Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby

Takashi Nemoto, Author PictureBox $19.95 (191p) ISBN 978-0-9794153-2-6

In the introduction to this very underground, super X-rated manga, critic and university lecturer Tomofusa Kure argues that “flirting intentionally with true deviance” is not as easy as it looks. Hailed as R. Crumb's Japanese equivalent, Nemoto is one of Japan's most controversial underground manga creators. His short comics, which end with silly and simple punch lines, deliver absurd stories and unlikely scenarios that provide their own humor. But his long-form narrative, “The World According to Takeo,” meanders, combining casually depicted rape scenarios with an irradiated larger than life sperm, in a slice-of-life tone that borders on boring. To its credit, Monster Men is funny. Nemoto's heta-uma (bad but good) aesthetic is a well-honed, raw, drawing style. But it also happens to be depraved, grotesque and, at times, minimally entertaining. Nemoto's lighthearted humor offsets the perversion, yet his overpowering interest in the sexually grotesque more often than not derails any narrative or joke that he may be going for. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 12/15/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
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