It took several times of coming across this Manga for me to read it, and as in marketing, the seventh time (or so) did me in. I should have taken the 'don't judge a book by its cover' phrase in reverse, because not only was the cover unattractive, the story left a bad taste in my mouth too.
This Manga is about a 13-year old kid, Ah Hui, having a weird and mystical destiny. Woaaah, awesome! As it turns out he has the great (mis)fortune of being chosen by Nezha, the heavenly prince, as his human body of choice to possess. The prince had taken it
upon himself to right the violations of heaven's laws in the slums of Taiwan and needs Ah Hui to be his tool for this ambition.
Now there are all sorts of f^*!ed up and twisted problems that are brought to light in this Manga, and I get the sense that most of the important ones aren't viewed to be bad by the author.
For one thing, having your parent(s) forcefully get you possessed is pretty damn sad. I was at a loss for words when I came to understand that the step-dad and old witch had been planning this poor kid's 'destiny' since day one. Tragically, even Ah Hui's aggressive behaviour towards his step-dad for exploiting him; making him tell fortunes for money and do all sorts of 'rituals' from an even younger age; was seen as a RUDE thing to do. Really? I'm not into gore but if Ah Hui had turned around and beat the sh*t out of his step-dad, I'd have read on.
I don't really care how the author chooses to dress possession (and magic for that matter) up; I call it like I see it and what's wrong is wrong.
On the other hand, the art was intriguing; as opposed to good or nice. Now, I can already tell that some readers will be completely put off by the art; it's weird and randomly detailed. As a positive feature, it adds a surrealistic touch to the storytelling but on the downside, there may be a few clarity issues popping up because it got kinda difficult to tell what some images were. There is a lot of the illustrator's style coming through (which is great) and the images were proportional to some extent but it's not realistic all the time and frankly speaking, the content of the story marred whatever experience I had reading the panels. Given a different story line, I wonder how effectively the art could have been used.
Would I recommend this? No, I wouldn't. The combination of surreal art and depressing story made for an unentertaining read to say the least. If I got anything out of this it's that the Taiwanese slums are as shady as Hell and that you shouldn't take weird pills given to you by a con-man.
I'd give this Manga several exorcisms, an officer to do with child-custody and a definite thumbs-down.