October Mythology Special: The Disembodied Hands of Legend

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I’m sure you’ve noticed just how much I’ve been talking about XXXHolic, and it’s not just because it’s that time of year when I want to read slightly spooky or mystical stories. The content of XXXHolic hits on a lot of humanity’s biggest fears and insecurities, including the ones from legends and folklore. In chapter 26 of the manga, Watanuki keeps running into a disembodied hand on his way home from buying groceries. A hand sticking out of a cherry blossom tree. A hand lying behind a sandwich sign. At first he brushes it off as a mannequin hand, but when he makes it to the park, the hand is there again sticking straight up out of the ground. As he watches, a small petal falls onto its palm, the fingers close and reopen. The petal is gone. When some kids get too close, Watanuki loses his grocery bag to the hand and it drags it back into the earth where suspicious crunching noises are heard.

Stumbling into this short encounter while reading XXXHolic had me wondering what other kinds of myths were out there concerning disembodied hands, and is this one related to any in particular. I realize it might be a strange thought to have, but hear me out and join me as I go down this rabbit hole. I promise I’ll try and keep it short this time. Continue reading

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Anti-Valentine’s Day: Ghost Stories English Dub Anime Review

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Everyday on this blog is Valentine’s Day, so for this and every year after, February 14th will be known as Anti-Valentine’s Day here. This will be a time where we take a look at one non-romance anime, manga, or comic whether it be horror, mystery, or even comedy. In the case of the one we’re looking at today, it’s all three. Ghost Stories, specifically the English Dub, has developed a cult following over the years mainly due to the ridiculous amount of freedom given to the voice actors during development. The story itself is generic to the point of being boring, and I can understand why the original bombed in Japan. I think it’s really only through the creativity of ADV Films that this show developed as much of a following as it has now. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest checking this one out as all 20 episodes are widely available online.

The anime is based off of some fairly popular books by Tōru Tsunemitsu. The story goes that a girl, Satsuki, and her little brother, Keiichirou, move to the hometown of their deceased mother. On the first day of school, while chasing their pet cat, they and three other kids (Leo, Hajime, and Momoko) are led into the school’s old building. It’s while searching through the building that they learn that it is in fact haunted. They also discover that Satsuki’s mother was the one who sealed this ghosts away in the first place through the discovery of a book she left behind, and that construction on a nearby mountain released all of the ghosts she sealed away. Now Satsuki and the rest of them have to re-seal these ghosts away one by one. Continue reading

The Other Side: A Paranormal Romance Anthology Review

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The Other Side is a queer paranormal romance anthology largely funded by Kickstarter that debuted in Spring 2016. I first came across it when I attended a small indie comic expo in Boston where a lot of the contributing authors were attending. I was originally looking for pretty much anything in the romance genre that I could review, but The Other Side is unique like most anthologies in that it features a variety of authors and styles I can talk about. It features 19 stories from 23 different authors focusing on queer romance in a paranormal setting, so anything from the love between human and ghost or human and monster, though the stories don’t stop there. With primarily PG-13 content, this anthology looks to showcase underrepresented groups such as gay/lesbian, transsexual, and everything in between.

Continue reading