From the Red Fog Vol. 1 Review – An Enthralling Dark Read
Title: From the Red Fog Vol. 1
Author: Mosae Nohara
Release Date: February 22, 2022
Publisher: Yen press
I’m not used to manga that follows a dark theme. Typically, I gravitate towards the anti-heroes, but they usually have redeemable qualities. From the Red Fog doesn’t play by these rules, though. Here, we have a protagonist who is as evil as they come. It’s so out of place that as you read, you feel like it’s just an extended dream, and sooner or later, we’ll snap back to reality and learn that all the horrible things that occurred were just imagined. However, that’s not the case here.
From the Red Fog Vol. 1 introduces a broken and beat protagonist named Ruwanda. He was brought up in darkness and abused by his mother as he killed countless people at her bidding. This lust for killing is a common trait for Ruwanda, who actively craves chaos. He’s untrusting to everyone he meets but plays it cool until the timing is right to make his move. Unfortunately, this tends to get him into a few nasty situations with adults, which creates an attempt at a play for sympathy from the reader. Sadly, that doesn’t last long as the sympathy fades quickly after you realize no one is safe.
The story introduces several characters I would have loved to learn more about, but Ruwanda ended up killing shortly afterward. Though the entire world seems to be broken, Ruwanda’s allegiance is scattered. Furthermore, his rules for murder seem to be haphazard and challenging to follow after people who are clearly using him are allowed to live. It’s not just Ruwanda; this setting is morbid as we get a peek behind the curtain of some of the most disturbing people you could imagine.
I might not be making this clear, but From the Red Fog Vol. 1 is a sprint through a nightmare. It grabs ahold of your focus and doesn’t let go. You become desensitized to the killings as the tension builds and the body count. You want so badly to care about Ruwanda, but you also can’t help but hate him. Even while writing this, it’s hard to say a redeeming quality about this character. Some significant interactions between the killings hint that maybe Ruwanda will change, but then he just kills again.
There’s a lot of graphic imagery in this volume, including scenes of gore and rape. I wasn’t expecting this direction, but I can say that it provides the impact that it tries to convey to the reader. Unfortunately, the pacing is hectic and quickly moving as if author Mosae Nohara assumed someone will pull the plug on the series by the next chapter. Now that Volume 2 is confirmed, I hope we can slow down and get a sense of timing and structure established. I just don’t know if a story about a kid who tours the region and kills sounds too compelling.
From the Red Fog Vol. 1 is an absolute nightmare. It’s beautiful at times, though, in the darkest sense. I couldn’t help but fall into the panels of disturbing imagery as my dislike for the main protagonist grew. And still, I feel sympathy for his situation. If you’re looking for a narrative that doesn’t follow the hero’s story, this one seems to be headed in the right direction. I can only hope that the following volumes are more grounded.
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