3.93 out of 5 from 24 votes
In the idyllic, suburban Soil New Town, everyone's lives are picturesque, down to the mandatory perfectly-manicured flower bed in front of every house. But this peaceful façade is shattered when the well-known Suzushiro family disappears during a power outage, leaving behind nothing but a pillar of salt. Things get even weirder with the arrival of a mountain of this same salt at the local school, a crossdresser fixated on transmission towers, and threatening messages demanding that every citizen pay a portion of the Suzushiro family’s ransom. The plain and often-frazzled detective Onoda and her sexist and hygienically-challenged boss, Sergeant Yokoi, are called in from out of town to help, but it's a tough case to crack. Will they be able to get any information out of the gossiping townspeople, all of whom hate outsiders and have something to hide?
The world is never quite the same once we grow up. Villains and robots that once ran rampant in our imaginations are reduced to drawings in Manga, and our lives are distilled until there is little left but the daily grind; so it has been for Kenji. After a childhood of dreams he now runs his late father's liquor store and is raising his sister's child. The memories and friends from his early years bring him some happiness, but they become tainted as a string of murders find connections to his past. Kenji and his friends must now fight to save the future from their past and unravel the mystery of "Friend."
Another extremely well-plotted seinen mystery/suspense manga with lots of layers, hefty psychological drama, and some very despicable characters. 20th Century Boys is more expansive ("epic", if you will), while Soil has a strong supernatural leaning, but fans of one should definitely check out the other.
Hikaru Takabe is an anti-social young girl who wants nothing more than to be left alone. One night, while on a school trip, she goes to the beach when suddenly a meteor falls from the sky killing her instantly. The next thing she knows, Hikaru is sitting in class and believes the event from the beach to be nothing more than a daydream. However, when a mysterious voice begins talking directly into her head it informs her that she really did die that night and in order to revive her, the alien presence, known as Horizon, must always reside inside her. However, Horizon also has another purpose for coming to this world; after chasing a malevolent being known as Maelstrom across the universe, his target - which has the power to destroy all creation - sought sanctuary on Earth. Now Hikaru must help Horizon to find Maelstrom hidden amongst the 7 billion people on earth and kill him before it’s too late.
Soil is way better than 7 Billion Needles, but they still remind me of each other a bit (especially the second volume of 7BN).
Both of these dark seinen manga have supernatural elements that invade a normal setting and wreak havoc, and fairly horrific imagery. Will probably appeal to the same audience.
Susamu Nakoshi, a man disillusioned with life, meets Manabu Ito, a young medical student bored with life. To relieve his boredom Ito offers Nakoshi 700,000 yen to undergo a trepanning to see if it will unlock his sixth sense, and Nakoshi eventually agrees. However, much to his dismay and chagrin it actually succeeds, and now Nakoshi must contend with seeing homunculi, the metaphysical and symbolic representations of a person's psychological disorder. He now helps people, usually against his own will and often theirs as well, with resolving their psychological problems.
Both of these mangas are great if you enjoy the twisted reality of human nature and mystifying oddities of the supernatural. The characters of both series aren't pretty and more often flawed than not, and the mangakaka does a wonderful job of illistrating their trip down the rabbit hole. Great series if you like physcological + paranormal mysteries.
In the seemingly-normal small Japanese town of Kurozu-cho, odd events are beginning to take place. Residents are becoming obsessed with spiral - whirlwinds, snail shells, pottery, or anything with a spiral design. But when strange events start happening in the town, with spirals appearing in disturbing places, can anyone escape their horrible draw?
Both Soil and Uzumaki start with an average small town, and chronicle their descent into the creepy/supernatural/eldritch.
Soil has oodles more facets, takes longer to build up speed (mainly because it's much longer), and has a more serious tone.