“High schooler Hajime Tsukiyoda went to Shibuya that day hoping only to find inspiration for his next film. He never expected to find himself smack-dab in the middle of a real-life horror movie. Without warning, schools of massive goldfish descend upon the crowded streets, and the mystified onlookers’ confusion quickly turns to terror as the fish begin to feed. From their tentative shelter, Hajime and a handful of survivors await a rescue that seems more and more unlikely as the days and hours tick by. meanwhile, all around them, the bloody feeding frenzy rages…”
—Spoilers beyond this line—
I was drawn to this manga by the cover which portrays a giant Goldfish and the words ‘Shibuya’ but I skipped out on the summary, meaning I went completely blind toward this.
The monsters are shown at random and their unpredictability is felt by both the characters in the manga and the reader itself.
Much emotion is conveyed in multiple inked panels and often I found myself feeling desperation or relief for the characters.
There’s a lot of death. It’s a chaotic situation, much like a zombie apocalypse but with goldfish.
Although the goldfish seem to follow the behavior of the typical goldfish, there is more to these monsters that meet the eye. The goldfish spout sentences such as saying “hello” or “I’m home” or “it’s raining.” which implies there’s some humanity to them or they absorbed the thoughts/emotions of their victims.
They seem to be well aware that they are not human. When Hajime discovers one of their weaknesses, the goldfish says “Is this heat the human love?” implying that it is well aware of its nature.
At first, we are led to believe that they are just there to feed but toward the end of Volume 1, chapter 2, we are shown their parasitic nature. First, tiny goldfish spout from the corpses but finally the infection attacks Fujimori as he bursts from the inside out by the many goldfish exiting from his orifices (eyeballs, nostrils, mouth, etc.)
It is later revealed that officer Yukino Anko was in love with Fujimori, her subordinate in the force.
There’s humor in this manga, albeit dry and cynical. The goldfish spout random normal-day life sentences such as “I’m home!” Just as they are about to eat someone.
The characters themselves. A tsundere idol, an unmarried police officer, the typical nerd that’s self conscious, the pretty girl with the rotten personality, etc.
The last panel was a life changer: a ‘wicked’ homeless man killing and feeding off the goldfish as opposed to the rest of Shibuya which acted out as prey.
This was a great albeit horrifying read. An interesting take on monsters that otherwise we wouldn’t consider a threat. A twist to reality. How many of us would get devoured by giant goldfish before we realized that it wasn’t cgi ?
The slit-mouthed woman is provoked into a blind rage, which allows Mai to easily predict her movements. Using a combination of counter and high attacks—Mai is able to successfully dealt a killing blow through ‘critical attack’. After the crushing defeat, Mai is able to acquire the slit-mouthed woman as her familiar, naming her Amelie. Her beginner level jumps from 1 to 25, she acquires Naomi Suzuki’s legs back and gains the nickname of ‘noteworthy newbie‘. Another hint of partial amnesia given by Asagi when he calls out to Mai with “You really don’t remember me?”
