Anamorphosis no Meijuu (Manga) Review

Plot: There’s a new game show that is supposedly causing real deaths. Contestants are invited to spend 48 hours in a building that is reported to be haunted by the spirit of an actor who died on set due to a tragic accident. His spirit appears to others in the form of a giant monster in the same design as a monster costume he was wearing at the time of his death. Is there really a spirit behind the scenes or is it all just camera tricks?

…..Oh and the second half of the manga is pure mind-fuckery in the form of numerous short stories.

Breakdown: Warning – This manga’s content is extremely graphic. Thus, discussing it involves some more graphic language than usual. Reader discretion is advised.

…….I can’t remember what happiness feels like….I can taste my thoughts…..I can hear colors…….what the unholy hell….did I just read?

I started reading Anamorphosis no Meijuu around Halloween last year, but never got around to finishing it for Animating Halloween. Well, I picked it back up and… the words….and….looked at the pictures….and comprehended….some….things. Mostly I just feel dirty.

You might be thinking I’m overreacting a lot for a manga that I actually think is really good, but you have understand my reasoning with this.

This manga throws you for one hell of a loop. For one half of the manga, you’re reading a linear plotline about the above story. It’s intriguing, has a lot of great twists and ends on a confusing, but very creative and satisfactory note.

The second half of the manga is made up of short stories, which only take up about eight to ten pages each. Every short story is incredibly graphic in nearly every way. Sexual content, nudity, rape, bestiality, lots of gore, cannibalism, and just complete mind-fuckery.

To give you an idea, I will summarize each plot in one sentence. Spoilers.

Bishoujo Tentei Tentai Sagiri: A teenage detective tries to clear someone of murder charges by turning herself into an electromagnet by wrapping herself in electrical wiring and having someone put a metal dildo into her.

Rainy Girl: A girl who is cursed to bring rain wherever she goes, indoors or out, is kidnapped by a man who introduces her to a man with the same powers who rapes her over and over until they breed an army of rain-producing babies.

Small Present: A couple keeps getting leftovers given to them by their neighbor, and they keep eating them until it’s revealed that the neighbor is a serial killer who targets children, chops them up, and cooks them into meals.

Hikikomori: A girl investigates why all of the students in her school are shut-ins, only to find that all of them are insanely fat monsters who are so large they can have sex with each other over their balconies without moving from their bedrooms.

Behind: A girl has a surgical instrument left in her, and after it’s removed everyone starts finding their lost junk in her stomach cavity.

Previous Life: A girl and a spiritualist make a business out of turning people into various animals and occupations by telling their past lives to overhunt the specified animal or person. This is an extra sentence, but the spiritualist rapes his dog for absolutely no reason in this story.

Salesman: A girl cannot seem to save anyone attempting to commit suicide by jumping since she has the spirit of a sumo wrestler with her that keeps pushing these people, resulting in their deaths.

Changes: A girl wakes up one day and finds her nipple has been replaced with a mouth.

Weightlessness: Why the fuck is there an easily accessible button to open a window on a space station?

If I lead you to believe any of these aren’t that crazy, I am sorry. It is…trippy. It’s certainly an experience. I’m not sure what kind of experience, but it is one.

There are several positives that I can lend this manga. Despite shading issues and some craggy lines, the artwork is disgustingly detailed and done in a more realistic style to up the gross-out factor. If you’re going to do this type of story, you really need the artwork to back it up. While I think it could be polished more, it definitely gets the job done.

If anything, these stories are all very creative…..fucked up beyond belief sometimes, but very creative. This manga will never steer you into tropes or leave you with a feeling of predictability. It’s wondering if the turns you took ripped a part of your soul away that pays for that luxury.

Finally, this manga is, admittedly, downright entertaining, purely because of how insane and ridiculous it is. There are many parts that are hard to sit through, certain pages that are damn near nauseating, but I found myself oddly intrigued by how bat-shit this manga kept proving to be. I’m almost disappointed in the ending because it’s by far the most benign story.

If you have a stomach for extreme content and are, for some reason, intrigued by this manga after everything I’ve told you, by all means, give it a shot. It will be a roller coaster ride that will leave you with some bruising and mental trauma, but it’s definitely a ride.

If you’re not ready to fully bite the bullet, though, just read the first half of the manga. The content in that story really isn’t too bad and the story is more toned down, but still well-written and interesting.

If you’re squeamish or have any of that stuff called ‘innocence’, please run far away.

Additional Information and Notes: Anamorphosis no Meijuu was written and drawn by Shintaro Kago.

Volumes: 1

Year: 2008 – 2010

Recommended Audience: About as graphic as you can get. Very detailed depictions of sex (genitalia included), rape, possible statutory rape, bestiality, birth, cannibalism, extreme gore including children and babies, swearing – you name it, they probably have it. 18+

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Tsumi to Batsu (A Falsified Romance)(Manga) Chps 70-END Review


Plot: After a meeting with Mr. Goi, Miroku has to make a decision about his future with Echika.

Breakdown: I read the first 69 chapters of Tsumi to Batsu last October, and while I had some problems with it, I really enjoyed what I had read.

Now I’ve had a chance to read the rest of the series, and I’m satisfied with how it ended. I mentioned in my previous review that the best endings for this series would have to be either Miroku getting caught or turning himself in, and that did happen. I won’t say which to avoid major spoilers, but there ya go.

