: Ishtar; starts off more so in the spoiled princess category and develops out of it over the length of the manga.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Leene, who ultimately can't go through with it - but she can go through with killing her real target.
  • Royal Inbreeding: Enforced; the law is that descendants of Phelios can only marry other descendants of Phelios.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Phelios, Duzell (being the Vampire King and all) and, depending on your definition of "something", Ishtar.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Ishtar, every so often, puts her foot down. This is the result.
  • Sexless Marriage: Leene and Ashley, although they've gotten over it by the epilogue.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ishtar. By far the best pairing she comes up with is Illsaid and Duzell, especially because she pretends Duzell is her little sister to pull it off.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Ishtar is Darres-sexual.
  • Sleep Cute: After Ishtar is poisoned, Darres sleeps by her bed.
  • Son of a Whore: Seiliez
  • Suddenly Suitable Suitor: Yujinn lies to try to make Darres one for Ishtar.
  • Suicide Pact: Yujinn and Leene had one. They both lived, and she accuses him of tricking her into it as part of a Batman Gambit to get her to marry Ashley.
  • Surprise Incest: Falan and Illsaide
  • Those Two Guys: Jill and Krai.
  • Through His Stomach: Ishtar tries and fails to make chocolate for Darres. She and Duzell drink it instead.
  • True Beauty Is on the Inside: Falan; described as maybe a four, she nevertheless still manages to have Illsaide and Vord fall for her just because she's so darn sweet her father's creepy "I love you so I'm going to take over the kingdom by bathing in the blood of the innocents for you" doesn't count.
  • The Unfavorite: Seiliez.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: If of course you think that Ishtar's bodyguard, Darres counts as a childhood friend...
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Duzell, eventually.
    • And also Yujinn