Sentenced on false charges, Kamiya Kyousuke was forced to enroll in the "Purgatorium School of Rehabilitation" where juvenile convicts are gathered. His surroundings include pretty girls with beautiful legs or fluttering hair... But they are actually convicted murderers.
Attracting extra attention in school as the special "Mass Murderer of Twelve," Kyousuke is also drawing the advances of the unidentified gas mask-wearing beauty with the giant rack, Hikawa Renko. In order to graduate safely, will Kyousuke be able to resist temptation laced with death?!
Every single classmate is a murderer. LOVE=KILL! The deeper the love, the greater the risk of death, a hardcore romantic comedy!! Let the lessons begin!
Do you enjoy a psychotic demonic loli beating a high school kid to a bloody mess of hamburger with the intention of burning fear into the hearts of his classmates?
Do you enjoy the image of a boy running for his life from a bunch of psychotic murders and cannibals that want his heart - literally?
Does your classic dandere become much more interesting when she is the equivalent of a walking natural disaster of accidental mayhem and death?
Are you not put off by graphic descriptions of mass murder, torture, cannibalism, rape and necrophilia?
If your answer to any
of these questions is no this may not be the book for you.
If you answered yes to all of these questions however, have I got a story for you.
Story - 9
The first novel sets up an interesting premise and it's the reason I was of course drawn to the novel. Our protagonist happens to be the type to get into fights because of his quick temper and hatred of bullies. Starting from the desire to defend his sister he eventually gets to the point where he will fight anyone, anywhere. You would probably expect him to die quickly with an attitude like this but he happens to have superhuman strength and endurance, making knocking out 12 guys armed with weapons in a warehouse no problem for our protagonist. It's only later after he arrives home that he finds out that the 12 that he had left snoring wouldn't be waking up, as they have all been murdered. He is convicted of their murders and earns himself the title of the 'Warehouse Butcher'. He would probably be stuck in a maximum security prison or executed for his crimes, but thankfully the ever progressive Japan has a new school that re-educates young murderers so that they can one day re-join society, Purgatorium Remedial Academy. This 'school' is where our hero is sent to learn how to behave alongside dozens of prolific killer classmates and teachers that are also professional assassins as well as their wardens. He becomes an instant celebrity having one of the highest supposed kill counts among the students who like to express their admiration and envy....enthusiastically. As amazing as this may sound the story does start a little slow and if you only read the first novel it would probably leave you with an "it was okay I guess". The homicidal harem that starts to form around the protagonist is a little cliché with a bit of crazy mixed in, and is probably not enough to keep you entertained at first. Thankfully, the rest of the series ramps up the fear and bloodshed with killer school festivities, homicidal family members and casual executions. By the time you finish volume 2, if you are anything like me, you will become hooked on the carnage and brutal drama.
Art - 10
Art can be a little difficult to judge in light novels as it is often quite sparse. Thankfully, several full color pages in the beginning and occasional black and white images in the chapters help us visualize the sexy, beautiful and sometimes blood spattered heroines as they work their way into our hearts...directly through someone else's chest. If you like images just for sexiness then it certainly delivers. However, don't blame me if you fall in love with the deranged expressions of these psychotic ladies as their eyes open a window into madness.
Characters - 10
The protagonist and 'hero' of our story is a little bland as most protagonists are, being the only 'normal' person in a school filled with murderers. He differentiates himself by having super strength and endurance, obtained genetically from his father who was once hit by a train and merely put in the hospital. He also has a bit of a sister complex (although not nearly as bad as her big brother complex). He is meant to be the viewpoint character and plays his role well as he desperately tries to convince the killers around him that he is one of them and survive the aptly named Purgatorium Remedial Academy.
The 'main girl' she immediately falls in love with Kyousuke and tempts him with her beautiful face and clear innocent eyes; at least she would except she always wears a gas mask. The gas mask she wears hides more than just headphones constantly blaring death metal as she evades questions about why she is at the school and why she is so obsessed with Kyousuke. Despite Kyousuke's lack of interest in her non-visible face she likes to constantly tease him with her ridiculous rack and obsessive personality. She eventually 'reveals' herself to be a skilled death metal vocalist being the lead singer of a band and quite the yandere but I'd like to avoid spoiling to much more about her.
Our tsundere who we all know "secretly" loves our thick headed hero; she has red hair, sleepy eyes, long beautiful legs and is a professional assassin with six kills under her belt. She happens to be from a family of assassins who we actually get to meet later on with the 4th volume focused on Eiri and them. Her tongue is as sharp as her blades as she mercilessly cuts into her irredeemable classmates and Kyousuke. Of course she does have a softer side, that dere has to mean something after-all.
