I write this post knowing that I am a complete newbie when it comes to reading horror manga. Works from Junji Ito and so are not a realm that I have explored before, which is why I jumped at the chance to read one of his works when I have the chance. Especially when it involved a lot of science fiction elements in it. Especially weird space nonsense because while I love space stuff in general, weird space stuff is another thing that is my jam. This seemed like the perfect fit for me when trying it out and I can’t help but feel like a mark was made and missed somewhere. Lets see if I can explain why. Spoilers
Remina starts off with a very unique premise. Dr. Oguro sees a strange object out in space and calls it after her daughter, Remina. From this famous event, Remina becomes a star. An idol perhaps and she just raises in fame and gains a larger fan base of people who love her. Of course, the object in space called Remina turns out to be a planet that eats other plants on its way to Earth. With that doom in question, the world slowly raises up against the person Remina with the belief that if Remina dies, the planet can be saved. Yeah, that was the experience. The manga itself opens with Remina being crucified so none of this is a spoiler.
So this is obviously a story that focuses on multiple themes. The first one being the nature of fandom itself in terms of persecuting a famous person with the planet Remina being a representation of the in person Remina’s inner thoughts on what is going on around her. There is even a small amount of 1%er commentary about those idiots landing on a planet that is hostile to them without even considering that issue. Those are two very good things to explore. At the same time, all of that is ruined by the nature of the manga. It’s insane and completely ungrounded in every way possible. Remina’s fame just happens as instantly as all of this insanity happens. A lot of this manga is a chase game with convenient moments that save Remina’s life and that goes from on foot chases to the planet losing gravity from spinning too fast and still chasing Remina in the sky. It’s crazy. There is a very minimal level of dialogue here, it’s mainly action panels and it’s whatever.
At least the art is incredible though. I’m amazed at how beautiful the art is. It’s a very well detailed manga with panels that flow well in time with the barely there narrative to sell the complete package together. The space stuff looked insane and the technology for all the rockets and space suits. If Junji Ito wrote a normal space opera manga, he has more then the artistic talent for it. Would recommend for the art alone. Other then that, I can’t help but say I was completely unimpressed with Remina. It’s just whatever. I may need to check out more of Junji Ito’s work though. Maybe read some real gems or something.
If you are still interested in Remina after what I wrote and/or just want to read it for yourself, Remina is available by Viz Media on a lot of other platforms. This is the link to find out where: https://www.viz.com/read/manga/junji-ito/product/6512/hardcover