Shojo and monsters are no strangers to each other. Vampires are the most common of supernatural creatures featured but when one thinks of romance, zombies rarely come to mind. While Grand Guignol Orchestra injects the formula with an interesting premise, it does refrain from exploiting rotting corpses as love interests. In fact, the zombies are really just plot elements meant to further the story of the ambiguous relationship between the main characters of Eles and the androgynous Lucille.
In volume 2, readers are introduced to Lucille’s sister. The two siblings aren’t on the best of terms and sparks fly when she has him arrested. Later on, Eles and Lucille continue their journey to purify zombies with their music, sneaking into a convent inhabited by zombies.
Yuki’s signature style is on full display. Her ability to take an oft repeated story point such as a zombie apocalypse and make it unique is just a sliver of the skill displayed by the writer/ artist. Her characters are wonderfully twisted and enigmatic, making it impossible to guess their next move. It really says something when a young girl whose lived most of her life as a boy is the paradigm of normal.
If the shojo beat label didn’t appear on the cover, it would be difficult to discern the story’s genre given the amount of action Yuki pours into each volume. Sure there are hints to there being more between Lucille and Eles but really, Yuki prefers the slow burn, building up her world with everything falling into place after.
If you’re looking for a generic supernatural shojo title, this isn’t it. However if your interests lie outside the norm, Grand Guignol Orchestra should be music to the ears.