Cute, soft spoken, shy, and easily startled, Maina is your classic dandere who you just want to protect from the world. Now if only someone could protect the world from Maina Igarashi. Rightfully nicknamed Black Pandora, she is 'fatally clumsy'. When she starts to get nervous, people start to get dead. She ended up in the academy after her attempted love confession resulted in 3 deaths, and her cooking despite being perfectly normal and containing no poison is fatal to anyone without access to immediate medical attention.
There are of course several other important characters to mention such as
Kyousuke's home room teacher is a loli that carries several metal pipes which she uses to beat submission into anyone that misbehaves, fights or otherwise annoys her.
With a polite demeanour and the trust of the faculty she leads the public morals committee as the 'Murder Princess' with 21 kills under her belt and a 'secret weapon’ that would make anyone flee in terror.
Kyousuke's little sister who has a serious big brother complex and who becomes quite pertinent in the third volume.
There are also several great side characters like the giant Bob who wears a sack over her head, Chihiro Andou the adorable little cannibal, Kuuga Makyouin with a deadly case of chuunibyou, and several other classmates and upperclassmen that kill, torture, rape and/or eat their victims.
Enjoyment - 11
I absolutely loved this series and almost broke into tears when I found out there was only six volumes (not including the Omnibus). The characters are crazy, varied and thoroughly enjoyable, making every interaction exciting to read. You never know when someone might suddenly attempt to take a bite out of someone's arm or accidentally stab them to death with a fork and that helped keep the story exciting. The characters motivations are interesting, and make sense even as they gradually grow and change through the series. The vulgar language and casual violence was an absolute joy to read through. The humour may not be quite your taste but I loved every bit of it, and there were several times where I would burst out in maniacal laughter on the bus drawing the worried gazes of fellow passengers.
Overall - 10
Despite how brutal it sounds Psycho Love Comedy is actually quite light hearted and is essentially a love comedy with a bunch of crazy killers, hence the name. I have recommended it to several friends and lent out my own physical copies of the series. Most of them said exactly 2 things to me. "It was a little slow to start but it got really good by volume 3" and "Knowing you, this must perfectly suit your tastes". This is the most fun I've ever had reading a series and I've read literally thousands of books. This series is not for everyone and it's certainly no epic classic like the lord of the rings. However, if you have a crazy bone in your body or perhaps a body under your floorboards I suggest you give this series a shot.
tl;dr: A series with a really unique and darkly comedic premise that has some core tonal and thematic issues but ultimately manages to resolve them in an incredibly interesting fashion.
Note: Spoilers that aren't related to specific plot events but related to themes and how a character grows are included in this review.
This is a really interesting novel series in that it’s a mish mash of a lot of things that kind of don’t work but also work pretty well. For the most part, it feels a lot like a high school slice of life novel series where the focus is on character relationships and development,
even with the extreme violence and craziness throughout. For the most part, there’s not much of an overarching plot, but rather smaller plots per novel that focus on introducing new characters or further developing old ones in regards to their effect on the overarching narrative. These plots are pretty interesting, in that the twist on the slice of life aspect makes it quite unique and allows for a lot of interesting elements, such as a good amount of suspense and crazy twists, as well as the large amount of action. I should note though, that the action was somewhat disappointing a lot of the time, due to the MC not being all that great in terms of this. The series is tagged as “protagonist strong from the start” but that’s not entirely true. His ‘strength’ comes mostly in the form of heavy endurance which allows him to survive taking heavy punishment, but in terms of actual combat ability compared to the other major characters he’s pretty low. That results in him being able to easily take on dozens of small fry, but when he’s put up against the major players, he’s actually pretty weak, and in such situations he doesn’t usually do much, and strength wise he never grows, which was kind of disappointing. He and the other characters do go through a lot of character growth though, and ultimately the character development overall felt really solid. Ayaka comes to have a better view of other people. Maina gains confidence in herself and a will to continue moving forward. Eiri becomes more honest with herself. Renko becomes more human and in tune with her emotions. But most importantly is of course the protagonist Kyousuke. His development is interesting and I quite liked it, though I can see why it may miff some people because I can see why it would be controversial and in the end it’s tied pretty heavily into the whole narrative and is a running theme throughout. When he starts out, he is incredibly wary of the other students, seeing as they're murderers and all. He begins to make friends with murders that aren’t really murderers and begins to settle in. The tone throughout the first five books is pretty lighthearted, wherein even though the style is pretty dark, in terms of tone and atmosphere it doesn’t feel oppressive at all and though lots of terrible things are described as having been done by characters outside the narrative, nothing truly bad happens during the narrative itself. Hence, while most all the characters are killers there’s nothing to truly make them seem like bad people. As a result, over the course of these books he begins to make friends with the true murderers, the cannibal, the serial killer, the necrophiliac, etc. That they’re killers just gets pushed aside. However, ultimately it very much is brought to the forefront, and Kyousuke has to question himself, as a normal person is it really okay for him to have friendly relations with murderers? And in the end he decides, yes, it is fine even if he doesn’t understand their desire to kill, nor does he want to, for him to respect, be friends with, like, or love them anyway, which is a tremendous shift in world view from how he started in the first book that was slowly built up until it finally clicked near the end. This shift is of course incredibly important to the main relationship in the book, the love triangle between Kyousuke, Renko, and Eiri, wherein though other characters also seem to be in love with Kyousuke they don’t seem as prominent. This relationship is what serves as the core of the ending, and probably what everyone reading up to that point truly cared about. To some degree, the ending was disappointing in that it was an open ending, but at the same time, it did everything really well, and though it was open, it wrote around that incredibly well, so ultimately I was very satisfied with the ending, and look back on the series overall quite fondly.
