Higanjima a mysterious island, where everything started. This is dark action and survival horror series. The series is extremely graphical – nudity, blood & gore - and violent including horrible torture, rape, etc. It starts with two brothers Atsushi and Akira. Akira is the main protagonist. Atsushi, the older brother, disappeared. Akira learns about whereabouts of his older brother from mysterious woman, but unbeknown to him, the island, where Atsushi is, has been already overrun by vampires.
In the beginning the story is quite interesting and it takes several chapters before it rolls in to the actual island, which name is in the title. It has pretty long build-up, but no worry the process is interesting in itself. I recommended to read at least first four volumes.
However, it eventually becomes repetitive especially in the sequels. The first series Higanjima has somewhat more interesting pool of characters, than later series as they know each other and the manga does take time in the beginning to establish their characters. I don’t want to go into details as it might spoil some elements of the story, but overall, I did enjoy the story.
I like the art, because it goes for more realistic style especially of female characters. Aside from average vampires, which eventually become cannon fodder, the true staple of the series are daemons – “oni”. Those are powerful monsters, where mangaka unhindered by limits of mere vampire form introduces various grotesque monsters. Throughout the series there so many kinds of those monsters. The second signature thing for the Higanjima is people releasing content of bladder when bitten by a vampire. A fetish of the mangaka I guess. In later series this element somewhat subsides.
The Higanjima is the first series, followed by the Higanjima Saigo no 47 hiai (Higanjima last 47 days) and the latest Higanjima 48 Nichigo (Higanjima the 48 days after). This is the correct order for reading, which pretty much shows flow of the story. As I’m writing this review the last series is still ongoing.
Japanese language difficulty 5/10 (see my profile for details about various difficulty scores)
It doesn’t have furigana obviously for an adult series. I would say, it’s average difficulty.
Overall, from the series I would definitely recommend this – the first one – because it’s the most interesting one story-wise later series devolve more into action. However, the first series I think ends incomplete and continues bit loosely with sequel, where new characters are introduced.