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Grand Guignol Orchestra, Volume 2

Review

Grand Guignol Orchestra, Volume 2

written and illustrated by Kaori Yuki

The Grand Guignol Orchestra consists of four people: Eles (who's really a girl named Celestite disguised as a boy), Lucille, Kohaku and Gwindel. They're traveling musicians, but they don't just play music. They fight zombie-like creatures known as guignol. As they say, sometimes musicians have to take on more than one job.

Lucille and Eles are centerstage in the book, with Kohaku and Gwindel remaining in the background throughout most of it. Lucille (who is a man, despite the name) is the leader of the group and a flamboyant character to say the least, always more than ready to dress in drag and proud of it. At the beginning, Eles is used as bait to attract zombies, and sure enough, she's soon surrounded by them. What concerns her, though, is that one zombie girl is able to talk and seems more like a girl than a zombie. Is she savable? Eles isn't able to find out, because the zombie girl is killed.

The characters have to go on to meet with the queen, who happens to be Lucille's younger sister. There doesn't seem to be much love in this family, as Lucille once betrayed her and she made him kill people in return. Lucille and Eles are then sent to a nunnery (disguised as nuns themselves in a different sort of twist on clothing fanservice) to investigate something called a black oratorio. While they're there, one of the nuns gets murdered. Another nun insists it was suicide, but Lucille and Eles aren't fooled. They need to figure out what's going on here. Does it have to do with the zombies or something else?

Like the first volume (and much of Kaori Yuki's other work), this volume is dark, ornate and edgy. The art is probably the best part, because it sets up the stylish but creepy atmosphere. The presence of the guignol aren't as pronounced in this book as in the last one, since a good portion here takes place in a convent. The idea of the zombie girl being turned back into a girl is an interesting concept, but so far it hasn't been developed further than the idea being mentioned. Although the very idea of zombies is bound to sound gory and unpleasant, Grand Guignol Orchestra is classily made. There's only a little bit of gore, and somehow Yuki gets it to fit in with the design and not look too extreme.

Reviewed by Danica Davidson on October 18, 2011

Grand Guignol Orchestra, Volume 2
written and illustrated by Kaori Yuki

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2011
  • Genres: Manga
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
  • ISBN-10: 1421536374
  • ISBN-13: 9781421536378