The story starts of with 9 boys, all in the Hikari Club, who are driven to make the ultimate Artificial Intelligence, and will stop at nothing to create it. The leader of the club, Zera, is an attractive boy who is very sick and twisted. He has complete control of the members. The second-in-command and previous leader, Tamiya, is not happy with the way Zera is controlling everyone, so he tries to reclaim the club, and eventually everything begins to crumble and turn into chaos.
All right, if you have plans reading this manga, here’s a warning: it has a lot of gore…..gore, like you have seen in those Final Destination movies. If you cannot stomach that, then, you better wait for the anime adaptation which are comedic shorts and probably has toned down the violence.
The story may look simple: nine boys building a robot, which was later instructed to abduct a beautiful girl. But eventually, the story went deeper where there are a lot of mistrust and betrayal among the group members which boils down to a very Lord of the Flies plot with Battle Royale shout outs. Plus there’s forbidden love between the robot and the girl, who has seen the horrors of what the club leader, Zera, can do.
Asides from the girl and the robot, the characters who have more focus on this story are Zera, Tamiya and Jaibo. Zera is indeed a very disturbed fellow who is a Hitler poser. How he became like that is explained in the prequel. And, I’ll be honest, you will never like him when you read this manga before the prequel. Tamiya seems to be the “most normal” member but he seems to get along with Zera’s crazy ideas out of compliance and fear. Of course, he used to be the leader and founder of the club until Zera declared himself as the ruler. It is only after the robot was built when he realized that Zera has gone too far. And it gets worse when Tamiya has to make a terrible choice which results to go against Zera and further breaking the club apart. Jaibo, however, is a mystery. He has an obsession with Zera and doesn’t mind killing other people. The other club members don’t do much except for Dentaku (who helped in creating the robot) and Nico (who is loyal to Zera).
The art is very beautiful and realistic. I heard from someone who said the boys aren’t really attractive even though, their lips are red. But at least, it’s not very moe or purely bishonen. If you want a moe with gore, go with Higurashi and Umineko.
There’s also some amounts of BL but that’s between Zera and Jaibo. For the rest of the boys, Tamiya cares for his friends but we all know how their friendship end in a gruesome and tragic way.
BTW, this manga is based from a Tokyo Grand Guigol play in 1985. Grand Guigol was originally a theater in Paris which features graphic violence and horror and probably inspires plays like Sweeney Todd.