Hole in the Soul: Rahson- “Ana Satsujin”

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ABOVE: Swiss cheese is perfect manga-cover material

No country is without its NEETs, but modern Japan (or at least the modern Japan I get to glimpse through manga) is particularly concerned with the NEET ethos. That’s a UK acronym, by the way, meaning “Not in Education, Employment or Training” – a.k.a. people 18-34 who are likely to buy manga like Rahson’s “Ana Satsujin” (“Peephole.”)

“Peephole” concerns itself with Kurosu, a despairing NEET shut-in whose fumbled suicide attempt rips a hole in the flimsy  wall of his pathetic man-cave. The peephole (naturally) looks into the bedroom of a comely neighbor named Miyaichi-san, who unwittingly treats the voyeuristic Kurosu to the sort of intimate teasing displays that make a young man want to extend his time on Earth (and maybe even get a part time job). It’s creeper behavior, and therefore perfectly natural.

What’s less natural is when Kuroso’s peeping game leads him to discover that Miyaichi-san is into bringing men to her room for some rough action which always concludes when she slices their carotid arteries. Both attracted and repulsed, Kurosu starts a conflicted romance.

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Above: Slice Slice!

That’s around the time the hermaphroditic necrophiliac shows up flanked by hyenas in business suits, and things go extra cray. “Peephole” is drawn in a competent, (if-undistinguished) manner; the rear-windowy plot is old hat; and the violence is coy considering the subject matter. But the central duo kept me reading – and it’s fun to see how the pseudonymous Rahson strains to create  cliffhangers every 10 pages or so.

RATING : GOOD ENOUGH

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