Thursday, December 17, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: MURCIELAGO Volume 14


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

MANGAKA: Kana Yoshimura as “Yoshimurakana”
TRANSLATION: Christine Dashiell
LETTERS: Alexis Eckerman
ISBN: 978-1-9753-0793-6; paperback (April 2020); Rated “M” for “Mature”
194pp, B&W, $13.00 U.S., $17.00 CAN

Murciélago is a manga from writer-artist Kana Yoshimura (stylized as Yoshimurakana).  The manga has been serialized in the manga magazine, Young GanGan, since 2013.  Yen Press has been producing an English-language edition of the manga since 2017.

Murcielago focuses on a young woman named Kuroko Koumori, a former mass murderer.  She gets her dream job when she becomes a hitwoman and hired assassin for the Tokyo police force.  In a city overflowing with heinous crimes and violence, Kuroko's targets are other mass murderers that are deemed unstoppable by normal means.  For her, a license to kill others leads to some serious job satisfaction, but Kuroko still has time for the ladies.

As Murcielago, Vol. 14 (Chapters 91 to 97) opens, Kuroko continues to pursue an investigation of a string of murders involving corpses drained of blood.  Now, Kuroko and her hulking buddy, Urara, descend into the sewers to rescue Narumi from an adversary who has an all-too-familiar face.

Meanwhile, Narumi is determined to escape with the other young women who are held captive by this deranged and blood-crazy killer.  However, Narumi has a broken leg, and the maze-like underground sewer tunnels make the odds of their escape grim.  For Kuroko and Urara and for Narumi and the other captives, it is a race against the clock as the killer prepares for the next meal.

[This volume includes bonus comics.]

The Murcielago manga is another title that is new to me.  I am surprised at how unfamiliar I am with Yen Press' catalog, but luckily, I now have a Yen Press rep to help me discover new titles.

Murcielago Graphic Novel Volume 14 is the first volume of the series that I have read, but I found that this volume, at least, was easy to follow even with me being new to the series.  Besides, Murcielago's premise is pretty straightforward, and as an action-horror manga, readers will quickly figure out the good girls, the bad girls, and the ugly.  Creator Kana Yoshimura offers something that really makes for good action-horror fight comics and battle manga – intense fights.

Murcielago is also yuri or lesbian manga, as romance and romantic pursuits between women are open and seem like nothing different from other tales of love, romance, and sex.  Murcielago seems a bit too mature or at least too edgy to be called “girls' love.”  Or perhaps that is my reading of Christine Dashiell's translation.  That aside, I find Murcielago's premise intriguing, so I would like to read future volumes or go back to earlier volumes.

7 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You

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