Black Rose Alice 3
October 19, 2015
Setona Mizushiro – Viz – 2015 – 6+ volumes
This series is hitting its stride, but I love that its disturbing, messed-up nature shows itself during what is, in the first half of the volume, some fairly standard shoujo fare.
The first half is Leo-centric. Leo rings very false to me, in that he seems to be putting on more of a show, and assuming more of a persona, than the other characters. Here, it doesn’t seem to matter to Alice, and he is very good to her. They go on dates, and Leo continually pressures her to decide on him, whereas she insists she needs more time. Meanwhile, Alice catches him mauling Dimitri, and when they sleep together at one point, she wakes up with his sustenance-giving tarantulas crawling all over the bed. But not on her, which is what Leo promises.
Leo can also “read death” on the face of a young woman who comes to their restaurant. He strikes a disturbing deal with her, where he gives her a tarantula and giant stag beetle to relieve her pain in exchange for some sort of dubious and terrible favor. This doesn’t play out before the end of the volume, but I’d be curious to see if it comes back.
At one point, there’s a near-rape scene, but Leo stops after Alice makes herself clear. It’s made somewhat less horrible when Alice tells him why she doesn’t want to have sex, or rather, why she doesn’t want him to initiate sex.
In the second half of the volume, we find out Leo’s deal, and something rather shocking happens. I can’t go into it too much without spoiling it, but the story is obviously leading up to it, and it also explains why Leo is so fake. Still, it was pretty terrible.
Though now, I suspect we’re all going to get the Dimitri attention we’ve been waiting for.
I always manage to stay one volume behind on this series (though it probably seems farther because I’m so far behind in posting my reviews). 4 is currently out, and I think it won’t be too much longer before 5 appears, too.