• Horror Manga Review

    Sensor

    My Review: Cosmic horror and cults, two of some of my favorite themes of Junji Ito’s work. Sensor, originally titled Travelogue of the Succubus is a mish mash of ideas that tie together into a bizarre story. The first story starts with a beautiful young woman stumbles upon a haunted town that venerates the “angel hair” that falls from a nearby volcano, this story was wild but interesting.We must view the universe, appreciate it, sate ourselves on it. This manga started off as an idea that gradually evolved farther and farther away from its premise. Ito himself writes in his epilogue that the story was originally envisioned to be about…

  • Manga Review

    Look Back

    Warnings: Violence My Thoughts Why do we create art? For enjoyment? For praise? To compete with our rival, or to live up to our idol? For money, a successful career? Creating art can be filled with joy, but it can also be painstaking too. This is the idea that lies at the heart of Look Back, a thoughtful one-shot manga that pays homage to the manga industry. Look Back follows two young girls, both aspiring manga artists, and how their art brought them together. Fujino is the best manga artist in her class, she lives for the praise of the people around her. Yet she finds herself upstaged by her…

  • Manga Review

    Goth

    Warnings: Violence, Gore, Nudity My Thoughts Never have my hopes for a manga ever been dashed to this degree, Goth is one of the absolute worst mangas that I had ever read. Hot off the heels of finishing the original light novel, I decided to give the manga a try because of how much the novel had made me feel like I was reading an episode of an anime. I thought that the story structure and complex mysteries might have done well in the form of a manga, but I was sorely mistaken. Even if you were to take the manga on its own, it is only okay at best…

  • Manga Review

    Uzumaki

    Also by this author: Gyo, Tomie, Venus in the Blind Spot My Thoughts A horror manga about spirals – it sounds strange, doesn’t it? What makes Uzumaki so brilliant is that it takes something abstract and transforms it into the stuff of nightmares, utterly corrupting one of the most beautiful patterns in nature: the spiral. When I had first started reading this comic I was skeptical, how could a spiral be scary? There is nothing sinister about a spiral, just as there is nothing all that unusual about the town and its inhabitants. However, there is an air of unease that hangs over the mundane town, an evil far greater…

  • Manga Review

    Venus in the Blind Spot

    Also by this author: Frankenstein, No Longer Human, Shiver My Thoughts I am always overjoyed when I see another Junji Ito collection being brought over to English, Ito has such a large body of work and there are so many gems that there is always a wealth of great stories to read. Venus in the Blind Spot really is a “best of” collection and includes some of Ito’s strongest and most famous works as well as some one-shots that were published as standalone works in various magazines. This collection includes some of Ito’s most incisive critiques of Japanese culture. The Sad Tale of the Principal Post is a short but…

  • Manga Review

    Shiver

    Also by this author: Dissolving Classroom, Fragments of Horror, Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu My Thoughts Shiver is a collection of Junji Ito’s personal picks for his best stories and I honestly have to agree. The one-shot’s chosen for this collection really are some of Ito’s all-time best. His commentary about his inspirations were a wonderful bonus and gives some insight into his creative process. Old favorites from previous collections such as Glyceride and The Hanging Balloons make an appearance in this collection and I was happy to see them included, as they are ones that have really stuck with me since I read them. One of the…