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Cat Eyed Boy


Cat Eyed Boy

Wherever Cat Eyed Boy goes, terrible things happen. He doesn’t make them happen—it more seems that he unconsciously is summoned to scenes of horror.
Told in a series of short stories, Cat Eyed Boy does what it can to be creepy, grotesque, and disturbing. It does a very good job of this. None of it scared me, but it left an impression. It’s more of a strange book than a scary book, in the sense that the pictures are more likely to momentarily unsettle your stomach than keep you up at night. Most of the horror in this book is imagery horror, like monsters, and Kazuo Umezu comes up with quite a few unique images of them.
In the very first story, Cat Eyed Boy comes across a family chased down by a man who can’t die. Like something out of nightmares, he keeps coming back, though there is gruesome evidence of his previous deaths. In the next story, a boy is born deformed and is hated by other people because of it. For a very short part of this story, we feel sympathy for this character because of how he’s treated. That sympathy does not last long, though, because he has a sadistic soul and is soon torturing animals and plotting his revenge. He finds a way to transfer his brain to another person’s body—the body of a beautiful man—but things turn sour before long.
Later, some of Cat Eyed Boy’s history is explained. During sections of the book he is a witness to the story, taking little part. At other times, however, he gets involved with the latest plot line. Unlike the previously mentioned deformed boy, Cat Eyed Boy is a sympathetic character. People assume the worst of him because they think he looks weird and they don’t take a chance to get to know him.
There’s something about the artwork in Cat Eyed Boy that reminds me of the 1950s. But only some things, like how Umezu draws some of his human characters. A number of boys look similar, except for changes in hairstyle. However, his images of monsters and the likes are something entirely unto themselves.
Cat Eyed Boy is not for someone who is easily disturbed by pictures. They’re only drawings, but their creepiness factor is rather high. However, it is an intriguing read that ought to interest fans of horror and macabre stories. Kazuo Umezu creates his own disturbing but fascinating world in Cat Eyed Boy, sucking readers into a dark universe where monsters and nightmares are everywhere.

Reviewed by Danica Davidson on July 6, 2012

Cat Eyed Boy
by Kazuo Umezu

  • Publication Date: June 10, 2008
  • Genres: Graphic Novel
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
  • ISBN-10: 1421517922
  • ISBN-13: 9781421517926