Category: Freaks Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Release Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2007



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Gokurakuin Sakurako
Translated by:Asako Otomo/Daniel Sullivan
Adapted by:Ailen Lujo

What They Say
Ever wonder how and when the Stand came to be? The origin is revealed! Plus, the battle against Hainuwele and her salacious spawn rages on as Asagi and his crew struggle to help a young woman save her brother, who was reborn as a flesh doll freak, from the beautiful but deadly black freaks.

The Review
News of Hainuwele has reached the highest Stand authorities, thus forcing Asagi to swiftly bring this case to a close. Hainuwele's power has tripled as of late and his spawn are leaving a trail of carnage all over the city. Asagi is going to have to call on his colleagues and even some of Hainuwele´┐Żs near victims to bring this battle to what should be a dark and bloody conclusion. And finally Gokurakuin-sensei uses this opportunity to reveal some of the mysteries behind the formation of the Nanami PI Agency. This business has been around for more than 70 years and you guessed it Nanami Asagi has been a part of this since the beginning! Maybe it is the cross-dressing or the demon-wearing that keeps him energized. I think it has to be the demon-eating bunny girls that give him vigor!

At its best Category: Freaks is a hyper-stylish looking title that teases with sexuality and wit. This is one of the better drawn titles around. However it relies heavily on that style of art and graphic violent horror like few books translated have done. It has its eroi moments with plenty of nudity and sexual innuendo. It can even be a little BL friendly with a slick looking "bishounen" cast that tease about sexuality even during the most tense scenes. Horror elements rely on heavy inking and shock value. The cutest little critters can be the most dangerous in this world. Those pretty looking bishies (so pretty they sometimes wear sailor suits) are so deadly they make me think they are the reason why looks can kill. Decapitations and bloody rain add to that shock; while the "real" monsters are solely around to create conflicts for the crew to overcome.

I cannot help feel that this manga lacks something. Gorgeous cover art and color plates are nice but the source material is not living up to its potential. The arcs that pop up now and then have all the necessary elements for enjoyment. This volume does a good job wrapping an existing storyline before transitioning to related arc that describes the history of the Nanami Paranormal Investigation Agency. Yet, if you look at the individual chapters in depth most of them seem flawed. Arcs five or six chapters long might start and conclude properly. The process seems rushed and far too simple for all the build up.



Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: DrMaster
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 202
ISBN: 1-59796-096-9
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left