GOTH (ゴス,Gosu) is a Japanese horror novel written by Otsuichi about two high school students fascinated by murder. The novel won the Honkaku Mystery Award in 2003. It was adapted into a manga by Kendi Oiwa. Both were published in Japan by Kadokawa, and were published in English by Tokyopop in October and September, 2008. In 2008, the novel was adapted into a film of the same title directed by Gen Takahashi. The manga and novel was rereleased in North America by VIZ Media in August 2015.
The novel contains a series of six short stories about two high school students: a boy who remains unnamed until late in the story, and a girl named Yoru Morino. Both share a similar interest in gruesome murders. While the stories were originally published in a single hardcover edition, they were later published in two bunko volumes. Tokyopop's release follows the original one-volume format. The manga adaptation, by Kendi Oiwa, eliminates the Dog storyline, and combines Voice and Twins, with Morino taking Natsumi's role in the final story.
Goth (暗黒系,Ankokukei, Dark Type) - Morino finds a diary written by a serial killer. It describes a third victim that has yet to be discovered, so she and the narrator go to look at it. Morino then begins dressing like the third victim, and a few days later, sends a text message to the narrator, which reads only, "Help."
Wristcut (リストカット事件,Risutokatto Jiken, The Wristcut Incident) - Flashback to before Morino and the narrator were friends. After finding a doll with no hands in the science lab garbage can, the narrator breaks into the science teacher's house, convinced he has been the one cutting hands off people of all ages in the city. He then steals the teacher's hand collection, and plants evidence to suggest Morino was the one who stole them - because he wants Morino's hand, and the scar from when she cut her wrist.
Dog (犬,Inu, Dog) - The narrator investigates a series of dog kidnappings after his sister discovers a pit filled with their bodies. A young girl and her pet dog have been plotting to defend themselves against her mother's abusive boyfriend.
Twins (記憶,Kioku, Memories) - Morino has been having trouble sleeping, and is looking for a rope to put around her neck - the right rope will help her sleep. At the narrator's urging, she tells the story of how she and her twin sister, Yū, often pretended to be dead...until Yū accidentally hanged herself.
Grave (土,Tsuchi, Soil) - Saeki spends all his free time gardening, digging holes to try to control his obsession with burying people alive. He's already given in once, and killed a young neighbor boy, drowning him in his coffin. Now he's snatched a high school girl off the street - according to her ID, her name is Yoru Morino.
Voice (声,Koe, Voice) - Natsumi's older sister was recently found chopped to pieces in an abandoned hospital. A few weeks later, a mysterious high school boy gives Natsumi a tape - a message from her sister, recorded just before she was murdered. If she wants the rest, she will have to come to the hospital, and allow him to murder her.
The narrator. A high school student obsessed with death. Said his passions are to "haunt crime scenes to look for details" and to "stand where a body had been not long ago". Yearns to watch Morino's death.
A high school student obsessed with death. Tends to keep to herself and not talk to anyone. Befriends the narrator after an incident involving Mr. Shinohara. Has a glaring white scar on her wrist.
Morino's science teacher. Has an obsession with hands.
The Cafe Manager
A manager at Morino's favorite cafe. He is never named.
A man who lives near Morino. He's obsessed with burying people alive.
Yoru's twin sister.
Her older sister was recently murdered, and her world has fallen apart. When a mysterious boy approaches her with a tape of her sister's final words, she can't stop herself from listening.
A friend of Natsumi's from junior high, he is a student at the same school as the boy who gave her the tape. While he seems outgoing and friendly, at the end of the novel he is revealed to be the previously unnamed narrator.
Written by Otsuichi, GOTH was published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten (ISBN 4-04-873390-7) in 2002, and later released in a two volume bunkobon version named Goth Yoru no Shō (GOTH 夜の章) (ISBN 4-04-425304-8) and Goth Boku no Shō (GOTH 僕の章) (ISBN 4-04-425305-6).
Tokyopop licensed the novel for an English-language release in North America, and published it on October 7, 2008.
The manga adaption was licensed by Tokyopop and published on September 9, 2008.
It is also licensed in Italy by Planet Manga, in France by Pika Édition, in Germany by Egmont Manga & Anime, and in Russia by Comics Factory.
Based upon the novel by Otsuichi, Goth is about two morbid high school students who share a fascination with murder. Kamiyama (Kanata Hongō) is an outwardly, friendly and popular boy who hides his potentially sociopathic nature with a carefree, happy attitude. Loner Morino (Rin Takanashi), on the other hand, does little to hide her strange nature; she never smiles, does not interact with her classmates, and wears a long-sleeved, black school uniform even during the middle of summer. While these two seem to share little in common and do not interact with each other in front of their peers, their shared interest in death and murder has turned them into an unusual duo. Initially happy to exchange books on morbid subjects, a series of recent murders spark their interest and they begin investigating the killer. This serial killer has a fondness for cheerful young women and, after severing their left hand as a trophy, displays their dead bodies in public locations to be discovered. After Morino discovers the killer’s notebook in a local café, the two use it to see the corpses for themselves before discovery and attempt to discern his identity.