Hideyuki Kikuchi is best known for the Vampire Hunter D novels on this side of the Pacific, but a few of his other franchises are seeing translation as well. Wicked City (yes, it was the inspiration for the anime and live-action Hong Kong film of the same name) pits the human world against the demon world, with only the “Black Guard” — an elite composed of entities from both sides — protecting the tenuous peace that exists between them. Human Black Guard Taki and demonic guard Makie join up to protect a human diplomat crucial to the forging of a new treaty, only to discover they’ve been dragooned into a much larger and more complex series of events.
Those familiar with the D books will find all of Kikuchi’s trademark elements in force: creative (bordering on cheerfully ridiculous) uses of supernatural and fantastic elements, cinematographic violence — and now kinky sex as well, so much so that you might think you wandered into an Anita Blake book by mistake. But Kikuchi has, amazingly enough, an explanation for even that part of the story, one he drops on the readers in the last couple of pages. It’s not as much wide-gauge fun as the D books, which were at least as much about their outlandish setting as their inscrutable main character, but it’s a good way to get an idea about what else Kikuchi can do. Note: If this sounds like Nightwatch, bear in mind Kikuchi wrote this in 1985, so your guess as to who influenced whom is as good as mine.