With Halloween quickly approaching (and a decided lack of new manga to choose from this week), it’s time once again for the Battle Robot to make their picks for the occasion!
SEAN: Generally speaking, I’m not a big horror fan, unless it has a healthy dose of comedy. With that in mind, I’m going with my perennial favorite Higurashi: When They Cry. In between its harem antics, its mystery plotting, and its tragic futility, there’s no end to terrifying images, ranging from Rena’s scratching at imaginary maggots to Keiichi eating a needle hidden in his riceball to… well, the entire epilogue of the Cotton-Drifting Arc. Some truly nightmare-inducing imagery, especially given the cute moe-type heroines.
KATE: My favorite Halloween title? That’s a tough call, but if I had to choose just one—and death was not an option!—my pick would be Rumiko Takahashi’s Mermaid Saga. This four-volume series follows the adventures of Yuta, a fisherman who accidentally ingests mermaid flesh, gaining immortality in the process. Though Yuta is keen to regain his humanity, he crosses paths with people who seek mermaid flesh as a remedy for illness, old age, or the death of a loved one. Say what you will about InuYasha or Rin-ne, when Takahashi is working in short-story form, she’s an undisputed master of horror; her spooky morality plays are a skillful mixture of suspense, humor, and horror, with a generous dose of pathos. Hands-down my favorite Takahashi series.
MJ: This particular pick is really difficult for me—not because I’m a big fan of horror comics in particular (I’m not) but because for whatever reason, the spooky comics I do like, I tend to really love. Tempting choices include Setona Mizushiro’s emotionally complex epic After School Nightmare and of course my very favorite CLAMP manga, Tokyo Babylon (due for re-release any day now from Dark Horse Comics!). But I’ll take the opportunity this year to throw my vote to JiUn Yun’s ghost story manhwa, Time and Again. Not only is this series genuinely scary on a regular basis, but it also packs an emotional punch in the very best way possible. In my discussion of its final volume, I said, “Time and Again kicks you in the gut with elegant brutality,” and indeed that is what it does. What more can I ask of a comic, really?
MICHELLE: Having just finished Chika Shiomi’s Canon, a four-volume vampire saga from CMX, I’ll cast my vote in its direction. It has some lovely ’90s art, a strong heroine, some plot surprises, and a snarky talking vampire crow. Though it falters a bit towards the end, it’s still a very good read!
What’s your favorite scary manga?