Sensor: Review

An advanced reader’s copy of this book was provided by Netgalley and Viz Media in exchange for an honest review.

Like many of Junji Ito’s works (Tomie and Remina in particular), Sensor is primarily about a character who is fascinated with a young woman who is herself surrounded by supernatural events that she seems to be connected to in some way. In Tomie, this takes the form of harm befalling those who the titular character encounters and harm befalling Tomie at the hands of the men who she charms. Remina meanwhile follows a girl who becomes the object of obsession with everything after having a planet named after her by her father, something which eventually leads to said planet destroying the earth in an effort to be closer to her.

Sensor, meanwhile, has Kyoko Byakuya, a young woman who feels drawn to Mount Sengoku, a dormant volcano. While there she meets a man who somehow knows everything about her. The man tells her that, thanks to the angelic hair that coats his entire village of Kiyokami, he and the other residents are granted telepathic abilities. The villagers believe that the hair (which they call “amigami”) is the hair of a Christian missionary named Miguel who long ago was put to death along with the villagers who harboured him for refusing to renounce their faith. Each night, the villagers stare up at the sky and use their powers to gaze into the cosmos in order to see Miguel. 

That night, Kyoko joins them and a large amount of amigami reigns down and enhances the villagers’ powers, causing them to sense a mysterious black entity instead of Miguel.

Hair everywhere in Sensor

60 years later, Mount Sengoku has erupted for the first time in ages and a team of scientists are investigating the area where Kiyokami was prior to being destroyed in a previous eruption. There they find Kyoko wrapped in a cocoon of golden hair. This discovery sets the rest of the story in motion and introduces the framing device of a reporter chasing after Kyoko, drawn to her much in the same way that she was originally drawn to Kiyokami.

Sensor is not my favourite of Ito’s stories, I find it hard to believe that anything will ever outdo Uzumaki though I absolutely welcome the idea that something one day could. That being said, I appreciate the big ideas Ito is bringing into this, the fact that he’s bringing in esoteric concepts like the Akashic Records (a compendium of everything ever) is awesome and I would love to see more stuff like that in a lot of media, I love esoteric stuff. In general, this book feels more in line with what I like from Ito’s work than the last story of his to be translated into English, Remina, does. Everything just clicks together for me and the imagery just works in a way that Remina didn’t for me. 

I love Ito’s books, I always have and probably always will. I’ve been told on a few occasions that I have more of his books than anyone some of my friends know. It was basically going to be a given that I had some nice things to say about Sensor. That being said, this book is a solid horror story with some great moments and some moments that just don’t work as well as others but all in all, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading more horror manga or would like to get into reading Junji Ito but is intimidated by his longer books like Uzumaki or Tomie.

Anime Books Uncategorized

The GateCrasher Library: Anime August Special Edition

Welcome back to the hallowed halls of the GC Library. Take a deep breath. Can you smell the well loved pages just waiting for you to read them? You walk through the stacks, inspecting the titles for your next storytelling adventure. As you round the corner and out of the Young Adult section, you see them: mangas. Whether they’re a new experience for you or well-loved treasures, the GateCrashers are here to recommend their favorites, especially those they find very accessible to newcomers.

Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama

The Enigma of Amigara Fault by Junji Ito

Ranma ½ by Rumiko Takahashi

Silver Spoon by Hiromu Arakawa

“There is beauty as well as horror, love and unity as well as grotesque transformation and vicious violence, in the spirals of Uzomaki.”

— Robert

Uzomaki by Junji Ito

Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer by Satoshi Mizukami

Outlanders by Johji Manabe

Sailor Moon is a classic and for good reason, it’s one of the best magical girl stories anywhere and doubles as a great story about girls being friends. It’s super accessible to anyone and also is really easy to find basically anywhere.”

— Reagan

Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi

Haiku!! by Haruichi Furudate

Nine Dragons Ball Parade written by Mikiyasu Kamada and illustrated by Ashibi Fukui

Mobile Fighter Gundam G by Kenichi Matsuzaki

Paradise Kiss has lush and memorable visual style, a cast of likeable and charming characters make for delicious drama and lovely romances.”

— Bree

Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa

Death Note written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata

To Your Eternity by Yoshitoki Oima

One Piece by Eiichiro Oda

A Man & His Cat is a comfort food manga for any cat lover, highlighting the evolution of a tear-jerking relationship between a widowed older man and his adorable outcast cat.”

— Katie

A Man & His Cat by Umi Sakurai

Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo

Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya

Case Closed by Gosho Aoyama

Nausicäa of the Valley of the Wind gave me one of the most magical reading experiences that transported me to another place and time through beautiful illustrations and an epically eco-conscious adventure.”

— Thomas

Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind by Hayao Miyazaki

Blood on the Tracks by Shuzo Oshimi

Yoshi No Zuikara by Satsuki Yoshino

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki

Fullmetal Alchemist‘s writing, from the characters to the world-building, is mature and well-realized.”

— Bec

Full Metal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

Neon Genesis Evangelion by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

Vinland Saga by Makoto Yukimura

Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

Our Dream at Dusk is a beautiful story about coming to terms with your sexuality and developing bonds with people who exist outside of society’s forced binary outlook.”

— Matt

Our Dream at Dusk by Yuhki Kamatani

Given by Natsuki Kizu

I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino

Witch Hat Altier by Kamome Shirahama