Author: Junji Ito
Publisher: VIZ Media
First Published: August 17, 2021
Genres: Horror, Shojo
Horror master Junji Ito explores a new frontier with a grand cosmic horror tale in which a mysterious woman has her way with the world!
Did she wander in? Or was she drawn in…?
A woman walks alone at the foot of Mount Sengoku. A man appears, saying he’s been waiting for her, and invites her to a nearby village. Surprisingly, the village is covered in hairlike volcanic glass fibers, and all of it shines a bright gold. At night, when the villagers perform their custom of gazing up at the starry sky, countless unidentified flying objects come raining down on them, the opening act for the terror about to occur.
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 the travels of this mysterious young woman, but it never fully comes to fruition. The second chapter had cult-like religious imagery and the fervent obsession with this singular girl was reminiscent of Remina so it was difficult not to draw parallels. There are some story beats that are good, I particularly enjoyed the chapter with the leaping bugs, but as a whole
It goes without saying that Ito’s artwork is phenomenal, he creates wild imagery that is as fantastical as it is gross, that will always be the strongest part of his work. This wasn’t one of his strongest works in terms of the narrative, and I found myself feeling conflicted overall. As a piece of cosmic horror it was pretty cool, but never reaches the heights of his earlier works. Not bad and I would still recommend it to Ito fans, but would not recommend it as a starting point for his work.
Trigger Warning: Violence, Suicide