Murder Incarnation Manga Review
Volumes 1 and 2
Reviewed by: Linny
Synopsis:A mysterious school girl approaches people mourning the unexpected death of a loved one and makes a proposition. “I can bring your lost loved one back to life, if you complete a simple task for me. Please kill three people, any three people, in the next 24 hours. Do that, and without fail I will revive them just as they were.” Just how far will these people go to be reunited with the people they lost?
Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
Murder Incarnation is an anthology. The entire series consists of merely 10 chapters which tell 4 different stories, with the only common thread tying them all together being the mysterious girl and her incredible proposition. The stories are short but that works to its benefit as they manage to tell their story without outstaying their welcome. The first story is really the strongest of them all, and should have most readers hooked right in. Its premise and plot development is so intriguing that it’s a bit of a shame that it ends where it does but should impress anyone who loves stories that leave you wanting more.
However, the short chapter duration also means that it’s hard to really establish characters, leaving most of them feeling one dimensional. It becomes easy for the author to introduce surprise reveals about the characters at any point of the story but because of the lack of proper build up, the reveals aren’t as powerful or shocking as they could have been in a more fledged out story. That’s not to say the series is a big letdown..just that there are cons to the stories being so compact.
The author does do a great job of reusing the same basic premise and managing to tell vastly different stories each time. Every story has a unique flavour and theme, with characters and locations that vastly differ from each other and deals with emotions and themes that will incite all sorts of reactions from the reader. The stories are brimming over with twists and turns but are somewhat uneven. Some of the shocking developments are perfectly executed while others come off a bit too try hard or unbelievable (in a bad way).
Also, if it wasn’t already obvious from the images in the article, Murder Incarnation uses digital art..which tends to be unpopular. On one hand, the art can be a bit confusing in the panels but on the other hand, the two page spreads featuring our mysterious school girl looks really well done and almost as good as more traditional art styles. However, since this is a story with a lot of violence, it has to be said that the digital art lacks the impact of traditional art in the more violent and intense panels.
Overall, Murder Incarnation is perfect for fans of psychological thrillers. The short chapters means that you could dive into it as a quick way to kill some time. Yes, it does suffer from a fair number of flaws that tend to plague most works of its kind, like one dimensional characters, or try hard twists but overall, it does enough and is short enough that you can finish the entire series without feeling like you wasted a lot of time over it. It’s something that you might not necessarily want to ever revisit but does provide enough thrills to be worth the quick read. Also, as a final warning, for those of you who pick this up expecting to get a more intimate look at our mysterious school girl, or an explanation about her ability to raise the dead, you will be left with even more questions about her/it than when you began the series.
Murder Incarnation is available digitally via Crunchyroll.com.