While not necessarily a “conflict’ per se, this story is slightly flawed because while Dimitri may be longing to be with his love, being with her body with another’s soul does not equal the same sum. While you may not get what I am talking about right now, read the story and you will surely know, but I shall put it into these terms so you can get the gist of it. Without someone’s soul, they can no longer be themselves, if someone took over your body they could not perfectly imitate you as your mind is still yours. The only way I could see them solving this particular flaw is that Agnieszka’s body will have the same effect on the soul it was given just like the seed that implanted inside of Dimitri had an effect on his demeanor due to its previous owner.
Dimitri did not really evolve, so to speak. I feel like he just had his desires drawn to the forefront by having that vampiric entity in him, which made him more straight forward and honest with his emotions. Having undergone the transition from human into vampire, Dimitri notices his disposition changing and begins to slowly acknowledge he’s becoming a different person but even that is not very believable (Though they do try to make it apparent by making comparisons to how he tried to take Agnieszka by force and how Maximilian said that his Master named Bradley, “He always took what he wanted. He was that kind of man”). Seems he got control of his powers by the end of the book, but he never seems breaking from that monotone demeanor he carries about with him throughout the book. Cover to cover I feel like he is the same person, only difference is he is more honest about what he wants and shows the ambition to take it by force, whatever or whomever that may be.
The secondary person is Azusa Kikukawa. She seems to be someone whom is devoid of love and wanting, yet she appears to be torn between what she wants and the right thing to do…similar to Dimitri except that she had the will to press for what she wanted. Not too much is really known about her, just the bits and pieces that we see with her school life, but ultimately she seems like an ordinary woman living with a massive dilemma on her shoulders. This is the most complex character within this book because she has different levels of thinking, it is not so simple-minded that she has only wishes to play to her fantasies, rather she knows what reality is and does her best to stick by that ideal. You can tell she is eaten up be the decision she has to make whether-or-not to be with her student, and you can tell the stern conviction within her heart to save his life due to her love being true.
Everyone introduced so far as served their role, with only Azusa Kikukawa being complex as she has multiple states of mind, having to decide between what is right and wrong, and the pressure of dealing with her new life whenever she wakes up to find out that her soul has inherited a new body. I can see tons of mental anguish before her, especially if she runs back into Koya, the guy whom she sacrificed her soul to let live. Honestly, if it were not for Azusa we would have a very mundane mix of one-dimensional characters on our hands, thankfully her performance saved the latter half of this book from the grips of mediocrity.
One of the things is, on page 15 in the book, there are two rectangular speech bubbles on the bottom-most panel and to the right. These are suppose to be of Dimitri practicing singing, and I can guess from the previous text of him singing, it was suppose to be in latin (Opera, most likely). However, there is NOTHING there, despite him opening his mouth wide and obviously singing what is on the page from the book in his hand. My guess is that they misprinted this book or did not catch this flaw, it may already be fixed but I figured I would address it anyway.
Another feature is this “Propagate”, in which vampires are able to spark a new generation of their breed by having sex with their one true love, dying afterward. I find that this gives a humane way for vampires to continue to be born instead of the standard “Suck the blood of a virgin of the opposite sex” we normally see. At the very same time, this means that there will never be an increase in the number of vampires, only the same number would remain constant (from what I can see). While I am a fan of the older idea, I am a fan of this new mechanic as it gives a greater feeling of romanticism, which is very good for a Shoujo manga.
The last is how they have two different acts of having feeling for under-aged children as adults in this book, Dimitri and Agnieszka and Azusa and Koya. The first instance of Dimitri and Agnieszka is understandable (rather, it is forgivable) because it happens during a time period where it was a common practice and not seen as taboo or illegal. What makes it really bad is the fact that he actually develops feelings for Agnieszka (or what actually “sparked” his love for her) was when she kissed his cheek when she could not be anymore than 10 years old, if that. Azusa and Koya’s case is interesting because they are teacher and student, all too often in modern times has this been something we have looked at, I dare say that it is an epidemic at this point. While this may not seem like too big of a deal in the East, in the West this could be ripped limb-from-limb, so some people may find this a touchy subject which should not be glorified in a manga.
While I cannot exactly recommend this book based on my theory it will pan out to be an excellent manga, it is also impossible for me to discard the idea that it is getting interesting and shows promise. The best I can say is that it will boil down to what your individual tastes are. If you do not mind a story that gets interesting but slow to start, then you may very well enjoy this manga, if you are someone who likes action and deep psychological suspense from the jump, you may lack the patience to successfully hope into this one. Though, I am certain this book is only the first act to set up for the center stage.