North American cover of Gyo, volume 1 by Viz Media
|Genre||Horror, Science fiction|
|Written by||Junji Ito|
|Magazine||Big Comic Spirits|
|Original run||2001 – 2002|
|Original video animation|
|Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack|
|Directed by||Takayuki Hirao|
|Released||February 15, 2012|
Gyo (ギョ?, Fish), fully titled Gyo Ugomeku Bukimi (ギョ うごめく不気味 Fish: Eerie to Wriggle?) in Japan, is a horror seinen manga written and illustrated by Junji Ito. Appearing as a serial in the weekly manga magazine Big Comic Spirits from 2001 to 2002. Shogakukan collected the chapters into two bound volumes from February 2002 to May 2002. The story revolves around a couple, Tadashi and Kaori, as they fight to survive against a mysterious horde of fish with metal legs powered by an odor known as the "death stench". The work also includes a pair of bonus stories, titled The Sad Tale of the Principal Post and The Enigma of Amigara Fault.
Viz Media published an English-language translation of the two volumes in North America from September 2003 to March 2004 and re-released it from October 2007 to January 2008. An anime adaptation by Ufotable was released on February 15, 2012.
Gyo opens with Tadashi, a young man, and his girlfriend Kaori, as they enjoy their scuba-diving vacation in Okinawa. Encountering an odd fish with legs, Kaori, who has a hyper-sensitive sense of smell, becomes irritated by its smell and begs Tadashi to get rid of it. He seals it in a bag, but it manages to escape. The next day, large amounts of marine life with legs invade Okinawa. Tadashi and Kaori manage to return to Tokyo, although Kaori becomes irritated and paranoid, claiming to smell the fish. They both encounter the bagged fish they originally encased and present it to his uncle, Doctor Koyanagi.
Koyanagi reveals that the creature is the result of the Japanese Army's World War II research into a virus that causes its host to produce a deadly and repulsive stench, in a desperate effort to turn the tide of the war. His father developed a "walking machine", which pumps the virus into a host and causes the host to release the gas which powers the machine's movement; walking machines were built to carry the hosts farther, allowing them to reach and sicken enemy troops. However, during the war, enemy aircrafts sunk the ship carrying the prototypes for the walking machines. Soon, Kaori and Tadashi discover that hordes of marine life with legs are invading Tokyo, having previously invaded the Kantō region. Infected by the gas, Kaori becomes depressed by her appearance and attempts to kill herself several times. Tadashi takes her to Koyanagi in an effort to save her but collapses in the process. Awakening one month later, he discovers that Koyanagi has placed her in a walking machine. She manages to escape, mortally wounding Koyanagi in the process.
Searching for her, Tadashi notices the citizens have become infected, causing the walking machines to attach themselves to the people and pump more gas. Tadashi learns that the gas has a will of its own, being composed of souls. He helps free Kaori from a circus and takes her back to Koyanagi's laboratory. There Koyanagi's assistant, Ms. Yoshiyama, reveals that Koyanagi has died. When she attempts to remove the walking machine from Kaori, Koyanagi appears with a modified walking machine that allows him to fly. Kaori notices Tadashi and Ms. Yoshiyama together and attempts to attack her. During the uproar, Koyanagi manages to capture Ms. Yoshiyama and fly away. Large groups of walking machines attack Kaori, and Tadashi becomes lost in his attempt to save her. He continues to search for her and notices the circus attack Koyanagi and Ms. Yoshiyama in the air. Tadashi encounters a group of college students, who explain that that the virus has been replicating the walking machine. He joins the students in their research to defeat the virus and save humanity. As they walk together, he encounters Kaori's remains and remarks that she is free from the smell.
- Tadashi (忠?): A young man who enjoys scuba diving. He has a girlfriend named Kaori and an uncle named Koyanagi. At the end he joins a group of university students, who happen to be immune from the death-stench, to create a vaccine to defeat the disease. In the OVA version, Tadashi becomes infected and is turned into a custom made walking corpse by Koyanagi. The machine later turns against Koyanagi and kills him before escaping.
- Kaori (華織?) : Tadashi's girlfriend. She has an extremely sensitive nose and becomes very jealous when Tadashi is near other women. Due to her overly sensitive nose, she seems to be able to smell the creatures when they are nearby. However, she is later infected, causing her body to swell up and forces the gas with the "death stench" out of her body. Because of this, she began to think she was disgusting, that Tadashi wouldn't love her if she wasn't beautiful. This, along with the horrible stench, made her attempts to commit suicide. Tadashi then immediately carries her to his uncle Koyanagi's lab for aid, however Koyanagi rigs her up to a custom walking machine and ultimately, she becomes like the walking dead creatures, except with a will of her own. In the OVA adaptation, Kaori is made into the main character instead of Tadashi. She also possesses the unexplained immunity to the infected creatures' poisons instead of Tadashi.
