The problem with liking violent manga is that one day you hit a moment where the fighting stops being the point and the gross becomes the point and you either think, “nope, crossed the line” or you hold your breath and become a guro fetishist. While I am absolutely capable of watching an adult yakuza’s hand be cut off without feeling the slightest bit of a twinge, once you throw victimization into the mix, I’m outta there.
MURCIÉLAGO manga, Volume 3 (ムルシエラゴ) starts with a big ole leap from creepy violence into super gross.
We start off with a twin-tailed story. In the first we have a serial killer who skins the faces of his victims. Resident psychopath Koumori Kuroko is sent out by the police to catch the killer. As a counterpoint, we return to the story of the lost waif, Ringo-chan, who had been rescued by Hinako and Kuroko…and who turns out to be a serial killer herself. As the two plots develop, by which I mean the deaths pile up, we learn that Ringo’s father is the mask killer, and he’s responsible for torturing Ringo to break her into serial killing. Throughout this entire arc, I was wholly unentertained, as the background images of Ringo’s “training” were unpleasant in any number of ways.
Thankfully the arc wrapped up and we set aside serial killer and tortured lolicon. The final arc takes the story back to a more light-hearted form of perversion and violence, as Kuroko and Hinako meet up with one of Hinako’s old classmates…and she needs their help. While Kuroko fantasizes about Chiyo, we get the set up of the next arc which takes place at a mysterious all-female mansion full of stereotypes.
Bonus content is set in an all girls school where Kuroko makes love to Chiyo, until Chiyo shakes her out of her reverie and we see that it was all just a phone game. It’s a popular game, in this house, though, because Hinako is also playing it, as well. bwah-bwah-wahhhhhh~
Art – No, really not.
Story – Also pretty no.
Characters – I think I’m starting to like Hinako best, frankly. She’s not a murderer like Kuroko, but she’s strange in a way I can’t pin down, competent and smarter than everyone gives her credit for. She’s no shrinking violet, either and is up to violence when she needs to be.
Yuri – Just to remind you that Kuroko is a predatory lesbian, the bonus chapter is a 10
Service – Yes, it has all the service.
Overall – Started at a 3, ended at a 7
Less victims, more ridiculous, less torture, more fighting please.