Shannon, here – Halloween is my favourite holiday and to honour it I’m counting down 13 manga throughout the month that I think best capture the Halloween spirit. They aren’t all horror manga, as to me Halloween is about more than scares: it’s about a sense of fun and wonder. It’s about discovering that there may be more to this world than meets the eye. So with that in mind, there’s everything on this list from action-packed shounen to romantic-comedy to children’s manga to some lock-the-doors-and-leave-the-lights-on horror. (See all 13 Days of Halloween so far…)
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3. Cat Eyed Boy
Kazuo Umezu is the creator of classic horror manga such as A Drifting Classroom, a stark story of survival in a post-apocalyptic world. While Drifting Classroom is certainly scary enough to be a Halloween manga, that’s not the only criteria for this list. The manga also need a sense of fun, even campy, to really make it feel like it’s something best read in October and not June or January. With that in mind, number three on this list is Cat Eyed Boy, another horror manga from Umezu.
The titular cat eyed boy is actually a demon who wanders around Japan, living in people’s attics and watching their lives unfold below. Wherever Cat Eyed Boy goes, strange things are sure to happen. In one story Cat Eyed Boy meets a family haunted by a disgusting monster made of bulbous, decaying flesh. In another story, a boy’s love for collecting insects turns out to be his undoing when the insects rise up against him.
The stories vary in length, tone and quality, but overall Cat Eyed Boy is a pretty campy horror anthology. The series is grounded in Japanese mythology, with many of the stories being new tellings of ancient myths.
Umezu’s art has a certain old-fashioned stiffness to it (I’ve seen someone compare his characters to mannequins). But his character designs for the monsters are much more lively and eye-catching, and since there are more demons and monsters in the series than normal people it works out pretty well.
You can read my review of the second volume of Cat Eyed Boy.