Otaku USA Magazine
Horror at Doll’s Village is a Creepy, Bucolic Summer Horror Manga

Horror at Doll’s Village opens with the characters in the midst of a bloody nightmare. Then it backtracks to a group of high schoolers in a bus, going to spend some time in the country. It’s just for a few days, in a place without cell phone coverage; a place where an earthquake can knock out the landlines and leave you stranded. What could go wrong?

Like other bucolic manga horror series, the teens start out okay, but things get creepier and creepier. Like, what is up with all the creepy dolls in the area? Why is the host family for some of the teens so against anyone going into their shed? Why is it when one boy does go in the shed, he finds a girl locked up there? Why is it when he shows the girl to the others, they see something else?

Before long the bodies start dropping, and within a few chapters we’re back up to the gory scene from the introduction, only now we know how the characters got there. Some parts of Horror at Doll’s Village can be a little trite in the horror genre, but it still works, and it creates a creepy atmosphere. Other times its revelations are shocking, and I mean that in a good way. It also gets more interesting as the characters begin to learn about the mythology behind this rural community. At this point it isn’t just violence, but there’s a reason for all this madness.

While not all the pages are gory, when Horror at Doll’s Village decides it wants to be gory, it doesn’t shy away from gruesome imagery. This isn’t a manga for the overly sensitive, but at the same time, it’s not the goriest manga I’ve seen. The amount of blood fits with the style of story it is, and since summertime is a period when spooky stories are especially popular in Japan, this can make for a great spooky summer story. Horror at Doll’s Village fits fine in the genre of rural horror in Japan, and horror aficionados can enjoy this escapist read. It is available exclusively on the Mangamo app.

Story: Yutori Hojo
Art: Kako Mochizuki
Publisher: Mangamo
Translator: Kevin Gifford


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.