You know: in a foolish, undiscriminating way, I've been happy these last few months. I don't know why. I just am. I love my friends; I love my pupils; I love what I read; I -- dammit -- love my thoughts. I love the taste of oranges.
Thornton Wilder in a letter to Gertrude Stein, Aug 14, 1936

Friday, June 24, 2011


Orochi: BloodOrochi: Blood by Kazuo Umezu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Masters of the Horror Manga keep coming out of the woodwork. First there was Hideshi Hino -- master of the horror manga -- with his strangely sweet gorefests. Then the genuinely creepy Uzumaki by Jinjo Ito -- master of the horror manga. And now along comes Kazuo Umezu, you guessed it, the Master of the Horror Manga.

As much as I have enjoyed the others, I might have to go with Umezu. This starts out as a typical good sister/bad sister story, set in a mansion so large there are rooms no one has ever explored. When it seems that bad sister may be planning good sister's death, out from behind a curtain steps another little girl. She too lives in the house, but no one is aware of her. She watches the family but is basically helpless to intervene. Twenty years pass, the sisters marry, still Orochi, the kid from behind the curtain, travels back and forth between them to watch their disintegrating marriages.

But Orochi gets sleepy and may sleep for a century. She doesn't, and then things get really strange.

Umezu designs better pages than Hino or Ito, and tells a pretty scary story without a lot of shock effects. This is of course part of a series, which implies that perhaps Orochi's first entrance from behind the curtain is not so unexpected to Umezu's devoted followers.

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