Sunday- A gruesome incident is being reported on the news regarding some kind of ‘video game’. Yashiro Mai, unimpressed with current television programming, leaves to check her mailbox. A game console is waiting for her and all her personal information has been uploaded into the console as ‘character’ data. A voice explains this and proceeds to give examples such as height, age, blood type, etc. If she throws the game console, it will explode and failure to participate will result in the death of a loved one. Subjected to play, Mai is greeted by a character creation screen and is horrified to find that her avatar is nearly identical to her real life self. Here is where Mai has to choose a body part as the revival cost for an in-game death. The game explains that the body part in question will cease to function in the real world. A mysterious text message comes from someone named Taisuke Asagi. Asagi seems to know Mai, hinting that she may be suffering from partial/temporary insomnia. Furthermore, he advises Mai not to battle, to carefully read the help section, not to choose the heart as the revival cost and gifts 100 CP points which unlocks the ‘Auto-Death System Message’. Unless Yashiro Mai can gather 100 CP points every day, she will be treated as ‘dead’ which means a body part will cease to function in the real world. Another text message shows up from Naomi Suzuki, requesting help as only her eyes are functioning in the real world. Mai discovers through Suzuki that players are released from their penalty during specific times of the day for a 30 minute interval to take care of basic bodily functions. Two options are presented to Mai should she decide to help Suzuki, 100 CP sent via mail system or to battle against the boss responsible for the loss of Suzuki’s body parts. Unable to ignore the plea for help, Mai agrees to battle the slit-mouthed woman , a rank B boss, to recover Suzuki’s legs. Almost certain that she will lose should she chooses a normal battle, she instead opts for a ‘brain battle’. Mai is transported to a dark place with stiff sofa chairs where she comes face to face with the slit-mouthed woman while their characters face each other off on a big screen. Yashiro avoids making any rookie mistakes such as ‘attacking’ head on and instead chooses to ‘talk’. The slit-mouthed woman, misreading her, chooses to ‘duck’. A message from the console informs Mai that a player wishes to watch. It’s Asagi who wishes to ‘support’ Mai and explains that if she had chosen a normal battle, she would have been defeated in one blow. The two proceed to exchange text messages where Asagi explains various points of the battle system. The slit-mouthed woman is provoked into rage by Mai accusing her of being ‘simple-minded’ and too easy to read. After Mai’s second charging command, the slit-mouthed woman begins to suspect her true intentions are to use a critical attack and after being mocked by Mai, the slit-mouthed woman attacks her mid-charge.
Yashiro Mai is just your average office worker—that is until she receives a video game console in the mail and is forced to play a game called ‘nightmare’. Participation refusal results in the death of your loved ones. Real world body parts cease functioning as a penalty for in-game deaths.
I thought it would be a boring sort of manga as gambling it’s not something I’m personally interested in. However, the gambles taking place at Hyakkaou Private Academy are not ordinary. You might loose your status and be subjected to cruel bullying, or you might just have your nails ripped out in some sadistic bet against a rich schoolmate. What is interesting about this manga is not just the absurd and sometimes inhumane bets but the opponents themselves. They have all gone through extremes in order to cheat, even to the point of piercing their own hands to keep the trick going.
The manga is titled Kakegurui or Compulsive Gambler for a reason as the main focus of attention, Yumeko Jabami is an impulsive gambler. Sharp and astute, she relies on pure intelligence and madness to win. When she first transferred, she was challenged by Mary Saotome as tradition. She was to become a house pet which is the title used for those who loose in gambling and can not pay back their debt.
The manga revolves around gambling but the games are always changing and so are the rules. The women in this manga go from cute and attractive to downright frightening, often reduced to sobs or rage. Yumeko rarely looses her nerve and unlike her opponents, she relies on pure tactic and luck, and the thought of loosing a considerable sum or even remaining fingerless for the rest of her life is exciting for her. Perhaps, the most dangerous person the main character encounters is Yumeko herself who is shown not only to be an astute gambler, but also sadistic.
This manga falls under psychological, shounen, drama and school life. The art is detailed. The women are well endowed and there are plenty of panty shots but that’s just fan service. The focus is the game and how much a person is willing to risk and loose.
This is an ongoing manga but this was my first impression based on what I’ve seen so far.
I was browsing through the horror manga collection and I came across this little gem. It’s an adult malexmale (yaoi) web toon called Killing Stalking Manhwa.
Our main characters are Sangwoo And Yoon Bum. There is blood, adult scenes, violence and gore. There is plenty of psychological abuse and horror.
Yoon Bum is an awkward, obsessive stalker but fortunately Sangwoo is no better.
The manga starts out pretty tense, with Yoon Bum, our main stalker attempting to break into Sangwoo’s apartment. Yoon Bum tries a combination each day, and by now he has a few patterns figured out. What he finds inside, however, is not the precious Sangwoo he knows or thinks he knows.
—– Heavy Spoilers from this point forward. (My opinion mostly.)
