Baba Yaga Manga, Volumes 1 & 2

November 15th, 2010

Today’s review goes out to all of you out there who like Shitsurakuen and other “excessive violence against submissive women”-type manga. (I want to apologize to all the rest of you today. It’s going to be a second day in a row of skankiness and misery. I just want to get these books off my pile before I move on to anything else. So, sorry in advance.)

Many of you are familiar with the creative team Kizuki Akira and Satou Nanki from their work Ebisu-san to Hotei-san. If you like the aforementioned work, I strongly suggest you avoid the Baba Yaga (バーバ・ヤガー) series with all your might. While I felt that “Shrimp Mayo” could have been a stronger story, I very much feel that Baba Yaga, Volume 1 and Volume 2 could not be worse. This series is, in a word, repulsive.

The story is not terribly important, as it’s primarily a vehicle for the continued emotional, physical and quasi-sexual battering of a girl (well, two really,) by a guy who is deeply deranged…and yet, not stopped by anyone, even when they know it’s him. Individual beatings and attempted rapes are sometimes aborted, but the man himself is left to go free and, shocker, does it again. And again. And again. The best bits are when people watch this guy beat a girl near to unconsciousness and blame her for it. As you can imagine, I had to put the book down, breathe and convince myself not to mail bomb the authors, the publishers and every last one of the readers of this misbegotten series.

Yuri comes in the person of the one good, decent character, a woman who does her best to stand between the punching bag protagonist and every other character in the story. In a story less filled with filth, she would simply be a friend, but in this kind of story, the main character’s feeling for her are out of proportion…so, fake Yuri.

Ratings:

Art – 6
Characters – 2
Story – 1
Yuri – 0
Service – 10

Overall – 1

This series was, in a word, vile.

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4 Responses

  1. Ari says:

    Hi Erica… just read your update on twitter about this and was surprised it’d been continued. I read the first chapter and was completely lost by the plot. It’s very much one of those series where you think ‘this has got to get better’ ‘this must have been published for a reason’ but no. It’s just one bizarre depressing and downright disturbing book. And Yuri? That’s a no from me.

  2. @Ari I couldn’t fathom the reason this had been published either.

  3. michiru42 says:

    As a fan of Shitsurakuen, I want to say I think it’s not like Erica describes here. The men beating women are getting the crap kicked out of them by our heroine on a regular basis, and the women who were being beaten up are learning to stand up for themselves, so it’s more a story about women learning to stand up and fight back, IMHO.

    Not that Erica, or anyone else, has to like it; I’m just saying I don’t see any glorification of domestic violence. Video game-type violence, definitely. :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the heads-up, I’ll skip this.

    Meanwhile, the *title* Baba Yaga reminds me of Russian folklore, which reminds me of Russian literature in general, which reminds me…

    …remember when you recommended One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn? Thanks! Which other books like this do you recommend?

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