Helicopter parents, a parent who takes an overprotective of their child, have been a thing since the dawn of time. You've either had them or know someone who's had them. Blood on the Tracks is about Seiichi and his mother, Seiko, who is more than a helicopter parent; she is a Black Hawk stealth attack helicopter parent. Bob Dylan fans may be disappointed, but Blood on the Tracks is not a visualization of his famous album; however, fans of Shuzo Oshimi, who has written Flowers of Evil, Happiness, and Inside Mari, will be very happy with his latest work.
Like Oshimi’s other works, Blood on the Tracks is a slow-burning thriller. This time, the author takes love for family and twists it in creepy ways. From the get-go, the characters go through scenes that should be fairly innocuous, but under Oshimi’s penship they give off a vibe that something is slightly off about what's going on. What would be a simple glance by the mother in another manga is given ominous subtext in this one. The pages are chock full of close-ups of faces, which makes moments more intimate and off-putting. We see these scenes through Seiichi’s point of view, but what makes this book so good is that the reader interprets what they see very differently from Seiichi’s interpretation. To him, it’s not weird if your mother stood at the back of your kindergarten class every day, it’s just her being concerned. Seeichi is so used to his mom’s helicopter parenting that he can’t see what’s wrong. That all changes one terrible summer day… I won’t spoil what happens, but after all the build-up, the final moments are an explosion. It’s definitely worth reading the entire volume for
It's been a while since a manga has given me goosebumps, making Blood on the Tracks a welcome addition to my library and readlist. There’s still plenty of story left, and I’m excited to see how this series is going to make me squirm in my seat next volume!
Seiichi’s mother loves him very much, and his days pass with placid regularity. School, friends, even the attention of his attractive classmate Fukiishi. Until one terrible summer day, that all changes…
Shuzo Oshimi (The Flowers of Evil) delivers his most unsettling work yet, the tale of a seemingly normal family suddenly swallowed up by the creeping horror of everyday life. Gorgeous art and an understated script only serve to heighten the tension as we watch Seiichi Osabe’s life spiral into a nightmare.