Friday, 14 November 2014

Good-bye Geist by Ryo Hanada Review

Yuki is just one of too many Japanese schoolgirls who get groped on their commute to and from school by total scumbags on the trains. As if that weren’t bad enough, some weird male student is “secretly” filming her on his phone and some psycho calling themselves Spirit is murdering cats.

What does it all mean? Good question! A mystery should keep the reader in the dark but Goodbye Geist does this too well unintentionally by being poorly drawn and written. Besides Yuki, a lot of character designs are generic making it difficult to tell who’s who. Also, certain crucial panels are utterly puzzling because you can’t tell what they’re supposed to be.

The cat killer is supposedly revealed but it’s near impossible to tell what they look like when the page is in black and white and their uniform is white, with little black on the page. It’s like looking at a blank panel! Or the panel where Yuki’s groped – what was that supposed to resemble exactly?

Then there’s the unclear story of how the cat killings, groping, and awkward teenage romance meshes together, or rather fails to. Matsuhara, the male lead, is the Japanese version of the plastic bag camera guy from American Beauty, and the focus seems to be on his budding relationship with Yuki. But we keep flashing back to the cat murders, there’s a sub-story about another romance, we jump from the city to the country, and it ends very unsatisfactorily with what seems to be a series of disconnected scenes because the conclusion leans heavily upon the art which is severely lacking.

I kept hoping that Hanada would find a way of tying it all together but it just ended up an uninteresting mess. And why was the book called “Geist”, the German word for “spirit”? I know the cat killer is called Spirit but why use the German word in the title instead of the English word as it appears in the story? The book closes out with even more confusion as an unconnected short of two teenagers flirting with each other is tacked on after the main story!

I usually enjoy Gen Manga but this one was easily the worst one I’ve read yet. I wouldn’t recommend it even to fans of these kinds of comics.

Good-bye Geist

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