Overall Rating: A+
Summary: Sumire, a shy middle school student, can see ghosts. One day, she pricks her hand on a strange brooch and starts even stranger things. One of the things (which looks like an octopus with one eye) attacks her. Luckily, a "gothic lolita" clad woman names Lucia shoots it. She calls the thing a virus, which is apparently a type of demon that feeds on those with the "vision" (like Sumire), turning them into viruses as well. Lucia also runs a store called Venus Vanguard that sells gothic lolita clothing as a front for her virus hunting. Did I mention she wears an eye-patch and wields a gun? I'm thinking of cross-playing her.
I first heard about Venus Versus Virus a few months ago, and was eagerly awaiting its release. The series is by Atsushi Suzumi, and it began as a one-shot submitted for a contest the manga anthology Dengenki Dao was running with the theme gothic lolita. Unfortunately, when the first volume came out in the US two weeks ago, I couldn't find a copy. Then I went to Comic Con and went to the Seven Seas booth (they publish the book), got the manga, read it, and loved it as much as I hoped I would.
I absolutely adore Lucia, and Sumire quickly grew on me. She starts the series out being quite timid, but things start developing quickly after Lucia saves Sumire from the virus. Lucia gives Sumire a flyer for her store, and says she's charging her for the rescue. Of course, it turns out she will let Sumire work off the debt by acting as bait for more viruses (it seems like a lot of manga characters end up working off debts, and the jobs inevitably lead to hijinks and adventure. hrm...). It's during the next virus attack that we learn Sumire has virus hunting powers as well, and the pair begin to live and work together. They also seem to develop the hints of a relationship (nothing is explicit, but there seem to be Yuri undertones).
Volume 1 of the manga is out now, and volume 2 comes out in October. I highly recommend it.