Right away, we are introduced to the ugliness of Yoon Bum’s world. Enlisted in the army even though he was heavily underweight and raped by an officer. This is the core of where Yoon Bum’s obsession started. Sangwoo, for whatever reason reports the officer and Yoon Bum is saved and the incidents come to a stop. Present day, and Yoon Bum’s gratitude towards the kind man that saved him turned into a crush. Unable to speak to Sangwoo yet attending the same school, sharing bus rides and sparing a few glances, naturally that crush turned to obsession.
Why was Yoon Bum trying his hardest to break into Sangwoo’s apartment? It wasn’t just because he had advanced to stalker level…but more out of desperation. When his handsome and considerate Sangwoo started hanging out with a girl, he wanted to confirm that Sangwoo was in a relationship. Normal people, however, would confirm this type of suspicion in another matter.
Unfortunately for Yoon Bum or fated by his gloomy destiny, he encounters the ugly side of Sangwoo. The first meeting is nothing short of tense, violent and even traumatic. This is the event where Yoon Bum looses his ability to walk.
More than that, let’s explore Yoon Bum for a moment. The same things that marked him for being a loner, awkward stalker are the very same things that saved him when he was confronted with a murderous Sangwoo. It is because he impulsively shouts his love confession that Sangwoo lets him live instead of bashing his head in. An opportunistic or honest love confession doesn’t save him from abuse or nasty shocks. At first, he is the replacement of the bounded girl instead of being killed like all the other guys, Sangwoo even admits that Yoon Bum’s legs are pretty like a girl’s. For awhile, he also takes the place of a mother, dressed as a girl and doing chores and such and finally as a lover.
Despite Yoon Bum’s love for Sangwoo, he is both frightened into submission and traumatized. At the beginning, he does several failed attempts at escaping. Despite him getting out, no one can hear him in the almost abandoned neighborhood. There are other times when he desperately asks for help but no one takes him seriously. He has a chance to run away or attempt to expose Sangwoo in front of his new friends but appearance is everything. Yoon Bum is unsightly, skinny and he is always shy or frightened. They would either think he is drunk or crazy. Yoon Bum knows this and at some point stops trying to escape. He realizes just how futile it is.
When Yoon Bum makes his first kill due to being triggered, we see that he has become mostly numb. Although Sangwoo would argue that that was his second kill, the first situation was definitely forced.
One might say that due to the circumstances and psychological stress Yoon Bum was placed under that he would be almost..pitiful, traumatized and a survivor. That may be so, but there is also my theory that Sangwoo is not drawing out the worst in Yoon Bum with abusive and manipulative tactics but maybe he is drawing out the real Yoon Bum, hidden under layers of what is accepted in society and hypocrisy.
In fact, Sangwoo does a great job at exposing the ugliness that humans hide by placing them under dire and life threatening situations. Is he the good guy? No. Not even by chance. He is however demonstrating that anyone can become a pitiful and weeping rat begging for forgiveness or an impulsive and murderous beast trapped by past traumatic experiences.
There are many times when Sangwoo uses Yoon Bum’s affections against him and we are led to believe this is just one great act executed by a manipulative and sadistic youth. However, as the story progresses, we can see that Sangwoo also holds Yoon Bum dear to his heart. He calls his feelings for Yoon Bum irritating and he is almost relieved when he believes that now he must kill him. This isn’t a person that hesitates to committing acts of violence or murder and yet he must find an excuse to be able to end Yoon Bum’s life.
When searching for Yoon Bum, we see just how distraught Sangwoo is at being unable to find him. At first relieved because he has evaded the police, but relief soon turns to worry, dread and finally anger. He feels betrayed because Sangwoo believes Yoon Bum wouldn’t run away even if he had the opportunity.
Another peak at his feelings is when Yoon Bum makes his first kill. Sangwoo feels rage when Yoon Bum says that he felt nothing or doesn’t care. Why? If Yoon Bun feels nothing at having stabbed a woman 12 times, then what guarantee does Sangwoo has that Yoon Bum’s feelings are genuine?
