Dark Edge Vol. #08 (Mania.com)

By:Patricia Beard
Review Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Release Date: Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Don't let the cover mislead you.  Any "BL" here stands for "Blood Lust".

Creative Staff:
Writer/Artist: Yu Aikawa
Translator: Jason Tanthum
Adaptation: Gayle Tan

What They Say:
In order to save his sick sister, Tetsuzou has been working on a plan to gain the secret of eternal life from the Nosferatu teachers, and tonight he is finally going to execute his plan. After the principal erases Kikuchi's memory, he opens the school gates and tells Kurou and gang to take her out before she witnesses more bloody rampages. Tetsuzou secretly stays behind and goes to see the vampire Nosferatu Satou-sensei, to turn himself into one of them in order to save his sister from leukemia. But Sato-sensei turns the tables when he realizes how good Tetsuzo's blood tastes and decides to drink until he drains him of his last drop of blood!

What We Say:
With Kikuchi safely out of harms' way and her memory erased of all that she had seen in the underground vault, the group is now able to concentrate on the plans to take over the school from the vampires.  Their status as carriers of the evil gene grants them a certain amount of protection against the Nosferatu and also gives them the ability to deal harm to them.

However, Tetsuzou has other plans. He wants to become vampirized so that he can save his sister by giving her the eternal life of a vampire, and he intends to strike a bargain with Saito-sensei for this power. For his part, Satou-sensei, progeny of the powerful Nosferatu Red Angel, has never "partaken" of the student body, in fact, he has defended them from the zombies and bloodlusts of other vampires.  But there's something about Tetsuzou that is very alluring to Satou-sensei, and the usually considerate and caring Satou-sensei feeds on Tetsuzou with the intent to kill him, not vampirize him.  Kurou, who has suspected the worst, makes it to Tetsuzou before he is killed by Satou-sensei. 

On another front, Akasaka has left the hospital armed with the sword that Mao Touyama left with her while she was recuperating.  She makes it to the campus and is discovered by Tsuchiya-sensei with whom she intends to square off, but he surprises her by having no such intent himself and removes the cast on her leg that had impeded her.  He lets her know about the power of the sword she carries, a sword that can deal death to vampires - a perfect weapon and power leveler for the only member of the group who is not an evil gene carrier. Tsuchiya-sensei has no interest in confronting Akasaka and lets Akasaka make her way into the school.  Akasaka reaches Kurou's side in time to save him from strangulation by Satou-sensei, delivering a blow that doesn't kill him but surprises him greatly. Akasaka and Kurou run away and lock themselves off from Satou, leaving the sword behind.

Kurou, concerned about Tetsuzou, leaves Akasaka behind the locked door with the comatose and literally petrified Pochi. But his fears are unfounded as Tetsuzou leaves the school with no ill effects.  Only later is it revealed that Tetsuzou, not only did not become a vampire, he is a possessor, along with Kurou and Mao Touyama, of the demon seed, the owner of which will become King of the Nosferatu upon death.

Yu Aikawa is very careful about what is revealed to the reader, who is invited, actually  expected, to make assumptions. Part of the charm and the challenge of the story is regaining one's footing after having those assumptions upended. In this volume, Aikawa reveals a bit more about the demon seeds and the history of the carriers through some of Tetsuzou's family history, but Aikawa never reveals enough to let the reader be certain of anything.  Even after eight volumes, some of the motivations, allegiances and ultimate identities of the vampires are still not clear. Dark Edge is a story where the drive to find out what one doesn't know is as compelling as what one already does.         

Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: DrMaster Publications
MSRP: 9.95
Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-1-59796-028-1
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left