Friday, 17 February 2017
Dissolving Classroom by Junji Ito Review
A strange highschooler can’t stop apologising for his little sister with the crazy smile who stalks people. And then everyone starts melting...?! Yup, it’s a Junji Ito horror manga, alright!
Dissolving Classroom is a series of vignettes featuring a young chap called Yuuma and his weird sister Chizumi as they flee one town after another, causing havoc in each one. They go to a school, weird shit goes down, people melt; Yuuma dates a girl whose face melts; more melting ensues in an apartment complex… sigh. It’s pretty boring and repetitive stuff.
It doesn’t help that characters’ motivations revolve around corny old devil worship which is so stereotypical for a horror comic. I think Ito may be attempting some kind of social commentary here but I have no idea what he’s trying to say – people these days are obsessed with public apologies because of some innate voyeuristic impulse? Ah, who cares.
The stories’ body horror is disturbing enough to hold the attention and some of the artwork, particularly around Chizumi, is genuinely creepy as hell. But mostly I found Dissolving Classroom to be a collection of weak, eye-rollingly silly horror stories that are more comedic than scary.