Title: King Of Eden
Author: Takashi Nagasaki
Release Date: Horror
Publisher: Yen Press
With everything happening in the world right now it may seem a bit risky to release a horror manga that focuses on a deadly virus. If you’re like me though a horror story done right can actually provide a cathartic way of coping with real-life events. Luckily writer Takashi Nagasaki and artist Ignito handle the subject matter in King of Eden Vol. 1 well, adding plenty of fantastical elements resulting in an exciting and macabre mystery.
King of Eden Vol 1 begins in Spain with a deadly outbreak of a strange virus. The virus is fueled by an individual’s rage, deforming and contorting their bodies in monstrous ways, until they cannibalizing each other.
Quickly other parts of the world have similar pandemics forcing foreign governments to come together to find a cure. Dr. Rua Itsuki, an archeologist specializing in historical viruses is asked to help with the world health organization where he runs into Teze Yoo, who strangely has in-depth knowledge of the virus.
The virus in King of Eden takes some of the most iconic monsters like werewolves, zombies, and vampires and throws its lore in the Petri dish. It comes together for a familiar feeling horror but with just enough changes to make its monsters unique.
History and various cultures also play a huge part in the narrative. As someone who’s fascinated with mythology, I thoroughly enjoyed connections that were made to both real-life events and legends found in the story. Those that have little or no interest may find these sections and the exposition involved tedious, but even with that said it’s hard to deny how well-paced Vol 1 is.
It all builds to some truly suspenseful and morbid moments. There is even a bit of action added but thankfully it never feels too over-the-top or tries too hard to be cool. King of Eden Vol 1 does have an element of mystery, however, many times it can fairly predictable. Still, this really didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment while reading.
Ignito provides fantastically freakish artwork during each panel. Pen lines are often created with a hatched and at times almost scribbly style that fits perfectly with more chaotic moments. The monsters of the virus are hideous and have a really cool intricate design.
At times during a mythology section, the art style will shift drastically, but it never feels out of place and fits perfectly with the narrative. Humans are depicted in a cleaner style with each character looking beautifully distinct. Ignito’s art even seems to become better as the story progresses, making every page turn more exciting than the last.
King of Eden Vol 1 is a twisted take on pandemic horror that combines classic monsters and legends with a modern take. The creepy scenarios and depravity are all depicted in a beautiful dark art style that left me anxiously waiting to see what happens in Volume 2. While some elements of the story may be predictable, it didn’t diminish my spooky experience. If you’re looking for a scary manga to read this Halloween season, King of Eden Vol 1 is one you can definitely sink your teeth into.
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