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Lychee Light Club Paperback – April 26, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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$15.37 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 14 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews


Lychee Light Club is unflinchingly graphic, and as such it requires a certain taste of its audience. Those who can stomach its depravity will be amply rewarded. Furuya’s grimly elegant style […] is a perverse kind of beauty, as visually bold and exploratory as its subject matter. One thing’s for sure, you’ll never look at lychee the same way again.” —Otaku USA

“Furuya at his most deranged—a masterpiece of gore and debauchery that will have your brain screaming in horror even as you read on in rapture. The plotline is simple enough—the Light Club’s descent into madness shows how absolute power corrupts absolutely—but the complex themes and details make it unforgettable… It’s shocking, disturbing, revolting—and an instant pick for one of the year’s best. Grade: A-” —Anime News Network

“It’s a gripping read—quite literally—as when it arrived I began absent-mindedly reading the first few pages and ended up sitting down in my kitchen and reading the whole book in one sitting… If you’re looking for something violent, sexual, revolting and thought-provoking, then Lychee Light Club is a solid pick. It’s definitely one of the better manga I’ve read so far this year. Score: 9/10” —Japanator

“The manga is in a way a tragic love story and a horror novel at the same time that will leave the reader a bit shocked and enthralled… The translations all read well and their placement is great, avoiding getting in the way of the images… A great read. Grade: 4.5/5” —Examiner.com

“Gore so lovingly depicted that it almost transcends and becomes art… Make no mistake about it, this is a book filled with sadism, horrific violence and sexual situations, and depraved behavior. But it has a human heart in its Frankenstein-esque robot, and what I’ll take from it is not the scenes of people being cut open and smashed into bits… More manga as thought-provoking as this, please.” —A Case Suitable for Treatment

"[Furuya's art] is refined and delicate with a dark edge...It's a creative, cerebral, and occasionally wry take on a genre that usually favors action over irony."--About.com

"[Design] is undoubtedly Furuya’s chief asset as an artist and he deploys this in spurts throughout the work at hand. Furuya’s approach is akin to a type of popular surrealism which owes much to Dali and Magritte."--Hooded Ultilitarian

About the Author

Usamaru Furuya was born in Tokyo, Japan on January 25th, 1968. A graduate of the Tama Arts University, with a focus on oil painting, Furuya is currently considered one of the most talented artists in the industry today. A former student in the Osamu Tezuka Manga Correspondance Program, Furuya's drawings as a teen were often published in the pages of the seminal boys comics magazine Shounen King.

Upon entering high school, Furuya began to embrace his darkside experimenting with subculture and the undergroud art scene. An early participant in the Tokyo version of the Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol, he started off with them creating puppets and set designs for their elaborate performances. After graduating from university, Usamaru turned his attention to the world of comics. His early projects combined the surreal with extremely modern political commentary winning him critical acclaim worldwide for his juxtapositions of Tokyo youth and their suit wearing salaryman counterparts. Since his debut in 1994, Furuya has gone to draw 16 titles for Japan's leading comics publishers Shogakukan and Shueisha (publishers of Shonen Jump).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935654063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935654063
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This one shot graphic novel from Furuya Usamaru (Palepoli, Short Cuts) is both shocking and funny. The Lychee Light Club is a group of nine junior high school boys led by Zera, a ruthless and sadistic pretty boy. The club meets after school in a run-down factory, where the boys plot to cleanse their community of ugly adults. They have constructed a humanoid robot they name Lychee (a type of fruit the robot runs on). Lychee's purpose is... to kidnap a real, live teenage girl (the kids attend an all-boys school, and appear to have had very little experience with the opposite sex). After a few hilarious misunderstandings, Lychee does manage to capture a real girl, but the Frankenstein-like android has been programmed to think it is human, and it develops feelings for her. The club gradually unravels due to paranoia, jealousy and betrayal. The ending is pure Grand Guignol.

