There will be spoilers for the manhwa series I'm Yours, Blood and Soul.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to blood, violence, murder, death, torture, child abuse, age gap, PTSD, pseudo-incest, possible grooming, stalking, kidnapping, prejudice, impersonation, confinement, and suicidal ideation, as it appears in the manhwa.
Deok Bokhee is a vampire. At least once a week, if not more, he goes out to the clubs on the hunt for his next meal. He ends up with an impressive catch that leads to a steamy moment in the bathroom, then evolves to an even steamier time in a hotel room. The two are very compatible, which makes this meal all the more delectable. Bokhee is just about to take a bite of his prey when, out of nowhere, the man he's in bed with sprouts little black wings. As it turns out, the man he thought was a human is a demon, also on the hunt for a meal.
Kim Mariam is that demon. While the sex was great, the prey wasn't what he expected. Thankfully, vampires are just as edible as humans, if not more so, since vampires are immortal and have multiple souls inside them, thanks to their own hunger, often causing the death of others. So, Mariam isn't all that put off, but Bokhee seems to be beyond disgusted. After Bokhee goes off to shower, Mariam takes a moment to rifle through Bokhee's belongings, discovering an unusual bottle among his things. Thirsty and not worried about what's in the bottle since he's immortal, he gulps it down.
Unfortunately, that was a bottle of Bokhee's 500-year-old vampire blood, and whoever drinks it creates a link with Bokhee that will make it so Bokhee can only drink from that person. Bokhee is beyond upset, as the only way to break the link is for one of them to die. As a demon, Mariam will never die, and Bokhee is not interested in dying. So these two are now forced together, and while Bokhee desperately wants out of this contract, Mariam seems all too happy to be linked to the resistant vampire. All while they are struggling to deal with this new connection, there is a serial killer whose murders resemble a vampire killing, and that puts Bokhee in the crosshairs of the police.
The art in this isn't perfect. The whites of the eyes are sometimes just their skin tone, which is weird. Their faces are sometimes short, making their heads very square, open mouths without any coloring on their tongues and the like. Mariam, our demon top, suffers from his head being oddly shaped on occasion. On the other hand, Bokhee is pretty consistent throughout. He isn't the prettiest all the time, but that's pretty realistic. I'm very picky with my art, though, and while I feel like I've been pretty hard on this, overall, the art is nice. I like it. It's not perfect, but it's very down-to-earth in that way.
Where this really shines, though, is in the story and the concept. The idea that two different monsters go out to hunt for humans and accidentally end up as each other's prey is genius. I wish I had thought of it myself. It's entertaining since, in this world, demons feed off the souls of a person and any that they might have accumulated from murders, which a vampire would have a lot of. Vampires need blood, which demons have plenty of, and aren't at risk of dying since they are perpetually immortal. It creates this fun symbiotic relationship. They fit so perfectly together in this world that it's hard to believe a coupling like this doesn't exist elsewhere in this supernatural world.
While the concept this series is based on is enjoyable, the story itself isn't very deep. We see very brief glimpses into Bokhee's past, which implies that maybe vampires are born rather than turned and that there was possibly a genocide of some sort with humans he once trusted. This is only suggested, though, so it's hard to say how accurate my description of these flashbacks is. Also, some weird caveats feel a little cheap, like when Bokhee dies, but it turns out vampires can just die and not really die, which Bokhee apparently forgot? So, what happened to his family? Are there particular rules or ways they must be killed for it to be permanent? That's not clear. It also saddens me that this is enough to break Bokhee and Miriam's bond, but that's less important.
Another odd thing I didn't expect was the romantic relationship between the killer, Seolwoo, and his former guardian and policeman, Jang-hyeok. This has that weird grooming aspect to it that I really dislike with age-gap relationships that start between adults who knew each other when one was an adult, and the other was a child. Seolwoo was a heavily abused child kept in a closet for most of his life until Jang-hyeok rescued him, though not after killing his father, which Jang-hyeok felt guilty for. Jang-hyeok takes Seolwoo in, and while nothing seems to have happened while Sealwoo is a minor, their relationship eventually develops into a romantic and sexual one. It's just uncomfortable to me. I do like the idea of Seolwoo becoming a murderer so Jang-hyeok will chase him, but their relationship is just gross to me.
This is such a hard one to discuss because I feel like I love it but also dislike it. I am so tempted to say it's a favorite, mostly because I just love the concept and the main couple so, so much. However, with the story being so lackluster and the weird and uncomfy relationship between Seolwoo and Jang-hyeok, I just can't. I absolutely adore this concept, though, and I wish we could get more of this world because it just has all of the potential. Overall, I think it's worth a read, but don't expect anything deep.
Have you read I'm Yours, Blood and Soul? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!