Genre: Horror Seinen
Year Release in English: 2013
Source: Viz Manga Subscription
Content warnings: Death of parents, harm to children, body horror, violence against animals, arson, starvation, stalking, natural disasters, debris, loss of home
It is the year 2023 and I have finally read my first Junji Ito upon subscribing to Viz’s new manga subscription for more horror and classics.
And wow, is this one a horror classic for several reasons. One, there is a clear sense of dream and how far Ito pushes the human form to creature something that skirts possibility and tips over into the edge of madness. Two, the children are written with the correct amount of hubris and sense of survival that makes Kirie’s happening so compelling to watch. Things just kind of happen in her vicinity and while she is curious, she’s as much in danger as the rest of her town.
Three, the way plot details escalates recalls previous horrors and happenings from previous chapters. It’s sequential in a way that’s really satisfying and makes for a horrifying progression. The concept of dread crumbs is executed perfectly in some of the most unambiguous art I’ve ever seen.
I’m absolutely excited to read more of this horror master’s work.