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Remina Review

Remina Review

-Written by: Kelly C, Chris S

Kelly's Review of Remina

Remina follows the story of a young woman named Remina, whose dad named a new star he found after her. When the story of the star sharing the name with this young woman went public, Remina, the woman, became very famous. Remina is actually somewhat reserved and does not seem entirely comfortable with the level of obsession the public has about her, something that she herself doesn't understand the reasoning behind. It is somewhat amusing that in the book the human Remina is a star among people and the planet Remina is what the human’s think is a star.     

The dark twist happens when you find out the star/planet Remina is more like a planet-shaped super space predator that eats other planets and it is getting closer to Earth. So being the rational people that are normally in Junji Ito stories, the public blames Remina the women for Remina the star eating people because she shares a name with the giant planet-shaped-super-space-predator. For me this drew a very good comparison to witch trials throughout history, people blame others irrationally for things that happen outside of their control. You then get classic Junji Ito scenes of mass destruction and the horror Remina, the woman, has to face along with some truly amazing drawings of Remina the predator planet. 

    Remina's fans are starting the witch hunt and Remina gets hung up on a cross,(Remina, pg 222, 88)

Remina can best be described as a Lovecraftian cosmic-horror story told in the vague yet open style of Junji Ito. Note when I say vague I do not mean it in an insulting way, in Remina, Junji Ito does not give us any more information then what the characters have, which in a way actually makes it scarier. We do not know why the star named Remina is eating planets or what it even is. Nor it is not confirmed to be a planet-shaped super space predator, that is just my closest guess as to what is. We don’t really get much of a definitive resolution at the end, which was pulled off really well. At first I was somewhat annoyed at the vague ending, however I felt that the vague ending enhanced the horror of the story by building upon fear of the unknown. 10/10 would recommend it if you like planet-shaped super space predators and Junji Ito nightmare material.

Chris's Review of Remina

Back in October, with Halloween around the corner, I decided to give Junji Ito’s Tomie a trysince he is regarded as a master horror mangaka. Without going into a full review, I thought Tomie was expertly drawn and fascinating, but it lacked in the flow of its story and plot. Still, Ito’s horrific but mesmerizing art was enough to want me to read more of his work. Hence, I decided to give Viz Media's new release of his 2005 manga, Remina, a try. 

The story is about a scientist who discovers a new planet that emerges from a wormhole. He names this mysterious planet Remina after his own daughter. When the planet begins to approach Earth at a rapid place, the citizens of Earth fear for their lives. A large mob believes that the human Remina is somehow to blame, and they seek to eliminate her in the hopes that this will stop the impending doom that threatens their very existence. 

If you think that’s a spoiler, let me assure you that this is all set up in the first few pages. Herein lies the main problem with the story. When I am watching a horror movie, part of the fun is setting up the lingering doom that awaits the characters. You want to get a sense of who these people are before their horrific deaths. No sooner is the planet in Remina discovered that it quickly begins to wipe out the rest of the stars and planets standing between Earth and itself. People start to panic, and an unknown cult leader in a mask is able to easily persuade them to kill the girl and her father, the namesake and the discoverer of the planet, respectively. In other words, “well, that escalated quickly.” Aside from that, however, it was a very thrilling reading experience!


     Remina's pretty eye is shown in the first image and the second image is of someone who has landed on Remina. (Remina, pg 222, 197)

The praise for Junji Ito’s artwork that I’ve heard so much about is well deserved. The terror shown on the characters’ faces can almost be felt by the reader. There are also plenty of gruesome images of human bodies being mutilated and even melting that might actually cause queasiness in those with weaker stomachs. The elements of explosions, rain, and wind as Earth’s gravity begins to fail actually look like they are in motion! Finally, the planet Remina itself looks like a living, mutated creature, complete with creepy eyeballs, slimy tendrils, and a large tentacle-like tongue. 

With all the movies about space that are being made using our modern, high-tech special effects, I’m surprised that no filmmakers have begun production on a Remina film. With a little more plot to give the story more time for tension to rise, the story could easily be stretched into a 2-hour blockbuster with elements similar to Gravity and Alien. As it stands, this story depicts the chaos and dread that would inevitably take place as the Earth faces its destruction. Almost as scary as the extinction of humanity is the constant fear and torture the girl Remina faces as she is pursued by a horde of panicking citizens who have lost all reason. As a reader, I felt the anxiety from both perspectives. And that is what makes Remina such an unforgettable book that should not be missed.

     Remina's Lovecraftian surface and Remina the space predator having a snack. (Remina, pg 194, 250)

Remina Manga Hardcover

Remina manga features story and art by Junji Ito. 

An unknown planet emerges from inside a wormhole, and its discoverer, Dr. Oguro, christens the celestial body “Remina” after his own daughter. His finding is met with great fanfare, and Remina herself rises to fame. 

However, the planet picks up speed as it moves along in its curious orbit, eliminating planets and stars one after another until finally Earth itself faces extinction… 

Is the girl Remina the true cause of the catastrophe? A masterwork of horror from Junji Ito, unfolding on a universal scale.

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