ALICHINO Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 144
  • ISBN: 1-59532-478-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left


By Mike Dungan     January 18, 2005
Release Date: February 08, 2005


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kouyu Shurei
Translated by:Paul Morrissey
Adapted by:

What They Say
Beautiful creatures called "Alichino" grant any wish to those who find them... but at a price! A young lady searching for an Alichino wants to bring her brother back to life. She soon meets Tsugiri, a handsome young man who she thinks is an Alichino. While Tsugiri turns out to be a mere mortal, he does have a mysterious connection with these rare creatures - a connection that brings him and those around him grave danger!

The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tsugiri is a beautiful young man with an air of melancholia about him. A young woman mistakes him for an Alichino, creatures of exquisite beauty and souls who will grant any wish you desire. She is desperate to find one. Her brother lingers near death and she wants to save him. Unfortunately, the Alichino aren't what they seem. They feast on human souls. Their beauty is merely a mask for the ugliness inside them. Tsugiri lives with Enju, a handsome young man, and Myobi, a talking owl. Myobi is arrogant and imperious, a commanding presence with a dangerous air about her. She also has the ability to transform into a beautiful girl, something she rarely does. Tsugiri had lost his memories a long time ago, but the Alichino are hunting him, and Myobi decides it's time to reawaken his memories. He's a Kusabi, a soul so pure, the Alichino can't help but hunt him. The Alichino gain power from feeding on human souls, and the more pure the soul, the greater the power. The Kusabi is the purest soul of them all, and they
fight each other just to get to him. Naturally, they kill the humans around him to gain power to fight the other Alichino. For this reason, anyone born as the Kusabi is usually immediately killed and offered to the Alichino to spare the community. He was spared this ritual, but as he grew, the people around him died, and the villagers finally attempted to kill him. Myobi's master saved him and took him memories so he could grow up. But the reason isn't altruistic. He has plans for Tsugiri.

As this is an advance review copy, I can't comment on the presentation since many details have yet to be finalized. I can talk about the art and story, however. This is very much a gothic tale set in a fantasy setting. The character designs reinforce it, with Myobi's human form being the gothic lolita look. The men are all quite beautiful as well. It's almost a case of style over substance. The art is quite impressive, with amazing detail in everything from the eyes to the clothing to the backgrounds, when they're included. The writing style is occasionally over the top, with breathless "Oh, my angst is so deep" moments, but the story is actually engaging. Tsugiri is a victim of birth, which should make him quite sympathetic to the teen girls this story is aimed at. Thankfully, he doesn't wallow in it. He speaks his mind, which makes him sympathetic to the male readers as well. Myobi is a fascinating character, with plenty of layers to her. To borrow a line from the book, she is compassionate, yet cruel.

The front cover has an image of the main characters a complex and exquisite swirl of faint colors, surrounded by a border that makes it look a bit like a tarot card. The predominate colors are blue and yellow, which makes Myobi's cranberry red eyes stand out all the more against her pale skin. Included with this preview copy were three strips of paper in plastic sleeves. Once opened, I discovered they were temporary tattoos, two to a sheet, in a tribal flame design. It should prove a popular extra for many of the readers. Alichino may be a bit excessive with the angst at times, but then again, what teenager isn't? The interesting story and highly detailed art give substance to the gothic style, making it a book worth checking out.


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