In Asian cultures, animals are simply seen as food or a nuisance to have rather than companions. I was lucky to have goldfish and snails as a kid but my love for animals was largely due to the things I watched; Animal Planet, Disney Movies, and of course Pokémon. At some point every Pokémon fan has wished that Pokémon were real but take a look around, animals that have inspired these pocket monsters are all around us. During the quarantine, I had the chance to re-watch the anime and read the manga and was surprised to find how the relationship between trainer and Pokémon, the science and the morals greatly align with animal rights.
Whether its their ability to reproduce/evolve quickly, their alien like appearance and movements, or their association with disease and death; we've been conditioned by society to fear bugs. All the reasons why people are scared of insects are the same reasons why I love and am fascinated by them. Along with my love for horror, it's surprising up until recently I have just finished reading "Insect Princess"; a horror manga about insects. Although I was very disappointed with the plot, the art was enough for me to complete the full three volumes. "A dark romance about a high school boy who falls helplessly in love with a beautiful girl who has to eat people to survive." Just like the main character you can't help but fall in love with her too. But falling in love means not only her human side but her insect "monster" half as well.
When I think about classical horror movie music the Halloween (1978) film immediately pops into my head. Other words to describe the music i'm talking about include creepy, ambient, and apprehensive; songs that give you the goosebumps. A pop cover song, or a catchy 80s song wouldn't come to mind at first. But that's the reason why I love horror; behind the blood, guts, and gore there is also comedy, romance, mystery, and of course thriller. These are not only some of my favorite songs, but they also come from some of best horror films/games that I've seen.
"I looked up at the top of my old bookshelves. There, dusty and unread for years, were all the animal books of my childhood. I'd love these books. They were rich with wildness, escape and adventure. But I hated them too. Because the never had happy endings. Tarka the otter was killed by hounds. The falcons died of pesticide poisoning. A man with a spade beat to death the otter in Ring of Bright Water, vultures tore out the Red Pony's eyes. The deer in The Yearling was shot, the dog in Old Yeller died. So did the spider in Charlotte's Web and my favorite rabbit in Watership Down. I remember that awful dread as the number of pages shrank in each new animal book I read. I knew what would happen. And it happen every time." - Excerpt from H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
In a effort to expand into other new horror manga, not just Junji Ito, I spent the last couple of months reading almost anything I came across. Some honorable mentions include Happiness (Shuzo Oshimi), Kiriko Kills' (Shingo Honda), and Killing Morph (Masaya Hokazono), but nothing entertained me more than Pumpkin Night. This manga is currently on-going and this review contains some spoilers!
Out with the polka dots and stripes and in with the spirals. When I say horror manga, the first name that should pop into your head is Junji Ito. The first time I read one of his works (Enigma of Amigara Fault), I was immediately hooked and my love for horror sparked.