REVIEW: Museum of Terror by Junji Ito

My very first horror comic. I had no idea what I would be getting into when I cracked open the spine. Talk about a story that is a very dark with a twisted tale of violence and obsession. Museum of Terror is a compilation of US translated comic stories featuring the beautiful and eternally youthful “Tomie.”

Museum of Terror tells the story of Tomie and the men who eventually become enamored of her after they meet her. However, shortly after they meet her, for some reason they want to kill her and tear her to pieces. It’s a compulsory act that most men can’t seem to fight against. The problem is that once they kill Tomie, she always keeps coming back.  The men who fall in lust with her usually become her henchmen. 

Museum of Terror Volume 1The first story introduces Tomie as a victim of a senseless crime. Everybody is talking about her death when someone learns that she is still alive.  No one can believe it at first until they learn that she has transferred to another high school. Thus we continue to see Tomie cause all kinds of mischief while unsuspecting young men fall at her feet to do her bidding and kill each other for her attention. Tomie seems to evoke jealousy and hate because of her beauty. Yet the men who fall under her spell are struck by a compulsion to kill her but no matter the method of disposal of her body, she continues to regenerate. Each piece of her body can regenerate to a complete whole. Her regenerative power makes her immortal.

The stories are very well written. The artwork is somewhat dated but it didn’t deter my enjoyment. I was engaged almost immediately. This manga isn’t for everyone unless you like dark, macabre stuff. I usually don’t but then I didn’t know what I was in for when I picked up this title. I was just looking for a good read and this one delivered. Gory violence and all. The book is pretty thick, too, and after doing a quick search about this series online, I’ve learned that “Tomie” had been adapted to film. I won’t be searching for movie on Netflix.

While I was purchasing the second entry in the series, the cashier at the bookstore was somewhat surprised to see that I was reading this. He’d recommended some good titles to me before but not this one.  I told him that this kind of stuff wasn’t in my usual reading diet. He proceeded to ask if I would recommend this title to other readers then? and I answered that I probably wouldn’t. He laughed. However, I’m glad to have read it as it is different but very good. I recommend it with the cravat that unless gore and violence doesn’t bother you at the fictional level, you might want to skip this one. My grade, B+. For those readers who are curious, here is a preview from Dark Horse Comics. Enjoy.

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Grade B Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to REVIEW: Museum of Terror by Junji Ito

  1. Supersirloin says:

    I picked up this book almost exactly like you did it seems. I didn’t know what to expect and had never read a horror comic, but it seemed good and big. I wanted a book that would last a while. I read the first story last night and was surprised. Like you said, the art is blah, but I loved the story and can’t wait to read more. It seems like we are in the same boat on this story, it’s off our usual reading list but still very enjoyable.

  2. Avid Reader says:

    Yes, this one was very much off the beaten path but I’ll read almost anything if it entertains me 🙂 Have you read the other two yet? I had bought but haven’t read them yet. Needed a break to read something happy.

  3. Supersirloin says:

    Well I’m half way through the first book and I’m looking forward to the rest because from what everyone says, the later stories are better. I was planning on ordering the 2nd one after I finish this one. I’m not sure but aren’t there 3 volumes only or are more on the way?

  4. Avid Reader says:

    I’m told that Museum of Terror, vol.3 is all new Tomie stories. Not sure if there are anymore after that.

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