Gothic & Lolita Bible Vol. #01 -

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Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 19.99
  • Pages: 228
  • ISBN: 978-1-4278-0347-4
  • Size: 8x11
  • Orientation: Left to Right
  • Series: Gothic & Lolita Bible

Gothic & Lolita Bible Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     April 22, 2008
Release Date: February 28, 2008

Gothic & Lolita Bible Vol.#01

Creative Talent
Translated by:Beni Axis Conrad, Krystine Neuscheler, Fumiko Osada
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
Explore the Gothic Lolita lifestyle with this unforgettable collection! This book includes previews from Gothic Lolita manga, behind-the-scenes with Japanese creators, horoscopes, interviews, an extensive guide to Gothic Lolita fashion, and much more!

The Review
Needs more lace.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

The original Gothic & Lolita Bible is part magazine and part fashion catalog, showcasing the newest styles from prominent lolita brands. The US version is fundamentally the same, although there are a few differences. There are a blend of articles from older editions of the Japanese bible, primarily volumes 15 and 16, as well as new articles written exclusively for the US edition, highlighting lolita fashion and lifestyle as it exists outside of Japan.

To start with, there's a nice overview of exactly what the fashion really is and where it came from for those who might be new to lolita, along with highlights on some of the major Japanese brands. The piece on lolita fashion in the west was a little fluffy, but again provided some nice background. There's a really great interview piece with Aimee Major Steinberger, author of Japan Ai, illustrated with her own art that was very well done, and probably my favorite of the new content.

The content from the originals covers a broader range of topics, anything from historical pieces on real-life princesses to an event report at a party held at Baby The Stars Shine Bright. The translation on these seemed to read smoothly, although there were some points (such as the text on the Mana photoshoot) where I couldn't help but feel that maybe something was lost in translation.

Truly, what really makes this stand out and jump off the shelf are the pictures - everything from casual "street snaps" of both Japanese and Western lolitas dressed in their frilly best to professional photo shoots with Japanese models and musicians. And while the catalog shots from the various brands aren't anything you'd be able to easily go out and buy now, being vintage 2005, they're still fun to look at. I found an h.Naoto skirt that I owned, which was neat.

There's a surprising breadth of topics covered altogether, along with the required goofy quizzes. For those interested in actually wearing the fashion there's a great guide to make the shopping - but not the prices on those frilly brand dresses - easier. And for the creative folks, there are patterns and instructions for making your own lolita accessories - hats, purses, gloves, etc. Rounding it all out are a ton of reader-submitted creations ranging from art to poetry, and a short manga.

With this first volume of hopefully many, Tokyopop has managed to create something that covers a wide range of topics, seamlessly blends original articles and interviews with translated content, and generally leaves me wanting more. It's a gorgeous glossy mook that should satisfy both the casual fan of lolita fashion as well as the most discriminating sweet lolita princess. The articles tend to be a bit fluffy, but so are the dresses, so it's hard to really register that as a negative point. This isn't a serious scholarly journal, it's a book filled with girls dressing in outrageous clothing - just as it should be. My only complaint - and it's a small one - is the fact that some of the material is dated, but the editors at Tokyopop are reportedly working to fix this minor flaw. It might have been nice for them to address what lolita fashion isn't, because of all the misconceptions about it, maybe just laying out what it is so clearly is enough. Kudos all around on a job well done.


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