Accused of murdering his superior officer Muol is now prisoner 5772. As punishment he is condemned to serve as a gravedigger in a sinister graveyard. While planning his escape from this nightmare he befriends the mysterious Melia, the night grave keeper. Muol must decide if he will save her or make his escape before he has to dig his own grave.
Melia introduces herself to Muol
Umerareta Yami to Shoujo (Sugar Dark) shares many similarities with other supernatural dramatic mangas. Accused of murder, evil hiding in humanity, horror in the night...etc..I've read a lot of them. Despite the similarities I did find the uniqueness in Sugar Dark. There is a genuine mystery behind Melia. You think you have her figured out then you get to chapter nine/ten and say 'What the f***? This shite is disturbing. I don't know why I read this genre! Then you calm down and get back to reading because now you need to know where this will end.
What is the siinister dark which is buried by Muol?
I also appreciate how Umerareta Yami to Shoujo has an excellent character to chapter ratio. You have enough characters to fill the pages but not so many they never get any 'page' time. Or if this were a quilting example: enough design to make it aesthetically pleasing and interesting but not so much it looks like color vomit. Although the manga does keep you occasionally guessing about a character's intentions. Are they mischievous or devious? And what does it mean to take a life to gain one.
It does the job, the gore is okay, but falls flat of inspiritational
After looking over the manga one last time I have this to say: 1. The artwork (while at times intensely gory) didn't stand out for me. I think because at times it just seemed rather flat. I love when manga artists have something unique in their work. They can do the exact same scene as fifty others but something just screams out in your vision about their work. I just didn't see that in Sugar Dark. It was well-done just not outstanding.
Muol and Melia are what makes this manga stand out
2. The relationship between Melia and Muol is the core of this manga and what makes it stand out. Forget being from two different worlds, they are almost like beings from two different Twilight Zones. And there are no romantic shortcuts when it comes to a gravedigger and grave keeper stuck here. I do have to admire Muol for for not giving up. Not many men could stomach what he sees happen to the girl he cares for. Without these two Umerareta Yami no Shoujo may just have faded into the horror manga background for me, To the Reader I am going to warn readers RIGHT NOW! If blood, gore, dismemberment, and horrifying scenarios disturb you then this manga is not for you. We aren't talking 'o someone got killed.' What I am saying is 'in detail intestines being ripped out. Arms cut off. Several pages of gory slow murder. Lots of tears with snot and nudity. Not sexy nudity! The type of nudity which just amplifies the goriness. When it comes to ripping a body apart Sugar Dark intends to give you the complete bloody picture.
Horror genre manga lovers should enjoy Umerareta Yami no Shoujo. You should be horrified. If not, then that is a tad horrifying in itself and you may want to get checked out. If you don't mind the gore then mystery genre fans will enjoy uncovering the truth behind Melia, The Dark, and what happens behind the strange masked figures.
Can love exist in such a hopeless place?
There is definite romance in Sugar Dark. Even the 'blushing I accidentally saw her naked' moment. Though if you are thinking it will be starry eyes and roses you might want to reconsider. After all, they are known as the grave keeper and gravedigger. And when Muol says he would do anything to escape, it does mean ANYTHING. The first time I read Sugar Dark (several years ago) even I was shocked to near tears for Melia. Which is near impossible for someone who sits dry-eyed through tearjerkers. Muol and Melia are not your standard manga romance characters but there is something special about these unique souls.
Name(s):シュガーダーク 埋められた闇と少女; Sugar Dark; Sugar Dark 被埋葬的黑暗; Sugar Dark: The Buried Darkness and the Girl; Sugar Dark: The Girl Buried in Darkness; Sugar Dark: The Girl Filled with Darkness; Sugar Dark: Umerareta Yami to Shōjo
Author: Arai Enji
Artist: Ooiwa Enji
Genre: Horror; supernatural; fantasy; suspense; tragedy, mystery, romance