Orochi, Volume 1 – Manga Review

Orochi is a horror manga by Kazuo Umezz that was originally released in Japan between 1969-1970 and was later collected in 6 volumes. For the first time the series is being published in English in the original order. Previously a book containing later chapters, Orochi: Blood, was released in 2002, which is now long out of print and fetches a high price online. The series follows Orochi, through a series of short stories, that are pretty much unrelated apart from Orochi appearing in them. She meets people and with supernatural abilities affects their lives and sees the hidden consequences of their actions.

Volume one has two stories in it, Sisters and Bones. The first story finds Orochi going to a house and pretending to be a maid to discover the secret of the two sisters living there. Bones is about a widowed woman who mourns the loss of her husband, and Orochi attempts to bring the husband back to life. Both of the stories have twists that you won’t see coming. While it’s a horror manga, it’s not really about being scary, but more about creating a deeply unsettling and creepy atmosphere, which both of these chapters do really well.

Sisters, is the shorter of the two, being around 90 pages and is a really concise and chilling tale, while Bones is much longer around 200 pages. Both chapters feel the right length for the story they are telling. They also both feel complete and satisfying on their own. Their both page-turners, and you read each one in a single sitting. They’re messed up in the best way possible for horror fans.

Kazuo Umezz’s artwork is really great, with a lot of detail and it’s always clear what’s going on. It perfectly captures the tone of the stories. It’s easy to get swept up in the stories and then they absolutely fly by. They may not actually be truly scary, but they leave an impression once you’re done. The second volume already has a release date, and I’m going to be getting that as soon as possible. Umezz is one of the greatest and most influential horror manga writers, and Orochi is a perfect showing of that.

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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