The art for the illustrations was really good, and I also liked the interesting character designs. I can’t judge the original writing style, but the translation by Yen Press wasn’t very good. It had a pretty stiff writing style, and a number of obvious mistakes regarding sentence subjects, and probably others that I couldn’t tell.
Psycome is a comedy about psychos. I'm using the term "comedy" and "psychos" incredibly loosely, but I guess this is supposed to classify as both. Technically speaking, it's literally all it is and there is absolutely nothing more to it than that. And by comedy, I meant the wacky silly overdone harem hijinx that continuously repeat like a broken record. And by psychos, I meant kids who identify themselves as one while tipping their fedoras and maybe pretending Kool-Aid is blood to impress their friends on Facebook.
Here's the premise: This kid named Kyousuke gets into trouble with some thugs, beats them up, goes home, and
gets arrested because those kids ended up being killed by someone else. So on false charges, he's sent to this school on an island that supposedly serves to rehabilitate these terrible murderers. But to not get those silly parents involved, they are taken out of the picture in a form of the MC living alone with his sister. Typical LN formula.
In his class, he encounters three relevant characters- One being his teacher. She's basically this violent little kid that likes swinging around her metal pipe while speaking vulgarly nearly all the time. Oh, joy. The other two are his classmates- Maina and Eiri. Maina is this clumsy girl who apparently kills people unintentionally all the time. Wow, that's really wacky and funny. Furthermore, her personality and dialogue solely involve her saying "I'm sorry/I shouldn't have been born" nearly all the time and just completely caters to the type of people that eat up moeshit. Eiri is this supposedly skilled assassin who apparently killed six people, and that's really all there is to her. Three volumes in, and her personality is completely flat. Just like Maina, it usually involves her saying "Go die" or something along the line. Are you entertained yet?
Look, if you're going to introduce two relevant side characters, at least make their personality fairly normal so that there is an actual interaction between the MC and those characters. One being a flat character and the other being an overly apologetic moeblob isn't going to do anything. How does this even qualify as comedy? The farthest development Kyousuke goes with these two is him saying that he'll protect them or something. Flawless. But he's not the only one that's painfully generic- Every other side character is a walking trope. Kyousuke's sister is a completely generic yandere that plays the trope down to the tee, for example- Whereas Saki is that crazy noblewoman type of character.
The one and only decent character is Renko, and that's about the only positive thing about the series. While she's not exactly well-written, she at least fits with the theme of the story. She has a wacky personality and does a good job in giving off that strange vibe which is reflected by her character design. So yes, she's the only good (relatively speaking) character in this series because she's the only character that feels remotely psychotic without being a trope copypasta cardboard. Unfortunately, a single character cannot carry a series, and because of how utterly awful the MC is, the entire thing just gets dragged down.
Kyousuke's relevance in this series is excused by his false charge- Since he is labeled as a killer who murdered twelve people at the same time and that's apparently a very impressive record at the school, he is instantly given the 'popular' badge without him doing anything relevant. And at that point, it really does feel like a forced characterization because it's not about him interacting with other characters, but other characters just magnetizing towards him. All he ever really does is resolving a conflict by being fairly sensible and nice, and that's his entire character. The most generic of generic harem protagonists- There is not a speck of personality to be found. If there is one, it would be him being a complete puss- He actually legitimately cries and gets depressed when his little sister refuses to cook for him because they got in a small fight. The most significant thing he does in the first three volumes involve him calming down Renko all the time whenever she goes berserk. Incredibly interesting. And despite his complete lack of character, every female character is magnetized towards him- Renko, Maina, Eiri, Saki, Bob. I don't think there's enough wish fulfillment in this series yet.
