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Category Freaks Volume 1 af Sakurako…
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Category Freaks Volume 1 (udgave 2005)

af Sakurako Gokurakuin

Serier: Category Freaks (Book 1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
671306,660 (3.46)Ingen
From the creator of Aquarian Age comes a dark and occult adventure. Asagi Nanami is the director of Nanami Paranormal Investigations, where his supernatural assistants Naoki Amano, Tokiko and her helper Mahime Yoshino solve strange phenomena caused by |Freaks|. Masters of bodily possession, freaks are demonic creatures with a morbid purpose...… (mere)
Medlem:Star_Spawn
Titel:Category Freaks Volume 1
Forfattere:Sakurako Gokurakuin
Info:Dr. Master Productions Inc. (2005), Paperback, 200 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Manga

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Category Freaks, Volume 1 af Sakurako Gokurakuin

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This review was originally written for the website ListerX.com, which is now defunct. It can also be found on my blog, The Graphic Librarian.

Cover
The simplistic cover, while beautifully gothic, does little to convey the graphic contents found within. Nevertheless, the single image of Asagi Nanami works wonderfully. Black, white, and red has always been a winning combination of colors, and this cover is no exception. The font is decidedly Old English in style, but is still easily legible and the decision to underlay a copy of the title vertically in the background was a good design choice. However, one would think that words other than a repeat of the title would have done more to enhance the cover's atmosphere. The back cover is just as sparse as the front and features Tokiko, a rather abnormal member of the investigatory team (although she doesn't look it in her lolita-esque dress and cute bunny-eared hat.) The blurb is written in the same font used on the front for the title, but even miniaturized, it's still very easy to read.

Artwork
Despite the very adult subject matter in areas of this manga, I can really only describe the artwork as adorable. This style works really well for the female characters, but not quite as well for the males. That's not to say that they're ugly, but even the more mature male characters have a prepubescent feel to them that isn't really to my tastes. Sakurako's backgrounds are, for the most part, very bland, using little more than gradients with some occasional stippling and/or speed lines. Of course, that doesn't mean the manga-ka can't do backgrounds when he/she wants to, there are actually several beautifully drawn backdrops spaced throughout the story. I suppose somewhere along the line the decision was made to keep the backgrounds to a minimum because they weren't that important to the story. . . and they really aren't. It does make the art style feel sparse in my opinion, but it doesn't really detract at all from the story. The action sequences, while nothing spectacular, are well-drawn and easy to follow from panel to panel. There aren't any places where things become difficult to understand, which is, of course, always a plus for me.

Plot
**Possible Spoilers Warning**

The plot is setup in the typical episodic style. Each story focuses on a group of paranormal investigators who are more than what they seem. Their main goal is to hunt "Freaks" - monsters, spirits and demons intent on causing harm to human kind. At least three of the group's members are what's known as Stands - the natural enemy of Freaks, according to the manga. Stands have powers which they use to do battle with the Freaks. The main character from the front cover, Asagi Nanami, has powers which remind me a lot of Alucard's from Hellsing - you know, that weird black mass full of eyes and teeth. Then there's Tokiko who's diet consists solely of Freaks - she gets the cutest expressions on her face when she's hungry. The final stand is a woman named Yahiro, but her powers, while obviously strong, remain vague. There are also two humans in the group, Amano Naoki, who seems to handle the business end of things and Mahime Yoshino, a young girl whose reasons for being there aren't exactly clear, although she seems to have a strange connection to Yahiro.

The actual story exists in five different acts with each act pertaining to a different kind of Freak. It's hard to say too much about the individual stories without giving too much away. The first story deals with a Freak who's causing workplace accidents. The second case involves young maids who are disappearing from a manor house. (Just a warning - this particular story is graphically explicit!) The third incident deals with the mystery surrounding young women who are being attacked by a giant teddy bear. In the fourth act young men become the targets of a Freak connected to a "Love" telephone hotline. We also meet Ayu in this act, a young man who seems to have more than brotherly feelings towards Amano. The final extra act focuses on a haunted high school and a ghost who doesn't allow any of the girls to wear their hair long.

Despite the rather comedic air that most of these acts seem to possess, the stories are actually treated with an almost disturbing seriousness. While there are some intentionally funny moments, the overall feel of the plot is very dark - dark enough that it definitely deserves it's 18+ horror genre rating.

Content Warnings
Language = Yes, but fairly mild stuff.

Violence = Yes; at least two of the acts contain bloody and/or gory elements.

Nudity = Yes; there is full frontal female nudity and suggested male nudity in at least 2 acts.

Sexual Situations = Yes; the 2nd act is very explicit and the 4th act involves some suggested scenes.

Ratings
Cover - 8/10 - Simple with some pleasing design elements. Very eye-catching.

Artwork - 8/10 - Simplistically elegant. Not usually my style, but it works nicely.

Plot - 7/10 - Doesn't leave me instantly craving more, but the characters & their situations are intriguing.

Overall - 7/10 - Despite some predictability, this manga shows a lot of promise for future volumes. ( )
  purpledragon42 | Jan 2, 2007 |
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Ingen

From the creator of Aquarian Age comes a dark and occult adventure. Asagi Nanami is the director of Nanami Paranormal Investigations, where his supernatural assistants Naoki Amano, Tokiko and her helper Mahime Yoshino solve strange phenomena caused by |Freaks|. Masters of bodily possession, freaks are demonic creatures with a morbid purpose...

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