io9 has a new ‘not safe for work’ article in “The Long Tentacle of H.P. Lovecraft in Manga”, a breathless scamper through Lovecraft’s reception and use in Japanese manga comics. Though supposedly about manga the article is unable to resist slithering in a mention of a genre of interactive, erm… “romance system tentacle battle” games and the existence of “porn anime” animated movies with titles such as Mystery of the Necronomicon. Generally the reader gets the impression that Lovecraft in Japan looks like this


Yes, apparently Nyarko W is one of the top Lovecraft inspired series. Which, in terms of sheer chutzpah in using Lovecraft’s name and characters, rather overshadows the West’s recent wave of feeble ‘Kickstarter cash-ins’.

Though the article does have a more interesting mention of…

Innsmouth wo ô Kage [Insmus wo Oou Kage, 1992], Chiaki Konaka’s 1990s TV adaptation of “The Shadow over Innsmouth” transplanted to the foggy byways of rural Japan”

Sounds good, but looking at it on the YouTube link (above) it just seems very ‘TV movie flat’, cheesy, and distinctly lacking in mist and shadow. Maybe I skipped past too much.

Not that much to get excited about, then in terms of the possibility of a Japanese equivalent of a Berni Wrightson or a Mike Ploog penning Lovecraft adaptations in comics. But should readers want a little more authoritative detail on Lovecraft in Japanese manga, maybe in order to dig up a comic worth licensing for an English translation, the io9 article helpfully notes…

In an article in the Japanese Mythos horror anthology Night Voices, Night Journeys (published in English in 2005 by Kurodahan Press), Yoshihiro Yonezawa and Satoshi Hoshino provide an exhaustive 50-page history of manga which really refer to Lovecraft.”