GOTH • Tokyopop • Otsuichi (story), Kendi Oiwa (art) • 18+
“We crave the cold, delicate aspects of human beings, like murder or torture. People like us are occasionally called Goth.” From the moment that he sees the razor scar on her wrists, Itsuki develops an unhealthy fascination with his classmate Minoru, who–like him–conceals dark obsessions beneath a quiet exterior. Rather than simply wearing black eyeliner and listening to Nine Inch Nails, however, they find themselves involved in several gruesome murder cases: a murderer who collects his victim’s hands, another one who buries people alive, and another one who simply rips them apart. But Itsuki and Minoru aren’t champions of justice, they’re borderline psychos themselves, and the real tension of the series is just how long they can maintain their uneasy truce before one of them does something very, very bad to the other one. Goth is an adaptation of the novel by Otsuichi, also available from Tokyopop. Whereas Otsuichi’s Calling You was badly infected with the “oh how sad it is to be a teenager in the modern age” angst virus, and Shisso Holiday ran out of ideas after 20 pages, Goth manages to be semi-believable, seductive and creepy throughout. Kendi Oiwa’s art is appealing and atmospheric, drawing the reader in with attractive shojo-esque characters, strong layouts, and the occasional scene of graphic gore á la MPD Psycho. In short, a good murder mystery/thriller manga. (Review by Jason Thompson; originally printed in Otaku USA magazine.)
*** (three stars)
Today’s winner is Tracey W. of California. Congratulations, Tracey!