JapanaTerror 009: Domu: A Child's Dream


More nightmarish than dreamlike, but ooookay

When the landscape of western horror simply isn't extreme enough for you, you need another way to satisfy your cravings. Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers may be enough to terrify the masses, but you're looking for something a little more exotic, right? Lucky for you, the land that brought you your favorite anime series is rife with decidedly more disturbing offerings. We bring you JapanaTerror, a weekly rendezvous with the disgusting and the depraved. Whether it's anime, manga, film, or a novel, you'll find something of value to disturb and delight. We'll cover everything, from bizarre body horror to the craziest thrill rides we can find. Pull those covers tight and lock the doors, because you're about to be haunted.

Title: Domu: A Child's Dream
Author: Katsuhiro Otomo
Published: Dark Horse Comics
Released: 1996

Katsuhiro Otomo may be well-known for his timeless cult classic Akira, but Domu was an engaging thriller of its own. If you're a fan of the bizarre cyberpunk thriller, you'll undoubtedly want to give Domu a look.

Domu follows an old man (Chojiro Uchida) who controls the tenants of an apartment complex, turning them into mindless slaves with his psychic abilities. He does this by possessing items that belong to his victims, which he takes to keep as his own sick trophies. I can't decide if this is worse than the fact that he's got a childlike disposition that makes all the gruesome murders he commits more like a kid's game, making him unaccountable. It's just a silly game, after all. Right? Wrong. 

He's left to his own devices until one day, a young girl shows up who can thwart his perverse whims. Even the cops are powerless as they helplessly stand by and watch innocent people die, left and right. And it's not your run-of-the-mill killings. I won't spoil anything here, but let's just say there's a specific elevator scene you won't soon forget. It's the art style that makes Domu, really. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better, realistically-detailed work with such gruesome depictions of violence. It's awesome. Really. 

This is pure story-driven horror, so you won't see the high-octane nightmare fuel of things like Ultra Gash Inferno or the trippy surrealism of Panorama of Hell, but you'll see infants being dropped from tall buildings, little regard for human decency, and realistic portrayals of a man gone far past insane. It's an excellent, twisting and turning thrill ride that you should absolutely take, especially if you're an Akira fan. If you're unfamiliar with Otomo's work, Domu is still an interesting starting point.

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Brittany Vincent
Brittany VincentContributor   gamer profile

3 I'm Brittany, and I'm the resident creeper, er, community manager over here at I'm here to make your experience more + disclosures


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