Author: Kaili Sorano
Illustrator: Kaili Sorano
Publisher(s): Diamond Book Distributors, Tokyopop
Genre: Horror, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Yamagishi, a small, but powerful boxer, and Sendo, a bookworm obsessed with the occult, are essentially polar opposites. However, a strange paranormal occurrence at their school suddenly brings the two boys together. In the midst of this phenomenon, they witness a man with a monstrous flower for a head, attack and take over a human being. As a result, Yamagishi and Sendo quickly become embroiled in a series of odd occurrences.
This eventually leads to them meeting Akisato, a mysterious paranormal investigator. The three end up becoming trapped in a nightmarish world known as the “Beyond,” plagued with giant insects and other horrific creatures. The group must work together to find the “key,” if they are to have any hope of escaping.
The story of Parham Itan is quite interesting and engrossing throughout. Its official synopsis states that the story was inspired by Lovecraftian horror, and to me, that influence is clear. I really like how these aspects were incorporated into the manga; they make for a truly unique story and universe. From the very beginning, the story is fairly fast-paced. But, that quick pace fits well with the story. It doesn’t detract from the atmosphere and tone at all.
Moreover, this manga has a great balance of comedy and seriousness. There’s enough humor to provide some levity from the often dark, somber story. However, it never becomes too much. Actually, I think it strikes a near perfect blend.
All of the characters in Parham Itan are fascinating, with Sendo probably being my favorite. I found his personality to be unique and endearing. Additionally, I loved his passion for the paranormal and occult. Yamagishi is sort of a reluctant hero, stepping up because he’s forced to by his present situation. I’m especially interested to see how his character develops over future volumes.
And last but not least, there’s Akisato. This particular volume didn’t divulge much about Akisato and his background. But, he makes for quite a cool mentor type character.
As I stated before, the Lovecraftian influence is really apparent, and it adds some neat layers to this manga. The author even had a section at the end discussing this inspiration further. Said section included a stat sheet for Yamagishi, with individual values for traits like Strength, Intelligence, etc. I thought this was a nice touch; it complements the story well.
In addition, the art is absolutely gorgeous, maintaining a detailed, visually appealing style the entire time. Similarly, the character designs are distinct and memorable. I could easily distinguish them from other manga characters and series. The enemy designs are also cool and suitably creepy, with the plant based ones being especially eerie.
Overall, Parham Itan is an interesting, engaging story with a cast of endearing, colorful characters to enhance it. This manga’s tone is dark and mysterious all throughout, which fits the story well. Furthermore, the art style is beautiful, detailed, and distinct, perfectly illustrating the Lovecraftian influence. Truly, I’m so excited to see how the story and characters progress from here. I can’t wait for the next volume!
5 / 5 Stars
Thanks to NetGalley, Diamond Book Distributors, and Tokyopop for this book. I received a free copy from them, in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own.