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"Remina" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by VIZ Media


Written and illustrated by Junji Ito
Translated and adapted by Jocelyne Allen
Touch-up art & lettered by Eric Erbes
2005, 256 Pages
Graphic novel released on December 15th, 2020


Discovering a new planet should be special and exciting. In Remina, it's terrifying, as this planet emerges from a wormhole and heads towards Earth, consuming everything it comes into contact with. What will happen when it finally reaches us? Everything seems to hinge on the daughter of the scientist who discovered the thing in the first place. She's the planet's namesake and has a strange connection to it.

As I continue my journey into manga, Junji Ito's name comes up again and again, especially when dealing with horror. I am so glad that I keep finding more and more titles from him. VIZ Media has reprinted this tale from 2005 in a new, gorgeous hardcover edition and it's just as crazy and intense as the creator's other work.

What strikes me with Remina and other Ito stories is how it starts with a small yet strange premise and then pulls it out into a crazy spiral that is just so horrific. In this case, the question asked is, “What would happen if we discovered a new planet?” and it ends with said globe having eyes and a mouth that is so very creepy.

Click images to enlarge

Almost all of the story takes place on earth, with this new enemy from the stars slowly making its way to us. Remina the person is thrust into fame as everyone associates her with this bold new discovery. That turns to fear as they realize the planet is coming towards us and wreaking havoc along the way. Ito delivers a fascinating examination of our obsession with celebrities and how quickly we can turn on them, even if something isn't there fault. It's just as, if not more, relevant today than it was when this was first published.

Ito captures the innocence of Remina the person very well. She's uncomfortable with all this attention at first and even tries to shy away from it. She never fully accepts it and that just makes the public love her even more. You can see how people's expressions change from getting even just a glimpse of her. This is like what people did when The Beatles came by.

The strange planet is something else entirely. You might think it's just a big ball when you first see it...but then it sticks out its long tongue and you're in for something else entirely. I love how Ito stays on a shot for a few panels, letting the unsettling quality of these images really sink in. It's so very disturbing and it works wonders here.

Click image to enlarge

The one aspect of Remina that doesn’t really click is the young woman herself. She doesn't really do anything on her own. Everything in the book happens to her without her actually standing up and taking charge of her life. As things get heated and the world is in greater and greater danger, she bounces from one guy to the next, who basically pulls her along to either try to save her or kill her, depending on their beliefs.

Remina is another solid example of Junji Ito's unparalleled horror work. There is nothing else like this out there. Every story is completely unique and stands on its own, delivering the kind of terror that will stay with you for some time. I'm certainly going to look at the stars differently after reading this.


Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Buy from Amazon UK.
Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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