The Black Cat & the Vampire Volume 2 Review

Back in September, I reviewed Volume 1 of The Black Cat & the Vampire, a Boys’ Love title by Nikke Taino released by Tokyopop. Intrigued by the first volume, I was eager to find out where the story was heading, so now with the second and final book in hand, it’s time to find out if the series comes to a satisfying conclusion. 

As we reunite with protagonist Yuki and vampire Jean, we find the school in turmoil. The vampire students have to find out what to do about their existence being revealed to the regular students, but while they worry about that, Jean finds himself more concerned about having attacked Yuki. 

Yuki meanwhile is confused, not just about what transpired between him and Jean at the end of the school dance in Volume 1 but also about the true nature of the vampires. If they’ve lived alongside humans this long, then what’s caused one to go rogue and attack a student? And if this has happened before, why does no one remember? And more than that, could it be that the mummified body found on campus 20 years ago somehow relates to the present?

Not far into this instalment, Yuki discovers the culprit behind the attack. But rather than a savage vampire,  what he discovers is a huge misunderstanding of the situation and the harsh truth behind the love between a vampire and a human. If a human falling in love with a vampire is going to cause them so much pain, Yuki wonders if it wouldn’t be better for vampires not to live among humans at all. While navigating through these complex emotions, Yuki must face his feelings toward Jean and decide on a path forward, something that will be for the benefit of them both.  

All in all, The Black Cat & the Vampire continues to offer an interesting supernatural series that has a lot of depth, despite its short run. Mangaka Nikke Taino has put a lot of thought into world-building, which helps tie the events of the past and present together. And there are some interesting twists that we wouldn’t normally see in a series like this, such as each vampire having a different ability when they bite someone or the ‘star scales’ humans give off when they’re in love which drive vampires to give in to their instincts. 

However, in some ways, it feels like Taino needed one more volume to bring the series to an end. In a bid to streamline the story and focus on the most important characters, some of the cast we met in Volume 1 are sidelined or just not present for the majority of the chapters which, honestly, is a shame. Particularly when one of those sidelined characters is Marius, the student who believed that there was a vampire on the prowl back in the first book. 

Of course, I don’t think this volume would work as well as it does had it spread itself too far. Putting the focus on just Yuki, Jean and the other romantic pair Aula and Pavel is the only way to make sure all of the major storylines are brought to a conclusion. But it still feels a bit strange that the others aren’t as present in what proves to be a climactic moment in the school’s history. 

Still, if you’ve been invested in this one because of the relationship between Yuki and Jean then you won’t be disappointed. The mangaka has put a great deal of care into building up their friendship throughout the two books, ensuring that any developments feel right as opposed to being rushed or coming out of nowhere. And this is where the strength of the art comes into play as well, as it convincingly depicts the myriad of emotions between the two – particularly now Yuki knows Jean is a vampire. It certainly leaves me eager to read more of the creator’s work having seen their skill here. 

As mentioned, The Black Cat & the Vampire Volume 2 comes to the West thanks to Tokyopop and is published under their LoveLove imprint. The series continues to be translated by Christine Dashiell and the work reads well with no problems of note. The series is now available both digitally and entirely in print, so if you’ve been waiting to get your hands on it, now is the time!

Overall, The Black Cat & the Vampire Volume 2 brings the series to a mostly satisfying conclusion. Depending on why you were reading the series in the first place, you’ll come away satisfied, even despite its move away from being an ensemble cast. Between tremendous artwork from Nikke Taino and the emotional relationship between our two leads, there’s plenty to enjoy here. 

Our review copy for this title was provided by the publisher Tokyopop.

8 / 10


When she's not watching anime, reading manga or reviewing, Demelza can generally be found exploring some kind of fantasy world and chasing her dreams of being a hero.

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