Horror– It Intrigues Everyone

So.. i’ve got manga recommendations.

Hah. Why is Kougami here– of course it’s because he has that badass hero appearance!

I’ve recently been fascinated by the horror genre, and went on a rampage for such manga. There were many sick ones, lame ones, mild ones, but finally i’ve found two that were really enthralling. The intrinsic curiosity that draws us to gore is nothing special, just primitive. Nowadays seeing acts of violence is fairly common anywhere on the web or in games, and this is translating to real brutality in everyday life. Horror.. I’ll never forget how much it traumatized me as a child– watching Shaun of the Dead (a comedy-horror show, I later realized) engraved the scene where zombies ripped apart some guy’s intestines and ate it, into my heart. For years, I couldn’t look into the basement without feeling some degree of fear. I imagined them stalking me always, lurking in the dark. I hated being at home alone. And when I bathed, I had to beg my maid to stay outside and talk to me. That was the profound effect that horror had on me. At least now I know how to be a good parent and not show my child anything gruesome when they’re so young and susceptible.

Anyway, horror and gore still scare the shit out of me. But let me differentiate the two first. Gore ain’t that bad, but if you have first-rate horror, the type that devotes itself to slowly dragging you into this hell-hole, those that really manipulates your feelings and gets your heart palpitating fast, then you’re screwed. That type of horror is terrible because it’s makes you so fixated on it, but yet it’s so sinister. Those kind of macabre tales are the best, but i’ll definitely avoid them. Every time I get persuaded to watch a horror show, even if it’s cheap horror and gore, i’d still regret it. My weak heart and imaginative mind can only take so much. Ah, I’d better start recommending those manga soon…

1. Terra Formars

Humans are cruel. We don’t only have double standards, we probably have millions of differing judgments and opinions of things based on our own biases. When we see a cockroach, kill it without a second thought. Cockroaches are disgusting, cockroaches should die. We don’t really think about ants or cats in this way, but for cockroaches, they have to go. It’s an irrational, innate feeling within all of us. Then I read Terra Formars.

You have no idea how much that confused me when I first saw it. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to freak out. The amusing appearance only made me more terrified of that creature. And what is that? Here’s the context: In a futuristic world, population has increased drastically and humans are trying to warm up Mars to make it inhabitable. Their solution? To bring tons of cockroaches over, of course! They would eat up moss that grows on Mars, and soon die due to the many differences over there and here on Earth– then their carcasses would cause the moss to expand their population more rapidly and absorb heat from the sun and warm the planet. The result? Why of course, cockroaches being the mighty beings that they are, survived! As they survived from prehistoric eras till today, they survived on Mars, and even evolved. They became tough. They became immensely strong. And now they’d like to crush humans on sight, as we used to like to crush them.

Can I just say that this is a really brilliant manga. Not only does it present to us a grim and captivating story, it also reveals a horrifying possibility and reminds us of our inherent cruelty. As we read into the story, we get repulsed by these titanic cockroaches and feel indignantly angry at how helpless we are against those monsters. The author has crafted this manga beautifully, and for once, we, the human side, are not the overpowered ones. We see a trial-and-error process where batches after batches of spaceships fly to Mars, and how the most resolute individuals die. It’s the same for the cockroaches here in Earth, ain’t it? They cannot win against us, and they die simply because we somehow hate them.

But enough of the cockroaches– the drawing style is perfectly suited to bringing out the exquisiteness of the story, which mainly lies in the varied characters. The humanity of these characters are brought out when we learn of their pasts, their circumstances and their dreams. And yet they all have one thing in common: their loyalty and roots to their race, something that we all are, our very being, our very own species.

And so for ourselves, we will fight. This manga is really good, definitely recommended!

2. Kamisama no Iutoori

This one has a typical beginning. Some guy, Shun, lives a normal, comfortable life. But as we all do feel sometimes, such normality, facing the usual routine everyday, is quite boring and we’d like for something more interesting to happen. So something extraordinary does happen starting with his teacher’s head bizarrely exploding, and a series of children’s games starting from there. Needless to say, bloodbaths, gore and scary shit ensues.

