During a panel at SDCC today, Kodansha announced they’ll be bringing a new manga to US readers this fall. Oma Sei‘s Blood Blade will make its world debut in English on the kodansha.us digital service this fall, with new installments to release weekly and for free to Kodansha Reader Portal account holders. A print collection of the manga will arrive in Spring 2024. 

Here’s how Kodansha describes Blood Blade:

In the world of BLOOD BLADE, Count Dracula is reborn as a katana-wielding young vampiress in a new, never-before-seen action manga set in a gritty, alternate-history Europe. Fans of cinematic, gory, supernatural alternate histories, like Vampire Hunter D, Hellsing, and Vampire in the Garden, will want to sink their fangs into BLOOD BLADE.

After the reincarnated Dracula rescues a girl named Clara from a mysterious stranger, Clara explains that she is the creation of a certain Victor Frankenstein. She also reveals that she is fleeing from an organization called Cerberus, which seeks to capture and study “monsters” such as herself in order to create an army of human-monster hybrids. Clara begs the vampiress to flee with her to an island of monsters. 

In a statement announcing the launch, mangaka Oma Sei described some of the influences for the new series:

“BLOOD BLADE was heavily inspired by classic horror films and dramas. Though it is filled with vampires, golems, and mummies, many of these monsters have waned in popularity since their heyday on the silver screen. Monsters that once inspired terror in humans have been left behind by the passage of time, to the point that one might call them an endangered species. In writing this series, I aim to bring the spotlight back onto these monsters of yore.”

Kodansha USA Publishing President & CEO Alvin Lu elaborated on the release plan for Blood Blade as a first for the publisher:

“BLOOD BLADE is an all-new kind of manga publishing effort, in which Kodansha premieres the works of an outstanding Japanese talent like Oma Sei to a worldwide English-reading audience first. And we are inviting anyone to jump right into this manga series by offering each exciting new episode of BLOOD BLADE free for a limited time at the new Kodansha Reader Portal.”

Check out a few preview images from the series below. Blood Blade will launch on kodansha.us this Fall, and will come to print from Penguin Random House in Spring of 2024.

Miss any of our earlier SDCC ’23 coverage? Find it all here!