The Gothic Manga Discussion Thread

Post about anime's sister, manga in here. Manga reviews accepted in here as well.

The Gothic Manga Discussion Thread

Postby GhostontheNet » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:15 pm

As I look back over the manga released in the last couple of years, I've noticed an explosion of interest in all things Gothic. This is especially true of a lot of the titles published by Tokyopop. Series like Bizenghast and The Dreaming recapture the spirit of mystery, suspense, and terror of the old Gothic horror genre by pitting tormented heroes against shadowy foes in antiquated locales that time forgot. And then, from Japan, Korea, and the 'States alike, a host of vampire stories (a popular form of Gothic fiction) have filled manga shelves like a colony of bats. Similarly, with the popularity of the Gothic & Lolita subculture in Japan, a host of titles inspired by the fashion style like Doll, Godchild, Rozen Maiden, and Moonphase have been translated here in the 'States.

And then, quite a few titles that prominently feauture elements of the original Gothic subculture have been cropping up too. For those unaware, the Gothic subculture began as an offshoot of the Punk and Post-Punk music scenes that started with musicians that wanted to counter the niave super-optimism of the New Romantic movement by reviving the spirit of Dark Romanticism in authors like Poe, Stoker, Shelly, and Melville through music. The Gothic subculture soon had a creative explosion and would expand into the areas of music, fashion, art, aesthetics, cinema, poetry, and philosophy, which it continues to produce as an underground subculture to the present day. One such title is Gothic Sports by Anike Hage of Germany (the current epicenter of the Gothic subculture), in which a group of high-school outcasts apply the Goth/Punk do-it-yourself ethic to form their own soccer team garbed in a flamboyant Gothic team uniforms. Another recent release is Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives, in which a vivacious young Gothic lady escapes the boredom of Dullsville through a risky romance with a vampire. Then, the work of Ross Cambell goes back to Goth's Punk roots in stories that feature Goths and other alienated youth, alongside the occasional run-in with flesh eating zombies. Issue 3 of his Wet Moon series even features a personal appearance of the influential Gothic Metal/Darkwave band Bella Morte.

The purpose of this thread, then, is to provide a place for the discussion of any manga titles with Gothic themes of any type. Any series that involves tormented heroes struggling against supernatural fiends, vampires, characters garbed in fashions inspired by the Gothic or Gothic & Lolita subcultures, kookified creeps and ghouls that are far too silly to give anyone nightmares, and whatever else anyone thinks is appropriate to post here is fair game for discussion.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby kryptech » Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:14 pm

I do have a certain interest in gothic material, though I have read almost nothing in that genre. The local library has a number of volumes from Godchild, the first of which I checked out but didn't really get into. I'm not familiar with the other titles you mentioned and I don't think the library here has any further gothic manga.

I have a greater interest in vampires than zombies (they have so much more style). Recently I have been reading Battle Angel Alita: Last Order and volumes 8 and 9 deal with a vampire, with volume 9 looking back into that character's past. The background history of character's motives and current circumstances was enjoyable.
"Everybody's weird in their own special way." - P.V.
"Never refuse a breath mint." - my dad
"The UAC is making safer worlds through superior firepower." - Doom 3
"This world is a great sculptor's shop. We are the statues and there is a rumour going round the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life." - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

"I'm too cool to scroll. -- MOES."
User avatar
kryptech
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2004 1:18 pm
Location: GTA

Postby minakichan » Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:40 pm

Eh? I thought Gothicism and EGL were almost completely different subcultures. There are cutesy-happy pink EGLs out there. VK kind of shows a mix of the two, but most of my EGL fan friends would shoot me if I called them Goth-- or emo.
ImageImage
User avatar
minakichan
 
Posts: 1547
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:19 pm
Location: Tejas

Postby Shao Feng-Li » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:29 am

I don't think anyone's read a gothic manga until they've read Goth.
User avatar
Shao Feng-Li
 
Posts: 5187
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:00 pm
Location: Idaho

Postby GhostontheNet » Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:05 am

kryptech (post: 1204177) wrote:I do have a certain interest in gothic material, though I have read almost nothing in that genre. The local library has a number of volumes from Godchild, the first of which I checked out but didn't really get into. I'm not familiar with the other titles you mentioned and I don't think the library here has any further gothic manga.

