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Velveteen & Mandala Paperback – August 30, 2011
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“Velveteen & Mandala is as disturbed as its protagonists, and maybe that’s because it manages to be both fun and sad… Just like the way Mandala obsessively shouts ‘Tape recorder!’ at the top of her lungs, Velveteen & Mandala will stay in your head and beg to be reread. Here’s hoping Vertical, or an equally gutsy publisher, pumps out more material like Matsumoto’s in the direction of an otherwise unsuspecting North American audience.” —Otaku USA
“It is funny, but in the black, ghastly way that something like Catch-22 or M*A*S*H (the original film, at its most embittered) was funny: you laugh, along with the storyteller, that you may not cry… The most significant development over the course of V&M is how it slowly trades the outré, non-sequitur black humor of its opening chapters for something a lot sadder and more expansive. There’s a surprising amount of emotional punch in the conclusion, enough that it invites a second reading of the book…” —Genji Press
"The key in appreciating this genius manga would be to just look deeper. The manga gives focus on how harsh life can be that people would be forced to sacrifice what they have. While this manga isn't recommended for teens, as it contains a lot of disturbing content, it definitely should be read." - Review Stream
About the Author
While Matsumoto has penned numerous short-stories over the past two decades his first major success was the sci-fi thriller FREESIA. Published by Shogakukan's IKKI magazine since 2001, FREESIA would come to redefine indie comics in Japan when it was adapted into a live action film in 2006.
Velveteen & Mandara will be Matsumoto's first book in English.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Velveteen, the protagonist, lives by the riverside and from the get-go it's unclear if she's alive or dead and if the world that we see through her eyes even exists. She and her frenemy Mandala trek through a microcosm of spirits, the undead, vicious high school girls, and air raids.
I'm not particularly drawn to stories with violence and nudity (which Velveteen and Mandala has in spades), but have a weak spot for things that are unique. Velveteen and Mandala are not the typical moe school girls that pop up again and again in manga. They are apathetic, strong willed, cruel, addicted to drugs, and literally insane. I like that the writer didn't pull punches. He created two twisted heroines who live in the underbelly of Wonderland.
Velveteen and Mandala are two high school girls in a surreal post-apocalyptic Tokyo where B-52 bombers drop zombies, imps stalk the ruins and everyone, including our heroines, is insane.
It's not a book for kids, there is nudity, sex, rape, scatology and violence. There are some disturbing images and ideas.
It's very well done but I'm not quite sure the surreality and horror added up to a point.
Maybe I'm just too dumb, but the story didn't make any sense. Maybe it's left to your own interpretation, or maybe it was always there and I just didnt get it..... but in the end I wasn't sure if the main characters were crazy of if it was me for not getting the plot.
Honestly, this was not a favorite for me. I like horror manga. This was not horror. Sure there's the dead.... or "deadizens" that are dropped from bomber planes above the Riverside where Velveteen (the blondie) resides in an abandoned tank. You'de think.... zombies. Flesh eating.... staggering.... moanin' zombies. Nope. These "deadizens" are like "dead citizens" that continue with normal day conversations, have normal speech patterns and yet still crave human sexual contact. It was weird. I don't know how else to explain it. This is the worst review ever. I would try to preview it, but is it worth buying? Hmmmmm, perhaps not. Save your money for Junji Ito.