Yuri Manga: MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 1 (English)

April 4th, 2017

Today in the “so awful it’s good” category, we have MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 1 by Yoshimurakana in English. It was every bit as violent and gross (and crass and vulgar) in English as it was in Japanese. And for that, I am very thankful.

Creepy Murderer Koumori Kuroko is recruited by the police to handle cases they can’t deal with through legal channels. She gets to kill the killers, which suits her just fine. My summation of the plot can be found here in my review of the original Japanese volume.

It’s not that I don’t like sweet love stories, or happily-ever-afters or all the many variations of a girl and another girl love each other, but I cannot properly express my delight at Kuroko and Hinako’s reaction to having their dinner at a family restaurant disturbed by a couple of low-rent criminals. They were lucky to die so quickly. 

The technical details are tops. Print and layout was completely solid, I never felt pulled out of the moment by any reproduction issues. Translation was excellent – Christine Dashiell gets my “good soldier” vote on this. 

A little light unrealistic lesbian sex, absurd car driving, extreme violence and psychopathic killers always helps me sleep well. (No, obviously not really.) But it does warm the cockles of my heart to see horrible people coming to a horrible end. And for that MURCIÉLAGO provides the goods. 


Art – 6 Nothing really “good” about it, but it suits the story well
Story – 7 Also not “good” but in no way is it coy. Violence Yuri, indeed.
Characters – 8 Kuroko is an evil, psychotic, pervy lesbian with a big tit lolicon fetish.
Service – 10 Nothing but
Yuri – 9 Unrealistic, but they are definitely having fun.

Overall – 9

Thank you so very much to Yen Press for the review copy and for the actual enthusiasm folks are showing for this manga. I’m certainly happy to have it, although I already know not all of it will make feel good.

If you’ve had a chance to read Volume 1, please jump into the comments with your thoughts. I’ve been going on about this series for a few years now, knowing full well that the MURCIÉLAGO fan club isn’t going to fill a small room (and we wouldn’t like or trust each other, probably) but I’m interested in what you think!

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5 Responses

  1. Day says:

    So, I bought the first volume more out of a desire to encourage publishers to invest in yuri, and to do so in ways that go beyond the schoolgirl ghetto. So I was quite delighted to find that I thoroughly enjoyed it! I had been expecting it to be a lot more toward the guro end of the spectrum than it turned out to be, so I’d felt a little trepidation upon starting it. I love watching female characters get to be unrepentantly terrible, and I appreciated the fact that the sex scenes are ones in which all participants are totally enthusiastic about it.

    • I’m so thrilled you enjoyed it. It does have a tendency to veer guro and there are future volumes that are pretty bad, but the sex is always consensual, which I really appreciate.

  2. Louis says:

    I completely agree with you on the reproduction and translation here as I had the Japanese edition to compare it to as well.

    What is great about MURCIÉLAGO doing the usual battle manga beats for a new series, such as the arc that starts towards the end of this volume. Is that it by its very nature dodges the ‘token lady’ problem that similar battle manga end up in were there is just one woman in the group and all the weird problems that brings up depending on who is writing it.

    Granted MURCIÉLAGO could be said to have a whole host of new problematic elements but I am far to happy that I have a battle manga to read that has two cool ladies in suits who are both easily the best in the group. (Conrad is cool too though and I wish Reiko would make another appearance)

    • Fair enough. I agree that it avoids tokenism, and it sure does have all sorts of issues, but what I enjoy best is that it is upfront, completely lacking in apology or coyness.

      Reiko will make another appearance later. ^_^

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