"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reviews in Brief: Kairi Shimotsuki's Madness

Madness is a two-volume BL manga that brings together more or less equal parts post-Apocalyptic adventure, psychological thriller, romance, and weird.

It's far in the future, and the world is recovering from a series of massive earthquakes that destroyed civilization -- or most of it. One effect of the collapse has been the rise of a group of wanton killers, the gang "Madness," who knew no limits on their savagery. But they've been missing for a while, disbanded -- their leader, Kyo, was killed.

In the Church of Saint Shuhamiel, there is a prisoner, a young man who has lost his memories, tended to by the gentle young priest, Izaya. The prisoner was jailed by Iazaya's father as a criminal; he also possessed a sword, named "Siegfried," itself a fearsome weapon. The prisoner is Kyo, and one day another member of Madness, Sae, arrives -- he wants the sword. After things have sorted themselves out, Kyo, Sae and Izaya flee to another city -- but it seems someone is on their tails, assassins intent on obliterating all trace of Madness.

The story is more than a little rough around the edges, a quality unfortunately reinforced by the graphic work, which, will arresting and sometimes quite beautiful, is as often as not unreadable. It's not until the second volume that we have any idea what's really going on, and the whole thing turns out to hinge on a somewhat trite science-fiction device. It really takes two or three readings to get a clear idea of the story line.

The cast of characters, however, is engaging, if somewhat weird, and the drawing makes it clear who is who, although they are all quite lovely.

I'm not sure how I feel about this one -- it's not horrible, but it could be much better with a little more clarity in story line and graphics.

It's from BLU.

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