Gyo by Junji Ito
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I like weird. I truly do. But I'm not a big fan of trying-so-hard-to-be-scary-that-it's-silly. Nor am I a big fan of stretching credulity to the complete breaking point. The number of far-fetched "coincidences" in Junji Ito's Gyo- that the main character's uncle is so tied in with this worldwide threat, that the "stench" follows the female second (Kaori) across islands and it's only her, at first, and no one else, who can detect the coming disaster. I didn't buy it. The art was incredible, the story too long and drawn out and just plain dumb. I enjoyed the weird flourishes, especially the circus, which came out of nowhere, had almost nothing to do with the rest of the story, and still seemed like the strongest section of the entire book.
At the end of this are two shorts. The second, "The Enigma of Amigara Fault," was outstanding: a creepy, existentialism-soaked story of inevitability and cosmic dread that really got me thinking and really did cause me fear, unlike the rest of the book. Had all the main body been as startlingly good as "The Enigma of Amigara Fault," I would be giving this book my highest rating.
Alas . . .
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