I have a greater interest in vampires than zombies (they have so much more style). Recently I have been reading Battle Angel Alita: Last Order and volumes 8 and 9 deal with a vampire, with volume 9 looking back into that character's past. The background history of character's motives and current circumstances was enjoyable.


Well, around these parts issues of Bizenghast and The Dreaming are dime-a-dozen, so you may want to keep an eye out for those. And then, through Prospector and Interlibrary Loan on your local library's website you can access almost any title you could dream of. It is true that vampyres are much more stylish than zombies, but I guess they're really two entirely different kinds of stories. Vampyres tend to have established themselves as members of the wealthy elite whom have learned to mask their base sense of predatory bloodlust with a sense of culture and refinement. Zombies on the other hand, tend to represent the dehumanized victims of economic and cultural opression (an interpretation lately repopularized by Shaun Of The Dead) that have no more control over themselves. I haven't gotten around to reading Battle Angel Alita yet, although I have seen a number of issues at my local library? Should I check it out?

minakichan (post: 1204200) wrote:Eh? I thought Gothicism and EGL were almost completely different subcultures. There are cutesy-happy pink EGLs out there. VK kind of shows a mix of the two, but most of my EGL fan friends would shoot me if I called them Goth-- or emo.
To a certain extent they are different subcultures. However, they are both rooted in very similar ideas. And then, there are strong and significant ties between the two subcultures both in Japan and here in the 'States. Both movements were started by fans of Punk and Glam rock that wanted to create a fashion and subculture that had a deep sense of refinement and dark romanticism. As such, many of the controversies that pop up about EGL Visual Kei performers (i.e. "Why do these men incorporate so many articles of traditionally feminine clothing?") mirror controversies in the early Gothic movement (such as early performances of Rozz Williams and his band Christian Death being greeted by hecklers that wanted to know "Who's the fag in the skirt?"). You are right that there are many more subsets of the Lolita fashion, many of which have none of the sense of gloom of the Gothic Lolitas. As such, I prefer to refer to the subculture as a whole as the Gothic & Lolita subculture, which I draw from the popular Gothic and Lolita Bible (the Holy Bible, after all, does not contain much guidance in the way of fashion tips). In general, the Gothic & Lolita subculture has so much in common with the Neo-Romantic Goths (who tend to be fond of wearing clothing inspired by bygone ages) that I consider both to be subsets of the same philosphy. Beyond mere outlook, Gothic nightclubs in Japan have been playing Visual Kei music to attract members of the Gothic & Lolita subculture, while here in the 'States the Gothic subculture has been actively popularizing the Gothic & Lolita subculture. As to rejection of the Gothic or Emo labels, I think people have this kind of one-dimensional view of Goths and Emos. They think both subcultures have merely exchanged our culture's illusion of evergreen happiness for a state of perpetual gloom and melodrama that denies them all sense of joy and beauty in life. The reality, however, is as complex as human emotion itself.

Shao Feng-Li (post: 1204428) wrote:I don't think anyone's read a gothic manga until they've read Goth.
You mean the one about a couple of morbid sleuths who crack a bunch of very difficult murder mysteries? I would read it if I could find it, but no Western companies have licensed it and I can't find a working source of the Scanlation.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby Shao Feng-Li » Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:56 am

I can send you a torrent link if you want.
User avatar
Shao Feng-Li
 
Posts: 5187
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:00 pm
Location: Idaho

Postby GhostontheNet » Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:26 pm

Shao Feng-Li (post: 1204472) wrote:I can send you a torrent link if you want.
I would be grateful if you would send that link to me.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby kryptech » Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:57 pm

GhostontheNet (post: 1204443) wrote:Well, around these parts issues of Bizenghast and The Dreaming are dime-a-dozen, so you may want to keep an eye out for those. And then, through Prospector and Interlibrary Loan on your local library's website you can access almost any title you could dream of.

Thanks -- I'll check out those ideas.

GhostontheNet (post: 1204443) wrote:It is true that vampyres are much more stylish than zombies, but I guess they're really two entirely different kinds of stories. Vampyres tend to have established themselves as members of the wealthy elite whom have learned to mask their base sense of predatory bloodlust with a sense of culture and refinement. Zombies on the other hand, tend to represent the dehumanized victims of economic and cultural oppression (an interpretation lately repopularized by Shaun Of The Dead) that have no more control over themselves.

Well said. And perhaps Lycan fall somewhere between the two...

