ANIME & MANGA - Review
16:15 - 13th March 2013, by Amanda Young

Grand Guignol Orchestra

What started out as a high-school romantic drama has, over the course of these ten volumes, turned rapidly into a thriller that mixes political intrigue, angst and plenty of revelations, as the relationship between Zero Kiryu, Yuki Cross and Kaname Kuran turns out to be far more complex than you could have imagined. For starters, and we wish we could say 'unusually for manga', it turns out that both of Yuki's romantic options are sort of her brothers - Zero is another adoptee of the nutty headmaster Cross, making them adoptive siblings, whilst Kaname's sibling status is a little more undefined. He claims to be her brother, and Yuki manages to access her memory of growing up with him as children, but he's also the progenitor of all purebloods, and Yuki's fiancée from birth.

As much as we like a bit of taboo romance, sibling on sibling lusting just feels odd, and particularly more so when the manga-ka seems to spend most of the time following the 'Yuki and Kaname are siblings' revelation rapidly trying to make their relationship seem less icky, which she does with only partial success. So Kaname isn't really her brother, they just grew up together - but he's the origin of all pure-blood vampires, so doesn't that kind of make him her great-great-great-however-many-grandfather instead? Brr... To make matters worse, what Yuki really makes of this news is hard to fathom, as she spends most of her time post-revelation with glazed eyes, worrying over the fate of Zero - who reacted to the news in much the same way we would imagine any sane person would have done...

In between all of these rather worrying plot developments, there's a battle going on between Rido and Kaname, and Kaname's long-laid plans are beginning to come to fruition. It turns out much of the events of the past few years have been an elaborate plot for Kaname to finally deal a death blow to his long-time nemesis, but much of it hinges on the actions of Zero, who has his own demons to slay.

Visual-kei meets zombie dolls - if either of those concepts strike a chord with you, this musical-themed horror should be right up your street.
SCORE: 3/5
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