Review by Ian Keogh
In Greek mythology Eros and Psyche’s is a classic love story ending unusually well, although not without trauma, and it’s supplied by Maria Llovet midway through Eros/Psyche. The cover and title here indicate an updating, with the parts played by newcomer Sara and Silje, who attend an exclusive boarding school.
The school seems more and more sinister as the pages turn, with uncomfortable or meaningless rituals, conversations on some topics forbidden and the threat of expulsion with no notice. Only pupils are ever shown, exclusively girls, and Llovet cultivates an unsettling tone from the start, with an elusive and distanced narrative hinting at things to come accompanying single panel illustrations.
The delicate beauty of the art carries Eros/Psyche a long distance, but eventually the constant hinting at events and process without any explanations becomes tiresome. Oblique statements and references signify emotional changes, and while some ambiguity is spice for a good story, so little about Eros/Psyche is unambiguous, which is especially frustrating when it concerns life changing events. Throughout everything Sara and Silje exchange smouldering glances and the presumption is that between the panels more than friendship has developed, so it’s a surprise revelation around two-thirds of the way through that this hasn’t been the case. However, for all the longing glances and mysterious practices not enough time has been invested in providing anyone with a personality. It’s noted in the captions that this person may be more inclined to question rules than others, but there’s no happiness.
An explanation of sorts occurs in the final scenes, but it’s as elusive as much of the remainder, raising more questions that will go unanswered. It leaves Eros/Psyche as a frustrating curiosity, beautiful to look at, but greatly more style than substance.