GhostontheNet (post: 1204443) wrote:I haven't gotten around to reading Battle Angel Alita yet, although I have seen a number of issues at my local library? Should I check it out?

I understand there is a Battle Angel Alita series followed by Battle Angel Alita: Last Order. I have only read 9 volumes of the latter. Primarily the story is sci-fi action with a cyborg heroine, so I wouldn't class it as gothic. The introduction of a vampire (vampyre) was very unexpected, as was the detailed history. Interesting, though I don't know how large a role that character will play in future volumes.
"Everybody's weird in their own special way." - P.V.
"Never refuse a breath mint." - my dad
"The UAC is making safer worlds through superior firepower." - Doom 3
"This world is a great sculptor's shop. We are the statues and there is a rumour going round the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life." - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

"I'm too cool to scroll. -- MOES."
User avatar
kryptech
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2004 1:18 pm
Location: GTA

Postby GhostontheNet » Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:47 pm

kryptech (post: 1204555) wrote:Well said. And perhaps Lycan fall somewhere between the two...
Believe it or not, in horror cinema the werewolf originated during World War II as a symbol of Hitler. The werewolf myth in its present form, however, developed out of the cultural repression of the 1950's. The werewolf is typically a nice guy in his human form, but whenever he runs into the trigger of his altered form, he becomes a ravenous wild animal that cannot restrain himself from acting out his darkest impulses. Perhaps the werewolf is a symbol of raw male testosterone getting in the way of his efforts to be civilized.

I understand there is a Battle Angel Alita series followed by Battle Angel Alita: Last Order. I have only read 9 volumes of the latter. Primarily the story is sci-fi action with a cyborg heroine, so I wouldn't class it as gothic. The introduction of a vampire (vampyre) was very unexpected, as was the detailed history. Interesting, though I don't know how large a role that character will play in future volumes.
Yeah, I saw that it looked like a really Cyberpunk manga with a certain flair of future noir. I wanted to know whether it is worth checking out.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby mechana2015 » Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:31 pm

GhostontheNet (post: 1204576) wrote: Yeah, I saw that it looked like a really Cyberpunk manga with a certain flair of future noir. I wanted to know whether it is worth checking out.


Its a classic cyberpunk in the vein of William Gibson, very non gothic, unless you qualify matrix and neuromancer as such. The series is very good, with great art and design as well as an engaging story and universe. There are two parts, the original series and "last order", an alternate ending/continuation of the series (the connection is a bit convoluted). The series is rated M for some nudity, some sexual content and mostly for extreme violence. Vampires don't show up until about 15 books into the series.
Image

My Deviantart
"MOES. I can has Sane Sig now?"
User avatar
mechana2015
 
Posts: 5025
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 12:33 am
Location: Orange County

Postby GhostontheNet » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:34 pm

mechana2015 (post: 1204591) wrote:Its a classic cyberpunk in the vein of William Gibson, very non gothic, unless you qualify matrix and neuromancer as such. The series is very good, with great art and design as well as an engaging story and universe. There are two parts, the original series and "last order", an alternate ending/continuation of the series (the connection is a bit convoluted). The series is rated M for some nudity, some sexual content and mostly for extreme violence. Vampires don't show up until about 15 books into the series.
Well, Cyberpunk isn't Gothic as such, but it is quite popular within the Gothic subculture. This is especially true because of the close ties the Gothic subculture has with fans of Industrial music, who are known as Rivetheads. Walk into almost any Gothic club night, and you should see at least a dozen people that look like they stepped out of Blade Runner, and hear music by Cyberpunk inspired Industrial musicians like Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Grendel, and Covenant (to name but a few). In fact, I play a number of these musicians on my internet radio station, which can be accessed by clicking the link in my signature.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby Shao Feng-Li » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:49 pm

Got that link sent to you if you haven't checked your PM box.
User avatar
Shao Feng-Li
 
Posts: 5187
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:00 pm
Location: Idaho

Postby onyxmoon21 » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:06 pm

I've been reading the manga Le Portrait de Petit Cossette online recently. Has anyone else ever read it?

