On an idyllic vacation island in the southern seas, a young couple is trying to overcome the death of their only son. But for Seiichi Kirishima, the husband, the trip has a different purpose altogether. He plans to kill his wife and dispose of her body deep inside the forest. However, when his plan goes awry and his wife manages to escape, Seiichi follows her into a dark cave, only to find himself trapped inside and soon hunted by a savage creature with an insatiable hunger for human flesh...
Overall it could be classed as cliche-ridden, as it borrows asinine plot frequently seen in Hollywood trash horrors, albeit that Japanese peculiarity to add dose of aberrancy really supplements the status of this piece to class it as a bit above mediocre or even unique for some aspects at least.
Affixed to above mentioned is the abundantly embellished art style which is a meritorious element, and perhaps will serve as a stimulus to continue till the end, that is, if you will consider plot to be atrocious, or predictable.
First of all, I'd like to say I'm not familiar with any of Kakizaki's other works (mostly referring to Rainbow since that's his most famous one), so I'm not going to be making any comparisons to anything else he's worked on. With that out of the way....
Hideout is a very short series. I don't imagine that it would take more than an hour or two to read it all, and that might be a very generous estimate depending on how fast you read. Since it's only 9 chapters you might not be expecting a whole lot as far as depth of the plot goes, but
Kakizaki actually manages to spin a fairly human, depressing story with the little space given.
The premise (the couple getting lost and stumbling into an utterly horrific experience) is executed well enough. You get to see what led up to all this, the circumstances behind the death of the couple's son and the grisly aftermath, as the husband slowly loses everything important in his life: his son, his wife, her family, his career, everything goes spiraling downwards, and the man is slowly driven into madness. I'm sure the surprises waiting for them in the cave didn't exactly help his mental state either. I'm not sure that I would be driven to the extremes the protagonist goes to, but it's all part of the tragedy, so I guess it's fine. Given that it's only 9 chapters, it does a pretty good job of making you feel involved and making you care about what goes on.
That said, while the plot gets a thumbs up from me, the main thing Hideout has going for it is the art. It takes an extremely skilled artist to paint true terror and create landscapes and imagery that are genuinely frightening. Kakizaki is almost up there with Kentaro Miura (the author of Berserk) in the horror scenes department. Everything is marvelously shaded, detailed, and bleak, which makes the gruesome content of Hideout so much more potent than it would be with only a "good" artist working on it, as opposed to an excellent one like in this manga.
I wish I could say more about this manga, but there really is not much else to say. Hideout is a good 9 chapter series with a good plot and absolutely outstanding artwork. It will not take you very long to read, and it's certainly worth your time to check it out.
“How long was I locked up in that room? A day? A week? I could no longer tell. On top of driving you crazy, the darkness and isolation also robbed you of all your sense of time.”
Kirishima Seiichi’s life has so far been full of ups and downs— recurring letdowns in his career as a writer, the tragic death of his son and to top it all, the cold and distant attitude of his wife. With the alleged intention of overcoming the loss of their son and starting over a new life, Kirishima takes his wife on a peaceful island vacation. However, behind
the façade of the doting husband, his idea of ‘starting over’ is different and when his plans go wrong, things take an unexpected turn. And then begins the nightmare… somewhere deep inside a cave there is a savage beast with a craving to feed on the flesh of those who stray into the cave, having no clue of what awaits them there.
Hideout is one of those manga that knows how to pull its readers into it from the first page itself. It begins on an interesting and slightly disturbing note that quickly managed to pique my curiosity and kept me glued to it until the very last page. The entire story is narrated from the point of view of our protagonist, accompanied with brief flashbacks now and then. The series is pretty short, consisting of nine chapters. This length is apt taking into consideration the storyline for if it was any longer, it would have only felt draggy. That said, while I personally liked the twisted and unpredictable ending, I’d have preferred if it was elucidated a bit more but then again on another thought, if it did, it would have probably lacked the same impact.
Even in a manga as short as this, the characters have been depicted quite well. Kirishima Seiichi, the protagonist, comes across as an ordinary writer who only wished to make a decent living out of his writing and live happily with his family but then things start to topple over. His wife Miki adds to his despair by repeatedly reminding him of his failures and that he is at fault for everything. And then there is the ‘beast’ whose sole purpose of existence is to create terror.
Actually, where Hideout shines is the brilliant artwork. The sharp, dark tones complement the horror and uneasiness evoked by this manga. Every page and panels are so finely detailed that sometimes I paused reading just to take a closer look at the art. Kakizaki Masasumi is mostly notable for his artwork in Rainbow but since I haven’t read it, I’m not going to make any comparisons between this and that. I might as well go as far as to say that Kakizaki is one of the best manga artists I have come across solely judging his work in Hideout.
To conclude, I’ll gladly recommend Hideout to anyone who is looking for a short, intriguing horror tale. The story is concise, the art is outstanding. It is undoubtedly worth giving a shot.
Predictable, yet sufficient. It's also a little infuriating, and while it follows the basics of popular horror cliche's, it still comes across rather naive. The real issue comes with the fact that the characters are unlikable, which makes progression through the narrative arduous, even with a short chapter count.
Absolutely fantastic. The real strength of this narrative. It's turned me on to Masasumi Kakizaki, and now I can't wait to read some more works he's assisted with. I did find it difficult to discern what was what with a few panels, as the balance of blacks wasn't very understandable. However, this is so unbelievably minor as,
within a second of looking, I quickly understood the perspective of the image. Never did it pull me out of the incredibly average narrative.
As mentioned before, nobody is likable. Everyone in this story is scum. If there's no one to root for, there's nothing to look forward too. In a way, I did root for the protagonist, but it's hard to root for someone doing something so sinister. At least, that's the case for me. Beyond this, there's also the rest of the supporting cast that fails to pique my interest. It's all a bunch of schlock, but the art is fantastic, so I kept reading.
I'm glad I read this as it introduced me to the art of Masasumi Kakizaki. Beyond that, it was nothing special. The narrative is uninteresting, the characters a chore, and the finale a real cop-out. If it weren't for the excellent artwork, I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much.
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