Saturday, November 15, 2014

Soulless: The Manga (OEL manga, vol. 1) by Gail Carriger, art and adaptation by REM

This is an adaptation of the entire first Soulless book: starving made-vampires appear out of nowhere and have no clue what they are or how they're supposed to behave, there's a wax-faced man, and Lord Maccon is interested in Alexia. It even ends at the same place the book did, with the wedding.

That's a lot of stuff to cram into just one manga volume, but I thought the results were okay. I don't know that I'd have liked it as much if I hadn't already read the book – it fleshed out the world and characters a lot more. Just as with the book, I found myself wishing that the focus had either been entirely on the romance or entirely on the mystery aspect.

Some things:
  • There is an accidental boob grab. Was this in the book, or is it just a rule that, at some point, the male lead in a romantic comedy manga must accidentally grab the female lead's breasts?
  • One thing I noticed missing from the manga that was definitely in the book: all the issues surrounding Alexia being half-Italian. Alexia's father is barely mentioned, there's no hint that her skin isn't just as pale as every other girl's, and Alexia's belief that Lord Maccon couldn't possibly want her is based entirely on her age (she's 26, and therefore old) and the fact that she's an inexperienced spinster.
  • I mostly liked the artwork, although I admit that I enjoyed the color pages at the beginning more than the black-and-white art that made up the bulk of the volume. However, I should note that there was at least one inconsistent detail. “VIXI” was sometimes missing from the wax-faced man's forehead. Oops.
  • At one point, Alexia pulled a mirror (or glass) shard out of her cleavage. One, ouch. Two, due to stuff from the book being cut out, this no longer made any sense. Alexia explained the shard by saying she'd hidden it during a time when she was left alone, but the manga showed absolutely no moments when her captors might have been so stupid as to leave her on her own.

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