MANGA REVIEW | "Blood on the Tracks" - Volume Four
For awhile, Seiichi felt alone in Blood on the Tracks. After what his mother has done to his cousin and to himself, the kid has had trouble speaking. The trauma he feels is suffocating both literally and metaphorically, to the point where he wonders if he’ll be rescued from his personal Hell. Fortunately, a kind girl re-enters his world, bringing forth a shoulder for Seiichi to cry on.
Soon after being nearly strangled by his mother, Seiichi has his fair share of troubles in school. His problems grab the attention of Fukiishi, the girl who’s in love with him. After re-finding his voice with her, Seiichi begins to spend more time after-school with Fukiishi, as they have a lot more in common than they initially thought. However, Mommy starts to wonder where her baby boy’s been late into the evening, and her state-of-mind cracks even more.
The thing about Shuzo Oshimi’s storytelling techniques is that he knows how to pull readers into the same room as his characters. You feel that lump in Seiichi’s throat as he attempts to speak or scream, as the situation reaches scarily real levels. But once in awhile, Oshimi throws readers a bone, and the relief that Seiichi feels when Fukiishi comforts him also befalls them. And yet, even when you feel that comfort, you know that something’s around the corner to punch you square in the eye.
The final moments of Blood on the Tracks’s fourth volume will have anyone on the edge of their seat. Without spoiling anything, Mommy finds out what Seiichi’s been doing with Fukiishi, and she takes it in the way you’d expect her to. And the chase begins, as the tension rises to nearly unbearable levels. Finally, the moment arrives, and readers will know that whatever card Seiichi or Fukiishi plays against Mommy will not work out in the long run. But in a way, the end result was the only thing the two of them could do to come out on top in some way.
Blood on the Tracks is like a runaway train set ablaze with its conductor chuckling like Naomi Watts’s father on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The faster it goes, the more damage it will bring when it finally crashes. Volume Four of Blood on the Tracks is seeing one of the train cabins explode, and you don’t know whether or not to be horrified or be in awe of the spectacle. Perhaps it’s both, as Shuzo Oshimi would happily take both reactions from the monstrosity that he’s created.
Promotional consideration provided by Tomo Tran of Vertical Comics