A collection of horror one-shots. The title story tells of a school teacher dealing with a troubled student. He is aggressive and bullying toward the other children, and something appears to wrong with his skin. As if it’s thinning. Things get a lot more serious when the teacher visits his home…
For the most part, I enjoyed this collection, though it’s clear this was earlier in Junji Ito’s career. This wasn’t the stage where he was drawing some of the absolutely insane art that you’ll find in Uzumaki or Tomie. Many of these stories seemed downright mundane as far as the art is concerned, compared to what I know he can do, but the storytelling itself was still strong.
Out of the stories here, I thought the title tale, “Flesh-Colored Horror”, was strong. “Dying Young”, which was about a disease that made the homely girls at a local school beautiful before killing them, was another of the more robust stories. In this case, it was an interesting play on the vampire myth, though other readers might think I’m stretching to say that. I felt there were parallels to be made, and I liked the originality of it. I also felt this story was attempting to be a commentary on vanity, how it destroys, and I appreciated that about it.
The weakest of the stories was definitely “Beehive” for me. It was a revenge story incorporating bees, and it just didn’t do anything for me.
Even though this is a somewhat tame collection for my tastes, I think this would be a great place to start for those of you who want to cautiously get into Junji Ito’s work.