Otsuichi. Goth.

Author:Galuschak, George
Position:Brief article - Book review

OTSUICHI. Goth. Art by Kendi Oiwa. Tokyopop. 232p. illus, c2008. 978-1-4278-1094-6. $10.99. A

Itsuki Kamiyama and high school classmate Yoru Merino are obsessed with murder. They collect photos of gory crime scenes, but it goes a bit beyond that. Merino dresses in the same clothes worn by murder victims, and Kamiyama visits crime scenes to stand in the spots where the murder might have occurred. Apparently the area of Japan they live in is populated exclusively by serial killers, all of whom are attracted to Merino. Their neighbors include the science teacher who cuts off people's hands; the serial killer who keeps a self-incriminating diary; and the guy who buries people alive. The stories (there are four of them) mostly revolve around Merino getting kidnapped by one of the manga's cast of stock psychopaths, and Kamiyama coming to her rescue.

Japanese horror can be quite gruesome, and Goth is Exhibit A. The main characters are a mixed bag. Morino's story is a sad one; her...

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