Review: Bizenghast Vol. 1 by M. Alice LeGrow
Blurb from Goodreads:
Time passes in every town…except one. 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
What I like: Dinah’s lolita clothing=Beautiful. That is an amazing cover.
If you like beautiful gothic drawing, ghosts and bold eyes, then this is the book for you. The gothic and dark elements of this manga are striking. I love it.
Dinah and Vincent, best friends, have to help the spirits of the dead find peace by breaking them out of their routines. Before they can even reach the spirit, they have to solves riddles. The riddles are pretty cool but I couldn’t solve them so that is awesome. Vincent is the one solves them and helps the spirits move on. This manga has four ghosts that Dinah and Vincent have to help. The first ghost has the best riddle and answer but it is the second ghost that has the tragic love story. The third ghost involves a drowning, it is a good storyline but not my favorite. The fourth ghost involves a quasi-wolf boy elements going on and it has a great image of Dinah becoming one with a tree. It is beautiful.
The people who are forcing Dinah to go a nightly quest to help spirits are the caretakers of the mausoleum/cemetery. Bali-Bali is a crazy spider lady; she is scary. Edaniel is another entity that belongs to the mausoleum; he is a Guard that is meant to help Dinah on her quests. He is a weird cat like being but he is so adorable and funny. Reminds me of the Cheshire Cat. He is helpful in explaining in more details what is going on. Bali-Bali was more frightening than helpful. Edaniel shows that there is more going at the mausoleum instead of just putting spirits to rest. I can’t wait to see the storyline become stronger and more concrete.
One of the issues I take up with this first volume is Dinah herself. She is a very weak character. I think it has to do with Dinah being depressed or sick but she just has no energy. I love her bold eyes but she has no charismatic personality. The one time she shows a backbone, I don’t believe her. Dinah has been close to useless pretty much the entire length of the manga that it is hard to believe that she would keep her contract with Bali-Bali when she is offer a way out of her contract. It does show Dinah could grow into a strong character later on but first, she does have to get physically and mentally better.
The art is fantastic but the storyline is not strong. Dinah, Vincent and any human are not strong characters; they are a little one dimensional. Edaniel is a fun character and I like him very much. I hope Dinah grows a backbone because she is the main character. I love her eyes.
52nd in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: First in a Series, Ghostly, M/GN/VG