23 October 2011

'Rabbit Doubt'

The Birthday Massacre should totally sponsor this!
Rabbit Doubt is a game where among a group of "rabbits" hides one "wolf," who deceives and "eats" everyone until someone can identify and stop him/her. Six people, Yuu, Mitsuki, Rei, Eiji, Haruka, and Haijime, decide to play the game for fun until they are abducted and the game comes to life. There is a wolf among them killing everyone off one by one...

Man! That sounds like great fun! So, who wants to play Rabbit Doubt?

Too bad the experience of reading it was nowhere near as fun as it should have been.
Hope y'all got your rabies shots!

As far as psychological horror goes, this sure hits rock bottom. Maybe the manga is only twenty chapters long and not much content can be covered in four volumes, but there are short stories that can be described as epic poems of old compared to this. The characters are pictures of stereotypes plastered on some cardboard: it may be thicker than before, but it's still flat. And as I mentioned with Paranoia Agent: if your characters are dull as crap, why should we care about their problems? Why care if they are dancing on the razor's edge and at the point of falling into the abyss of death? If a pile of roses can't make a pile of feces look nice, then no intellectual theory from a college psychology textbook can make Mr. John McBland Smith likable.
Smart. Peppy. Normal. Spoiled. Jerk. Slut.
Name all the horror films of late that have such characters.

Let's see... Yuu is the normal and kind young man. Mitsuki is the cheerful straight-laced good girl seen in far too many anime. Eiji is a delinquent asshole. Haruka is a slut. Rei is the lolita with a sweet, sad soul asking for love and attention. Haijime is the smart one with black hair and glasses. I'm sorry, did I spoil too much? Guess which one is a hypnotist and how relevant they will be. Now THAT is a spoiler!

That's the problem with most horror stories and films to date. The characters and plot are absolute crap.

On a less cynical note, the art style is really good. The character designs are nothing too noteworthy, but their clothes and hair are fairly realistic and nicely drawn. The environment of the abandoned building is very detailed, dark, and eerie. The rabbit masks are especially creepy, often seen worn, torn, or bloody. At the very least the manga does have an okay atmosphere with several relatively creepy images of the murders that occur.

Pretty darn detailed. Mangaka earns a cookie.
Despite the premise sounding interesting, it is definitely not a slasher or torture porn unlike some films. *cSoAuWgShEcRoIuEgSh* Rabbit Doubt is bloody, but not gory (the most graphic is a severed hand holding a cellphone.) That being said however, the horror is handled very weakly. There is an amazing lack of suspense from start to finish. No "scare" is built up in any way and the end result might look good, but only out of context. The scariest panel will be so bland that you can go to bed and sleep like a baby. I did.

Predictable plot with a bullshit twist ending. Boring characters with no likability. Terrible executions of horror. This manga is pretty darn pretentious to have the "psychological" label slapped on its bloody head. At least the art is pretty.

You're better off with Higurashi or Paranoia Agent, both of which are far more intriguing and not as predictable. Yes, Satoshi Kon's "masterpiece" is better than this premature shonen one shot. Avoid unless you have nothing else to read.

Final Verdict: 0.8 out of 5

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