cover image TAIMASHIN: Vol. 1


Hideyuki Kikuchi, . . ADV Manga, $14.98 (291pp) ISBN 978-1-4139-0036-1

Something is possessing innocent people and turning them into bloodlust-crazed zombies. It turns out the Outer God Yog-Sothoth—made sort of famous in H.P. Lovecraft's story "The Dunwich Horror"—is real and looking to take over the world. Fortunately, globe-trotting superstar acupuncturist Dr. Taima is on the job. Assisted by his gun-wielding, tight outfit–wearing nurse Maki Togetsu, Dr. Taima travels to the far-off land of Dunwich, Mass., to do battle with the minions of Cthulhu and save our reality from certain madness. One of the strengths of good manga is its ability to take a story that sounds ludicrous—like the battling Chinese chefs of Iron Wok Jan or the astronaut garbagemen of Planetes —and invest it with meaning and dramatic weight. Alas, this is not one of those books. While the story is appealing in its campy high concept—who wouldn't want to read about an acupuncturist who faces down the forces of darkness?—Kikuchi's story lacks character development, or any exploration of acupuncture or H.P Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos beyond what the fan base would know. Saitoh's art is sloppy and unremarkable, although it doesn't stint on violence or sexual imagery. (Oct.)