Weekly Shonen Jump Cover 9/14

Following the story’s one-shot released back in 2019 called “Red Pledge,” mangka Kazu Kakazu returns with a full serialization under the title “Our Blood Oath.”

This story follows the journey of siblings Shin and Ko, human and vampire respectively. The first a servant, the second the master, in effect.

The two, though from a family of vampiric aristocrats, have taken the side of humanity and do battle against other vampires to protect the innocent from their hemophilic wrath.

Vampires don’t have to be humans in this story, though. In fact, some are animal-like monsters, like vampiric sheep demons. So, while cool in concept, it again hits the exact same story beats that all the other recent exorcism manga have. “Demon Slayer,” “Jujutsu Kaisen,” “Chainsaw Man,” “Bone Collection,” “Ayakashi Triangle,” “Phantom Seer” and now “Our Blood Oath” to name a few in recent publication.

This isn’t a new genre, and in terms of “Jump” titles, it can be likened to older series like “Bleach” and “Blue Exorcist.”

With every successive addition, the same concept becomes more lack luster, derivative and exhausting. A reader can pinpoint exactly how the story mimics those that came before, see all the same aspects play out again in the exact same way.

After the commercial success of “Demon Slayer” and the rapid rise of “Jujutsu Kaisen,” it’s fair to say “Jump” is looking to milk more money out of a genre that is quickly getting tired.

So far, “Our Blood Oath” does nothing new. Vampires aren’t a new concept, and the way it portrayed them doesn’t add anything to the conversation and thematic elements vampire stories provide.

Blood abilities, too, are also a common trope in vampire stories, and this seems to be the primary form of magic within “Our Blood Oath.”

While its cool to see other forms of vampiric entities outside of humanoid, the way it presents itself is no different from the demons of “Demon Slayer” or the curses of “Jujutsu Kaisen.” In fact, blood abilities are present in both of those stories.

Furthermore, the pact between human and monster, fighting evil together is the same story premise as “Demon Slayer.” The only difference is that “Our Blood Oath” is set in the modern day.

However, “Our Blood Oath” has clear influences extending back twenty years. In this first chapter alone one can draw direct parallels to Sasuke’s storyline in “Naruto.”

One could make the argument that it’s a knockoff of “Soul Eater,” and there are plenty of parallels to prove that point, too.

To be fair, all stories have their influences, and no story is wholly original. What matters is the execution of story elements — the presentation. With that in mind, “Our Blood Oath” can’t be written off just yet.

If analyzed in a vacuum, “Our Blood Oath” is a fine introductory chapter. It establishes the character dynamic between Shin and Ko. Their motivations and history are clear. The story direction has a definable path that one can look forward to. Mysteries are sprinkled in to fuel reader speculation.

The point is, “Our Blood Oath” doesn’t do anything wrong on its own, but when compared to the wider genre it’s just another drop in the bucket of forgettable titles.

Even its art is about as generic as it can get.

The most interesting thing that will definitively come out of it will be seeing the sales of its first volume in comparison to “Phantom Seer” when the time comes in a few months.

2.5/5 Torches

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