Kellyannl | Bronx, NY USA | 03/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This volume ends with the beginning of an important subplot involving kind and good intentioned but too-innocent-for-his-own-good Pope Alessandro, but first is a series of episodes that lead to a dramatic conclusion to the story of the slow-burning friendship between Sister Esther and Ion Fortuna.
Already heartbroken and demoralized after what he's been through, Ion has a proverbial knife twisted in him one more time when he learns about Esther's opinion of Methuselah before she met him and he struggles to decide whether the affection growing between them has been real. His attempts to get to the Empress are thwarted one last time by Dietrich, who has him thrown into a cell with Esther on trumped up charges and shoots him to trigger his body's need for blood - cruelly throwing them a knife to do with as they will and leaving them with an unspeakably horrible decision to make: which will die to save the other's life?
The outcome is rather predictable, but the intense interaction between the two beforehand is still beautiful, tender in spite of the desperation of their situation, and one of the anime's most memorable and moving scenes. In this volume, the pair become the living, breathing embodiment of what the Vatican and Methuselah agents of goodwill have been fighting for - and become fan favorites in the process."