November 22, 2006
So I wanted to try a Koge Donbo title, and I wanted to try a Broccoli Books title. Broccoli isn’t really my cup of tea (judging purely by the titles they’ve published thus far), and neither is Koge Donbo, but a one-shot that was a horror-tinged comedy seemed like the perfect introduction for me.
My main problem with this title was that it was a straight-up parody of the Inugami Clan, and I hate parodies of things that I am not familiar with because I know I’m missing out on all the jokes. Granted, we got a good amount of background material, but it’s just not the same as reading the book. Plus, I was about halfway through before I found all the translation notes in the back. So… you know, I didn’t really get most of the jokes. There’s plenty there, and almost all of them fell flat for me.
The horror element was kind of cool, as was the actual plot. If nothing else, it made me want to track down the Inugami Clan. The three triplets are all trying to kill one another as well as their maid, Tamayo, who stands to inherit the family fortune after the death of their grandfather (?) pending the non-return of their older brother. The ways they fight each other mostly have to do with puns on their names, with Yoki throwing axes, Koto throwing strings and finger pics, and Kiku throwing needles. I’m not even going to bother explaining the puns, but it was kind of funny.
Other than basically not getting the jokes as a result of not being familiar with the source material, the manga was also confusing as hell. In the first chapter, after we find out that each of the triplets wants the fortune for their own, they all die as a result of poison. They are back moments later at their own funeral, but I was confused for quite awhile as to whether or not they had actually died or they were ghosts… or what. I actually had to read that section two or three times, then read ahead a number of pages before I realized the death is just a gag. Some of the action sequences and dangerous traps, as well as the throwing and sense of space, are also no good, and there were at least one or two points in each chapter where I wasn’t too sure what was going on.
Basically, past the initial setup, there’s really not too much plot and it mostly goes on to be a kind of silly gag manga. I was pretty disappointed that it didn’t turn out to be more horror-centric, I didn’t like the humor and was confused at several parts, and I didn’t wind up liking it that much. At least I know now for certain that Koge Donbo isn’t for me.