Vol: 3; Ch: 29
2004 - 2006
3.607 out of 5 from 451 votes
Rank #24,397

A gruesome, disfigured, naked man climbs from beneath a manhole and wanders the streets briefly before vomiting blood and falling down dead. Detectives Nao and Ken are sent to investigate the case, but what they uncover is far more horrifying than they could possibly have imagined. What could have been a simple parasitic infection could have widespread, deadly consequences, and it's up to the duo to discover the truth behind these events...

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"Manhole" is a manga series penned by Tetsuya Tsutsui, known for delving into the darker, often overlooked corners of society through a gripping narrative. The story unfolds with the discovery of a manhole cover left ajar, leading to a harrowing incident that soon spirals into a full-blown epidemic. As the series progresses, it becomes clear that a bio-terrorist threat looms over the city, with the protagonists, a dedicated team of police officers, racing against time to uncover the source and motive behind the outbreak. "Manhole" stands out for its exploration of bio-terrorism, public health crises, and the psychological toll on those tasked with protecting society. Diving Deep Intricate Plotting: "Manhole" is commendable for its complex and well-constructed narrative that meticulously unravels the mystery of the epidemic. The manga effectively maintains suspense and intrigue, keeping readers engaged as the story progresses. Character Dynamics: The series offers a look into the lives and struggles of its characters, particularly the law enforcement officers at the story's core. Their dedication, fears, and moral dilemmas add a human element to the bio-terrorism plot, grounding the high-stakes drama in relatable human experiences. Social Commentary: Tsutsui's work shines in its ability to weave critical social commentary into the fabric of its storytelling. "Manhole" prompts readers to consider the vulnerabilities of urban infrastructures, the ethics of science, and the responsibilities of those in power. Encountering Obstacles Pacing Challenges: A rating of 6/10 suggests that while "Manhole" excels in many areas, it may struggle with pacing issues. Certain sections of the narrative could feel either rushed or overly drawn out, potentially impacting the overall cohesion and flow of the story. Character Depth: Though the series introduces compelling characters, there might be a perceived lack of depth or development in some areas. Readers could be left wanting more from the characters' backstories or a more nuanced exploration of their personal growth throughout the crisis. Under the Surface Artistic Detail: The art in "Manhole" contributes significantly to its atmosphere, with detailed depictions of the urban setting and the visceral horror of the epidemic. The visual storytelling enhances the sense of urgency and the grotesque nature of the bio-terrorist threat. Ethical Quandaries: The manga skillfully presents ethical questions surrounding science, authority, and individual rights in the face of public health emergencies. These themes encourage readers to think critically about the real-world implications of the story's events. Conclusion "Manhole" offers a compelling dive into the fears and fascinations surrounding bio-terrorism and public health, anchored by a solid narrative and complex characters. Series has strengths in creating suspense and engaging social commentary, while also noting areas where pacing and character development could be improved. Despite its shortcomings, "Manhole" remains a thought-provoking read, pushing readers to confront uncomfortable realities about society's underpreparedness for crises and the moral complexities faced by those on the front lines.

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