Review of Sensor by Junji Ito
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Synopsis: Horror master Junji Ito explores a new frontier with a grand cosmic horror tale in which a mysterious woman has her way with the world!
Did she wander in? Or was she drawn in…?
A woman walks alone at the foot of Mount Sengoku. A man appears, saying he's been waiting for her, and invites her to a nearby village. Surprisingly, the village is covered in hairlike volcanic glass fibers, and all of it shines a bright gold. At night, when the villagers perform their custom of gazing up at the starry sky, countless unidentified flying objects come raining down on them--the opening act for the terror about to occur!
Review: I would count myself as an intermediate manga and even graphic novel reader. Continually I find myself drawn to Junji Ito's mastery of horror manga. Ito's work ranges from a number of short stories and collections, and has several on-screen adaptations.
The first thing anyone will notice when you pick up this book is the artwork. It is captivating and creepy and you want to see more of it. The imagery is so vivid I found myself forgetting I was reading a book and not watching something on a screen. The story keeps you in suspense and wondering what's next so it was not hard for me to read this one sitting.
There are shorter chapters that introduce new aspects to the mystery and you're never quite sure how it exactly fits together. One of the chapters that I found most interesting was Battle at Bishagaura. The main character, Kyoto Byakuya, is found standing on the edge of a cliff by a cafe worker. She says that many people come to the cliff to commit suicide and the owner of the cafe set up a place so that these people could have somewhere to go first and talk to someone. In this town there are these gross spiders, called suicide bugs . This is because when you are walking they jump under your feet to get squished. The two women stepped on one of these spiders and discover the spiders are people who committed suicide themselves. They begin to chase the main character and they all jump off of the cliff together. This whole plot line is so interesting but is not further explained. What are these spiders really? How did people get trapped in the spiders? Why did they jump off the cliff and never return again?
If you are interested in the macabre, in manga, or want to start reading them, Junji Ito's Sensor is a great place to start.