Let me start by saying that Black Paradox is definitely one of -the- best mangas to go for if you like stories that consistently make you WTF all the way through, or if you enjoyed other works by this author, which definitely all uphold creepy themes.
The way this story seemed to be panning out was a little hard to accept at first. From the get-go the story clearly borders on morbid, but as it progresses it just becomes outright weird. I am aware it's supernatural combined with psychological, but damn, it's almost too weird to get your head around at times, but that's only
because of the bizarre occurrences throughout, the actual flowing of the story from page to page is smooth. It's quite hard to sum up Black Paradox, with all of it's weird and wonderful goings-on. Basically, a group suicide turns bad, the group instead become deformed, grotesquely birthing valuable strange stone spheres of another world from various body parts, ending in their insanity, mutilation and then death. Just the kind of thing you want in a supernatural psychological horror.
The art in Black Paradox isn't magnificent, but it's also not too shabby. I personally quite like the art in Junji Ito's mangas, but from a totally unbiased angle, the characters can sometimes look flat, faces could have a little more definition and shading could be improved. However, the detail that goes into the backgrounds and the more gory, grotesque and mind-bending parts of the manga is done well. Alot of the manga art gives off a mysterious, creepy vibe - which fits perfectly in with the genres of this manga.
The characters aren't too shallow or lacking in depth but they aren't really relatable or all that likeable either. I wasn't really that bothered about them when they died, or when they lived. I felt impassive to the characters - the author never really tried to make them loveable anyway. The art done on the characters isn't exactly unique to Junji Ito mangas, having read a few of his other works I can say I've seen all the characters faces before.
Despite the fact this manga is totally bonkers I really did enjoy reading it. Having read nothing like it and only a select few mangas similar to it (the ones I have read that are similar, are by the same mangaka) it was refreshing albeit a total mind-screw most of the time. Fans of horror, supernatural and psychological genres will enjoy this too, as it's catered perfectly to fit these audiences.
I recommend this to horror and psychological fans, and naturally - fans of Junji Ito will love this. I do believe it's worth picking up - but if you aren't a fan of the genres mentioned you probably will not find yourself liking Black Paradox.
~Something you didn't like about this review? Feedback is appreciated. :)
A one-volume horror story about a group suicide that goes wrong in the strangest way possible.
Story: The story itself is very bizarre and grotesque, based around a group of suicidal adults who find portals to another world filled with a new kind of stone, beautiful and extremely valuable. How far will they go to exploit this new stone? The story questions the depths of human greed and selfishness using this bizarre premise.
Art: Ito's people are easily distinguishable, with expressions that are cliche but understandable. Where the art really shines is in its depictions of the frequently-grotesque portals and the more horrific aspects of this manga.
These are lovingly drawn with incredible amounts of detail and are the high points of this manga.
Character: The characters are for the most part selfish and unrelatable besides the protaganist, but they're also well developed. In the end, they become jaded and bitter, apathetic about virtually everything, and their downfall is well plotted.
Enjoyment: The bizarre plot and the wonderful art make this a very enjoyable read, despite being generally a superficial story with mostly flat characters.