The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Gyo.
Genre: Action/Horror.
Format: 2 Volumes.
Mangaka: Junji Ito.

Synopsis: Tadashi and Kaori are taking a vacation in the beautiful coasts of Okinawa, when they are suddenly attacked by a fish with spider-like legs inside their own house. What is more disturbing is not the walking fish, but the stench that it carries. Before they know it more and more fishes start to go ashore, including sharks and even whales and they are taking over the entire country. Can the walking-fish be stopped or is mankind doomed?

The Highlights
Art: Character design could use some work, but nasty images are really nasty.
Horror: Went missing.
Plot: Overused with a twist?

Junji Ito is probably more famous by his other works, such as Uzumaki, mainly because it got turned into a really successful live action movie. But he surely has made other great horror series, such as Gyo. The idea of walking-fish has been done numerous times, but, the way Ito directed the story and how it ended are what make it stand out from the rest. All of the other approaches use the classical mutation excuse to explain why the fish have legs and can walk. Ito made a really original concept for a machine that enabled the fish to walk and by doing so he obviously drew the line between his story and other walking-fish stories.

But no matter how original his concept and idea are, it’s not scary at all. It is interesting, fun and entertaining but it won’t make you shiver from fear or make your skin crawl. And to this I put the entire blame to how the walking-fishes react, as if they had the consciousness to know what they are doing and even worse as if the machines, described as a simple gas engines, have the will and determination to attack not only the population that lives under the ocean but the one that lives above its surface too.

The art is not something to awe at, but it has its moments and delivers an authentic image of putrefaction running around the streets of Japan. Plus all the nasty tid-bits that are always making company in this kind of stories, so if you can’t take nasty images pretty well, I advise you stay away, specially since it only gets from bad to worse as the chapters go by. But in terms of character and background design there is much to be asked for.

Gyo is a great manga to change the pace or if you just finished a really long story, offering a lot of entertaining value for its length. If you can take some nasty images I say you go for it, at worse you will like the reinvented plot and at best you will get into Junji Ito’s style and end up being one of his fans.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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