Friday, 15 April 2011

Review of March Story

(Warning, MAJOR spoilers ahead!!!)
Oh. My. God!!! This manga has to be the goriest one I have ever read!!!

I've been searching for this manga for about a year, I saw a short summary of it online aaaages ago, and I was instantly in love with the cover art. I then forgot about it for ages until I saw it again in Forbidden Planet in early February this year. Being the kind of girl I am I forgot about it yet again, and then in early March had a very strong urge to go and find it. But ironically I couldn't even remember the name >->''''
In the end I found it by looking through all 200 pages of the manga in Forbidden Planet's online store, this manga is called March Story....

"Born of tragedy, damned by desire"
In the peaceful villages and towns of 18th century Europe, dark demons known as 'ill' hide in the most beautiful artifacts. Tempted by their beauty, greedy and unsuspecting humans are drawn to touch the artifacts, unwittingly releasing the ill hidden inside. Which then dives into the humans soul through their eyes, and whispers constantly inside their head until the victim is driven to horrific acts of violence, a lot of the time towards loved ones - who through some misunderstanding - they think hate them.

Only the hunters of the ill, the Ciste Vihad can dispel them, expelling them from the human's body. That is, if they aren't to late...
March is one such Ciste Vihad,  tracking the ill from village to village, trying to capture the artifacts before they can do any harm. Born of tragedy, the artifacts all have their own tales to tell, as fo each of their victims. But March's story may be the most tragic of all...

(My own version of the summary on the back of volume 1, sort of a mixture of my own take on the story, and the words used by the editor.)

The artwork in this story has to be my most favorite thing about it, Kyung Il Yang's style of drawing is incredibly dark and captures the balance between beauty and gore perfectly. Yang draws inspiration from places such as Switzerland and Venice. The references to Venice are most visible in chapter 2 'Orche the Masked', set in a town where the waterways are the roads, and where everyone has to wear a mask after dark, or risk being danced into the sky by the infamous Orche the Masked, and once the dance ends, so does your life.

This is a truly heart breaking chapter, if I hadn't been reading it in the car with my whole family around I'd have cried for sure! You really have to admire the author - Hyung Min Kim - of this story for his skill in writing!

It's hard not the spoil this chapter too much for you guys!!!

The next chapter, 'Windblown Memories of Coloured Glass' seems to be more of a filler chapter, despite the fact we find out a lot of important things about March. The characters Jack (who despite her name is female ^-~) and Rodin are introduced in this chapter also.

The final final chapter is the one that I want to talk about the most though, it's by far the darkest, and most grim and violent of all the chapters in this volume. In this chapter we get an insight into March's past through her nightmares.
Skip back in time to March when she was 5, she's living with her sister in a town tormented by the sick minded Lady Janjaghee, who by the drinking the blood of the young maintains her youthful appearance. She has the villagers constantly forging horrible, yet beautiful hooks for the purpose of hanging still living people from to drain their lifes blood. 
(Please note I will be including some rather graphic page scans from here on out, so if out, so if you're squeamish about blood, or aren't allowed to read M rated manga, close this page or go to a different blog article!)

 For some reason I'm completely captured in by these horrific drawings, and this chapter has no lack of them. I just can't help feeling for March, poor thing!

Over all, this manga is not for the faint of heart, it's storyline is beautiful, dark, gothic and disturbing, and the art even more so. I can't wait to get hold of volume 2 so I can continue reading the gore fest that is this apparently rare and extremely entrancing manga.


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