Cat Eyed Boy, Vol. 2
Wherever Cat Eyed Boy goes, disaster and terror follow. It’s unclear whether he brings the bad things or if he’s drawn to them, but Kazuo Umezu is considered a master at the horror genre in manga and his Cat Eyed Boy series shows us why. His work is gruesome, grotesque, and raw, but it’s also fascinating and sometimes revealing.
The second volume consists of the following stories: “The Band of One Hundred Monsters, Part Two,” “The Meatball Monster,” “The Thousand-Handed Demon,” “The Stairs,” “The Promise,” “The Hand,” and “The Friend.” At almost 500 pages, this is a thick manga and the first three stories are each about one hundred pages. The next three stories are considerably shorter.
The first story is a continuation of one left hanging in the previous volume. A group of monsters wants to make people as ugly as their hearts by mutilating them and turning them into monsters as well. Cat Eyed Boy is trying to stop this from happening. Sometimes he acts heroically, while other times he’s amoral or even harmful to characters.
The next story, “The Meatball Monster,” has a monster with a silly name but is actually a very strong story. A family is cursed so that members see the Meatball Monster and die from it. Cat Eyed Boy, after receiving a blood transfusion from a family member, is now part of the curse and has to save his life and the lives of others.
The third story, “The Thousand-Handed Demon,” has a woman feeding blood to a statue of a goddess in hopes of bringing it to life. She succeeds, but what she actually awakens is a demon.
The shorter story “The Stairs” is gripping and is about a boy wanting to say goodbye to his dead mother. Cat Eyed Boy has a way to let him, but it only causes more trouble. In “The Promise” a snake monster follows a young boy who has unwittingly been given to the snake monster by his father. “The Hand” deals with a boy trying to save his mother from hell after seeing a horrible vision. The final story, “The Friend” is also haunting and has a major twist. It’s interesting how many of these stories deal so strongly with children.
Altogether, the second volume of Cat Eyed Boy is even stronger than the first. The first was dark and intriguing, but this one gives the reader more chilling ideas.
Reviewed by Danica Davidson on July 6, 2012
Cat Eyed Boy, Vol. 2
- Publication Date: June 24, 2008
- Genres: Graphic Novel
- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
- ISBN-10: 1421517914
- ISBN-13: 9781421517919