Dementia 21

Shintaro Kago, trans. from the Japanese by Rachel Matt Thorne. Fantagraphics, $24.99 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-68396-106-2
Heroic but hapless home health aide Yukie Sakai falls into a rabbit hole of bizarre adventures in this demented manga, which collects 17 twisted tales. When a jealous colleague sabotages Yukie’s spotless service record, Yukie is forced to brave a series of absurd trials: caring for a senile patient with the power to destroy the world, escaping sentient dentures bent on mind control, participating in a battle royale of elderly people, forcefully aging a youthful woman for the National Standardized Senior Citizen Exam, and aiding and abetting a client who commits crimes by hiding everything (including a body) in her mother’s wrinkles. Showing influences from Salvador Dali to Katsuhiro Otomo, the combination of Kago’s precise, expressive, and kinetic line work with his wacky storytelling is at turns engrossing and repulsive. Although these unpredictable short episodes can become tedious if read in one sitting, mature fans of unconventional manga will appreciate the surreal spiral of body horror, tragicomedy, and dark humor. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2018
Release date: 08/01/2018
Genre: Comics
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