As for the tone of this series- As I claimed earlier, this series is absolutely not "dark" or "grim" in any shape or form. Despite it being about a school full of murderers/assassins, there is very little to no murder/killing. In fact, what these characters like doing the best is talking about murdering/killing than actually doing it. You know, like those edgy middle school kids you see all the time on the internet. Because of that, the "threatening" tone of these supposedly terrifying characters is nowhere to be found because it doesn't feel real. In fact, it wouldn't be all that surprising if all these characters were sent to the school on false charges- Because that's what it feels like. And when there are actual murder attempts, they are usually just easily taken care of and are just glossed over like they were irrelevant. Clearly the series is not trying to be comedic in this department, so what is it doing, exactly? There is a huge difference between talking about doing something bad and actually doing something bad because the latter actually affects the characters in the long run, so why? What's the point?
Unfortunately, the problem doesn't end there. All the conflicts in this series have been so far, inconsequential (and mostly solved by Renko instead of Kyousuke), and the most significant character out of them all is Renko. Outside of Renko, there is little to no mystery or anything worth speculating over- That's how little plot this series has. You can argue this is a wacky comedy series, and that's fine- But if it's trying to present a plot, it's doing so at the pacing of an amputated snail. This is all the more offensive when Kyousuke just simply doesn't care about Renko's past and the school's shady intentions. He doesn't even care about the fact that he was enrolled on false charges that was likely caused by the school itself for his supposedly "impressive physical talents," which he barely makes any use of. Even the whole thing feels forced- It's like they couldn't come up with anything that made Kyousuke stand out, so all they could come up with was "eh he's strong I guess."
The school doesn't particularly care about him getting killed either because he has been under those threats, no matter how inconsequential they have turned out in the end, and later the shady people behind the school even regret having him enrolled in the school in the first place for interfering with Renko. Why not just kick him out, then? Oh right, they can't. He's the MC. All he cares about is graduating because he was promised to graduate normally as long as he doesn't commit any murder. This small possibility that he might commit a murder is also completely eliminated because there is very little to no murder outside of flashbacks and character backgrounds, so there is no speculation over that either. Completely boring.
Don't read this series expecting anything good- In the end, it's just yet another generic harem series with wacky unfunny overdone harem hijinx and unoriginal gags involving tit size. The supposed dark/gritty setting that this series promises is nowhere to be found, and is pretty much played for jokes nearly all the time outside of character TALKING about murdering people than actually doing it. And because of how mediocre this series is, it's guaranteed to get animated. I sure love this medium.
Psycome short for Psycho Love Comedy and as the name imply this is a story about psycho that fall in love with a healthy dose of comedy mixed.
Story - 8
The plot is very simple like you would found in another harem LN. A story about a man thrown into school and of course harem ensue. But instead of the usual school this time we have school filled with convicted murderer and psycho. Despite the usual harem cliche that always present here it is dialed up to a murderous degree.
Art - 8
The illustration is quite good here. The cover is atractive and the character design is
Character - 9
Now this is the best part of the series. Character here very charming. The best character here ia probably goes to Renko but other character is no slouch either. Renko aka the gas mask girl have very interesting personality. She is yandere but she isn't very shy to show her love. Part that make her interesting is how balanced her "yan" and "dere" part is when shown. Aside for her we have tsundere Eiri the red haired girl titled Murderer of Six. She is vitrolic best bud wuth Renko and always bantering about breast size. We also have dojiko who is very extreme cllumsy that she already kill three people due to her clumsines. There is also Syamaya the head of Public Moral Commite titled Murderer Princess because how much amount of her victim. There is also Ayaka a yandere imouto and of course our MC Kyousuke who is titled Murderer of Twelve. Aside for the main cast this also hqve many interesting character like our punching bag Mohican(real name unknown) and killer teacher(literally) Kurumiya.
Ennoyment - 9
The intrraction between character and antic of everu character is what make this very enjoyable. The way it played cliche to the murderous tone is also what make it good. Renko in particular is the best yandere that I've ever seen.
Overall - 9
If you want to read harem LN with a slight twist than usual then this is for you. For those who didn't like harem this series also have many other aspect that can still make you entertained.