What do you feel if a girl in your classroom showed up late for class? No big deal, right? But what if your class was currently mourning because that girl was found dead the day before? That would be surprising and or even scaring the pants out of you. Nevertheless some of you might be thrilled to see the girl alive and well and develop certain curiosity towards the girl.
That was actually how the manga Tomie started. When all her classmate mourn over her dead, she decided to come back from her grave to attend her class. That was the start of the mysterious events occurring around Tomie which is unfortunately also took the live of the people around her.
The start of the story shows people being confused about her sudden revival. Even Tomie herself is questioning why her friends are acting weird around her. Tomie’s close friends, Reiko, are more than just acting weird -she was afraid of Tomie. One thing led to another, a flashback are shown explaining the cause of that fear -a gruesome murder.
From that point, the story escalates from being horrific into something far beyond your worst imagination. Of course that depends on your own imagination. At the very least, it goes beyond what the manga Uzumaki or Gyo has to offer.
At first, I thought Tomie is going to be a manga about Tomie being murdered and coming back to life again and again; taking lives of whoever she pleases during the process. There are times when the story reveals more explanation on Tomie’s strange regeneration, but there are also times when it’s just about her coming back from the grave and kill someone. Fortunately the story was still going forward instead of circling around in one spot.
The main interest of this manga is of course Tomie herself. Putting aside the fact that she can’t die, it is interesting to see how Tomie was so aggressive towards other girls yet was so charming towards boys. Boys literally go crazy over Tomie. The boys that were attracted to Tomie suddenly have the urge to kill her and chopped her into pieces. They wanted her so much but at the same time they wanted to get away from her as far as possible. Thus the mixed feeling of love and hatred.
Tomie brings bad luck to the people around her. Some were lucky enough to survive the horrific experience but some weren’t so lucky. These unlucky people met their horrible fate of being a murderer or being murdered -which is a good thing because dead means escaping Tomie’s terror.
The manga Tomie is truly horrific and gruesome. Far beyond my expectations after reading Uzumaki or Gyo. Though I still believe Junji Ito still uses “obsession” as the root cause of his horror stories. In Tomie, it is the obsession of being the most beautiful girl in the world and the obsession to own the beauty for one’s self.
It is not surprising that Tomie brings in awards and appreciations to Junji Ito as a great horror manga author. Despite that, his style of leaving the story unresolved might be a disappointing point for some readers.
Amir Syafrudin – http://asyafrudin.blogspot.com/