by Kouyu Shurei; adaptation by Paul Morrissey
published by Tokyopop; $9.99 US
I picked up this volume because I saw a preview, and I was astounded by the beauty of the art. Stunning, graceful figures stare piercingly at the reader, accompanied by a menacing owl.
Alichino are gorgeous beings who can grant wishes at the cost of the requester’s soul. They’re lovely demons, drawn to misery and deep desires. A girl, seeking one to save her brother’s life, mistakes Tsugiri for one because of his beauty. He’s not, but he lives with those who are.
The work is dense with tones. The characters are gorgeously aloof, with cats’ eyes darkly rimmed with lashes. Their faces, framed with long hair, are masks, allowing the reader room for interpretation. I found it hard to tear my eyes away from their powerful androgyny.
I was often lost by the story, but that provided the benefit of an excuse to look again at previous pages. The characters debate the nature of suffering, sacrifice, life, and death with gothic costumes and influences. Recommended for fans of Velvet Goldmine or Interview with the Vampire.