GRAPHIC NOVELS

Lovesickness

Viz Media. Apr. 2021. 408p. tr. from Japanese by Jocelyn Allen . ISBN 9781974719846. $22.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
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Ito (Remina) again proves himself a master of modern horror in this collection of 10 stories. Five of the stories depict a town’s descent into chaos after the suicide of a woman who practices an ancient custom of waiting at a crossroads to ask her fortune from the first person to pass by. It’s revealed that the woman was compelled to take her life by an ethereal black-clad boy who bears a striking resemblance to a teenager named Ryusuke. The boy becomes the object of unwanted attention that quickly escalates to frenzy and builds to a gruesome climax. Ito reveals a talent for macabre humor in a pair of tales starring six ghoulish orphans who only pause their torment of one another to attack unsuspecting outsiders. Of the remaining stories, “The Rib Woman” proves the most memorable, blending body horror and supernatural mystery when a teenager considering cosmetic surgery, to change the shape of her torso, is plagued by strange music that only she can hear.
VERDICT Ito’s boundless imagination and his skill for evoking dread and visceral terror are on full display in this collection, which is sure to be embraced by his wildly devoted and rapidly growing fanbase.
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