Manga: Fuan no Tane

Because the friend who recommended it to me suggested I write on it, I quickly sped read through the first chapter to remind myself about this series again. I think that was a very bad idea to do at 11pm at night…

I’m usually not one for horror. I’m too chicken to watch horror movies, I don’t read horror novels, I usually can’t play horror games (but I like watching other people play them sometimes). Manga is probably the only thing I can I can take ‘horror’ of.

Manga: Fuan no Tane 「不安の種」 Seeds of Anxiety

Fuan no Tane vol 1 cover

Fuan no Tane vol 1 cover

Fuan no Tane is a Shounen, psychological, supernatural, horror manga written and illustrated by Nakayama Masaaki. It serialised from 2004 to 2005 and is complete with a total of 16 chapters compiled into 3 volumes. It was adapted into a live-action film that was released in 2013. A sequel, Fuan no Tane Plus, has also been published.

Fuan no Tane is a collection of very short and mostly atmospheric stories dealing with urban legends, ghosts, and superstitions all organized around a specific theme every chapter (school, visitors, etc.). Some stories are just two pages long. (Baka-Updates Manga)

WARNING: EXTREMELY, IMMENSELY, SO VERY CREEPY.  It’s great! But daaaaaaaamn…

I don’t even have that much to say about this manga.

Well, okay. First, don’t let the idea of short stories put you off reading this. It’s amazing how fast a setting, plot and problem is set up within the span of just 2 pages. With horror portrayed so quickly, there’s no such thing as a ‘closing’ in Fuan no Tane’s stories. You don’t get to read about how the people get over their ‘haunting’ problems either, because there really is no need to. The sudden jump from one (very) short story to the next might be a bit jarring when you first start out, but after awhile, you get used to it.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into I was recommended this. All I knew was that it was a “horror” and “really good” (I’m not even sure if that’s what he said anymore). My heart wasn’t prepared for this shit. I guess you guys will be better off than I was.

Fuan no Tane is the kind of horror that seeps into your bones. It is scary, sometimes shocking and very creepy. You are constantly feeling chills go down your spine. There are quite a few ‘jump scares’ in the form of ‘sudden’ manga panels with whatever thing the story is about. I think one factor that contributes to the creepy level is how most of the stories are set up so naturally in what could be anyone’s daily life. If you think about it… You know…

With stories so short and fast, I was pretty much always on the edge of my seat, steeling myself for whatever was to come. But also because I was so high on nerves, it felt a little irregular due to the varied pacing of each (very) short story. Not sure if it’ll be the same for you though. I’m not saying the pacing is bad. I’m just saying maybe it might be good to slowly make your way through it for the maximum enjoyment. And creep factor.

6

Fuan no Tane vol 1 opening page

Nakayama-sensei’s art is really detailed, especially concerning the backgrounds. The style isn’t that memorable or anything, but with a great use of screen tones and contrast, it’s more than enough to bring out specific atmospheres and moods. It’s not that the things that appear are grotesque or anything either. It’s just that everything is set up so well on the page that all you usually need is an eye in the darkness and I AM CREEPED OUT ALREADY. 

I guess one thing that was a little disappointing was that Fuan no Tane started out really strong, but then in the third volume mellowed out quite a bit. Or maybe it’s just because I had kind of gotten used to the horror by then. If you pick up this series, I’d love to hear if you thought the same.

Just remembered I’ve only read a few chapters of the sequel, Fuan no Tane Plus. That’s one more I should move up on the to-read-list. And wow, I did have quite a bit to say on this manga.

 

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