Black Rose Alice Volume 6 by Setona Mizushiro
I was disappointed when I realized a couple volumes in to this series that it was on hiatus in Japan. But by that time I was thoroughly won over by Mizushiro’s surreal and unique take on vampires and the tragic tone of the manga in general. It turns out that I shouldn’t have been worried too much, because while this volume doesn’t wrap up all the possible loose ends in the series, it does provide a satisfying conclusion.
Dimitri is away, and Alice and the twins are living in the house, dealing with the aftermath of Leo’s death. The twins’ backstory is told through flashbacks, and it is just as dark as one might expect from this series. Neither twin seemed like particularly great humans, but Kai’s actions are particularly despicable, making his current more winning personalty stand out in contrast to his past actions. There’s a moment of levity injected into the household when Dimitri returns home with a human woman who he once saved from a horrible assault, promising to make her his vampire bride. Now Akari is all grown up, and determined to experience the most cliched date possible with Dimitri by her side. This prompts feelings of jealousy in Alice, and an emotional confrontation.
As far as endings go, this volume concludes with one that is about as happy as it is possible to get, considering that everyone is doomed. Black Rose Alice is such a delightfully odd series, one that doesn’t turn aside from the darkness in human (or vampire) nature. It is a more mature, and quirky addition to the Shojo Beat family. I highly recommend it. This is one of those series that I’ll take down from the bookshelf and reread every few years.