When death wears your face, it is terrifying. That’s exactly what Hanging Balloons is about. Not the usually cheery nature of balloons brightening your birthdays, and parties and celebrations, no no. These are Junji Ito’s Hanging Balloons. These are your faces with death written all over them.
Hanging balloons is watching death approaching you WITH YOUR FACE! It haunts you, stalks you, and eventually also taunts you.
Junji Ito sure knows making death horrifying – by bringing your face balloons stalking till you relent so it can hang you. Yeah you read that absolutely right, HANG YOU. It’s creepy as WOW.
Hanging balloons doesn’t even bother explaining the entire concept of WHY THERE ARE BALLOONS WITH YOUR FACE, and I think it works pretty well. You don’t really want to know about it because the threat, and the tension of just waiting for your death is so immense that the reasoning just don’t matter. You are wrapped around the dread of watching people snatched away from their homes and dying, and their corpses hanging by the balloons. The art is so evocative, you might as well hear them from their homes being snatched away, and thanks to the letterer and the art of writing dialogs in the panel.
There is a face balloon for every one in the town it seems, and maybe knowing the reason of this cryptic takeover may not be as arresting as it is without revealing the explanation about the catastrophe.
It is funny if you try to tell someone about the short story and while reciting you might find it ridiculous, watching each panel bursting with beautiful life like characters worry about the the looming death is precisely why the ridiculous is the normal in the world of the Junji Ito Manga horror. He makes it believable with unimaginable ease very difficult to replicate with characters you want to root for till the very end.
The story is about death and waiting for death. it’s about watching loved ones whisked away right in front of you, its about the long distance between dysfunctional families that don’t listen or understand each other, it is about patience, and it is about hopelessness. It is about waiting for nothing, and questioning everything. It is about choosing death through denial. The horror manga may seem ridiculous but the terror of watching loved ones die because of their stubbornness, and without saying goodbye is a terrifying ordeal. Missing them and ultimate loss.
To conclude, Hanging Balloons is a fascinating Manga horror short comic you MUST read & experience. Highly recommended.
If you like this review from Junji Ito, then also read,
- Human Chair Here
- Gentle Goodbye Here
- Phantom Mansion Here
- Library of illusions Here
- Whispering Woman Here
- Layers of Fear Here
- Uzumaki Here
- Love as Scripted Here
- Long Dream Here
- The Enigma of Amigara Faults
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