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Sensor Manga Review

Sensor Manga Review

-Written by: Chris S.

While on my quest to read all of Junji Ito’s works, I have now come across one that I feel may be his most philosophical. Through the majority of his works, he seems to focus mainly on telling a good story with his disturbing artwork. While Sensor also has both of those traits, I also got the sense that Ito had something more to say here. Philosophy, religion, and the meaning of the universe are explored in Sensor, and I’m not entirely sure how to feel about it.

Our story begins with a woman named Kyoko Byakuya, who stumbles across a village near a volcano that ejects golden, hairlike fibers. This so-called “Amagami,” or “angel hair,” covers the village and seemingly gives the villagers clairvoyant abilities. The title of Sensor refers to their abilities to feel the universe through their senses. Kyoko is told that they have been expecting her, and she becomes a sort of new prophet to their beliefs, following in the footsteps of a martyr they called Lord Miguel. A reporter later discovers the story of Kyoko and follows her to try to unfold the mysteries of the universe and how we connect to it.

This story is deep. There are a lot of parallels to religion, especially Christianity. What begins as a simple journey to a mystical city turns into a cosmic study on the mortality of life and the battle of good vs. evil. I can’t go into too many details for the sake of avoiding spoilers, but even if I could, I don’t know if I could explain it in the way Junji Ito does. The most eye-opening aspect of Sensor for me was the idea of the “Akashic records,” which is like a library of everything that has happened, is happening, or will happen in the entire history of the universe. I searched the term on Google, and as I said, this is very deep stuff. There have been many philosophical discussions about the meaning of life and why the universe works the way it does throughout time. Junji Ito definitely did his research for this book when tapping into these ideas.

Finally, you can’t talk about a Junji Ito story without talking about his artwork, which often includes horrific and sometimes gruesome images. His most spine-tingling concept in this story was suicidal bugs that jump under your feet to get stepped on. After being stepped on, the guts contain the image of somebody who had committed suicide. Super creepy! In addition, there is plenty of body horror to make it hard for you to sleep at night. Faces and bodies become disfigured in imaginative ways, which Ito has become known for. On the other hand, Ito has created the character of Kyoko Byakuya, who is beautiful by design, to counteract the distorted appearances of other characters. The book itself also comes with a reversible book jacket with colorized images, which makes me wish the entire story was in color.

All in all, Sensor is not one of my favorite Junji Ito stories, but it definitely did not disappoint. It is an engaging read with great artwork! It reminded me a lot of Remina, which I have also reviewed on our blog. Both stories focus on a young woman whom others revere with a strong focus on cosmic events. However, I prefer Remina over Sensor. What about you? Check out both, and decide for yourself!  

Sensor by Junji Ito

Horror master Junji Ito explores a new frontier with a grand cosmic horror tale in which a mysterious woman has her way with the world!

A woman walks alone at the foot of Mount Sengoku. A man appears, saying he’s been waiting for her, and invites her to a nearby village. Surprisingly, the village is covered in hairlike volcanic glass fibers, and all of it shines a bright gold. At night, when the villagers perform their custom of gazing up at the starry sky, countless unidentified flying objects come raining down on them, the opening act for the terror about to occur.

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