REVIEW: ‘Remina’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Remina

Remina was originally published in 2005 under the name Hellstar Remina and is written and illustrated by horror master Junji Ito. This month, VIZ Media published the title through its Signature imprint in English. If you’re not familiar, Remina is the latest Junji Ito title published by VIZ and it is just as beautiful as the other hardcover prints of Ito’s stories, namely Venus in the Blind Spot which came out earlier this year. If you’re unfamiliar with Remina, it’s a Lovecraftian space-horror story that centers on an unknown planet with eyes, a long tongue, and a large mouth filled with sharp teeth and which is moving towards Earth.

In Remina, an unknown planet emerges from inside a wormhole, and its discoverer, Dr. Oguro, christens the body “Remina” after his daughter. His finding is met with excitement from the public, and given that the planet’s namesake is his daughter and shares its age with her, Remina herself rises to fame. However, the planet’s movement picks up speed as its course becomes increasingly strange. Soon, it becomes clear that the planet is moving towards the Earth’s solar system and eliminating planets and stars along the way until finally approaching Earth.

But, with Earth facing annihilation, the population doesn’t take the government’s advice, and instead, they panic, blaming Remina (the girl) for Remina’s (the planet) destructive force. More than blaming her, the mob begins to believe her death will bring about the end of the planet, and the story quickly spirals, blending horror and science fiction in a way that showcases the darkness of humanity and what lies in the abyss of space.

A story about a Hell Star and the torment of a girl it’s named after, Remina is shockingly good that accelerates its pacing just as quickly as the planet does. The ferocity of Ito’s story and his art are unmatched by anything else in printed sci-fi horror. In humans, you see the classic markers of Ito’s work: intense and shocking eyes, gaping mouths, and a pulp aesthetic. But in the cosmic elements, the planet has all the fearful and grotesque elements of an Old God. A mix of cosmic and bodily horror on the planet’s surface is unsettling and its whipping tongue will easily cause you to squirm in your seat. When you toss in the religious imagery and usage, Remina is a story that chills, unsettles, and excites all at the same time.

While the story and art make this title a must-read, VIZ Media’s hardcover physical copy is a must-buy based on its beauty. With a glossy cover, the free pages of the book feature illustrations of the planet and the girl. In fact, it’s the cover from the story’s original printing in 2005.

Overall, Remina is a graphic Lovecraftian cosmic-horror novel that pushes the envelope and shows the worst of us all. And, in true Ito fashion, all pathways that seem to offer hope only provide a bleak emptiness fitting of space.

Remina is available from booksellers on December 15, 2020.

Remina
5

TL;DR

Overall, Remina is a graphic Lovecraftian cosmic-horror novel that pushes the envelope and shows the worst of us all. And, in true Ito fashion, all pathways that seem to offer hope only provide a bleak emptiness fitting of space.