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The Lamenting ROSSMAN

Have you ever sat through or watched or listened to something that just kept going on and on and on, never having a point? And when it finally ended you felt so much goddamn relief (and not even anger) at it simply being over that you actually made an audible sound similar to "Ugh" while rolling your eyes in disgust (and no, none of the writings on this site count)? It has happened to me while watching long, boring, period dramas about horny kings and queens from days gone by, reading self-help books, dating chicks who are way too fucking political, and now with Kei Toume's incredibly unnecessary manga Lament of the Lamb. Honestly, never needed to be made.

There are so many exciting, world-changing stories already in print, do not waste your energy (eye movements and all) on this slamtastic waste of free time. Absolutely nothing happens in these 7 tankouban (volumes). Nothing, until the very end. The second to last chapter makes you think "Oh man! That's really sensational and impressive! So Toume was just building up to this the whole time? Okay, that makes up for a lot..." But then you read the LAST chapter and he COMPLETELY cops out from the dramatic finale that you thought things ended on. Instead you're left to ponder, "What the fuck? Did Toume's balls fall off between the penultimate and ultimate chapters? Did somebody else write that epilogue? Why would he take that previous chapter back like that? That was the best, most memorable point this thing could have possibly ended on! Goddamn pussy Japanesey shitty storytellers!!!"

It's kind of like Stephen Spielberg's A.I. -- a lame, kind of gay story all the way up to when Haley Joel Osmond (sp? whatever) sinks to the bottom of the sea in that submarine and comes face to face with the Blue Fairy, who he's been seeking since the beginning of the movie. Then the camera fades to black as he wishes over and over for the Fairy to grant his dreams and make them come true. Kind of downbeat, but it would have been a much more powerful conclusion than resurrecting the little gay robot far into the future and having him self-terminate after those aliens/robots (again, whatever) cloned his mother. You left the theater (if you were dumb enough to have paid to see this on the big screen) shaking your head, wondering what the fuck they were thinking. They HAD the best ending possible for this shitty little story in their HANDS... and they shot right by it and settled for crap. But I digress.

Back to Lament of the Lamb. I first decided to check this title out after reading its synopsis on the ANN: The Takashiro family carries a genetic curse: They’re vampires, well, sort of. Their condition causes them to thirst for human blood, and Kazuna has just found out about this. Now after beginning to suffer from the symptoms, he runs into his sister who he’s been separated from since they were little. Now his sister tries to help him learn to control his urges for blood...

I thought, "Sounds pretty groovy. Vampire siblings! Kinky! Think I'll give this little swinger a try!" It started out slow, what with having to get acquainted with the lead character, Kazuna, and his cold, stand-offish sister, Chizuna, and their plight. Their extremely boring plight. In hindsight I should have paid much closer attention to the line in the abstract "They're vampires, well, sort of." See, instead of "vampires" (i.e. cool, undead creatures of the night either spawned from dark magics [think Buffy the Vampire Slayer] or from faulty, mutant DNA [think Blade]) we get "extreme anemia"... Yeeeeeah, not really all that cool. This "genetic curse" that haunts the Takashiro bloodline just makes those afflicted by it crave the blood of others -- they don't go running out into the witching hour hunting down frightened virgins, and proceed to bite into their pumping jugulars with fangs, sucking out their life energies... They just get a rumbly in their tumblies. But I digress yet again. Too far ahead of myself.

Kazuna is your typical whiney teenager. He's being raised by friends of his father after his father abandoned him at a young age in order to raise Chizuna, Kazuna's sickly sister, by himself after his wife died (suicide). One day in school Kazuna seems to fall ill after seeing some blood on the chick he likes, and a crazy and literal bloodlust begins to overtake him. It is then that he goes back to his old family home and runs into his icy sister, who moved back in after their father killed himself a year before. Chizuna tells her brother about the contagion passed on through the family tree, and they decide that since they both suffer from it, and that they can't allow the outside world to find out about it (who the fuck knows why, as this would seem the MOST LOGICAL thing to do -- get some big-time hospital working on curing you), that they should be each other's pillars of strength and move in together. Since Kazuna and Chizuna are strangers to each other though, a lusting for the other soon overpowers them... A lusting for both blood and the body. They spend their nights entangling their figures in vile mockery of the taboo placed upon incest -- but as the Takashiro family doctor points out, this may be their only chance for a cure: fighting the torturous disease with pleasure and antibodies from the other sibling.

