THE EMBALMER VOL. 1

Posted On December - 6 - 2007
  RELEASED BY:   TOKYOPOP UK
  AUTHOR / ART:  

MITSUKAZU MIHARA

  FORMAT:   JAPANENSE / B&W
  PAGES:   139
  RATING:   16
  RELEASE DATE:   07/20/2006
  REVIEW DATE:   12/06/2007
  REVIEWED BY:   SANDRA SCHOLES

This first volume of The Embalmer, written by gothic loli queen author of best selling DOLL brings character Shinjyurou Mamiya, who works as an embalmer. A profession where he is mostly alone and feels cast out by most people around him. Shinjyurou leads his life outside his job with a vibrant attitude. His love of the girls, going out belies the darkness of his career.

One day Azuki, his friend comes back from work to see her house door is marked by cruel graffitti due to her being Shinjyourou's friend and embalming being looked down on in Japanese society where most cremate their deceased relatives.

He leads his life with his friends and is asked to perform an embalming ritual on a young girl who has been murdered. He is asked to do his best as she has facial cuts from her attacker, but Shinjyurou makes her family proud by showing her as she would have looked when she was alive.

Readers will find he always keeps a level head and his sense of humour that is all too evident in this masterly handled manga concentrating on a few stories concerning his job as an embalmer and the people he works on, their lives before they died and the prejudice he faces every day.

After the readers have started taking this manga in, it will not be long before they want to get the next volume, as the crafting of the story is so wonderful. Each separate story in this manga gives the reader an insight into a particular character’s personality, some who are unfortunate to die, while others die for reasons even unknown to themselves.

It would be right to view this title as an original as it will appeal to gothically minded folk and those interested in people with unusual lives. People will also find it an emotional story to read, as it deals with all the strange things death brings with it, and certain parts of this story will bring tears to the readers eyes.

There is a lot of DOLL in this work as far as the art is concerned, as the style of the dresses creeps into the volume in general. The flow of the material, look, and use of ribbons and bows give the reader enough to be able to somehow link the two-manga titles.

IN SUMMARY:
Original, interesting, gothic and touching – an inspiring manga readers will find impressive.

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