September 24, 2008

This is an adult manga full of sex.  I’m going to talk about this rather nonchalantly for the rest of the review, so if this isn’t something you want to be reading right now, you can stop here.

Okay, so I promise this is the only time I will ever do this here.  I kind of don’t like reading individual issues of a series, be it in comic form or magazine form, because it’s just easier to have everything bound as one book.  But this was never collected as a graphic novel, and it was only eight issues… and I wasn’t going to talk about it here since it wasn’t a graphic novel, but I thought “hey, what the hell, it’s a porno, I think I can let myself off easy with this.”

So my roommate has had a strange fascination with Senno Knife ever since I bought Mantis Woman.  To be sure, Mantis Woman makes for truly bizarre reading.  Unfortunately, since Labyrinth Circus never came out, the only alternatives we have in English to Mantis Woman are several adult series published by Sexy Fruit, the alter-ego of Studio Ironcat.  Bizzarian is one of the later ones, I think, but you can also partake in Sepia, Valkyr, and Eden if you’re looking to read more Senno Knife.

Unfortunately, porn isn’t really my thing, so I wasn’t really that interested.  I’d heard that Bizzarian was “bad porn,” though, and that it mostly consisted of bizarre short stories, so I thought it might just be a more erotic version of Mantis Woman.  It’s not, unfortunately for me, it’s just an adult series.  Each 32-page issue has two short stories of varying quality, and each story ends with the protagonist naked and sprawled out across the page having sex.  It’s true the sex is bad… in sharp contrast to Oh! great’s Sexy Whip, the sex isn’t all that detailed or good-looking, and it’s heavily censored.  It’s also not hot at all, if I’m allowed to judge that sort of thing.  I do still like Senno Knife’s art, though.  While his characters do all resemble each other (I was pretty far in before I realized some of the characters appear again and again in the stories), I really like his character designs a lot, and some of the weird stuff he draws in here is just great.

The stories are really hit-and-miss, but some of them are just so out there that they’ll stick in the memory for quite some time.  One featured some cute-looking aliens that crammed some sort of camera up a girl’s cooter, and the girl would black out and periodically have sex so that the aliens could film porno starring her.  The aliens have some weird dialogue, and when the girl finds out what’s happening, her reaction is simply “Oh my! Pornography!”  There’s also the Alice in Wonderland parody, as you can expect every so often in manga, except this one is notable for having a disturbing image of a gigantic naked girl with people crawling into her gaping maw of a vagina.  There’s a weird story I really liked when one girl confessed her love to another, and the love interest rejected the girl… but said she could stick around if she replaced her pet dog.  She makes the girl strip naked and do everything a dog would, including walks in public and peeing in her dog’s favorite place.  Then she rubs plum jam in her crotch and the girl goes down on her, and… well, you see where that’s going.  My favorite story was in the last issue, where a girl is possessed by the spirit of a stripper and is compelled to be an exhibitionist until she is exorcised by two friendly passerbys with an exorcism dildo.

With the exception of the last story, I think the strongest recommendation I can give to this is that it does absolutely every single weird thing it does with a totally straight face.  I thought these were supposed to be humorous stories… and they are, in their way, except they also take themselves very seriously, so you’re not sure whether or not you’re supposed to be laughing.  This can be a bad thing sometimes, but I don’t think it is necessarily in this case.  I kind of liked it.

Bizzarian is not only hard to come by (I’m lucky I picked up all the issues in a lot on eBay), it’s also probably not going to appeal to many people.  I imagine there’s much better adult manga out there for people who want that, and there are lots better short stories for people wanting that.  But for anyone who read Mantis Woman and wanted a little more… well, this isn’t quite the same thing, the stories aren’t nearly as good, but it is entertaining in its way.