Fragments of Horror

Junji Ito. Viz, $17.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4215-8079-1
Visceral horror dominates this mature-audiences short story collection that makes up for what it lacks in variety and quality of storytelling with creepy visuals. Though Ito (Uzumaki) is best known for his inhuman creatures, “Gentle Goodbye,” about a family who wills their loved ones into a shadow life after death, shows that he can be just as effective when restrained—focusing on facial emotions, for instance. Like all good horror, the realistic depictions becomes nightmarish (there are no visual exaggerations common to manga); Ito can create images that might make the most unflappable reader flinch. But the heavy use of the “evil woman” trope is a major problem, and more than a bit sexist. Seeing the powerful images only Ito can draw—a lifeless face surrounded by eyes all over the page, a possessed girl dripping blood—should trump the outdated plot devices for forgiving readers. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/18/2015
Release date: 06/16/2015
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