Black Rose Alice 2
July 5, 2015
Setona Mizushiro – Viz – 2014 – 6+ volumes
This… got better. It’s difficult to describe, because it is so unlike other series. I like that we got it in English because it’s a shoujo vampire story… but they’re not really vampires. Dimitri describes them as “plants” that inhabit corpses and gather energy with bugs, and need Alice (the soul of the woman who died in the last volume grafted into the 100+-year-old corpse of Dimitri’s Viennese love) to bear a healthy vampire child. This act will kill both the vampire she chooses and Alice, but it is apparently the only way they have to make new vampires. Which is a little weird… because Dimitri wasn’t made that way? Maybe he is different because he’s mostly the vessel for the soul of Maximillian… I should probably re-read volume one.
But this does lend itself to re-reads. The first chapter or two were hard to read, because Azusa still hadn’t woken up in her new life, and she was dreaming of the lover she sacrificed herself to save. That was some powerful stuff. The vampires slowly acclimate her to life with them, and explain their way of life to her. She accepts, and grows slowly used to them. She gets to choose one of the men herself, and has to love them in order to bear a healthy child/vampire. But she doubts whether she can fall in love again.
Dimitri isn’t one of the men she can choose, though he’s obviously the main character and, so far, the most interesting. There’s a complication with one of the other men (Leo) later in the volume, that makes me think the clock might be ticking.
And it’s pretty.
There’s… a lot going on here. I’ve talked about the plot, but some of the best things about it are the way Mizushiro isn’t rushing the unusual premise. There is an information dump here, but it’s not too much. I’d actually love to hear more, because everything here is so bizarre. And Mizushiro is also taking her time to introduce the characters. Their interactions are all similar to awkward strangers still, and I love that the reader is getting to know them the same way Alice is.
It’s excellent, and I am so so happy that we’ve got more Setona Mizushiro in English. I would read anything by her.