BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Sensor by Junji Ito, translated by Jocelyne Allen [in Booklist]

Japan’s graphic-horror auteur Junji Ito has yet another U.S. edition with a serialized manga originally published as Travelogue of the Succubus, compiled here as Sensor, translated by Jocelyne Allen, who also brought Ito’s Eisner-winning Frankenstein to English-language readers.

Mount Sengoku erupted decades ago by the time Kyoko Byakuya takes a solo hike and arrives at a village whose inhabitants profess universe-connecting “sensors.” And then they all disappear, until more decades pass, Sengoku explodes again, and an unharmed Kyoko is discovered in a mass of shining light. Reporter Wataru Tsuchiyado is immediately on the hunt; freaky cults, all-knowing documents, and Kyoko herself are all at stake (literally).

In contrast to Ito’s celebrated talent for horror, his afterword is a comical confession that “the characters might have been moving on their own for me for the first time. And they went in a strange direction.” While he reveals being mandated to “write a thousand words for this afterword,” he further laments over his rebels: “If only the characters would have actually listened to me, this could have turned out so much differently.” Eerie fright and creepy delight, nevertheless, await.

Review: “Graphic Novels,” Booklist Online, October 22, 2021

Readers: Adult

Published: 2019 (Japan), 2021 (United States)


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