I like the main character (Shun) and this is rare, but I like the psychopath too. You know how this type of genre usually inserts a powerful but mad misfit into the story along with our hero? Well, the dude’s cool, and so is Shun. In fact, they compliment each other. I love how our characters are gradually beginning to accept the notion of death, and fear it less. Realistically speaking, as much as wit, courage and strength are needed to survive, luck is one of the most integral factors. In fact, (SPOILER) the author bluntly tells the audience of this point by adding a small story arc where our characters pick a lot and die if they choose a certain one. It’s so easy to die by accident in their chaotic situation. That is why fearing death is stupid; accept the possibility, and bravely do what you can.

What is it with us adolescents with our need for something new, something more interesting? Do such senseless hopes die down as we mature and resign to the constraints of reality? Well, whatever i’ve hoped for would never be related to such horror and gore (oh please, i’d just dream of transforming into a dragon and mastering the element of ice. hoho) but what is it about these kind of stories that draw us in so badly? There’s so much thrill in watching hands-on action, the exhilaration that comes with the possibility of death and seeing how someone else puts their life on the line, staking everything they have for survival. Survival is mankind’s fundamental motivation after all. These are things that we might never experience and probably will never actually want to happen, but it’s tantalizing in the sense that we love what we fear, and innately lust for such danger. It’s only in this type of situation where everything else is put down, and the only thing to concentrate on is surviving. It’s when our true nature and abilities get shown.

Because I know that poor weak me will die in the first round, I love seeing the outstanding traits of the survivors that let them overcome their harsh circumstances. Decisiveness, confidence, intelligence, ruthlessness– all these ingrained in them make them instinctively react the way they do, and the merciless conditions serve to hone them. So much inspiration and excitement, yo.

(A colored page woooaaaahhhh!) And that’s all! I really like this genre. Finally i’m out of the shoujo phase and exploring more stuff. I’ll never stop loving romance though.

And yes, i’ve read Franken Fran too, if anyone was wondering. Gah. Don’t worry too much about nightmares– if you read too much of these mangas and neglect your homework, you won’t even have time to sleep. Lol jk, but it’s time to do a reality check! CHINESE EXAM’S TOMORROW, BOOYEAH!

Let’s strive on.


5 thoughts on “Horror– It Intrigues Everyone

    1. Aleris Celt Post author

      Yeah Psycho Pass is great! :) You should go read Terra Formars when you’re free, it’s really cool (hah, it will make you look at cockroaches in a different light). Reading horror is great when you don’t know what else to read xD

  1. no name

    Wow! I don’t know how you can do it. I’m not into that yet, but Ito Junji is a great horror manga writer. If you want to give it a shot, it’s what I recommend :D
    Maybe I’ll read those one day, if I ever have the courage…

    1. Aleris Celt Post author

      OH MY. I just went to google image search Ito Junji….. his drawings are damn good (but insane)! I’ll definitely go read his stories, he seems like an excellent mangaka. Thanks :P

      And those I recommended certainly don’t have as much bizarre and scary things (GOSH the images alone really freaked me out) but they’re really good! Haha c’mon, you must read them! Don’t we all crave for some good horror and gore at times? xD Just….. beware… cockroaches are secretly plotting a crazy rebellion that will annihilate mankind. They will avenge their fallen comrades.

      edit: Okay great, I’ve just started reading Tomie. Whut. He is really good. The art, the way the characters and their emotions are crafted (AND THE DISTURBING PARTS) are incredible. This is the real type of horror that leaves a profound effect on you, or rather, traumatizes. Oh man you’ve just got me hooked onto this thrilling nightmare. \o/

      1. no name

        Ahah! I’m glad you like it! Maybe one day, if I have the courage, I’ll read some horror manga. I just feel that I’m not ready yet.

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