Thank you to Kodansha Comics for the copy of this Manga in return for an honest review
There’s a new adaptation of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast and this time it looks quite different. Belle was born with violet hair, making her different from anyone else. She goes out into the woods to look for a red rose, the only flower that will match her hair. Her mother follows her, trying to stop her as the beast wonders the woods. The beat hunts and kills people, removing their faces. The beast finds Belle and her mother sacrifices herself to save Belle. 5 years later, Belle goes back out into the woods to find the truth to what actually happened and discovers that there is more to the truth than she could possibly imagine.
This is a dark take on the fairy tale, with some horrific elements. There are moments that edge this closer to a horror story. When Belle eventually gets to the Beast’s castle, she finds herself locked in a room full of Idoles, the faceless people that have been left to die. One they die, eyes and mouths grow in the void on the head, where their face should be, and they hunt the living. It’s a creepy scene and the artwork is great, the faceless people look demented.
The story is really interesting and I did find myself wanting to know more and not wanting to put the book down. It has enough of the story we all know to feel familiar but enough new stuff to keep it interesting. I have a feeling it’s only going to get better as it goes on. It’s full of imagination in the best way possible.
The story does feel a little rushed at the beginning. When Belle gets back to town it’s a lot to take in, it would have been nicer to spend a little more time with the plot being set up. It’s a quick paced manga throughout the first volume and one it finds its pace in chapter two it does settle in quite nicely. Sadly, there are a couple of bits where it isn’t 100% clear what’s going on and you just have to continue and piece it together. I find that to be a common problem with some comics and manga and it’s not that big of a deal here, but it’s worth mentioning that some of the panels don’t flow into each other very well.
Some of the dialogue is laughable. When Belle’s father finds out his wife is dead, he shouts at Belle that it’s her fault and ‘it’s because you’re so ugly’. He calls her ugly and vile at all times and plot wise it makes sense, but I still found it funny when reading it from time to time.
I did enjoy this book and I will keep an eye out for volume 2 when it comes out. I like interesting adaptations of fairy tales and that is exactly what this is.