Junji Ito's Dissolving Classroom Manga Review
Another day, another Junji Ito, the master of the horror classics. This time, it will be another short manga series named Dissolving Classroom. This series contains five pretty short chapters but is packed with absolute weirdness.
You might want to finish your smoothie first before reading this one.
The story follows two siblings, Yuuma, the older brother, and Chizumi, his sister. Typical with other Junji Ito's works, the main characters are hauntingly weird. Yuuma apologizes to everyone he meets, while Chizumi scares the citizens by appearing in front of them with intimidating looks and chasing them. The two had disturbing pasts that made them deal a pact with the devil. When the older brother apologizes to the people, those who can hear it will melt their brains out literally. In turn, his sister uses this to slurp them like smoothies. Sometimes she also stores them in bottles to be consumed later.
The first four chapters of the manga series were standalone until they connected to the penultimate chapter.
Since every chapter introduces a new character, let's focus on the two main ones.
Yuuma - the older brother. A little background is that he seems to be the only one attending school. He has a habit of apologizing to everyone he meets or comes across with. If his sister did something terrible like scare others, he would immediately go to their place and apologize. The thing about him is that those who can hear his apologies will melt their brains out literally. I don't quite get his character. At one point in the story, he scolds his sister because of her misbehavior toward others, then goes on apologizing, which turns the people into mush. I think he is what you call a pure devil in disguise.
Chizumi - the younger sister. She goes on scaring other people or chasing them because of her weird looks. She does that for her brother to apologize on her behalf and then slurp the victim's remains. Quite gross, I must say. I like that in the middle of the story, Junji Ito adds a bit of weirdness when she gets infatuated with another boy. I liked her character because her face is an absolute scare.
The overall plot of the Dissolving Classroom manga series is not straightforward. Each chapter presents a different story centered on the two main characters. The story doesn't let you cheer on a particular protagonist. You focus on the mischiefs the two siblings do as they move from place to place.
I honestly think the story is quite okay. Not my favorite, and I believe Black Paradox is better. I consider this one funny than scary. Maybe if there were more chapters to dwell on and improve the storyline, it would be better.
It is still quite lovely for a horror story with a bit of gore.
The Scare Factor
Not scary. I find it incredibly funny. However, there are graphic scenes that would make you turn your stomach but not much that you may want to skip on this.
I am unsure if there is a scene that is really scary. Maybe if you turn the story into real life and get chased by Chizumi will definitely scare you.
But overall, I find this one not scary. So if you are looking for a more hair-raising manga, you might want to skip this one.
The Scare Rating
I like the idea, but I think overall, it is pretty okay. I will give this one a solid 3 out of 5 stars.