Octopus Girl Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:Josephine Fortune
Review Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Release Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2006



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Toru Yamazaki
Translated by:Kumar Sivasubramanian
Adapted by:Kumar Sivasubramanian

What They Say
In previous volumes, Takako Unabara - the Octopus Girl - has fought zombies, Satanists, school bullies, and the resilient Vampire Granny. Toru Yamazaki's latest collection of absurdist horror stories pits Octopus Girl and Sakae (her wicked companion who has the body of a moray eel) against alien aggressors, bathroom-invading mutants, jealous teen rivals, and (once again!) the annoying, tough Vampire Granny.

The Review
Though I loved this series in the beginning, the juvenile humor seems to be overruling the horror elements, and the first two stories are so intolerably bad I nearly gave up on this volume right away. The first one deals with Takako and Sakae scaring away an alien. It was okay other than the fact that, for whatever reason, I felt like the inclusion of an alien was too out-of-place. The next story made me a bit embarassed to read... about Takako needing to soil herself to stop dancing.

It gets better after that, though. There is definitely less horror and violence in this volume than in other ones, with temporary reprieves in the Granny Vampire story as well as "Tears of Red," about an abandoned orphan. The stories I found myself enjoying the most, however, were definitely the three unrelated stories at the end. Yamazaki has a weird talent for telling touching stories when he's not trying to cram in as many jokes as possible, and not only does he pull a complete 180 in storytelling with these three, the second "Sexy Eel Girl" story is also rather wholesome. Probably my favorite story in the volume was the last one, "Split-Mouthed Girl," which involved not only a great deal of emotion and understanding/misundersta nding between characters, but also some horror and urban legend stuff too. It was quite good.

I'm glad Octopus Girl's only got one more volume to go, because I'm definitely tired of the amount of toilet humor in the series. It was quite good when it was being bloody and cute at the same time, but here it's just trying to be crude and cute, and that balance doesn't work so well.

This cover's my favorite so far. As I said before, the original covers for this series were rather unsightly, and usually the Dark Horse covers weren't much better... but this time around the colorization is quite good, and the choice of rainbow background just fits the series so well. I was a little disappointed this time around that the fun extras weren't included, like photos of Toru Yamazaki and all the little bonus comics that we got in the back of the other two volumes. The closest we get are three "Sexy Eel Girl" stories in the middle of the volume that are each just a few pages long.



Mania Grade: B-
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 12.95
Pages: 192
ISBN: 1-59307-611-8
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left