Publisher: VIZ Media
First Published: August 18, 2015
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Shonen
Source: Read Online
Before they were friends, he had already noticed her. He wanted her hands - those beautiful, enchanting hands - to himself. And he hoped that the local madman who had been "collecting" the hands of anything that moved - babies, children, men, women, animals - would get them for him...until the day she asked him to teach her how to smile.Also by this author: Goth, Zoo, Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse
Warnings: Violence, Gore, Nudity
Never have my hopes for a manga ever been dashed to this degree, Goth is one of the absolute worst mangas that I had ever read. Hot off the heels of finishing the original light novel, I decided to give the manga a try because of how much the novel had made me feel like I was reading an episode of an anime. I thought that the story structure and complex mysteries might have done well in the form of a manga, but I was sorely mistaken.
Even if you were to take the manga on its own, it is only okay at best and utterly forgettable. The art is gorgeous, though Morino is weirdly sexualized, and the stories are decent enough to intrigue readers. Sadly, the stories are so rushed that you hardly get a sense of the plot and characters before a hasty explanation of the crime is thrown in. The two main characters are edgier and are more romanticized which somehow made them bland, they lost all of their charm from the original work.
What made the unbelievable stories in the original light novel so hard to put down was the extreme attention to detail to every mystery. The serial killer perspective showcased flawed people that felt uncomfortably real, and the main characters were more chaotic neutral rather than the plain evil of their manga counterparts. The manga rearranges these stories to the point that there is no real flow from story to story, which makes the pacing weird. Twins combined two stories from the original and it was an incomprehensible mess that sacrificed deep character development for cheap nudity and action.
I never expect adaptations to be perfect, and am okay with changes to a story in order to better fit the medium. However, placed alongside the original, the manga just comes off as a poor imitation that completely missed what made Goth so engaging. For lovers of J-horror and macabre horror, I would implore readers to skip the manga entirely and just read the light novel.
He has, just like me, this ceaseless craving for darkness. He’s addicted to murder and torture.