Before reading Blood on the Tracks, I’d not read much by Shūzō Oshimi, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had a feeling it was going to be weird and a little messed up, but the story was completely shocking. The manga follows Seiichi, a shy teenager who has an incredibly overprotective mum, Seiko. Right from the opening scenes, with Seiko waking up Seiichi, you know that things aren’t quite right. There’s something very sinister about her, but I wasn’t expecting where the manga was going. It’s dark and subtle, at least in the first volume.
The art throughout this volume is incredible, the facial reactions from the mother say so much and make her into such a sinister character. When the big moment happens towards the end of the book every panel is so well done. The look on her face, the look of Seiichi when he’s not quite sure what he’s seen. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s a brilliant moment and seriously well done. The only bit that I didn’t like was the character designs for Seiichi and his school friends were too similar, so I couldn’t tell who was who in some panels. But they weren’t a major part of the story so it doesn’t matter.
I read the first volume in about twenty minutes to half an hour. It’s very light on dialogue, although the story is still very gripping. I’ll definitely be checking out more of the series as well as other manga by Shūzō Oshimi.
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