Lychee Light Club is one of the best "underground" manga titles to be published in English to date. Furuya's artwork is very clean and detailed, and the story will have you turning pages (even when it feels a bit like watching a car accident). Although the story is about kids, this book is NOT for children. It contains graphic violence, nudity, and strong sexual content. For a more mainstream series by Furuya, check out Genkaku Picasso from Viz. However, I find his more "extreme" works like this one, when he is allowed to let his pen run wild, to be a lot more interesting.

I did find the attitude and behavior of the girl a little odd. She is kidnapped, chained up and imprisoned by a group of murderous boys and a hulking robot, but she doesn't seem too concerned! It was more like a minor inconvenience.
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Format: Paperback
"Among you there is one who will betray me." Thus speaks Zera, the head of the Light Club, a sinister society of high school boys bent upon a perverse pursuit of eternal youth and beauty. Although they seek youth and beauty for themselves, raging adolescent hormones mean they pursue it in the bodies of others. To this end, they are kidnapping girls and women off the street, vivisecting those who do not live up to their high aesthetic ideals to confirm their unworthiness. Once they at last find the perfect girl, they will place her on the pedestal. Literally.

Unfortunately, actually finding the perfect girl is a tall order, and it is not something that these boys can accomplish by themselves. Therefore, they build a humanoid robot powered entirely by the lychee fruit to serve as their proxy out in the world. Programmed to believe that he is human, this robot, named Lychee, is tasked with finding their perfect girl. He succeeds. But as the Light Club descends into recrimination and violence, and the specter of betrayal lurks ever nearer, it may just be that this robot turns out to be the most human of them all...

Lychee Light Club is based upon a 1985 play of the same name performed by the Tokyo Grand Guignol, which manga artist Usamaru Furuya saw live as a teenager. The show's promotional materials were produced by Suehiro Maruo (Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show; Ultra Gash Inferno), who is famed in Japan for his pioneering eroguro manga. Eroguro stands for "erotic-grotesque"--the visceral images of sexually explicit situations combined with maximally explicit images of human viscera. Tentacle porn, as epitomized by Toshio Maeda's infamous Legend of the Overfiend anime and manga, is the apotheosis of the eroguro genre.
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Format: Paperback
WOW! Lychee Light Club was a complete mind blowing treat of read. It was different in every way, the story was very dark and tragic. The darkness came from the action's of the young people involved in the story, the lengths Zera and his followers would go to obtain what they believed was "beauty", but the sadness comes in the fact that in reality what they were living in was ugly and filthy. The violence had meaning, it did not feel as if it was there for "awesome factor", the violence is necessary to illustrate the lengths that some indivuals go to obtain a "beautiful world". This is my first Ero-guro manga and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. The artwork was beautiful, very original, fit perfectly with the ominous dark atmosphere of the story.
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This is Usamaru Furuya's manga respect to the play of same name, and also to Suehiro Maruo (who also starred in the original play, says the epilogue), if it wasn't desperately familiar with the Kato-like masques that fascist headgear can give, and the exploitation of childhood fantasy.

The story is a one-shot, so I won't spoil much. The sweetness Furuya can be known for is at play in the role of Lychee, a giant robot with a naive, almost "Iron Giant" sensibility and a body fueled by lychee fruit. The horror of Maruo is on display in the more or less cardboard cut-out characters of the underground club; they exist to drive home the thoughts and insecurities of the author(s) (societal critique alert?), not to push the story forward. Like filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro, Furuya seems to love the outsider and the grotesqueness of the unknown; the sympathetic monster is a reflection of the misunderstood side of budding adolescence and group think. Those familiar with Hideshi Hino or Hanakuma know the themes of basic exploitation enough to know what you're getting yourself into.

The story revolves around middle school drama and themes of alienation, fantasization, and of course the fetishization that is included in going to an all boys' school. The ideas presented vary from completely ridiculous to outright shadowing of Hollywood tropes. None of it really detracts from the chaos you came for, though none of it is original either.

Still, it's a classic among ero-guro fans, and I'm glad to have it in English, finally. Furuya's building up his American repertoire nicely with the folks at Vertical, and a (Japanese language) prequel is in the works! Buy this and show Vertical they need to translate that ASAP.
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