Saturday, 10 May 2014

I Luv Halloween: You’ll Be Hard-Pressed to Find Anything You Luv in this Manga

A Review By: Amelia
I’m always looking for new and twisted manga in which to fall in love with. I’ve discovered some amazing gems like Princess Resurrection and Corpse Delivery Service and I’ve discovered some I haven’t liked quite as much: Parasyte I’m looking at you, and honestly, I didn’t think any manga interesting enough to grab my attention on the library shelf could fail as spectacularly as Parasyte did… then I read I Luv Halloween and guess what? I’ve found a new series to loathe entirely!

I Luv Halloween has an incredibly simple premise: it’s always set on Halloween and focuses on a group of trick-or-treaters as they go about doing disgusting and disturbing things in the name of Halloween.

Two guys worked on I Luv Halloween: Benjamin Roman did the illustrations and Keith Giffen was the writer. Roman made his professional debut with I Luv Halloween after having spent years trying to break into the comic book industry. Giffen is an American comic illustrator/writer who had previously adapted the Battle Royale and Battle Vixens manga series. Together, the duo were given complete artistic control over their project and spent around four years working on the I Luv Halloween series. Personally, I feel like with four years spent on the project, Roman and Giffen really should have come up with something better than what they did.

These are the 'bortion aliens
Now, the characters of the series are a group of children: horrible, demented, disgusting, grotesque children. There’s Finch, the leader. Moochie, his homicidal, seemingly retarded younger sister. Devil Lad, who only appears on Halloween to join the group in their trick-or-treating. Pig Pig, a simple-minded boy. Mr. Kitty, the pervert always looking to see tits; and his mostly silent younger brother Spike. This group of children spend the bulk of each volume talking about boobs (Nips being the name of the character with said boobs), horribly murdering people, and talking about abortion. Yeah, you read that right. The third volume of the series has a complete sub-plot about Moochie torturing and killing people trying to find out about ‘bortion. And yes, that is without the A–apparently the authors thought abortion without the A is somehow… less offensive? Less terrible? More appropriate for a full sub-plot in a manga series? Whatever the reason it’s there–along with all the upsetting pictures of ‘bortions happening–it’s still horrifying.

So, now that you know the story is the most offensive shit you’ll ever read, is there anything else that could possibly redeem the series? Well, the art style in I Luv Halloween was the highlight of this three volume manga series for me. It was original and I can confidently say I’ve never seen it in any manga before. It fits the tone and compliments the writing (well, if you can consider what was in the series writing) so yay for the art (although it’s still boo for everything else).

Where do I even begin with this manga? The artwork: alright. The premise of the series: intriguing. The way the premise was executed–also known as–the story: shit. The story is horrible, trashy, poorly thought out shit. Nothing makes sense. Why is there a zombie outbreak in the second volume and an alien invasion in the third? How do characters we watched die in the first keep coming back? Why are these children so freaky and homicidal? None of it fits together and none of it is ever explained! Seriously, if you’re going to have such an outrageous, off-kilter story and you don’t have at least a few panels of blatant exposition of what the hell is going on, your editor didn’t do their job! So it hardly matters that the artwork is good or that it really does have an interesting idea at the centre of it because all the stuff that doesn’t make sense really, really doesn’t make any sense–it’s enough to drive a person crazy!

My final thoughts on I Luv Halloween are to avoid this manga like the plague. It’s the worst kind of manga in that it’s trying so hard to be original/ edgy/ unforgettable/ insert-any-other-adjective-you-like-here that it’s nothing it sets out to be! I mean, the abortion sub-plot in the third book of the series will leave everyone upset. It’s disturbing in a way that’s not even slightly entertaining (trust me when I say I know entertaining disturbing, Corpse Delivery Service is one of my all time favourite mangas). Seriously, I Luv Halloween is the worst and should you ever come upon it, just keep going because this manga series is enough to make you hate Halloween and all those who luv it.

1 comment:

  1. I read that manga before. It made me a bit quesy but if you've seen higurashi it pales in comparison to the blood and guts in I luv Halloween. This manga completely changes the meaning of murder, I'm pretty sure there is no meaning because it's just pure twistedness & sadisticness written down.