Ever enjoyed a movie or TV show that had more questions than answers and yet you only wanted more? Shows like The X-Files and Westworld come to mind and in the realm of manga PTSD Radio is right up there. It’s strange, truly scary, and befuddling in a way that draws you in.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
…gragh……lau…gh……pu…ll…pull……gu…shi……ma……..here…la…ss? ….ww….Oww………the dream……Who……are……Agh…ah…Aaa…aAH!…..geh…?… Grblrrblbrr…rgh……SHICK……AaaAHhh……ha…ir?…….No….eye…look……days… …..th…….this is AERN-BBC, PTSD Radio. No tuning nec…essary.
Why does this matter?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This volume employs a repetitive scene that progresses ever so slightly until we near the end. Over two or three pages characters hear a noise in an open space. It’s not until the end that we see what it is that is hunting them. There are still vignettes untethered from the rest (like a man who sees markings on a building in the middle of nowhere, or a guy who is the only one seeing a creepy girl on a train), but this recurring story helps add a skeleton to the collection. The creepy totem that has been reused more than any other story gets an origin from a far away country in this volume, which creates even more mystery given the Japanese setting. That said, it’s in this story far less than in previous volumes.
This volume appears to be opening itself up a bit with a strange recurring creature. It shows up three times and is freaky as hell. The design of this thing is straight-up nightmare fuel. It’s a nice addition too since most of the horror has come from hair or impossibly twisted faces.
Possibly the best vignette yet occurs in this volume involving a man who can sense when death will come upon a house. Masaaki Nakayama draws a truly haunting image of black souls hovering over a city that deserves to be used in a film one day. There are striking images throughout this volume (usually close-ups of strange and impossibly warped faces) and yet this story may be the most haunting yet.
Whole lot of NOPE!
It can’t be perfect can it?
Though it’s nice to have a skeletal story that reoccurs it ends up getting boring fast. Masaaki Nakayama basically reuses the same image and adds sound effects to it each time. The the scene fails to increase tension and ends up being a boring retread (that is until the monster shows itself near the end).
I had the same issue with this volume as I did volume 2 with recurring characters. This volume introduces three boys who may or may not be grown up in another story. You need to do a bit of homework to follow along and know who is who which is made even harder when some vignettes introduce new character who aren’t seen again.
Is It Good?
Some of the best horror manga you’ll ever read. If you like your horror to unnerve you in a weird and uncomfortable way give this a shot.