A woman walks alone at the foot of Mount Sengoku. A man appears, saying he’s been waiting for her, and invites her to a nearby village. Surprisingly, the village is covered in hairlike volcanic glass fibers, and all of it shines a bright gold. At night, when the villagers perform their custom of gazing up at the starry sky, countless unidentified flying objects come raining down on them—the opening act for the terror about to occur!
Ito (the Uzumaki series) retains his crown as manga king of body horror in this time-twisting thriller that expertly blends science fiction and religious occultism. Kyoko Byakuya, a young woman hiking around the volcanic Mount Sengoku in Japan, is drawn to a village covered in golden volcanic glass "hair" that grants the villagers—cultists of an Edo-period Christian missionary—telepathic abilities. Then the volcano erupts and spreads massive amounts of the golden hair over the surrounding area. Kyoko escapes with bizarre powers of her own, and a series of macabre paranormal events leads her, joined by plucky investigative journalist Wataru, around the country. Each chapter holds up on its own as a short horror story, and it's chilling to watch the tendrils of fate slowly close in on Kyoko and Wataru as the cosmic horror accumulates. Yet, Ito introduces an unexpected note of optimism and light in the climactic action. As the creator notes in an afterword, "the characters might have been moving on their own for me for the first time." This is a must-read for Ito's fans, who will be reminded by this truly unpredictable offering that when he's good, he's gut-wrenchingly good.