Remina by author and Illustrator Junji Ito
Remina is the latest horror manga from Junjo Ito. If you’re unfamiliar with Junji Ito you should remedy that very soon. He is widely considered the master of the horror manga genre. He has written and illustrated several long and short form stories that are certain to disturb and entertain you. Order yourself anything that’s been translated into English (or whatever your preferred language is).
Remina steps slightly outside of Ito’s standard formula. It’s more of an apocalyptic thriller than a body horror or supernatural horror. It’s about a society that goes mad when it discovers that a celestial body is heading right for them and will destroy all of earth very soon. The whole meteor on it’s way to destroy us all cliche, but hey, it’sa classic for a reason.
The scientist who discovers this doomsday projectile names the incoming planet after his young daughter, Remina. This shoves young Remina into a very unwanted spotlight. Everyone now associates her with their upcoming demise. Not cool, dad. I guess I understand what his initial sentiment was but it would be like naming a fatal disease after her. Not the best way to memorialize someone.
As we now clearly know to be true, people act a damn fool when they fear the apocalypse. People buy up toilet paper and guns and scream at their neighbors and on twitter. The town in this mana quickly resorts to violent and primitive behavior in a vain attempt to thwart their fears. Young Remina is unfortunately at the center of it all.
Since this manga does not have a lot of the typical Ito body dysmorphia the images are not as grotesque as you may expect from him. Everything is more down to earth and realistic. The entire book reads more as a violent satire than a true horror story. Regardless, Ito is a great writer, it doesn’t matter what genre. Additionally, without attempting new things any author is at risk of becoming stale. It’s good to see him stepping outside of the box.
Remina is a quick read, no more than two hours are likely necessary to complete the entire book. Much of the story is told through the pictures, not through the dialogue.
It is entertaining, but the fear of it comes from how closely it mirrors so much behavior we have all seen through the year 2020 and beyond. People are naturally bad in a crisis. Fear clouds judgement and self preservation wins out for most individuals. There are very few heroes present when a mob breaks out.
Remina is not the best representation of Ito’s work as a whole but it is still a well written and illustrated manga. Perfect for new or old fans alike.
4/5 suns ☀️☀️☀️☀️
For a non Junji Ito horror manga check out The Drifting Classroom
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Buy it here: Remina (Junji Ito)