As a storyteller of horror, I have often been asked what story has ever scared me the worst. To be honest, there are quite a few that have but one of the biggest ones, I have to say, is Hellstar Remina by Japanese horror comic artist Junji Ito. For those not in the know, Junji Ito is a famous horror artist both within and without Japan due to the amount of detail he can put into various scenes and how gruesomely realistic he can make them. Some of his other works include Uzumaki (not to be confused with Uzumaki Naruto) which tells the tale of a small Japanese town caught in an inexplicable and terrifying circumstances, Tomie which is about an immortal and utterly immoral young woman and Gyo which chronicles the outbreak of a very unconventional zombie apocalypse.
Anyway, Hellstar Remina begins when a scientist discovers another planet that has somehow traveled near our solar system through a wormhole. Overjoyed by this new discovery, the scientist decides to name the astronomical anomaly after his own daughter Remina. However, just as the scientist’s daughter grows up to become a beautiful young woman admired by people throughout the world, the scientist soon discovers that the planet Remina is actually a colossal organism that devours other planets to feed itself.
Soon enough, the life of Remina, the young girl whom the planet is named after, devolves into a surrealistic hell of hysteria and murder. Due to the terror and madness caused by Planet Remina’s arrival, people on Earth soon become convinced that torturing and killing the scientist’s daughter can somehow prevent the monstrous planet from devouring our world. So begins a harrowing story of a young girl who must desperately flee for her life in order to avoid being butchered by people who were all too eager to worship her not long ago.
So why did I find this story scary?
Well, to be honest, it wasn’t really the world-eating eldritch abomination that scared me although yeah, it was plenty freaky on its own. What did scare me about the story was how savage and brutal people can become when their hysteria, desperation and utter stupidity mix together. As already mentioned, people initially saw Remina, the scientist’s daughter as a celebrity to be admired but when things got hairy they were quick to blame her for their troubles. True, there really was little they could do to save themselves but perhaps things would have been different had they just chosen to consider other options such as actually doing something to help one another survive.
“They get you, they don’t, don’t mean a thing to them. They’d never stop with you now that they got a taste for it.”
~Homeless Hero of the story
Perhaps the scariest line in the whole comic series…
One reason why I still find it hard to side with the Pro-Duterte crowd is because I can sense that some of them, just like the people in Hellstar Remina, will be out for his blood when he does stuff they don’t like or when the chips finally go down and they have no one else to blame. As I’ve said before, more often than not, the people who praise and adore you will probably be the first people to crucify you when things don’t go their way. All in all, while there’s plenty of cosmic horror in Hellstar Remina, the scariest aspect of the story is the evil ordinary people are willing to commit when their desperation and ignorance go together.
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