Month: March 2018

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    Used Record

    I’ve never heard anything like it before. The girl’s voice sounds detached, but there’s a strange intonation somehow…

    Nakayama describes the music from the record โ€” Used Record

    What is Used Record manga about?

    Used Record is a short horror manga story from famed Mangaka Junji Ito. It follows a girl who sneaks an old record out of her friend’s house, after that friend refused to let her make a copy.

    The song on the record tends to emotionally move all who hear it in a very deep and powerful way. You could say that they become obsessed with it.

    The story takes place over the course of about an hour or so by my guess. What we see is the havoc that is caused between a selection of unrelated people that the main character, Nakayama, crosses paths with.

    More haunting than horror

    This short manga contains no graphic horror elements, save for the killing of one character with a rock. Instead it focuses more on the haunting aspects of the record itself. This untitled record could be considered a song from beyond the grave. As the short story progresses, we find out a little bit more about the origin of the record, which up till now has been a mystery.

    Although the story is a short one, it still feels like it has a big history to it. I couldn’t help but allow my mind to wander around the mythology of it. How had this record made its way from its unusual recording to the main characters? If there were more recorded at the same time, where are they and what effects are they having on the people who have them?

    In Summary

    Used record is the first story in a collection of short stories by Junji Ito. This collection is called Shiver, and is available to buy here. Although Ito is in his prime with his more grotesque depictions of horror, this story is a good example of his ability to tell a spooky tale without all the gore.

    Like with some of his more famous works, this one deals with the idea of obsession. Like the men who obsess over Tomie, or the people of Kurouzucho who become obsessed with spirals in Uzumaki. But unlike those larger overarching stories, Used Record tells it’s story in a very condensed format, ideal for a quick 5 minute read.

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    Can’t Give It Up by Ekkah

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    The Enigma of Amigara Fault

    That hole was my silhouette! It was based on me. I swear, I’m serious!

    Yoshida is convinced โ€” Enigma of Amigara Fault

    You can read Enigma of Amigara Fault included with the excellent Gyo.

    The Enigma of Amigara Fault is the first horror manga I ever read, recommended by a friend at work. Like with almost all of his stories, Junji Ito left me slightly haunted and disturbed when I finished this one.

    What is The Enigma of Amigara Fault about?

    It tells the story of two young people who meet as they climb up the Amigara mountain to see a recently opened fault line. On arrival they discover many other people who have had the same idea. They have all come to see the curious human-shaped holes in the recently-revealed rock face.

    As the story moves forward, people start to find the holes that they believe have been specifically created for them. With each moment that passes, the inexplicable force that pulls them to their holes becomes too overwhelming. Those people are never seen again after entering their hole. At least not until a later discovery finds them as changed people at the end of their horrific destiny.

    The horror is in the psychology of people

    I believe that this story explores something that classical Freudian psychoanalytic theory refers to as the Death Drive. Simply put, this is a person’s unconscious desire towards self-destruction and death. Junji Ito, in his unique way, explores this through his characters being drawn towards their holes by their own curiosity. Their conscious minds will know that certain death will await them if they enter, but they do it any way.

    Like with all of his work that I’ve seen, the art style is great and the stories have a dark Lovecraftian flavour to them. This story only takes about five to ten minutes to read, but is sure to leave a lasting mark on you.

    Where you can read it

    The Enigma of Amigara Fault was released as one of two extra stories in the Gyo collection, which I definitely recommend you buying. Not only will you be supporting the artist, but you will also get to read even more of his dark works.

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    I just wanna spend the day with the Bakers.

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    So finally got to watch Drive. Incredible film. When it got violent, it GOT violent. Bravo to all involved.