cover image Sensor


Junji Ito, trans. from the Japanese by Jocelyne Allen. Viz, $19.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-974718-90-0

Ito (the Uzumaki series) retains his crown as manga king of body horror in this time-twisting thriller that expertly blends science fiction and religious occultism. Kyoko Byakuya, a young woman hiking around the volcanic Mount Sengoku in Japan, is drawn to a village covered in golden volcanic glass “hair” that grants the villagers—cultists of an Edo-period Christian missionary—telepathic abilities. Then the volcano erupts and spreads massive amounts of the golden hair over the surrounding area. Kyoko escapes with bizarre powers of her own, and a series of macabre paranormal events leads her, joined by plucky investigative journalist Wataru, around the country. Each chapter holds up on its own as a short horror story, and it’s chilling to watch the tendrils of fate slowly close in on Kyoko and Wataru as the cosmic horror accumulates. Yet, Ito introduces an unexpected note of optimism and light in the climactic action. As the creator notes in an afterword, “the characters might have been moving on their own for me for the first time.” This is a must-read for Ito’s fans, who will be reminded by this truly unpredictable offering that when he’s good, he’s gut-wrenchingly good. (Aug.)