Junji Ito’s Remina was originally serialised between 2004 and 2005, and was eventually published in English in 2020. It follows the story of Remina. On her sixteenth birthday, her father discovers a planet that has moved from another universe through a wormhole. He names the planet after his daughter and the world celebrates the new discovery. That is until the Earth realises that the planet is moving towards Earth at top speed, destroying stars and planets in its path. The child Remina, who has found massive fame as the namesake for the new planet, and her adoring public turn against her, thinking if they kill her they will save the Earth.
The story starts with Remina, the girl not the planet, be readied to be killed in a medieval style execution. It gives you no context, and it feels like the story is a fantasy story. Then the story jumps back to when Remina’s dad is being given the Nobel prize for his discovery and you realise that the story is set in our near future. It’s scary how quickly people turn into barbarians while trying to save their own lives. They quickly follow fanatics into wanting to kill Remina.
In the beginning, the story is pretty slow as everything is being set up, with some nice character development and interesting ideas about the planets appearance. Then once all hell breaks loose the pace picks up massively. The second half of the book is pretty much just action, so it goes by very quickly. The whole story is told over 250 pages and doesn’t feel rushed at all, despite how large in scale and how short it is. It does feel a little disjointed between the build up and pay off.
As you’d expect from a Junji Ito book, it’s filled with very strange and imaginative images that are incredibly horrifying. This is enough to fuel the next few years of nightmares, for sure. The planet Remina has a giant eye, and a tongue that wraps itself around the other planets that its devouring. The humans who hunt down the child Remina also seem very monster-like as well, completely depraved.
The art is brilliant, but I feel the story is a little weak. It’s all very nicely wrapped up at the end, and I really like how everything is connected in the final act, but it didn’t have me hooked. As it’s quite short I still read it in one sitting, but it’s not the best Ito manga out there.
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