Recommendation: “Gyo” by Junji Ito

Something is wrong. A stench that drove Tadashi and Kaori from their holiday at the sea has followed them to their apartment in the city. A stench that is driving Kaori mad. But as terrible as that stench is, what is about to follow it out of the sea may be more than mankind can handle.

Gyo. A novel you read when you’re fine never to want to look at a fish ever again.

Junji Ito’s work is something that grabs your mind and doesn’t let go. Grotesque and beautiful. He has a masterful grasp of the very essence of horror; taking something normal and twisting it slightly until it becomes unsettlingly unfamiliar.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoy Uzumaki, the first of Ito’s books I read. But being compared to a masterpiece is never fair, and doesn’t mean Gyo isn’t good. It just didn’t quite have the same overall feel of a completed story. There didn’t seem to be as much character, and the ending came out of nowhere and didn’t really feel satisfying. But that didn’t detract from the experience I had reading.

And that’s what Ito’s work is; an experience. Whatever other opinion you may have of his work, you don’t finish this book the same as you went in.

Halloween Countdown: 7 Days

Just 7 days to go. One week until Halloween’s upon us. And we’ve got through five horror shorts now I thought we’d have a little break and pick something a little lighter.

It’s time for Amazing Hearse.

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This one might not make as much sense to some people, as it’s a video referencing and past video by the same guy – Amazing Horse. (I just checked and it came out 7 years ago. I now feel older than I did a moment ago). But if you’ve not discovered MrWeebl, you really should. He’s one of the earliest internet stars and was around back before YouTube was even a thing, spending his own money to host animated shorts on his own website. He was a staple of my life at university, as his style of surreal short films was perfect for a group of students happy to spend entire evenings sitting around watching stupid videos on a loop.

So watch the video, it’s Halloween themed, at least. Then go watch the original, then watch the rest. There’s plenty to get through, with over ten years of video output. It’s worth it.