Horror comics, especially violent ones, seem to be a touchy subject in American comics . . . at least for the ones I’ve seen so far. There is always this visible line between what was intended for the story and what is inevitably shown, and it seems like American creators and publishers are unwilling to do away with it. The result is implied dialogue, closely cropped shots on the violence, or even a cut away from something truly terrifying; however, that is not the case when it comes to how the genre is portrayed in Japanese manga, and MPD – Psycho is definitely one of the best examples of horror comics done right.
MPD – Psycho is one of the harder mangas to find in the American market, because it was deemed “too shocking” by its original U.S. publisher to release, and once you begin reading it, you will understand why. Thankfully, Dark Horse has taken the psycho-crime horror manga and began releasing it in all its uncensored glory.
Reviewing a manga on its 11th volume is hard in its own right, and MPD – Psycho is especially challenging for the above-mentioned reasons, so hang tight.
The world of MPD – Psycho follows police detective and criminal profiler Yosuke Kobayashi and the people with whom he is connected. In Volume 1, Kobayashi is following a serial killer who notices something special about him, and this unique characteristic happens to be a barcode tattooed or implanted on his eye. This barcode is a marker for those who have Multiple Personality Disorder. This encounter kickstarts Kobayashi’s other personality, Shinji Nishimono, and things begin to get weird and twisted.
Volume 11 is no different, and the neat thing about MPD – Psycho is that only one or two multiple personality serial killers are highlighted per volume. Each is creepy in their own specific way, and Volume 11 focuses on a serial killer called “The Mirror Man” and a high school kid named Haito Kido who desperately wants to “cut in two” because of this itching notion that there’s someone inside him . . . watching him. On top of that, readers will be finding out more about the trigger for these MPD cases, as well as a mysterious “project” that seems to have a hand in their development. It’s clever, and this volume in particular took a twist that I didn’t even see coming.
MPD – Psycho’s reputation for weaving a master tale while maintaining an alarming level of detail to its characters and motives is what makes it one of the creepiest psychological crime and horror comics on the shelves. Sho-u Tajima’s art is unflinchingly grotesque, and readers be warned: this comic is not for the faint of heart nor anyone who has a weak stomach. It’s sick, twisted, and I absolutely love it.
If you’re a gore fan who likes their horror intelligent and gripping, totally check out MPD – Psycho. You may not be able to find MPD – Psycho on the shelves at your Barnes & Noble, but definitely check out Dark Horse’s website for all the latest Psycho goodness. MPD – Psycho Volume 11 is 5/5 stars for me, and the series as a whole is killer.