meta: Horror


2019


'Tomie': The Infinite Bad Penny  
Like all great horror, Junji Ito's now-classic series about an undying supernatural siren has something to say other than "boo!"
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Katsuhiro Ōtomo's 'Domu': A Child's Book Of Nightmares 
A shame that any of Katsuhiro Ōtomo's work should still be out of print, especially this precusor to 'AKIRA' that pits psionic warriors against each other in a high-rise apartment complex
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'Tetsuo II: Body Hammer': Metamorphoses 
Shinya Tsukamoto's follow-up (side-quel?) to his immortal debut is not quite as arresting or inspired, but it has many fascinating aspects all the same
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'Tetsuo: The Iron Man': Full Metal Mutation 
Thirty years later, Shinya Tsukamoto's frenzied masterwork of cyberpunk body horror still seethes like nothing else on film
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Bonten Taro's 'Badass Babe! Sex & Fury & Other Stories': The Girl With The Hanafuda Tattoo 
An eclectic collection of manga work from a tattoo artist, folk singer, and quasi-underworld figure until now only marginally known in the West
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'One Cut Of The Dead / Kamera o tomeru na!': This Camera Cannot Be Stopped, Ever! 
Not just a love letter to the cinematic underdogs who pull off amazing things with sheer sweat, it is one of those amazing things pulled off with sheer sweat
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'Dororo': Take (Back) Another Little Piece Of My Heart 
Osamu Tezuka's feudal-era supernatural epic manga gives us two antiheroes, mutilated in body and spirit alike, both seeking wholeness
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2018


Tsutomu Nihei's 'Abara': A Dead-Tech Sampler 
This one-shot story from the creator of 'BLAME!' and 'Knights Of Sidonia' serves as a useful entry point to the man's carbon-black universe of Giger-goth techno-body-horror
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'AKIRA' At 30-Something: The Manga At The End Of The World 
On having a reckoning with the god-emperor of modern manga, in a restored English-language edition at last
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Let's Film This Again: 'Vampire Hunter D' 
Yes, it's been done before, but the possibilities of all-new adaptations of Hideyuki Kikuchi's long-running gothic-Western-punk light novel series are wider than ever
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Patreon 'Perfect Blue': Even Better Than The Real Thing 
Satoshi Kon's hallucinatory, jolting feature film debut still electrifies -- all the more so in light of how its recently translated source novel was a sub-'Silence Of The Lambs' stalk-and-slash thriller
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'Devilman Crybaby': Sympathy From The Devil 
Maverick director Masaaki Yuasa retells one of Gō Nagai's infamous operas of ultraviolence, with Yuasa adding both his trademark psychedelic visuals and a story that ultimately aims to break your heart, not just turn your stomach
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2017


Gō Tanabe And The Hounds Of Love(craft) 
If the rest of Gō Tanabe's manga adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft's horror classics are as good as this first volume, we're overdue for seeing more of one of manga's thus-far hidden treasures
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'Wolf Guy': Bark At The Moon 
A truly strange specimen from Sonny Chiba's filmography, and an illuminating early example of how manga adaptations were a perfect fit for 1970s exploitation cinema from Japan
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2016


'Berserk' (2016): What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted? 
The return of Kentarō Miura's violent fantasy epic to the little screen brings with it a fidelity to its strong characterization and powerful story -- and a renewed appreciation of all that was problematic the first time
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Patreon 'Aoi Bungaku: Sakura No Mori No Mankai No Shita [In The Forest, Under Cherries In Full Bloom]': The Heart's Filthy Lesson 
Ango Sakaguchi's classic story, a mix of 'farce, fable, and mystery' (and horror) is brought to life with outlandish style and color -- and always with one eye cocked towards its heart of darkness
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'Empire of Corpses': Dead Man's Party 
Label anything 'steampunk' and the label tends to take over, but this fantasy from the late lamented Project Itoh is about more than just clockworks and longcoats
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'Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace': Darker Than You Think 
Edogawa Rampo's 'erotic-grotesque' horror stories are remixed for the (post)modern day in this sinister, surreal, and colorful adventure
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'Kizumonogatari': Came Back Haunted 
Freshly translated into English, Nisioisin's novel of vampires and hapless human thralls is catnip for fans of his 'Monogatari' series, but everyone else faces an uphill climb
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2015


'Tokyo Ghoul': The Inhuman Condition 
It's tough sledding at first due to its focus on a hapless protagonist, but the way 'Tokyo Ghoul' picks up steam to redeem itself is impressive
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'Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust': Beyond The Pale 
Adapted from the third novel in the 'D' series, 'Bloodlust' tops its source material, the earlier animated 'D' film, and a good deal of the competition that's come along since
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'Vampire Hunter D': Wanted, Undead Or Alive 
There's little question 'D' helped open anime to the West, but its status as an artifact of its moment in time has only become more stark over the years
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The First Rule Of 'Lychee Light Club' Is You Don't Talk About 'Lychee Light Club' 
Usamaru Furuya's Grand Guignol horrorshow weeds out all but the sternest stomachs with its transgressive story and gory art -- but is the true test of a piece of work how quickly it empties the room?
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Let's Animate This: 'Dogura Magura' 
Yumeno Kyusaku's masterpiece of surreal horror has been filmed, and even adapted to manga, but its dreamy evil makes it perfectly suited to an anime version
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2014


'Hellsing Ultimate': Or, The Dracula-Vs.-Nazi-Vampire-Burning-London-To-The-Ground Blues 
Looking back over this legendary and now-concluded OVA series, it's striking to realize how it all amounted to a great deal less than it might have seemed
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