Velveteen & Mandala is absolutely messed up to it's core but in the right way. It feels like a B Grade Japanese Psychological Experimental film more than a conventional seinen manga. The art is a bit hazy and the manga has a tendency of using weird angles to focus on the characters. This adds to the whole vibe of how the main characters are messed up in the head due to their upbringing in this dystopian Tokyo that is midst of a war.
The story centers around two highschool girls, Velveteen and Mandala who lives inside a tank on the riverside just outside the city. They are tasked by a certain powerful group to exterminate Zombie like creatures that are being dropped by huge airplanes on the riverside where they live. The main two characters aren't friends, they are not really enemies either. For the most part Velveteen loves to hate Mandala but they seem to always fall back to this weird state where they keep on working and living together.
This manga isn't for everyone. I mean it's filled with every messed up shenanigans you can think of. I mean this manga has gore, profanity, necrophilia, attempted gangrape?.....I don't know what you can call that. so you get that you need a strong stomach to digest these. This manga is laced with quirky and sharp dark humor with inappropriate but chuckle generating comments on our lifestyle and the downward spiral of humanity under such conditions of dystopia. This manga is pretty pretentious and for the most part the themes are all over the place when put into a context of a complete story but it's the type of pretentiousness that actually helps the manga to standout.
One of the things that I genuinely love about this manga is how brilliantly this manga can change it's tone from inappropriate jokes to such messed up reality with sharp turns that makes you go like that's quite funny to Fu** that's messed up!
It's not a manga that's perfect and a lot of it is up for interpretation so definitely people will have different opinions. If someone comes out and says that it's a pretentious gibberish dumpster fire, I won't really complain. It's upto the individual reader to decide what they take from this manga. I myself absolutely loved the entire thing despite it's shortcoming and although the themes individually can be very intriguing, they start falling apart when placed under a larger picture. Reading the manga made me feel the same feelings as I did when I had first watched Eraserhead and it's a damn good feeling atleast for me. It's only one volume that's just 14 chapters so maybe give it a shot.