Ha! Just yanking your crank. No, nothing in my summary after "Chizuna and Kazuna moving in together" happens. Literally. NOTHING happens. For like 6 (out of 7) volumes, nothing exciting even pretends like it's going to happen. The two siblings wallow in their self pity (constantly); Chizuna wonders if Kazuna is just a replacement for her dead father (over and over again); Kazuna quits school so that he never has to see the girl he likes (Yaegashi) again, so that she can live a normal life (actually he quits school like 3 fucking times, quitting, then getting talked into going, then quitting, then resuming, ad nauseam); Kazuna's guardians try to intervene and amend their charge's retarded behavior (honestly, these two generous and kind souls are the only people in this story I had even the least amount of pity for... trying to love such a stupid and mongo child as if he were their own); and Dr. Minase (the family doctor trying to find a cure for the disease by himself) attempts to tell Chizuna that he loves her at least 3 times per tankouban. The plot never moves forward. It just lathers, rinses, and repeats up until the second to last chapter, which was indeed good, just not worth the agony of boredom you must endure through the previous 45 chapters.

Oh fuck it, I'll just tell you so you don't have to read it yourself. *SPOILERS* So Chizuna keeps getting weaker and weaker thanks to this ailment and the medication that Minase had been specially creating for her (it was slowing down the symptoms, but not treating anything and in fact making her heart weaker). She knows she's dying soon. Kazuna senses it too, and since the two of them only live for each other now (not in a swanky Cream Lemon way though) he decides to hold her hand until she passes, and when she's gone he will take a tablet of the poison left over from when their father ingested some to kill himself the previous year. She dies, then he dies. End of the second to last chapter.... No! Wait! The LAST chapter brings Kazuna back from the dead, claims that this disease that the Takashiro family has is only MENTAL (which you have to be to buy this crap), and that Kazuna has lost the memories of the past three years (and of course everything having to do with his sister) and is back to living a fun and fancy-free life with his guardians and Yaegashi. What the flying Totoro fuck?! Kei Toume fucked up so goddamn bad here... *END SPOILERS*

Other than the lame, repetitive story and the hack ending, here's a quick list of other things that really sucked about this manga (well I guess some of these are spoilers too, I just don't feel like turning the font all blue here too):

  • All the characters belong on the short bus. They are all either brain damaged or really really stupid.
  • Like Pepe le Pew before, the writer finds the most ridiculous ways to kick start the running gag/plot about the family disease. With Pepe, the female cat would find the silliest ways to rub up against things, or have some white paint fall on her back, and give her a skunk-stripe, and in Lament of the Lamb Kazuna comes across the goofiest and most unbelievable ways of either seeing blood or seeing red paint that reminds him of blood. 'Cause I see bleeding people at least 50 times a day myself, and everybody I accidentally bump into is ALWAYS carrying a canister of dark red paint (that they drop and spill all over the ground) too. Uncanny.
  • Major plot points occurring that made absolutely no sense, and in the end didn't even amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things. Example: Kaz and Chiz's father's ex-nurse (he was a doctor himself) shows up completely out of the blue near the end of everything, loooooooooong after the father's death, asking the man's KIDS why he committed suicide because "she has to know because she may have had a little schoolgirl crush on him"!! Who the fuck is that stupid or inconsiderate?! Then, after she gets some answers (not even close to all of them, mind you) she just disappears. Deeeeeeeep huuuuuuurting.
  • All through the course of this "story" (and I use that term loosely) we are told that this family disease is a physical and an actual medical affliction. Characters outside of earshot of both Kazuna and Chizuna even state this over and over again. The MEDICINE that Minase gives Chizuna actually weakens her body in an attempt to cure her from the corporeal suffering she endures. But this raises major issues and questions: like if this disease is real, then wouldn't it just be a craving for the iron (or some other element) in blood, and therefore couldn't it be treated with trips to the bloodbank or the butcher's shop (pig's or cow's blood)? Aren't there vitamin pills one could take to add more of the missing element to their bodies? How the hell could this disease kill a person?

