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Black Rose Alice vol. 1

by Daniel Robson

staff writer

When I was a kid, vampires were blood-sucking monsters in stories of terror and fright, but nowadays they’re all romantic Romeos whose interest is not so much in blood as in the lovelorn heart that pumps it.

Black Rose Alice vol. 1, by Setona Mizushiro Viz Media.
Manga.

Post-”Twilight” manga “Black Rose Alice” is a little bit of both. Dmitri Lewandoski is a bourgeoisie opera singer in 1908 Vienna, but when he is reborn as a vampire, his angelic voice becomes a siren call to his helpless victims. That is, unless he can control his newfound bloodlust. When he learns that sex with “one’s true love” means certain death for a vampire, this former Casanova sees it as a way out, and the key may lie in modern-day Tokyo with the soul of pure-hearted (and recently dead) teacher Azusa Kikukawa.

So this is a manga that follows a sensitive, sex-starved opera-singing vampire on his quest for love. It couldn’t sound any soppier, but luckily this is the work of Setona Mizushiro, renowned for her dark and brooding teenage manga, and the romance is tempered (thank goodness!) by something more sinister. The buckets of blood spilled throughout are merely a happy bonus.