Bizenghast, Volume 1
by M. Alice LeGrow
When a young girl moves to the forgotten town of Bizenghast, she uncovers a terrifying collection of lost souls that leads her to the brink of insanity. One thing becomes painfully clear: The residents of Bizenghast are just dying to come home.
A finalist in TOKYOPOP’s Rising Stars of Manga competition, Marty Legrow has crafted an unforgettable Gothic drama that will leave readers haunted long after the last page is turned.
3.5 of 5 Stars
- I was not a big fan of the artwork in this graphic novel. It’s not a style I’m very fond of and sometimes it felt a little lacking. I especially disliked how Edaniel is drawn as a character in his primary form. I love it when he shape shifts but was disappointed at the lack of detail in his main look especially when compared to others including his brother.
- I was put off at first with the main character, the young girl. She seems weak and timid, not anything like the strong female character I longed for. I was happy that as the story progressed she began to grow and to face more challenges head on rather than hiding from them but still couldn’t connect with her personally. It seemed like she went from one kind of annoying to another.
- One of the reasons she kind of annoyed me at first is we don’t get a whole lot of back story. We get some brief bits about her being unwell and having fits (what does that even mean?) but it’s confusing and muddled. I was left wanting more details to be able to relate to her better. I also wanted more about the other characters as well – like a lot of manga, this is a story I felt I was dropped into the middle of to figure out over time. I’m hoping it gets better in future volumes.
- I really liked the premise behind clearing out these ghosts and sending them onward. I have to wonder at what point will they be done and if that will be the end of the series or not. I like how because of this premise we get to meet a host of new characters fairly quickly. It also helps the intensity to build over time as each challenge gets increasingly more difficult.
- Overall I ended up enjoying this story even though I had a few issues with it. It’s weird and there are several things I wish had been done differently but it’s interesting enough to both enjoy it and hold my attention. I’m not sure if it’s a series I will continue reading. If I found it at my library though I’d probably check it out.
A big thank you to Diamond Comic Distributors and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this graphic novel in exchange for my honest review.