    Well, then they just ignore all that physical ailment stuff and simply chuck a whole "this disease is really only psychopathic in reality" explanation at the viewer in the FINAL CHAPTER... Yeah, this answers some questions, but counters tons more. Like if it was only a disease of the mind then why the fuck didn't Minase TREAT THE GIRL HE LOVES PROPERLY instead of feeding her mind-placebos that fucked her body up more (what the fuck WERE those pills then, to do that kind of damage to her?!)? And Kaz got sick in the very beginning without knowing about the disease previous to his own infection... How is he NOT sick now despite the fact that he lost his memory? What? There is absolutely NO way the writer thought any of this through.

What a shame. No vampires, no kinky incest, and no satisfying plot. What a shame and what a waste (of paper and ink and money and time).

What did I think of the Lament of the Lamb manga? In the end I give it 24 out of a possible 142 Points of Artistry. If Kei Toume had actually made it about vampires and added some real drama to it this thing may have gone somewhere. But he didn't and so it didn't either.


The Vamp-Hater ANGRY AMY

Oh my dear Christ on a shitter... I fucking HATE vamps. Those goddamn faggots, always running around with fake canine teeth over their real ones pretending that they're as cool as Dracula, but in reality are as gay as Tom Cruise's Lestat. I fucking HATE HATE HATE them.

Gawd, vamps were the predecessors to emos, and every bit as annoying, and every bit as punchable. And believe me, I took them up on that as often as I saw them.

"Blah! BLAAAH!" They'd run around campus at night playing some really terrible and hyperly homo LARP shit while everybody mocked them. To their pale, gay faces. The jocks mocked them with headlocks and swirlies. Yes, this was in college, but it was still such wonderful fun! Sometimes my friends and I would intentionally LOOK for the vamp larpers and scream when we found them so that some football player or wrestler would come and beat the retard out of them. One time a gymnast even did it. A female gymnast. Only 5'2". She took on 5 of them and won... We should have stopped her before she killed that really really effeminate one, but apparently he looked just like some guy who raped her the year before and we just would have gotten hurt if we tried to intervene... I'll tell you though, those gym girls are STRONG. They can dig a 5 foot hole, 3X6' wide, in like 30 minutes. I'll have to keep her number for when I finally get to do the Rossman in. Yes, I know he previews my reviews. And I know that he knows that I want him dead. This is all part of the psych-game that needs to be played.

(Rossman here... Bitch doesn't know that she's already lost. That's all I'll say for now.)

Like I'd even read 7 books about a lame vampire family. I'll still give it a middle finger up though.


The WOLFMAN In
Lamb Clothes

We lycans and the hunters of the night have been mortal enemies for millennia. The good news is that all those gay vampires are really just the biggest pussies you could ever meet. Me and my hairy buds can beat up, chew up, devour and spit out any pussy-vamp we come across. Fuck 'em.

One time, Shaggy Sheldon and I were out for an evening stroll, catching some fresh air and howling at the full moon, when suddenly we came upon a herd of fags dressed in black talking about "the hunger." It was like it was in our nature, our instinct, to rip those little fairies to shreds. Wait, I'm sorry for calling vamps and vamp-wannabe-larpers "gay" and "fags..." That's just not right. It is a total insult to those who really are homos. I don't mind the real fags all that much, I just detest those who act even sissier than those Marys while wearing eye shadow and sometimes black lipstick... Jesus Christ...

I just skimmed through these books simply to make sure that the vampires in it were portrayed properly and weren't made out to be heroes or non-pansies. Yup. So that get's a thumb up from me for being somewhat based in the real world.