The characters we meet in the story have ugly personalities or a traumatic past that defines them. Both Yoon Bum and Sangwoo are troubled and disturbed individuals but the difference is that Sangwoo hides it beneath his charming and kind persona and Yoon Bum doesn’t know how to. It is sad that due to appearances and circumstances, we are so quick to judge and yet sometimes the murderer isn’t the guy huddled up in a corner, shivering and frantically looking about but the guy who is socially accepted and loved by everyone.
The Art Style: Beautiful. Vivid and Detailed. Some nudity is censored yet some things are not censored such as the graphic violence, slicing, stabbing or nudity itself. Monotone colors are used at times and yet some other scenes are intense in color or vibrancy. Color plays a very important part in this web toon such as the redness of the apples.
Other notes: This web toon is still ongoing but I’m hooked. If this is the type of story for you, you should definitely consider picking up Killing Stalking Manhwa. If you have enjoyed other types of manga that fall under the same or similar genre, feel free to leave it on the comments below.
My late manga recommendation this Monday is Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii otherwise known as ‘ The World is Still Beautiful.’ This manga falls under shoujo but I’ve throughoutly enjoyed myself. You must first get past the fact that the main character’s (17/18?) love partner is an 11/15 year old boy king. Though awkward at first, this manga will make you see the world they live in. King Livius, does not see with the eyes of a child. Bloodshed was required to rise to the top and become king of the world. Princess Nike comes to meet her fiancée under demanding but interesting circumstances. King Livius I. wishes a wife that can summon the rain. Nike Lemerchier is chosen for the task after she looses in an official matters-resolving rock, paper, and scissors game. She is packed and sent to the sun kingdom where she is denied entry to the palace because not only does she look like a beggar but she beats up four guards.
The pair starts up on a rough patch as king Livius is cold, dry and arrogant toward his wife to be. Princess Nike in return fights back as she refuses to be bossed around by a child. Thus, their strange but endearing adventures take place.
Additional Notes based on things I enjoyed about this manga:
There’s just something touching about the way Nike summons the rain. She needs to understand the desires, the suffering, and the beauty of the world. Often times when she sings, the citizens of the country feel that intense and powerful sentiment she conveys through song. Her compassion and regard for other people is what usually lands her in trouble. Nike is straightforward, persistent, kind and honest. She is brash as a princess and doesn’t measure her words.
Contrary to her, King Livius is dark. Witty and charming but harsh at times, possessive and jealous and cruel as a ruler in order to ensure peace. Princess Nike begins to melt that darkness away but there are times when it still shows. Often times King Livius doesn’t punish offenders by decapitation or other torture methods not because he can’t or feels sorry for the offenders but due to princess Nike’s interference. Aside from evident elements of war, he is a respectful and supportive companion. He deeply cares for his wife’s to be opinion of him and becomes heavily unstable when Nike isn’t beside him.
The children in this manga (not all) do not behave like real world children. Although they are young, they have a very heavy burdens on their shoulders, responsibilities and arranged marriages. One wrong word or action could mean war between nations. Although we’ve forgotten, this is history. This was exactly how children from royalty were (aside from the magic aspects of the manga.)
Let’s discuss the magic aspects of the manga. Rain summoners have been talked about since ancient times. What is known as a /witch/ could easily have been a woman that specialized in medicinal herbs that were unknown at the time but useful in curing certain ailments. At times, the manga does an awesome job at demystifying certain legends or beliefs.
I’m not exactly certain which era it represents because modern day terms such as ‘otaku’ at times are used yet they lack technology such as cellphones. That’s the beauty of manga, however, it doesn’t have to be historically/politically correct or even make sense.
The art style is simple but non-awkward. It’s not tainted by weird shadows or complex inking, but it also doesn’t fall into the flat/ stick figure category either. If something is visually unappealing, sometimes it’s difficult to get into the story at all.
This manga has kept me interested since the day I picked it up, I have not been able to put it down. It is still ongoing but within 2-3 days, I’ve devoured all the chapters!
Note: I have just started watching the anime and so far it is rather enjoyable!