November 9, 2008
So this was much different than what I was expecting. I preordered this in a DrMaster sale a long time ago, thinking it was a simple anthology of horror stories. It’s actually more of a tiny hardcover artbook. There are indeed three short stories in it, but you would really be looking at it more for the pretty color art, because there are probably only around 30 pages total.
The text on the back advertise this as “manga-esque” and also an illustrated storybook, which seems like a pretty accurate description. Most of the stories are told through narration and small panels on top of one large image. The illustrations are pretty, and the whole thing is in color… apparently the artist, Yasushi Suzuki, used to be a character designer for Treasure, and he did designs for Sin and Punishment and Ikaruga.
The stories themselves are a little… insubstantial. They are pretty basic fairy tale-type stories, with not a lot of room to flesh out characters or plot or anything. The second story was borderline nonsensical, about a boy who was given a chance for happiness and didn’t take it. The first story was about a girl who was made beautiful by a witch and tricked in the end, and the third story was about a man who wanted to bring his dead wife back to life and gave her a bunch of “beautiful” body parts… but then wound up locked in mortal combat with some sort of investigator. The art is very, very pretty, but there is actually little more to the stories than what I just stated. The third story is the longest and best, and the pictures of the wife are my favorites in the volume.
It’s an unusual book, to be sure, and certainly worth looking at… but I wouldn’t buy it unless you knew for sure what you were getting. Probably more of a collectible item than anything.