Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cat Eyed Boy, vol. 1

Story and Art by Kazuo Umezu
Published in the US by Viz

Slugline: A horror manga that has gone horribly wrong.

Cat Eyed Boy is an abandoned monster that has been forced to live on his own, living in house's attics and observing the people live there. Either trouble follows him or he follows trouble, but either way the people he spies upon often have things go terribly wrong. Eventually he comes across a group of human freaks who are behaving as monsters to get revenge on humans that are monsters on the inside. This perversion of monsters (comparatively speaking) good name sets him in opposition to them.

Kazuo Umezu created The Drifting Classroom manga, so when this title come up for review the expectation was that it would be very good. Instead, The Cat Eyed Boy is more memorable for the lack of internal consistency and the meandering and purposeless main character. Sure, maybe that reflects the character's true nature as a cat rather than a human being, but it still makes for a very poor story. Even the opposition that makes their appearance in the last half of this super-sized volume doesn't make much sense, and because their victims deserve their fate it is hard to sympathize with them. Still you can't help but feel annoyed that the Cat Eyed Boy is completely incompetent in trying to stop them. As a result the art rather than conveying a horrific mood merely has a gross out factor.

Cat Eyed Boy, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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