Homunculus, Manga Recommendation of the Week!

Key points for Manga Recommendation – Homunculus:

  • Homunculus delves into profound philosophical questions, leaving readers pondering the nature of reality and perception, adding layers to the storytelling.
  • Nakoshi’s transformation from a mundane salaryman to a man confronting his inner demons through trepanation drives the narrative forward, supported by a diverse cast with their own complexities.
  • Yamamoto Hideo’s dark and realistic art style complements the manga’s themes perfectly, enhancing the immersive experience and intensifying the impact of its psychological and supernatural elements.

I jumped into this manga quite recently. Funnily enough, I checked it out based on a MAL recommendation. And I was not disappointed. Homunculus despite its flaws manages to tell a compelling story with some great characters to boot and in the end, leaves you to ponder on a lot of things. I like it when mangas like these leave things open to interpretation because that adds a lot to the philosophy they are trying to convey. And this manga understands that.

So welcome back to another edition of our manga recommendation series. This week we are talking about Homunculus. As I said, I recently finished this manga and I am quite impressed with it. So, let’s talk about it.

Introduction

Homunculus is written and illustrated by Yamamoto Hideo. It was serialized in the Big Comic Spirits magazine from March 2003 to February 2011. The manga is 166 chapters or 15 volumes long. It does not have an anime adaptation to speak of either. It is mostly a psychological manga with elements of horror and supernatural thrown in. Well, the supernatural thing is up to interpretation but still. It is a perfect blend of genres to fit the “seinen” classification.

Plot

The plot of this manga follows Nakoshi. Nakoshi was once a regular salaryman but stuff happened and now he is homeless. He still has the comfort of his cheap car to live in though and hence he is treated like an outcast by the other homeless men he interacts with. One day, a man, Manabu Ito approaches Nakoshi with an offer of partaking in trepanation – the process of drilling a hole in one’s skull in exchange for money. Nakoshi initially refuses but is forced to accept the offer after his car gets towed.

The operation goes as planned and for a while, Nakoshi doesn’t feel any different. But after a while, he starts seeing “homunculi” in everyone, as in, their repressed thoughts and feelings. Most of what he sees is wild and repulsive and drives him to the edge. What’s interesting here though is the question of whether what Nakoshi is seeing is real or if is it just some hallucination. The plot of the series revolves around this question and hints are pointing towards both of these answers. This is what makes the plot of this manga so good.

Characters

As you may imagine given the plot, Nakoshi gets a lot of character development throughout the series. Someone who was living a relatively normal life a while ago is forced to go through a sus procedure. And that changes his whole life. But he isn’t the only interesting character in the series, no. Another great character in Manabu Ito. Contrary to his gangster-like appearance, he is a smart and intelligent person. Then we have the supporting cast with characters like Yukari, Ita, Nanase, etc.

Art

The art in this manga is top-notch. It complements the complex and dark themes of the story really well. Seinen mangas always benefit from a more realistic art style and this manga is no different. The dark and realistic art style really helps in selling the tone of the manga. Also, IT IS CREEPY AS HELL. HELP-

Summing Up

Here’s why you should read Homunculus:

  • Interesting plot
  • Interesting philosophical questions
  • Great characters
  • Good art

That is all for now! Let me know what you guys think in the comments. I will take my leave here. See ya!

Also, check out this week’s anime recommendation here!

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