Monday, November 26, 2007

Gyo, vol.1, 2nd ed.

By Junji Ito
Published in the US by Viz

Slugline: A man-made horror story more in the vein of "Godzilla" than"Ringu."

This story starts out well enough, traditionally creepy, then bizarre, and then a good chase sequence. After that, things start to lose momentum a bit and an awkward scientific explanation retroactively drains the tension from the earlier chase scene. The story sticks to its guns, but by the end I was losing interest as the loose ends began to pile up. I was also starting to remember the “Land Shark” skit from SNL, which was distracting. (For people who are too young to remember, here is a Naruto AMV set to the original skit. There is a naughty word on the screen at the very end, so just close your eyes for that bit.)

The characters included a standard-issue girlfriend, a mildly crazy scientist and a guy. The funniest inadvertently funny line came when the girlfriend worried the guy would leave her, when she got sick with The Terrible Disease Humans Invented, because she wasn’t pretty anymore. Yes, dear, your being dead will have nothing to do with it, I’m sure.

Sea critters on legs swarming up the beach is a weird and potent image, but the lack of monster motivations and the sketchy scientific side don’t help at all. There were some good moments, but on the whole this was a mild disappointment. Maybe all will be better explained in the next volume.

Gyo, vol.1, 2nd ed. is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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