Lament of the Lamb Vol. #04 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 15918-28635
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Lament of the Lamb Vol. #04

By Eduardo M. Chavez     August 03, 2005
Release Date: November 01, 2004


Lament of the Lamb Vol.#04
© TOKYOPOP


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Toume Kei
Translated by:Ryan Flake
Adapted by:

What They Say
Chizuna has an unhealthy longing for her late father - and her fragile emotional state only serves to maker her thirst for blood even stronger. Her brother Kazuna hopes to fulfill her needs by offering himself as nourishment. After all, he does remind Chizuna of Father, but her cravings might now be too extreme. Kazuna's growing anxiety about their condition causes him to push Yaegashi away and isolate himself from the world. While being vampires has caused the siblings much pain and trauma, it has also brought them closer.

Perhaps too close...

The Review
Blood is thicker than water, or at least that is what some say. Testing that fact is a risky proposal, for bhat binds those who share the same blood, can force them to do the unimaginable. But what Chizuna and Kazuna eventually choose to do goes far beyond what they share in their blood. It is much more dangerous than that.

Packaging:
TOKYOPOP uses the original Birz Comics DX (Gentosha) cover art which this time features Chizuna embracing her younger brother Kazuna. Each character is in their high school uniform, but the telling points are the conflicting expressions in their eyes. The image is framed with the logo above the art and the spine. The opposite cover has a framed portrait of a Yaegashi painting. I know this sounds funny, but I kinda feel as if the cover art may be paintings done by Yaegashi-san instead of Toume-sensei.

Logo Check: After reading the first volume, I found this choice to be quite appropriate for the solemn tone of this title. I will say it is not as creative as the original but there really are only a few ways to spice up romaji letters (kanji/kana has the potential for so much variety). The printing looks good with no issues with screen tone and the inking looks really sharp.

Art:
Toume's art is a little rough here. It really looks nice on his chapter headers, as his weird faces tend to look better with better shading. Toume often shades characters with ink instead of tone and it can look awkward as it may have strange placement and directionality. Where Toume excels is his facial expressions. There is a lot of emotion there, especially in the eyes of his characters. This really helps with the slow pacing.

The backgrounds are okay but they are not shown enough. Moreover, while the layout can be pretty fancy, it is purposely passive so it may slow the read a bit.

Text/SFX:
SFX are not translated. Even though there are moments where one might not see an FX for pages, all that are present should be translated. I do not understand why TOKYOPOP continues to do this for a majority of their titles.

Not having read Hitsuji no Uta in Japanese I cannot say how accurate the translation is but it sounds good. Honorifics are used a bit, but there are occasions where the dialogue between characters is a little weird. As this is a high school drama, honorifics are not often used amongst male classmates, but female characters use them quite a bit depending on the setting.

Contents:
Siblings Chizuna and Kazuna have decided to live together after years apart. It was a disease flowing in the veins of Chizuna that drove their deceased father to separate the siblings in order to save the rest of his family, and raise his daughter as only a devoted father could. Together these siblings have decided to continue the path taken by their father and are now living in isolation. With only each other to depend on they both quickly descend to their deepest darkest fears.

Together they are a family - brother/sister and father/daughter. They are the only friends they can trust because blood, the diseased blood they now know they share, will never betray them. They are together again, and despite their lack of history together, they are the same in many ways. Time cannot change that fact. Nothing can deny them that connection. No one can change who they are and no one can understand what each one is going through as well as the other. Yaegashi wishes she could be there for support, but what truly could she do to calm Kazuna's fears. Minase might be like family to Chizuna, but he will never replace her father for no matter how close he gets he is not blood.

Unfortunately, there are certain things that should never be shared by siblings. Alone and shut out from the rest of the world, makes this difficult to understand at times for as much as Chizuna and Kazuna are monsters, they are also human. There are taboos that must not be accepted, and while the body might not understand that at first, the heart, mind and soul will immediately. If there was anything to fear in this world, it had to be this. For if their blood does not betray them, it will likely drive them mad. In the end, Kazuna cannot be Chizuna's father and they cannot be each other’s food or lovers either.

Comments
What would you do if there were monsters running loose in the streets? Would you keep your love ones home and lock the doors? Maybe you would have the monsters caught and locked away.

There are two monsters in this story and they are completely aware of their situation. However, there lies the problem - these two know and unlock most monsters these two have decided to lock themselves up. They have chosen this path to prevent themselves from harming others, especially those they care about. To accomplish this they have decided to die together, slowly killing each other emotionally through isolation, guilt, self-loathing and confusion. Alone fearing the disease they host, Chizuna and Kazuna are going to depend on each other, live for each other and use each other up, for even monsters need affection and love.

Is there another answer? How could this clan have survived if there wasn't? Why must these two feel the bloodline should end now?

The anxiety and confusion brought on by a lack of a future has driven these two characters mad. There has never been much doubt to Chizuna's case. She has always been manipulative and detached. She seems resolved to have her brother fill the void left when her father passed away. Knowing that she might not have many choices, fulfilling her needs seem to be the simple answer; no matter how much it could hurt her emotionally.

Kazuna is reacting to his lack of experience. This is all so new to him. An incurable, uncontainable and relatively unknown disease has changed his entire life. He has abandoned the family that raised him. He has run away from the friends who cared for him. And he has moved in with a sister he hardly remembers. He does not handle this well at all. Every new problem further clouds his judgment and he quickly begins to become more and more irrational as he becomes more reclusive.

Toume has completely changed the perspective of what it is like to be a monster. Conventional tales tend to have monsters accept their abilities despite their fears from how different they are. In Lament of the Lamb, being a monster is truly a disease. It eats away at its hosts, making them suffer from within. It has cast them away from society and appears to be breaking their grip on reality as well. The choices they are forced to make are beyond their level of maturity, however Toume has decided to take these painful moments on as the cast truly begins to lose its humanity.

Wonderful, story with a lot of angst and drama. Unfortunately, it is equally frustrating for the world these characters are in feels so constrictive. I almost feel cramped and hopeless with them and as much as that feeling can be exciting, it is also very uncomfortable.

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