Even though I'm only on the third chapter, (the gal who's uploading it is reeallly slowwww) I think it's pretty good so far. I'd most certainly call it gothic, and very EGL. :thumb:

I've looked for a good review on it... but so far, nothing. Though from what I have heard, it's supposed to be a fairly well-done series, and I must admit, it's addictive. ^^

Any thoughts?
User avatar
onyxmoon21
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:56 pm

Postby GhostontheNet » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:05 pm

Shao Feng-Li (post: 1204655) wrote:Got that link sent to you if you haven't checked your PM box.
I just finished reading through Goth. The storytelling was pretty good, overall. I don't believe I have ever read anything with such a menagerie of neurotic and sadistic characters. The only major character that had some morals and had not completely demolished her conscience was the Goth girl Yoru Morino, with whom I have a fair bit in common, so I could empathize with her for most of the series. Still, having a couple of antihero detectives drawn to solve murders out of a sense of morbidity rather than justice led to some surprising moral breaches that break the typical rules of the genre. In the second chapter, for example, the duo leaves a naked corpse as badly mutilated as a Salvador Dali painting unburied and unreported (a serious sacrilege in most cultures). Then, at the end of the chapter, the neurotic narrator simply lets the murderer go in exchange for an expedient arrangement of mutual safety. The tragic ending of the series is somewhat suitable, however, because relationships built on mutilation don't work out in the end.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby Shao Feng-Li » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:31 pm

Oh. It's been a few years since I've read it XD
User avatar
Shao Feng-Li
 
Posts: 5187
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:00 pm
Location: Idaho

Postby GhostontheNet » Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:57 pm

onyxmoon21 (post: 1204664) wrote:I've been reading the manga Le Portrait de Petit Cossette online recently. Has anyone else ever read it?

Even though I'm only on the third chapter, (the gal who's uploading it is reeallly slowwww) I think it's pretty good so far. I'd most certainly call it gothic, and very EGL. :thumb:

I've looked for a good review on it... but so far, nothing. Though from what I have heard, it's supposed to be a fairly well-done series, and I must admit, it's addictive. ^^

Any thoughts?
I haven't read Le Portrait de Petit Cossette yet, though it definitely looks quite good. From the looks of it, it seems to be a old-fashioned Gothic ghost story in the style of The Turn of the Screw, except that Cossette the ghost in not malignant, but unintentionally brings grave misfortune. As it so happens, Tokyopop has already licensed and released the entire series (both issues), so you can be both impatient and ethical at the same time.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby onyxmoon21 » Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:23 pm

GhostontheNet (post: 1204856) wrote:I haven't read Le Portrait de Petit Cossette yet, though it definitely looks quite good. From the looks of it, it seems to be a old-fashioned Gothic ghost story in the style of The Turn of the Screw, except that Cossette the ghost in not malignant, but unintentionally brings grave misfortune. As it so happens, Tokyopop has already licensed and released the entire series (both issues), so you can be both impatient and ethical at the same time.


I would buy it now, but I've decided to read it online just to make sure there aren't any nasty little surprises waiting for me if I do get it. *crosses fingers* So far so good! ^^
User avatar
onyxmoon21
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:56 pm

Postby GhostontheNet » Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:44 pm

onyxmoon21 (post: 1204950) wrote:I would buy it now, but I've decided to read it online just to make sure there aren't any nasty little surprises waiting for me if I do get it. *crosses fingers* So far so good! ^^
That's a novel one. Both the Manga and the Anime are rated Older Teen for violent and sexual content. I might eventually do a review of Le Portrait de Petit Cossette if Gypsy or Mangafanatic ever returns and informs me of the status of my Gunslinger Girl review.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby onyxmoon21 » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:39 pm

GhostontheNet (post: 1204957) wrote:That's a novel one. Both the Manga and the Anime are rated Older Teen for violent and sexual content. I might eventually do a review of Le Portrait de Petit Cossette if Gypsy or Mangafanatic ever returns and informs me of the status of my Gunslinger Girl review.


A manga review for Le Portrait de Petit Cossette would be awesome. CAA really could use one. :P
User avatar
onyxmoon21
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:56 pm

Postby GhostontheNet » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:32 pm

onyxmoon21 (post: 1205184) wrote:A manga review for Le Portrait de Petit Cossette would be awesome. CAA really could use one. :P
It looks like SirThinks2Much beat me to the punchline and wrote one for the Anime, which can be accessed here.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby onyxmoon21 » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:44 pm

GhostontheNet (post: 1205197) wrote:It looks like SirThinks2Much beat me to the punchline and wrote one for the Anime, which can be accessed here.