He has a very interesting conversation with Mr. Goi which sends the events of the ending into motion, but we get sidetracked slightly when Sudo shows back up to play a game with Miroku and Echika, but it also closed out his story and explored his views on the situation quite well. I am a little weirded out that they legitimately had a moment where Sudo and his friend Huang bonded over dumping the rotting body of a prostitute over a cliff….

The romance part gets more explored here with Miroku and Echika, and despite the major flaws in both of them, their relationship does make sense. I’m not even really sure if there’s so much of a relationship and moreso a co-dependency, but that’s a call for the reader to make I suppose.

Miroku does get a lot better in regards to personality after his conversation with Goi. He still shows some signs of sociopathy, mostly in the fact that it’s taking him an inordinate amount of time to understand that no matter how much of a bitch Risa was, it was wrong to kill her and Hikaru. Even by the end, he’s only starting to gain some modicum of remorse for it.

I will say one aspect that I thought was very disappointing was the lack of a final conversation with Yoshino. Everything he did beforehand was for Yoshino’s sake. He didn’t want her to ‘have’ to marry that rich businessman in order to support him, so he murdered Risa for the sake of her money, after justifying it by stating her death would be for the best for many people.

They don’t even speak together in all of the 20+ chapters beyond chapter 69. They do speak to each other when Miroku’s in prison, but we don’t see what she’s saying. Closure with her was necessary, in my opinion, yet we really got none. It’s kinda implied that maybe she did get married to that guy but maybe got together with Miroku’s old roommate after news of Miroku’s actions came to be public, but I could just be reading too much into it.

In the end, this was a fantastic story and a great character study. It starts to wane on you with all of its depressingly dark tones near the middle, but luckily you also start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at chapter 70.

The art is simply gorgeously detailed, even if Miroku’s face still got on my nerves sometimes. I know he’s not going to look fresh and proper since he’s struggling so much emotionally and mentally, but his expression hardly ever changes and his eyes just got to be depressing to look at. Then again, that’s probably the point. When he finally smiled near the end, I smiled with him because damn that was refreshing, even if the circumstances were sad.

Give this a look-see if you can stomach some really heavy and dark subject matter. It’s a great read.

Additional Information and Notes: Tsumi to Batsu was written and illustrated by Naoyuki Ochiai. It was published by Manga Action.

Volumes: 10

Chapters: 93

Year: 2007 – 2011

Recommended Audience: Very dark tones, attempted suicide, actual suicide, a couple sex scenes, full frontal nudity, rape from the previous section, prostitution and murder. 17+

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Paranoia Agent Review

Plot: A city is plagued by seemingly random attacks by Shounen Bat – a boy on golden rollerblades wielding a golden bent baseball bat. While hardly anyone pays attention to the first few attacks, the case continues to wrack up incidents as the true story behind Shounen Bat gets increasingly complicated and crazy.

Breakdown: Paranoia Agent is certainly one of the crazier and more thought-provoking anime I’ve watched. The series is kinda set up in an episodic way as most episodes focus on the story of one or two characters who are the current targets for Shounen Bat. The only linear aspects to most of the episodes are the detectives working on the case and Shounen Bat himself.

The individual stories are really well-written, and some of them get very dark with their subject matter. They range anywhere from a perfect kid at school getting suspected of being Shounen Bat, to prostitution, dissociative personality disorder and pedophilia.

The story of Shounen Bat is the craziest of all and I’m still trying to make complete sense of it. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s definitely an aspect of the series that I’m still trying to figure out fully.

One of the most interesting aspects to me is the ending. I’ll try to explain this without spoiling it all, but in a world where every episode supposedly ends with ‘freeing’ the victim from something and giving their story a somewhat happy ending, the actual ending to the show is not happy for the main characters at all.

The final two episodes as a whole are a little hard to swallow, but I can honestly accept it in the world that has been presented to us – a mirror of our world while still allowing for events such as that. They’ve basically been doing the same thing to a lesser degree during the whole series.

Some of the episodes are intertwined, and it’s really interesting to see what you believe to be two or three completely separate stories connect in some way at the end.

The characters are all very memorable. Not all are likable, but some of them you’re not supposed to like. They’re very realistic and interesting characters to follow through their different storylines.

Art and Animation: The art and animation are both very well done, expected from Madhouse. The animation in particular is very fluid and nice to watch.

Music: I love the soundtrack for this series. The opening is very unique, contrasting greatly with the average J-Pop we’re usually given. The ED is very relaxing and I love the melody. I’d definitely put it on my list of favorite EDs. The background music is also wonderful as it really set the tone for the series and created its own identity.

Voice Acting: Japanese – Everyone was good in their roles. I can’t think of anyone who annoyed me. Even cute little Maromi, with chibi cutesy characters almost always getting on my nerves, had a good voice that was fitting and nice to listen to. It would probably grate on me over time, but it never annoyed me during the series.

Bottom Line: This is a very funny, weird, interesting and thought-provoking psychological drama/thriller. The only reason I’m not more jazzed about it is because there was never a point that really wowed me in amazement. There’s still more than enough to enjoy in this series, and I highly recommend it.

Additional Information and Notes: Paranoia Agent was created and directed by Satoshi Kon, who was also the director of Perfect Blue, director and original writer of Millennium Actress, director and original writer of Tokyo Godfathers, and director of Paprika.

It was animated by Madhouse, and the English dub was done by Geneon, though the US license is now expired.

Episodes: 13

Year: 2004

Recommended Audience: Psychological series are already quite a bit above child territory but add on to that prostitution, sexual references, suggested pedophilia, animal death, no nudity oddly enough, and they don’t even show the attacks on screen, child death…..14-15+.

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