Jisatsu Circle (2002) – The Suicide Club

Sion Sono’s “Suicide Club” adapted to the manga written by Usamaru Furuya with the same title. It’s not his first work I’ve read from the author. Previously, I had read “No Longer Human” adapted from a novel. It’s based on the same title by Osamu Dazai. It’s not one of the darkest or depressing manga. This is a short manga. It has the same story and premise as the movie about mass suicide by schoolgirls.

While this is just a one-volume manga with six chapters, there isn’t much I can say from it. It begins with one of the most memorable, horrible, and disturbing opening sequences ever. It tells the story of Saya Kota. She survives mass suicide on a train. 50 more of schoolgirls died without no one there. Saya Kota lost her both mentally and externally. In this case, Kyoko who is her best friend feel something empty inside her. She tried to find out the ins and outs of the club. Of course, the terrifying history from the club and why it could happen.

I love this kind of story because, in the end, the story will continue in an endless cycle. There is no one can stop it. There will be other victims who fall continuously. Indeed, the story feels forced. There is no depth of the story, and it makes no any sense. I just don’t know why the people or adults in the manga didn’t take any action. In fact, there are so many plot holes which I don’t think are logic in the story. Regardless, this is disturbing and creepy manga. Yet, six chapters at least making you as the worst nightmare for once.

The important point that leads to the horror aspect is that the art which is certainly so creepy. The character designs are almost all frightful, whatever anyone, the girls, the adults, the other characters, anything. They always make some various facial expressions which it makes me weird but not too creepy. This part builds the mood of the characters because the design character looks like a bad person from the outside. Still, it got me some weird feeling from the gore aspect especially at the end of the story.

Although Kyoko is the hero of this manga, Saya Kota actually the main focused. We learn about her past, comparing her characteristics before joining the suicide club until it seems she was brainwashed victim. The manga also explains the various dark events and history of the club itself. The former leaders before Saya Kota and others. Sensei which helped through the story. I thought he was the person behind it or the bad guy, it’s not like that. This point, as well as what I said, seems forced and told in one story so that it’s forgettable.

I don’t know the obvious reason all characters in this manga of why they formed the club. The trick is if the story actually quite developing, deepening or maybe the story which exiled by society, it might add to the impression but there is nothing like that. This kind of story is indeed interesting at certain points and I also can’t say how I feel. I don’t find it memorable because this is one of the most manga that can be read in just a few minutes. This manga mixes a feeling that I can’t understand but at the very least, it’s a bit enjoying with stories which are so depressing, creepy, but weird regardless of the plot holes.

“Jisatsu Circle” is not one of the bad ones with a concept that involves society and dark yet terrifying impression. “No Longer Human” is one of the hard manga to read not because there are some lacks but it’s really hit at the certain point. This manga is also not recommended for people who don’t like gore, especially the body pieces. Various aspects are at least developed through a little because it might be more interesting to add some unique things from the characters or references from the movie which I haven’t watch the movie yet. “Jisatsu Circle” is not too memorable yet not too interesting but it’s one that I love about the horror which involves psychological and mental illness.

2.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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