3.467 out of 5 from 24 votes
Not every historical event or figure will make it into the history books. Often, influential people and fascinating events fall to the wayside, where they are quickly buried beneath the sands of time. Baseball legend Ty Cobb, renowned inventor Nicola Tesla, and Typhoid Mary - a woman responsible for spreading the lethal typhoid fever during her career as a cook - are just a few significant figures that are often forgotten entirely... until now.
Down in the Mississippi delta, RJ has a stable life and loving wife, but what he really wants is to play the blues better than anyone around - a dream he'd be willing to give up just about anything to attain. One night at the juke he hears a rumor that if a man stands at the crossroads at midnight and plays a song, the devil will appear and transform him into an expert bluesman in exchange for his soul. Later, in a drunken stupor, RJ accidentally does just that, dooming his happy life. With nothing to return to, he sets off on the road where he'll face gangsters, a small prohibition town determined to lynch him, and the devil himself.
A couple of chapters from Lives of Eccentrics reminded my of Me and the Devil Blues, but the most obvious similarities were in the chapter on baseball legend Ty Cobb. Cobb is exactly like most of the villains in MatDB: violent tendencies, every emotion contorts his face, unrelenting egotism and racism. Additionally, both are historical, and most of the stories in both take place in early 1900s America, a setting that's rare in manga/anime.
When Rohan Kishibe was seventeen he heard a rumor about the most evil painting in existence - one that uses a pigment darker than black, and is stored safely in the Louvre where it can't harm anyone. Ten years later, the man remembers the tale and decides to investigate for himself, but when he arrives in Paris he finds the painting hidden away in the bowels of the museum, in a wing thought abandoned for decades. What terrors await Rohan beneath the Louvre?
Rohan at the Louvre and the Winchester Mystery House chapter in Lives of Eccentrics (though a couple others are also similar) feel practically identical. Both are bizarre, modern-feeling ghost stories set in labyrinthian structures (that actually exist), and have other ties to reality as well. The pacing, atmosphere, and art style are identical as well. If you enjoyed one, definitely look into the other.