Monday, June 19, 2017
Red Riding Hood and the Big Sad Wolf Volume 1: Review
Putting a new spin on the Red Riding Hood story Red Riding Hood and the Big Sad Wolf takes the story in an unconventional and often times dark way with Red Riding Hood being a sadistic pyromaniac who wants to keep the sensitive wolf around her because she wishes to make him her personal plaything while also dealing occasionally with the adventures of Wolf being beat down by life or being the victim of life wther it is by Red Riding Hood or a Bishōnen hawk who has taken a liking to Red Riding Hood and wants to stuff and mount her on his wall. Or a group of quadruplet hunters who can't hit the broadside of a barn and constantly fight with each other. Or Wolf's attempts to get Hawk's besotted lackey Crow in the good graces of their boss or having to deal with a Yankee Rabbit from his past. Red riding Hood and the Big Sad Wolf is a mean series with the wolf's introduction to Red Riding Hood being her torching his house because she thought it was an abandoned property and she loves fire. That is until she sees our poor Wolf-San's crying face and decides to love him "her way." The humor is very based upon the Manzai dynamic of Tsukkomi and Boke unless it's the quadruplet hunters than it's a "let us laugh at these fools derisively" kind of humor. While the overall tone is a mean-spirited look into the mind of comically nasty people inflicting themselves on a hapless straight man. How much you find this funny will depend on how black you like you're humor and seeing how my sense of humor is as black as the center of a black hole I love this series from Red Riding Hood's daydreams of married bliss to wolf consisting of her keeping locked in a cage or forcing him to eat his meals off a floor. Even little things like Crow being obsessed with shiny things made me smile the only part I could say I found unfunny was an extended look at the Hunter Quadruplets and that's more because it felt like it went on for too long than it actually was not funny. Arata's art ranges from slick and polished to rough and loose gag manga reactions. Even a small bit of fussy clothing design in one scene with Crow but I love fussy clothing design consider it a holdover from my days as a Clamp obsessive. While the dialogue... The banter in this is "God-Tier" I don't normally shine a light on translators or Adapters but Beni Axia Conrad and Shanti Fader deserve a raise or some kind of award for this as the dialogue had me laughing almost constantly not to give short shrift to Arata's writing though. In conclusion if someone wants a odd series that is not afraid to get bleakly funny than this is a great series while also it's release harkens back to the days when Josei Manga licenses were kind of a free for all being everything from Tramps Like Us to The Embalmer. A great little find that may not get a big readership but if nothing else it makes me smile (evilly. In short this is very much a "laugh at my pain" Manga a great read for the black hearted and those that appreciate the darker side of romantic comedy.