Saturday, August 30, 2014

Manga Review: Black Rose Alice, Volume 1, by Setona Mizushiro

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Volumes: 6 (Hiatus)
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The young tenor singer Dimitri miraculously escaped with his life after a severe accident. But soon after that, strange cases of group-suicides started to happen all around him… A vampire-romanesque tale of love and survival!


This volume kind of… surprised and horrified me. I’m not going to spoil anything, because this should be surprising, and also because you can’t really be prepared for it. I was prepared for unique and very-different vampires, but I still wasn’t prepared for this. Which is how it should be.
So the book starts pretty good. It’s the early 1900’s, in Vienna, and there’s a singer, who possibly sleeps around for money, and a woman he loves who’s marrying someone he knows. Um, and then he gets in an accident. And then some people die. And then something happens to him involving vampires (and insects, oh gross). And saying anything more would spoil too much.
I don’t think I was expecting all the killing, and definitely not the insects, which had me freaking out. Because gross, and the spiders, and yuck I just don’t even want to think about it. I was not expecting what happened with the woman, and am still a little horrified by it. I only skimmed the synopsis, so the time skip surprised me, and I’m still confused by what the characters did during that time. Like, why did it take so long?
Despite all the surprises and horrifying parts, the characters’ stories were pretty engrossing. We meet two characters in the second half, and their emotions and situation, unrelated to the larger plot, had me really interested. As did the character plot at the beginning of the book. Those parts were done really well.
I’m still a little horrified and grossed out, but I’m more so intrigued. There’s a lot left open, a lot of questions, and I’m interested to see what happens next. And I will say that if you’re even a little interested, if you like books that are unique and surprising, then I would suggest picking up a copy.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!

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