Creator: Hanzo Steinbach
Publisher: TokyoPop
Age Rating: Teen
Genres: Action, Horror
RRP: $9.99
A Midnight Opera v1
Reviewed by Craig Johnson

"For nearly a millennium, undead creatures have blended into a Europe driven by religious dogma...Ein Dellalune is an underground goth metal sensation on the Paris music scene. Tragic and beautiful, he has the edge on other goth music powerhouses...he's undead. But his newfound fame might just bring out the very phantoms of his past from whom he has been hiding for centuries, including his powerful brother, Leroux. And if the two don't reconcile, the entire undead nation could rise up from the depths of modern society to lay waste to mankind."

The Good:
Many critics of manga point to much of the art looking alike: regardless of genre of story, they say, it's the same art time and time again. Here's the book to put that claim to the sword - it's manga, but with a massive twist. Warped, violent, experimental, it's like Steinbach has studied all the requirements of the form and decided to push every single one to the edge of reason - it's a refreshing look, it's pioneering in its own way, it's cutting edge.

The Bad:
It's just a shame that the story is not as revolutionary as the art...neither is it accessible. You've really got the like the subject matter - gothic undead - to get the best from this book. Personally I'm not overly enamoured of all that sort of thing, so for me the book was a confusing mess in places and not greatly interesting - it was a slog to read through.

The Ugly:
The art - although brave and experimental, really did nothing for me. I can appreciate the chances taken and applaud the creator for this, yet for me it resonated not at all.

The Verdict:
A brave experiment, showing the versatility of the form, yet the subject matter limits the audience. For the right audience, though...it rocks.

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