I will never watch the anime. I can’t possibly see how anyone can adapt Lament of the Lamb by Kei Toume the proper way and capture the sentiment of this manga. A manga so filled with love, despair, angst, tragedy, death, secrets, feelings you didn’t even realised existed inside a human being. You can’t possibly translate all those emotions and still keep that slightly disturbing feeling. So, I will never watch the anime. Not even if they do a proper remake of it, since I am well aware that the OVA that now exists is shit and no one should really watch it anyway, be it have you read the manga or not.
Lament of the Lamb. It’s a spectacular manga. I hated it so much. Each volume creeped me out and I just wanted to rip the pages out, scream at the protagonist that he was being fooled. That he was lead by the leash and lured into a trap by his own sister. I disliked, no hated (which is a really strong word in my life), the sister so much I just wished her gone. She was manipulative, mean, egotistical. But I also loved it so much. I couldn’t put it down, I just had to keep reading. I turned the next page because I needed to know what was happening. Would the brother realise? Would the sister understand?
I might sound cryptical but isn’t that how a review is supposed to be? Well, I’m not good with reviews so here comes spoilers. Sorry, but maybe this is more a post for me to process what I have just read and not so much a review to sell the manga to you.
Chizuna and Kazuna are siblings. When they were little their parents separated them and sent Kazuna away to their father’s close friends while Chizuna stayed with their parents. All this because Chizuna and their mother suffered from an extremely rare disease where you crave human blood. Kazuna, who is a boy (boys rarely, if ever, get the disease), was thought to not have the illness and their parents wanted him to have a normal life so off he went while Chizuna was trapped in a house with a bat shit crazy mother and a father so deeply in love with his wife he willingly let her feed off of him.
Life happens, the mother dies and father finds himself alone with his seven year old daughter.
This manga deals with a lot of heavy subjects; death, mental illness, incest among other things.
Through out the manga there is an underlying understanding of an incestuous relationship between father and daughter. When the siblings mother died their father immediately replaces her with Chizuna. Chinzuna is brought up with the belief that she has to hide and live a quite life protected from the outside world in order to survive and not harm anyone so she is stuck in a twisted life with her father. She accepts her fate as the replacement and when her father dies her whole life crumbles.
It’s easy to say that you can look past the incest theme in the manga but really, you can’t and you shouldn’t. It is a vital part of the interactions between the brother and the sister, and why things turn out the way they do. When Chizuna meets Kazuna for the first time she only sees her father in him and her only thought is that she has finally found a replacement. And she acts accordingly. She manipulates him into believing things that are half truths. All to get her father back. She is evil. No, not evil, she is probably extremely human because she wants to free herself from her father but she can’t. All she knows is how to be “daddy’s girl” as she herself says many times. Still, this goes on and on through out the manga, all while Kazuna tries to overcome his feelings and anxiety when he discovers that he too is sick. She tricks him into believing that she is the only one who can help him survive and he falls for all her arguments. It frustrating to read. It makes you angry. Sad. Annoyed. I have never had so many feelings running through my mind while I was reading a manga before.
There are of course other characters as well but they aren’t many and that is actually a relief. You don’t have to think too much about who said what, it is all very clear what has happened before. The story is moving slowly and is built more or less only on dialogue. That’s not to say that it is boring because something is happening continuously. You want to keep reading. I am glad I have all seven volumes so I could just binge them in one sitting because it would have driven me mad to not know how this ended.
Ah, the end yes. It could have ended in a variety of ways and in my opinion this might not have been the best way to deal with it. It’s not a bad ending in any way it’s just… meh, I guess. I wanted something with a little more impact. There was impact, just not at the end chapter. And I wished for some of the characters a more satisfying end. I am not saying happy here because that’s not true. Satisfying is a better word. Anyway, the end is not bad at all, it’s just an end.
What can I say? Read it. It’s so good. It leaves you with an uncomfortable feeling. You will feel anxious while you read it and you are most likely gonna get frustrated, maybe even angry. There isn’t really anything happy about it, most of the manga is just filled with darkness and despair. It’s not a feel good manga and it’s really hard to find any light in it but it doesn’t matter because it is so very well written. The art might not be breathtaking but each chapter begins with an amazing drawing that’s absolutely stunning. Just, read it.
This is a repost from my old blog that I originally published in October 2018. It’s still on my top three manga that makes me uncomfortable to read.