Shea and Derek are back with their second manga episode of the month! On this show, they discuss several horror manga that will get you in the mood for Halloween tomorrow. As they did last year, the Two Manga Guys are both thrilled and chilled with by introducing listeners to a variety creepy titles, some older and some brand new. They begin with Katsuhiro Otomo’s Domu: A Child’s Dream (Dark Horse Manga), a story that is probably the least horrific of those discussed, but it’s nonetheless one of the guys’ favorites on this episode. As the guys point out, it’s a shame that Otomo’s canonical Akira tends to overshadows other impressive efforts such as Domu.After that they look at a markedly different kind of horror manga, Hideshi Hino’s Panorama of Hell(Blast Books). This is a very violent and blood-filled work, so if you have a weak reading constitution, this might be a challenge for you. After that they cover the three-volume Mail, written and drawn by Housui Yamazaki (Dark Horse Manga). As Derek describes, this is a “lighter” narrative compared to some of the others discussed, but one that nonetheless has them wanting more.
From there Shea and Derek turn to a favorite creator of theirs, Junji Ito. However, his latest graphic cycle, Dissolving Classroom (Vertical Comics) is definitely not what they have come to expect from the horror mangaka. Somewhat similar to Fragments of Horror, which the guys discussed last year, Ito relies a little too heavily on over-the-top graphics at the expense of any bedrock terror. But the guys are more impressed with Gou Tanabe’s H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories (Dark Horse Manga), an adaptation of three classic Lovecraft stories. In addition to the titular reference, Tanabe also presents manga versions of “The Temple” and “The Nameless City.” Finally, Shea and Derek discuss Neo Parasyte M (Kodansha Comics), the latest anthology inspired by Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Parasyte, which ran between 1988 and 1995. Including contributions from a wide variety of creators, this volume is similar to last year’s Neo Parasyte F, which the guys discussed on the 2016 manga horror episode. However, they enjoyed this anthology even more than last year’s.
For the September episode of the manga series, Shea and Derek discuss two very different titles, although both heavily invested in popular genres. They begin with Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki’s The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Ominibus 1 (Dark Horse Books), a different take on both horror and detective narratives. Although the English-language releases of this title began in 2006, Dark Horse has just this month published the first of the omnibus editions, one that collects the first three volumes of the series. The guys begin by describing the premise as a cross between supernatural horror and Scooby-Doo, where you have a bunch of young investigators, each with a particular set of skills informing their unique form of “detecting.” (Derek also compares Otsuka’s storylines to The Rockford Files, another series featuring an unlikely investigator constantly down on his luck.) Both enjoy the title well enough, although Shea is less impressed than is Derek, feeling that the routine becomes formulaic rather quickly and that the individual characters are never fully realized, at least in the segments featured in this initial omnibus edition. Next, the Two Guys turn to the first two volumes of One-Punch Man, a satiric series by the pseudonymousOne with art by Yusuke Murata (VIZ Media). This began as a webcomic by One in 2009, but then Murata helped to remake the series a few years later, and VIZ Media’s recent release of volumes 1 and 2 are the first print versions in English (although originally serialized in the digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine). Both of the guys love One and Murata’s humorous spin on the superhero and shonen formulas, although Derek wonders if the premise may soon wear thin (an inverse of what the guys felt about Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service). However, it is Murata’s art that solidly captures the guys’ attention. As a result, both Shea and Derek are interested in seeing how this series develops, especially if it continues to bring the keen genre-deconstructing insights found in the first two volumes.