Anne Freaks

Tomohiro Nagai, Author, Yua Kotegawa, Author, Tomohiro Nagai, Illustrator . ADV Manga $9.99 (184p) ISBN 978-1-4139-0319-5

This manga might be one of the most disturbing and violent comics seen in recent years. It's also a very addictive story, with moments of surprising tenderness. Anna Freaks is a girl who shows up whenever a schoolboy has committed a murder. The book opens with a boy named Yuri who has just killed his mother, trying to bury the corpse, announcing how dark the story is going to be right away. Anna becomes a mentor to Yuri and another boy, Mitsuba, and the trio starts a teenage outlaw gang. Kotegawa focuses on the three characters' emotional lives. Much time is spent on the way the kids react to their violent acts, with a chaotic mixture of guilt, exhilaration and fearfulness. The characters' humanity is never put on hold for easy sensationalism. Most of the book is illustrated cleanly and simply. Kotegawa makes it easy for the eye to follow all the action and the panels, never succumbing to overcrowding even in the most horrific sequences. She draws the characters in the deformed "cutesy" way used to signal extreme emotion in manga, a further testament to her desire to show all sides of the characters, from the lightest to the darkest. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/06/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
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