CBR15Passport book set in and author from another country
Reading Deserter: Junji Ito Story Collection near bedtime is not recommended. Now, it is not so much because the stories are “scary-scary” but because they are warped! Each story is not very long but packed with stuff (and you probably realize I am not saying “stuff”). Yes, things can be creepy, gross (after all, it is horror and somehow the black and white images are almost too realistic in their illustrated manner. I was getting old-black-and-white-1950-thriller/science fiction movie vibes), and even cruel (trigger warning bullying is in several stories, and abuse in at least one); but it is that physiological mind-screw that really gets to you. I did not understand every story, but I did realize enough to know that Junji Ito is some clever, screwed up weirdo! (Bet they’re fun at parties.)
If you like Japanese horror or non-Western horror/thriller this is a graphic novel to read. But I think if you are new to the genre and traditional Japanese style graphic novels, you could start with this. The short stories all end on a “closed open note” that lets you know that part is done but Hell coming.
I have had some experience with Japanese manga and some non-manga, but I am newish to the horror genre and the Japanese style graphic novels. In fact, I am newish to horror in general really. So, I went at this collection with an open mind, but had a few assumptions (some that were confirmed, and some undone). The interesting part of Ito’s stories is that they feel like they are meant to lure you into a false sense of understanding, then slam you with a twist or two. Or ten. And yet, everything is fairly straight forward. The title story Deserter had a twist that I did not see coming and understand why Ito leaves you on that note.