Manga / Goth

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/goth_cover_7946.jpg

"She first caught my eye when I saw her white wrist peeking out from the edge of darkness. It was pale as porcelain... and the mark loomed out from it."

Itsuki Kamiyama is not an ordinary high school student. While he often appears cheerful, engaging, and interested in his fellow students, it is simply a façade to hide his true self. When he notices a beautiful, pale skinned girl with scars on her wrist named Yoru Morino, he quickly becomes obsessed... he wants her, but not in the way that a normal teenaged boy wants a girl. No, he wants to take her delicate hand... and keep it for himself.

When Morino nonchalantly asks him to teach her how he can so easily fake a smile, Kamiyama realizes that she can see right through him. Instantly the two become drawn to each other, sharing their obsession with the darkness that lurks just beneath the surface of society. Together they uncover some of the most cruel and gruesome acts committed by mankind, all the while facing ever present danger... not just from the killers they investigate, but also from the part of Kamiyama that still hungers for Morino's death.

Goth is a 2003 horror/mystery novel by Japanese writer Otsuichi that successfully blends Psychological Horror, Detective Literature, Slasher Movie, and Gorn. A Shonen manga adapted from the novel by illustrator Kendi Oiwa was published in 2004 by Kadokawa Comics. In 2008 a live-action film adaptation was released, taking its direction from the manga and novel. The manga and novel are available in English from Tokyopop, and the movie has been released on DVD with English subtitles by Jolly Roger/Well Go USA.


Goth contains examples of:

  • Kick the Dog: In the novel, literally, by a jerkass stepfather. It doesn't end well for him.
  • Kid Detective: The CREEPY kind.
  • Knife Nut: Kamiyama becomes one of these as the series progresses, taking his first set of knives from a serial killer he thwarted.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Morino is the closest thing Kamiyama has to one. Played with because he also longs to kill her... but would thereby lose his only "friend."
  • Monster of the Week: Each chapter deals with Kamiyama and Morino hunting down a different killer, save the last two chapters, which are connected:
    • In the first chapter, Wristcut, the villain is their teacher, Shinohara, who cuts off peoples' hands out of an obsession and recently murdered a celebrity while taking her hands.
    • The second chapter, Goth, has a Serial Killer who gruesomely dismembers women and keeps a record of his kills in a journal.
    • Grave has Saeki, a man who feels guilty for his crimes but finds himself compulsively needing to bury people alive to listen to them die.
    • The final two chapters, Twins I and Twins II, have Takami, a student who is obsessed with Morino and wants to kill her.
  • Motifs; In the manga:
  • My Sibling Will Live Through Me: Subverted. Yoru carries her twin sister's identity In-Name-Only.
  • Mystery Magnet: Morino, to the point of becoming Designated Victim. Kamiyama as well.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Both Kamiyama and Morino are drawn to investigate the sites of murders. Morino even went so far as to wear the clothes and temporarily assume the personality of a victim they found in the woods.
  • No Name Given: In the novel, the male narrator only refers to himself as "Boku" ("I"). He's given the name Itsuki Kamiyama in the manga and film.
  • The Only One Allowed To Dismember You: Kamiyama toward Morino. Maybe.
    "When you want to die... I'll kill you."
  • Pet the Dog: Kamiyama routinely coming to Morino's rescue may be this, if it's not the above trope.
  • Playing to the Fetishes: If the Nightmare Fetishism doesn't get you, the manga cover page of Morino in a ball gag will.
  • Posthumous Character: Morino's sister.
  • Scars Are Forever: Morino's wrists.
  • Serial Killer: Although all of the villains are responsible for a death or two, the only one to fit the description is the cafe manager. Murdering women out of misogynistic hatred, he's dismembered at least three people with no indication of stopping his violent rampage.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Kamiyama.
  • The Sociopath: Itsuki.
  • Together in Death: A young man whose girlfriend is Buried Alive by Kamiyama's latest target follows him to the scene. The girl is found dead of a self-inflicted neck wound. It is only after the killer confesses that he notices the "other boy" is missing. The coffin containing has been quietly reburied and a soft whisper is audible through the air tube under the surface.
    "I love you... forever... because we'll be together forever..."
  • Unreliable Narrator: Kamiyama as a first-person narrator is pretty honest about being a liar. Furthermore, he doesn't appear to always understand his own motivations, especially where Morino is concerned. In the novel, the Unreliable Narrator is a major plot point in the story about the dog; a Twist Ending results.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Subverted with Morino.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Kamiyama and Morino. In the novel, Kamiyama's little sister has a history of stumbling upon corpses.
  • You Bastard: Morino muses about how she and Kamiyama share a "ceaseless craving for darkness". Makes you think about why you're reading this manga in the first place. May overlap with Fridge Horror for some.

Alternative Title(s): Goth 2008

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/Goth