Review: Gyo: The Death-Stench Creeps by Junji Ito

Something is rotten in Okinawa…

The floating smell of death hangs over the island. What is it? A strange, legged fish appears on the scene… So begins Tadashi and Kaori’s spiral into the horror and stench of the sea. Here is the creepiest masterpiece of horror manga ever from the creator of Uzumaki, Junji Ito. Hold your breath until all is revealed.

Gyo: The Death Stench Creeps by Junji Ito. Art by Junji Ito. Translated by Yunji Oniki Hardback edition that combines both vol. one and vol. two. This edition was published by Viz Media in 2021. Originally published in 2002.

Man, Gyo is one bizarre trip! It is so crazy it is hard to even explain. The plot is just WTF. Creative, but so WTFFFFFFF.

Ito is just a master at creepy art. Gyo is no different. The creature designs are just amazing. I love the mix of ocean life with spider like legs. BRILLIANT! πŸ˜€ It is a really simple design but so very effective at being creepers. The fish in the first half of the book (vol. one) are hands down my favorite…. especially the giant walking sharks. Yikes! but also Yay, Sharks! Speaking of the art, it is, of course, beautiful! Somehow Ito manages beauty even in the most disgusting moments. I don’t know how he does it.

The second half of the book is where things get very….. VERY…. weird. Many WTF / OMG moments here. Plenty of just gross, icky moments too. Ew. And then it kind ends on s sad note. What a strange manga. I think this is the strangest one I’ve read from Junji so far.

Oh, and about the ending… not gonna lie, I was a little bummed. It just felt like the end came too abruptly. Things were just starting to get interesting, and then… it ends. There is no real conclusion to what all had happened with the creatures, the infected people, or Tadashi’s uncle. He does find his girlfriend, so that is resolved, but then what?? What are the creatures doing? Where did they go? What about the survivors? Is there a cure? Is there a way to fight back? What the what?? Just too many questions felt like they are left hanging. I wish there was one more volume to wrap up all those little questions.

Gyo is pretty entertaining. Buckle in for a crazy, nasty ride. Very creative plot and creatures. Also very WTF. You can expect beautiful art, as always. Just wish the end didn’t feel so abrupt. I still had a lot of fun reading this one. πŸ™‚


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