Taimashin: Red Spider Exorcist, Vol. 2
written by Hideyuki Kikuchi
illustrated by Shin Yong-Gwan
Megumi is being chased by monsters, monsters who want to transform her into one of them.
Her understanding of reality is blurring, along with her understanding of life and death. Is she going crazy, or are there monsters really after her? And who is the man who keeps appearing before her?
She knows the man’s name. It’s Akamushi Fijiwara. He’s dressed like an aristocrat from the Heian Period and his face is “thousands of times more beautiful than the human world…but it was born in a world a million times more terrible!” Again and again he shows up to save Megumi from danger.
But at the beginning of the second volume, Megumi must come to understand why the monsters are after her. And the truth is even more devastating than she would have imagined.
The story of Megumi only takes up the first half of this volume. It’s wrapped up nicely, but the series continues. A fisherman sees Akamushi sail by in a boat and knows what he’s seeing isn’t human. Another girl seeks Akamushi out. She’s only thirteen, but she wants to marry him. Her family is cursed and he may be able to help.
While it initially may have seemed Megumi was the series’ main character, it now appears she is only the introductory story. At the present time, it seems to be a collection of stories — perhaps with one plot going through them, or perhaps not — where the mysterious Akamushi is the main character.
The second volume is, in fact, more transporting than the first one. It also makes more sense. The first volume was like being along for the ride but not fully understanding the situation. Meanwhile, the second volume — though it doesn’t answer all the questions — is much more comprehensible, which helps. It continues with its dark horror storytelling, sometimes morbid and gory. The sense of folklore in it — like the monsters — smooths it out and gives it added appeal. The art, done by Shin Yong-Gwan, goes very well with the story, merging from attractive to gruesome and everything in-between. Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist is quite a gripping read.