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Animefringe Coverage:
Tomie: The Art of Horror
By Danielle D'Ornellas

Beautiful. Young. Deadly.
The girl you wish you could forget.

The horror artist Junji Ito has sent chills up reader's spines with his stories once again. This time, the shivers come from the macabre tales of Tomie, a beautiful young girl, whose untimely death at the hands of her classmates comes back to haunt them and everybody else in Japan for all the days afterward.

The plotline in this story isn't very deep. It doesn't make you think existentially, or about the universe around you. It just creeps the heck out of you, like a horror comic should. The plotline itself is, in fact, very repetitive. The undead Tomie will find some way to come back to life, in some form or another, and drain the life of those around her, until her imminent death, or the death of those involved. But the entire brilliance of Junji Ito's works isn't the story he tells, but the chilling way he tells it.

Each story itself is ultimately different, in its own morbid way. They all will have you cringing, wincing, or gaping at the events happening on the page before you. Most of the stories involve Tomie's limbs being torn from her, mutilation of her body, or somebody going crazy with lust for her and killing her out of jealousy. Not that you can blame them, for no matter how creepy she is, she's still exquisite. But then again, Tomie never comes back quite right, each time she seems even more evil than before. Don't be surprised if you are often left wondering of the humanity of Tomie, if there was ever any humanity left in her lovely body, each time she was reincarnated.

Human or not, Tomie has a definable personality in each of her reincarnations. Each time, she is the same manipulative girl, the same selfish girl, the same deviant she always was. And through and through, her beauty still charms people to do the unthinkable to each other. Even her DNA has the power to change a person, to mould them into her own image. A simple strand of hair, an organ, each particle of her being contains more manipulation and evil than one can imagine. The events that could happen just from accidental moment of contact with this girl are things you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.

The covers of the graphic novels themselves are adorned with creepy collages of images from their respective volumes. They are also an inch shorter and thinner than most other graphic novels, and are a fair amount cheaper than others as well. Fans will be completely thrilled when they see the price of these two books combined. With only 2 volumes in the series, it's a mere 20$ USD (30$ CDN) for both. So basically, it's a boon to your wallet, as well as a gore-met treat.

If you are prone to nightmares, have a heart condition, are weak in the knees, or are an all-around wuss, then these graphic novels are NOT for you. But if you're up to this kind of gory horror fare, and have a morbid and curious mind, then Tomie, volume 1 and 2 might be right up your alley.

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