Review summary – Gyo: The Death-Stench Creeps, Deluxe Edition
Author(s): Junji Ito
Publisher(s): Viz Media
Release Date: April 21, 2015
This is a hardback release of Junji Ito’s telling of an invasion of Japan by rotting, legged fish that leave all of Japan in a post apocalyptic hell. This beautiful 2-in-1 edition celebrates Gyo: The Death-Stench Creeps (originally published in Japan as Gyo Ugomeku Bukimi (ギョ うごめく不気味)) with 400 pages bound between two full-color endpages and a two-textured cover. For those who are not familiar with this title, it made its debut in the weekly manga magazine Big Comic Spirits over the course of 2001 to 2002. Ito later collected the chapters into two bound volumes, which is how we currently know Gyo, until now! This deluxe edition contains all of Gyo plus Ito’s two bonus stories, The Sad Tale of the Principal Post and The Enigma of Amigara Fault.
Follow Tadashi and his girlfriend Kaori on their scuba-diving vacation in Okinawa and watch as it takes a turn for the worst. When a surprise found underwater follows them back to their Uncle’s vacation home, all of Okinawa is under attack by walking monsters who are literally thoughtless and powered by gas. As the story progresses, Tadashi and his uncle try to determine the origin of the legged fish and their theories are unravelled as they discover that humans can be infected by the mysterious bacteria powering the walking fish. When Kaori is infected by the bacteria and disappears, the story takes a turn for the worst.
Ito’s story is packaged very nicely in this hardback book. As I mentioned previously, the cover is two-textured. It is matte with a thick band across of glossy color. This edition of Gyo feels great to hold and definitely attracts discussion. I brought this with me to read on the subway and I could notice people peeking over my shoulder to see what I was reading. Leaving it out on my desk at work also drew attention under the observation that manga usually isn’t printed in hardcover. Viz really did a fine job with this collection of Ito’s work without taking up too much room on my already crowded bookshelf. Additionally, the endpapers are beautiful and detailed.
I would definitely advise any fan of horror and suspense to purchase the deluxe edition Gyo because it is fast-paced and thrilling. The illustrations are detailed and the story is gripping. If you’re intimate with the series or already own the previous releases, the packaging alone is worth repurchasing Gyo. This is a book I will proudly display with the rest of my manga collection.
*This product was provided for review.