I thought you were talking about writing up a manga review. Sorry, my bad. And who knows... maybe if I like the series enough to buy it, I'll go ahead and do one. :) We'll just have to see.

Oh, and if anyone knows of a website with Le Portrait de Petit Cossette already fully uploaded, I'd really appreciate the info. ^^ (It's okay if no one does; so far I can't find it anywhere besides Mangafox.com)
User avatar
onyxmoon21
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:56 pm

Postby Maledicte » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:14 pm

The manga or the anime? Both are available in the US.
User avatar
Maledicte
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:39 pm

Postby onyxmoon21 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:09 pm

SirThinks2Much (post: 1205387) wrote:The manga or the anime? Both are available in the US.


I'm talking about the manga. Sorry I wasn't more clear on that.
User avatar
onyxmoon21
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:56 pm

Postby Maledicte » Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:42 pm

User avatar
Maledicte
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:39 pm

Postby GhostontheNet » Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:47 pm

Having listened to a number of recommendations from other fans, I think here is a good place to mention one of my own personal favorites in this genre. Of all the Gothic manga that has come out in the past couple of years, the series that I'm most excited about is Bizenghast by Alice M. LeGrow. Bizenghast is Gothic horror in the classic style of victorian novelists obsessed with romanticism and ruin, and is set in a dusty ghost town that time forgot. The story revolves around Dinah, a young woman tormented by visions of the ghosts that continue to linger about Bizenghast (the town from which the series is named). Fortunately, her trusted friend and admirer, the handsome Vincent, is always ready to lend a hand whenever Dinah gets into trouble. The duo run into their gravest challenge, however, when they explore a mausoleum that mysteriously appears out of nowhere. Dinah accidentally binds herself into servitude, body and soul, to the enigmatic spirits in charge of the Mausoleum. Now, in order to regain her life, her freedom, and her very soul, she must release 24 tormented ghosts trapped by unresolved issues within their lifetimes to their eternal destinies (whether heaven or hell). And so, with Vincent at her side, the two must enter the bizzare worlds crafted in the minds of each ghost and unravel their mysteries before events take a turn for the deadly. The art of Bizenghast is quite stunning, and has a unique way of blending the elegant and the bizarre.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby Maledicte » Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:55 pm

I didn't find Bizenghast very engaging. The promotional and cover art are stunning, but the interior artwork (at least at the outset, I haven't continued reading) left a lot to be desired. Hopefully the figures are less stiff and the toning more varied.
User avatar
Maledicte
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:39 pm

Postby GhostontheNet » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:21 pm

SirThinks2Much (post: 1206104) wrote:I didn't find Bizenghast very engaging. The promotional and cover art are stunning, but the interior artwork (at least at the outset, I haven't continued reading) left a lot to be desired. Hopefully the figures are less stiff and the toning more varied.
I thought the interior artwork was both very well done and well-suited to the work. Bizenghast's art seems to be heavily influenced by the German Expressionist movement. Expressionism was highly influential in horror movie classics like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu, and in more contemporary times Tim Burton has built his career on reviving the aesthetic through his films. In this context, Bizenghast seems to be a well-drawn specimen of its form with just the right contrast of light and shadows, highly textured environments that transpose images of timeless beauty and decay, and disturbing Expressionist angles that give it a sense of claustrophobia and madness. I think the "rigidness" you refer to owes to the fact that Expressionist art is usually built on a series of angular triangle shapes. As to the story itself, Dinah and Vincent start out as characters built on archetypes of Gothic literature (which is okay since the idea is to introduce the genre to audiences unfamiliar with it), but display more unique characteristics as the series progresses.
User avatar
GhostontheNet
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Postby Maledicte » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:50 pm

The stiffness I was referring to was in regards to the characters, not the overall style/composition. There seemed to be a general lack of human anatomical knowledge. The characters look good only when they're standing still.

Anyway. I'd recommend the webcomic No Rest for the Wicked. Very Grimm, if you catch my meaning. Very good for amateur work, and I prefer it to Bizenghast.

EDIT

I just finished looking through LeGrow's DA site (sadwonderland.deviantart.com), and I wish she would shade the pages herself instead of toning or just get rid of the toning. Her inkwork is gorgeous and detailed, but the toning is simplistic, uninteresting, and adds no depth. The artwork would look just fine without it.
User avatar
Maledicte
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:39 pm


Return to Manga and Manga Reviews

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 28 guests

cron