This manga is in definite need of an updated review. Now 6 volumes and 32 chapters through, I am loving the story, it's characters and their interactions! "SaxyGeek's" review after reading 9 chapters was a fair, yet overly harsh, review. I hope to explain what I mean & convince you to read it as this manga doesn't have a fair bunch of scores or reviews due to it's very slow & mediocre start.
For the first two volumes (up to chapter 9) this story is essentially one with no real direction & no definitive movement. They set up the two main characters, Anzai & Tsukasa, and their growing relationship after he saves her from a Devil related attack. After the first two volumes, I was debating between a 6/7 out of 10. It was fine, nothing special but not terrible. I was slightly intrigued.
However, the last chapter of volume 2 finished on a huge cliffhanger, with the introduction of a new character. Volume 3 took this introduction and flew with it - the story has not stopped improving since. Throughout volume 3 the cast was continuously added to, two noteworthy standouts include Devil test-subject Hans Lee and anti-Devil terrorist Zero Seven, part of the mysterious anti-Devil organisation CCC. The story also quickly switched from primarily linear to one with a multitude of arcs and plots. This sharp change was exactly what the series needed, it now has definitive protagonists, clear and also mysterious antagonists with an overarching sinister organisation driving the motivations and desires of all characters involved.
Worth a special mention is the way this manga deals with the Devils, or Vampires themselves within society. There are arguably huge political undertones, with Devils largely being misunderstood & unknown entities who aren't the classic lonely, isolated and remorseless hunger driven species this medium is used to (one noteworthy instance includes a forced transformation of Anzai, who simultaneously has tears streaming down his face as he attempts to control the Devil and bloodlust within through fear of himself). Devils, like Anzai, wish to integrate & be recognised for what similarities humans & devils share, not what separates them. As one who fits a "minority" group, this really resonated with me. It is interesting to see "Devil advocates" (humans) hunted down, attacked & shunned by society, just as those who supported minority groups decades ago were.
Art: 7 or 8/10
Not an artist myself, the art is good, very good in parts. There are some moments where smaller chibi-like bodies are used in the background but this is only ever for comedic effect. Proportions can be jarring at first, but quickly got used to. There are also extremely well done standout moments, usually during transformations of Devils - fangs, claws and emotions included. They balance each other out well.
Such a high score due partly due to their growth as characters over the numerous volumes - something I absolutely need in stories. I have already mentioned the fleshing out of characters, so I will primarily focus on Anzai and Tsukasa.
Obvious spoiler for those who make it past volume 2, Anzai & Tsukasa eventually decide they want to be together. However, what follows is an extremely adult orientated plot line focused on the two overcoming the biological boundaries between them, as Anzai attempts to (re-occurring theme) control himself over fear of harming Tsukasa. The primary relationship is very straightforward - much to it's strength - as Anzai & Tsukasa openly discuss these challenges and how to overcome them, sex and all. To read such interactions in a gripping manga about vampires is something I long assumed the Japanese kept restricted to Hentai - such a refreshing and welcomed approach (plus it makes for great reading). They are ~cute~ and largely reflect the interactions I find myself having in a real-life relationship, albeit Tsukasa can be a bit ditsy sometimes (but what Japanese female character isn't).
Two of the main antagonists, Zero Seven & *spoiler* (^^), are deep, fleshed out and strongly motivated. The "flashbacks" or backstory to these characters are done extremely well, with their intentions well-supported and focused, if not always predictable.
Hans Lee, a foreigner who went to the same Devil-only orphanage as Anzai, deserves a special mention as he is the only character to have no true revelation regarding his past as of yet, except from the fact he is German. His interactions with Anzai specifically are interesting, given they're the only two "half-Devil" characters known of (assumed plot will elaborate but nothing I know of yet). Lee aids Anzai in 'accepting' himself while providing small comedic relief being foreign compared to all other characters.
Police Task Force (F) - Anzai's human (and some Devil) colleagues are also well fleshed out and not typical, but not to the same extent as the main cast (obviously). They continuously help to drive the plot whilst living their own lives & plots. Not everything revolves around Anzai - something appreciated as it aids the story in feeling large & supported.
I also can't talk about numerous characters due to huge spoilers, but there are others separate to both the police task force and the terrorist organisation CCC who play influential roles
I have spoken about some of the plot and characters to illustrate how, if you can make it through the first volume and half the the second, this manga is personally gripping, fleshed out and engaging - with standout moments of gore, action, societal struggles and relationship based hardships. After spending all my time reading one volume after work for a week, I can't wait to see how the story progresses from here!