Gyo: Ugomeku Bukimi was first published in English by VIZ Media as a VIZ Editor's Choice title, a slightly larger format, from September 10, 2003 to March 10, 2004. It was later republished as Gyo: The Death-Stench Creeps by VIZ Media under the VIZ Signature imprint. Volume 1 on October 16, 2007 and volume 2 on January 15, 2008, and again in a hardcover omnibus on April 21, 2015.
The series was also published in Spanish by ECC Comics (October 1 and October 29, 2014) and in Polish as Gyo: Odór Śmierci by Japonica Polonica Fantastica (2013).
Horror is a hard thing to make in comics today without just being a mindless blood bath of gore and fluids splattered across the walls. Junji Ito does a good job of providing us with good, freaky stories that scare or just plain old disturbs us. Gyo is one of his most recent stories that he took a chance with and provided us with a new look of what is under the sea. Not just that either, in this series we were also given two quick short stories at the end of the series to leave us terrified of not going under our houses or go hiking anymore.
The main story is nice and helps build up tension and suspense as each chapter builds. The things that make this story from reaching a perfect score are that two chapters that take place in a carnival is a bit lacking and the end leaves us without a good real way to end the story. Otherwise this story provides us a good explanation of what is happening to our hero and builds up a nice strong storyline.
Now the other two stories are interesting. The first one is too short and lacks any real depth or horror to it, though it leaves us wondering. The second short story really is a lot better and can give us shivers. This story is strong and provides enough information to understand the situation but leaves us with two questions at the end: why are they drawn to the area and who was that at the end of the story?
This story has a nice sense of art style, the main characters are nicely drawn, the details the world are amazing, and the monsters or should I say fish, are drawn beyond any skill level I have seen before. This story has set the bar high on what a story should look like. There is nothing to complain about here.
What can I say about our only four characters? The female lead is a complaining brat who never gives up complaining about the smell, but after a while I say why she would complain. It doesn’t help us like her more though. The male lead character is pretty cool and has a good sense of luck throughout most of the story. His uncle is a bit weird and there isn’t enough information about him to connect him with us. His assistant is interesting, but still, not enough information is given about her to make us feel connected with her.
The short stories lack a bit of depth in the characters, but then again, they are just short stories so there isn’t enough time to shell out a lot of information about them. The first story leaves us with nothing to know about any of the characters, but the second story does provide us with enough information about our two characters, though not a lot, to understand them a bit.
The main story itself was fun to read, but not enough to make me want to read it over and over again. The short stories, however, would be fun to read again and again. Overall, it depends if you like the story the first time around then you might want to read it again.
This is a solid horror story, but lacks a strong ending that may disappoint. Horror fans will enjoy the story and so will fans of Junji Ito as well. Also, if regular people are looking for a good story with a great art style, they’ll want to jump into this story.
Warning: This story contains graphic violence, nudity, and disturbing images. Do you hate that stuff? If you do, avoid this story at all costs! read more
Gyo— another masterpiece by Junji Ito after 'Uzumaki', one of the greatest horror manga series that could have ever been made! Having his works equipped with bizarre plots and aberrant visuals, Junji has proved that horror is not necessarily synonymous with 'the ghost with long black hair' or 'the evil, bloodsucking vampires lurking in the bush out there'. He has the ability to create gruesome horror out of anything and everything, even if it is a fish. Fish— that's exactly what he portrays in 'Gyo', well, in an extremely absurd way that is beyond anyone's imagination with Junji being an exception of course.
The manga has nineteen chapters, each having 16-19 pages for the main story, and another chapter that comprises of two short stories which are independent of the main story; the total being twenty chapters. The manga is thus pretty short but by the time I finished reading it, it felt as if I have been through a long journey filled with 'skin crawling' moments. To be precise, I love the story. I'm really impressed with Junji's creativity at horror storytelling. I seriously can never imagine something as unique as that even in the next ten, twenty or thirty years. It has suspense, it has that 'Oh-crap-why-did-that-have-to-happen' feeling and it keeps you turning the pages because you simply have no idea what's going to happen next. The characters are also pretty good. I especially liked the protagonist, Tadashi. He didn't give up in spite of the havoc around him. Instead he chose to stand up to the 'monsters' and protect his girlfriend. The ending, however, turned out to be a disappointment for me. It was not satisfactory and it seemed incomplete. I was so engrossed in reading that I didn't realize it was already over and when the first short story came up, I was literally like, "Huh? What is this?" until I realized that the main story is already finished.
Speaking about the two short stories in the end, the first one wasn't really that good. There was no mention of what had happened, how it happened and why it happened. It just happened. The second short story, on the other hand, was fantastic. I might as well call it a little masterpiece of Junji because it is short, hardly around 20 chapters or so, but it was downright creepy.
The art is great. It is similar to Junji's other works. The backgrounds are detailed, and the characters and their expressions are also well drawn. The style is well suited for horror manga.
To conclude my review, I will say that I recommend this series to all those who love horror and are looking for something unique to read which will stay in the back of their mind for quite a long time, if not forever. But I think it is also necessary to warn you that it has various disturbing visuals and if you think you can't take them, you must stay away from this manga.
After reading Uzumaki I went on to read this, however it was a huge disappointment.
It starts fun and well, being creepy and giving a mysterious atmosphere, it got me hooked on what was happening, as neither the reader or the characters knew anything about it, but that's it, after the initial beach part, it goes downhill, FAST.
Unlike most of Ito manga, it doesn't have that creepy atmosphere always looming in the background, represented either by the visuals of the characters faces.
The plot that keeps you hooked and the creative monsters/illusions?
None of that is in here.
It's just basically a gore fest, meant to shock you and show off the goriest things possible, I don't find drawings of gore disgusting in any way (it's not real after all), so I got very bored by all this, the plot is dumb and cliché, just another "save your girlfriend" kinda story, the characters are nothing new and badly developed, it's hard to feel for the girlfriend if you don't even care about her you know.
The lore and explanation is just so bad, it's basically a bunch of dead fish that came alive, and the reason for that is UNBELIEVABLY stupid, at least Uzumaki, being weird as it was, was enjoyable and kept you interested, specially since the characters were fun to read and see react to the world, nothing like that here.
Also, Uzumaki had interesting visuals and every chapter was something new, unlike this were the monsters are almost all fish, and not creative, it's easy to get a shark and put some legs on it and call it a monster.
Horror may be hard to read, and boy does it show, the ending is just as bad, but at least it doesn't have any sequel-bait as far as I can remember, so it's ok with me.
Don't read this.
Instead read Uzumaki, or "Amigara's fault" which is made by Ito and is great fun.read more
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