Archive for the MURCIÉLAGO Category


MURCIÉLAGO Manga, Volume 3 (English)

September 7th, 2017

In Yoshimura Kana’s MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 3, we take a good, long, detailed look into the darkness of obsessive psychopathic murderers…and don’t really do much of anything with the information. ^_^

First, Kuroko deals with the Skin Collector, a man who skins his female victims and we learn, both in real time and from his exposition, that his daughter Ringo shares both his skills and his predilections for killing. In her case, her Daddy issues go rather deeper than usual. The author takes pains to show us how happy the families Ringo destroys are so, long after we’ve put the book down, we can feel crappy about enjoying it.

While Kuroko is finishing off Ringo’s father, the police are sharing a bit of exposition, to indicate to us what we must have surely recognized…Kuroko and Hinako are both not functioning within what society considers normal parameters. The specifics are, as yet, left hidden.

Which segues us nicely into the hidden realms of the Elder Gods, and the amusement park based on H.P Lovecraft’s Chthulu mythos. It’s sort of a given that among my friends, that everyone goes through a Lovecraft phase, at least in a sort of secondhand osmosis kind of way. Not all my friends have read the original or derivative works, but enough of them have that we just don’t really notice any inclusion of Lovecraft’s work as something notable. It’s more like…duh…of course it’s there. Which is part of why I forget to mention the inclusion of it in this series. It’s like…duh, of course the mascot at the amusement park would be Shoggoth. (Well, arguably, I would have chosen, Nyarlathotep, and no, not because of the Nyarko-san anime, but because of a bumper sticker on a car of a friend of mine from like 25 years ago.)

So, after we visit the hidden depths of the Elder Gods and the inside of Kuroko’s mind, we turn our attention to other, somewhat lower, places. One of Hinako’s old college friends shows up, worried about her sister, who has joined a religious cult. Faced with the idea that “Virginal Rose Academy” is an all-female cult, full of cute girls, run by a buxom young woman, Kuroko is all in.

Ratings:

Art – 6 Not likely to get better
Story – 7 Still horrible violence with some silly violence, but there sort of was a story, so that’s good
Characters – 8 Hinako fascinates me….
Service – 10 Creative, awful and pervasive
Yuri – …wait for it…. 

Overall – 8

This is an excellent volume of a really strange manga, with violence, amusingly deranged Edwardian fictitious mythologies, action, more violence and some other bits of violence for color. Next volume, there will be consensual lesbian sex, as well. Let’s look forward to Volume 4!

 

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Yuri Manga: MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 2 (English)

May 23rd, 2017

In Volume 1 of MURCIÉLAGO, we were introduced to serial killer Koumori Kuroko, who now subcontracts for the police, “closing” cases they can’t deal with. 

MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 2 begins with the final piece of the “Murder Party” arc, in which we can see that Kuroko is in fact, a pervert, as well preternaturally good at her work.

The phrase “Congenital Insensitivity to Pain and Anhydrosis” is less funny here if only because it was originally presented in English. However, killer maid Yukari’s response is still a hoot. 

“Murder Party” wraps up with several key points – a glimpse of sniper Reiko and a hope that we will see her again, and a detailed exposition of Yukari’s situation and, ultimately some discussion of how Kuroko found herself in this position. Speaking of positions, Kuroko gets a little sex in (yes, I went there and did that) and Hinako gives us our first glimpse of the not-really-rightness that is her. It’s just a brief hint so far. We’ll get more later. 

The book wraps up with a lead-in to a new arc that is, I must warn you, really quite horrible on at least two levels. If you were waffling about the violence in Volumes 1-2, wait ’til Volume 3. “Domestic Killer” ramps it up considerably. And it’s also creepy and lolicon fetishy. That may work for you if that’s works for you. It was not my favorite arc. 

Ratings:

Art – 6 Still very ugly
Story – 7 Still  horrible violence and sex
Characters – 8 Double the amount of psychotic women means it was twice as good.
Service – 10 Creative, awful and pervasive
Yuri – 9 

Overall – 9

I am biding my time waiting for the Virginal Rose arc. ^_^

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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. 

Ratings:

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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Yuri Manga: MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 8 (ムルシエラゴ)

October 27th, 2016

mv8kyI’m sorry to say that in MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 8 (ムルシエラゴ), no one dies. Well, no one we care about, anyway. In fact, a lot of people die.  A whole army of nameless cannon fodder.  But since we don’t care about them, it’s like no one dies.

Kuroko and the team are still looking to find the new/old terrorist group that appears to be assassinating people for reasons that kind of made sense 70 years ago, but now appear to be petty. While Kuroko and Hinako track the ringleader through the subway, unleashing Ringo for some light murder practice, Reiko, the sexy sniper of the second arc of the series makes a reappearance.

A chunk of the book is given over to Reiko’s rooftop battle with a muscle-bound sniper which she, predictably, wins.

Ringo does not not manage to kill terrorist second-in-command Shizuka, when beefy, scared bartender Kokoro, stopped the fight before it becomes fatal. In return Shizuka promises to tell Ringo about her psycho father, the Skin Collector.

While everyone takes on the terrorist cell forces, Kuroko and Hinako take on the cell leader and we’re left with the creepiest feeling that all of this somehow relates to Hinako.

In a short flashback, we get to see a young Hinako and something we thought, but never expected to have confirmed is confirmed, at last. Hinako is very broken.

The epilogue follows a young lady whom Reiko saved in an earlier arc taking a visit to the sniper, and cuts off as the lights go down on them kissing. I’m very happy for Reiko….and for us. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Service – 5
Yuri – 8

Overall – 8

MURCIÉLAGO is messy and gross and violent and gay. There are no good guys here. I like it so much.

 

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Yuri Manga: MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 7 (ムルシエラゴ)

April 19th, 2016

Murcielago7-e1459017643897MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 7 (ムルシエラゴ) by Yoshimura Kana is both vile and creative, which is impressive in it’s own way.

In between coming up with a new arc about psychopaths who kill the innocent in creative and repulsive ways (which, again, is kind of impressive….) we  revisit some of our favorite psychopaths from previous arcs – notably Yukari, the assassin maid,  one of the of the students from Virginal Rose, Ariana, now going by her given name, Sayaka, and Minako, the bomb-building schoolgirl with her formerly-popular classmate, now her personal slave, Furi.

Hinako really gets a chance to fly her freak flag in this volume. If, for even a second, you thought that Hinako wasn’t a complete nutter, this volume would disabuse you of the notion. Not only does she inappropriately obsess over horned beetles and banchou capes, she answers the question we’ve kind of half-had since the beginning….how gay is she? Turns out, Hinako is quite gay. After an episode full of heads exploding and faces cut off, she joins Kuroko for some relatively anonymous sex with a random teen prostitute.

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Service – 10
Yuri – 9 Hinako is also very gay

Overall – 8

Also, they fight a WWII-era guild of killer psychopaths.

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