Writer/Artist: Junji Ito
Number of Volumes: 3
Available on MangaFox: Yes
What It’s About
Every male who encounters the beautiful and mysterious Tomie becomes obsessed with her. She gets under their skin and into their minds, warping them, dementing them, and eventually, driving them to kill and dismember her. But Tomie is not human. She is always reborn and always with vengeance in her evil heart.
Are you constantly on the lookout for new horror? I am, but I often don’t find anything worth talking about. I’ve been desensitized to most of it after all these years. But Tomie caught me by surprise. The story follows a girl named Tomie that’s not human. She’s a succubus that seduces men until they go mad and kill her. Then she regenerates, each piece of her body that was hacked apart becoming a new, supernaturally powered Tomie. And she often only has revenge on her mind.
The three volume manga is pure horror, filled with gore and violence that’s presented all pretty shockingly. Watching the beautiful Tomie get hacked to pieces over and over again keeps you reading with grim curiosity of how she’s going to get hacked up next time and the form her revenge will take. There’s not much else to Tomie overall, just one-shot horror vignettes with Tomie being the connective tissue of it all.
What’s so great about Tomie as a concept is that there are never any answers. Plenty of questions get raised: what exactly is Tomie? What’s her end goal? How many of her are there? Is there a way to permanently kill her? How many men has she warped? And that’s just the beginning of the questions you’ll be left with. I’ve always attested that horror that leaves you wondering is streets ahead of horror that gives you all the answers at face value. Well Tomie will definitely keep you questioning it long after you’ve finished the three volumes.
Tomie is not a manga that has crossover appeal. Like, any crossover appeal at all. If you don’t want disturbing horror vignettes, then do not read Tomie. It’s as simple as that. And those that come in looking for that horror might be put off by the repetitiveness of the violence that occurs. Like most good horror, being able to get through Tomie comes down to your curiosity winning out over everything that might disgust you and put you off. And there’s a lot of that present here.
Give it a Chance/Leave it Be
Read Tomie if you’re looking for an original horror manga that will keep you guessing what’s going to happen next. Skip it if you don’t want gory, violent horror about a girl constantly getting dismembered and then coming back for brutal revenge. There’s no crossover appeal to other genres, but if you’re a fan of horror, Tomie satisfies beyond belief.