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Sensor
2021
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Library Journal Review
After finding herself strangely compelled to explore the area around Mount Sengoku, a young woman named Kyoko Byakuya stumbles across a village that's completely covered with golden strands of volcanic "hair" (the fibrous glass formed by droplets of molten lava). The villagers believe these strands are linked to Father Miguel (a missionary martyred in the area centuries earlier) and that exposure to the hair grants one extra-sensory abilities. An attempt to demonstrate the powers ends in the village being destroyed by the volcano. Kyoko emerges, reborn, from a glistening cocoon, her once jet-black hair turned gold. Sometime later, an unsuccessful reporter named Wataru becomes obsessed with Kyoko and embarks on an investigative quest. He interviews a doctor whose life was forever altered after treating Kyoko; is hounded by a woman from his past; and then is kidnapped by a cult whose members believe that Kyoko holds the key to accessing ultimate knowledge of time and space. VERDICT Though it lacks the intense, visceral thrill of his best work, the latest manga from prolific creator Ito (Lovesickness) is still a chillingly unpredictable tale of cosmic horror that builds to an apocalyptic, yet strangely hopeful ending.
Publishers Weekly Review
Ito (the Uzumaki series) retains his crown as manga king of body horror in this time-twisting thriller that expertly blends science fiction and religious occultism. Kyoko Byakuya, a young woman hiking around the volcanic Mount Sengoku in Japan, is drawn to a village covered in golden volcanic glass "hair" that grants the villagers--cultists of an Edo-period Christian missionary--telepathic abilities. Then the volcano erupts and spreads massive amounts of the golden hair over the surrounding area. Kyoko escapes with bizarre powers of her own, and a series of macabre paranormal events leads her, joined by plucky investigative journalist Wataru, around the country. Each chapter holds up on its own as a short horror story, and it's chilling to watch the tendrils of fate slowly close in on Kyoko and Wataru as the cosmic horror accumulates. Yet, Ito introduces an unexpected note of optimism and light in the climactic action. As the creator notes in an afterword, "the characters might have been moving on their own for me for the first time." This is a must-read for Ito's fans, who will be reminded by this truly unpredictable offering that when he's good, he's gut-wrenchingly good. (Aug.)
Booklist Review
Japan's graphic-horror auteur Ito has yet another U.S. edition with a serialized manga originally published as Travelogue of the Succubus, compiled here as Sensor, translated by Allen, who also brought Ito's Eisner-winning Frankenstein to English-language readers. Mount Sengoku erupted decades ago by the time Kyoko Byakuya takes a solo hike and arrives at a village whose inhabitants profess universe-connecting "sensors." And then they all disappear, until more decades pass, Sengoku explodes again, and an unharmed Kyoko is discovered in a mass of shining light. Reporter Wataru Tsuchiyado is immediately on the hunt; freaky cults, all-knowing documents, and Kyoko herself are all at stake (literally). In contrast to Ito's celebrated talent for horror, his afterword is a comical confession that "the characters might have been moving on their own for me for the first time. And they went in a strange direction." While he reveals being mandated to "write a thousand words for this afterword," he further laments over his rebels: "If only the characters would have actually listened to me, this could have turned out so much differently." Eerie fright and creepy delight, nevertheless, await.
Summary
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!
Syndetics Unbound
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