- Doctor Koyanagi (小柳教授?): Tadashi's Uncle and an inventor. He discovers it was his father who died of a heart attack in a factory during a hot summer. While dissecting the fish, the legs then clamp onto his arm. He cuts off his arm to prevent the infection from spreading to the rest of his body. He is fascinated by the machine, not caring that he lost an arm to it. He then creates his own version of the walking machine and puts the infected Kaori onto it. He is mortally wounded when he is stabbed by Kaori's walking machine. He then goes to Lab #2 where his father originally died and places himself onto another walking machine that is able to fly. When he notices Tadashi and Ms. Yoshiyama interacting, he attacks them both and captures her. In the OVA version, Koyanagi is shown as an antagonist who went insane and connected an infected Tadashi to the custom Walker.
- Ms. Yoshiyama (芳山?): Assistant of Doctor Koyanagi, who cares for him and Tadashi. When she was seen with Tadashi by Kaori, Kaori tried to attack her. Ms. Yoshiyama then ran outside where she was captured by the Mechanical Koyanagi. She does not appear in the OVA adaptation.
- Tsuyoshi Shirakawa (白河剛?): A freelance videographer, appears only in the OVA adaption, Kaori met him in the airplane to Tokyo. Follows Kaori just to get to the location of doctor Koyanagi to get his research data. Got infected at the end of the anime before sending Kaori away to a group of survivors.
- Aki (アキ?): Friend of Kaori, appears only in the OVA adaption. She is meek and slightly overweight and feels unattractive, appears to be bullied by Erika. Turned into a walker at the end of the anime.
- Erika (エリカ?): Friend of Kaori, appears only in the OVA adaption, an outgoing and attractive girl who has no difficulty attracting other men, and appears to be picking on Aki all the time. She gets infected by the walkers early on. Aki bludgeoned her to death with an ashtray, but she appears to be alive again later on.
Gyo was written and illustrated by Junji Ito. Junji Ito's inspiration came from Steven Spielberg's Jaws stating, "He masterfully captured the essence of fear in the form of a man-eating shark. I thought it would be even greater to capture that fear in a man-eating shark that goes on land as well as sea." The manga is published by Shogakukan and was serialized in the weekly manga magazine Big Comic Spirits from 2001 to 2002. Shogakukan compiled the chapters into two bound volumes and published them from February 2002 to May 2002. In North America, Viz Media published volumes of the series from September 2003 to March 2004. Viz Media later re-released the series with new covers from October 2007 to January 2008.
|No.||Japanese release date||Japanese ISBN||English release date||English ISBN|
|1||February 28, 2002||ISBN 4091860818||September 10, 2003 (1st ed.)
October 16, 2007 (2nd ed.)
|ISBN 1-56931-995-2 (1st ed.)
ISBN 1-4215-1387-0 (2nd ed.)
|2||May 30, 2002||ISBN 4091860826||March 10, 2004 (1st ed.)
January 15, 2008 (2nd ed.)
|ISBN 1-59116-140-1 (1st ed.)
ISBN 1-4215-1388-9 (2nd ed.)
An OVA adaptation was produced by Ufotable. It was directed by Takayuki Hirao while character designs were provided by Takuro Takahashi. The OVA was originally planned to being 30 minutes long but had evolved to 60 minutes throughout production. It was originally slated to release on December 14, 2011 but was delayed and released on February 15, 2012. Compared to the manga, there are some twists in the OVA like the changing of the protagonist, instead of Tadashi it became Kaori.
Terracotta screened the film in London at the Prince Charles Cinema from April 12-15, 2012 as part of their Terracotta Far East Film Festival. Terracotta released the film on DVD February 3, 2012. Both DVD and Blu-ray versions were also released in Australia on March 2013 by Hanabee and in North America on July 9, 2013 by Aniplex of America.
For the first volume, Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network praised the art and the bizarre relationship that Tadashi and Kaori share. Josephine Fortune of Mania gave it an A, praising the artwork, specifically the detail of the backgrounds. Fortune also praised the pacing of the story although noted that the plot contradicts itself later in the volume. Ken Haley of PopCultureShock gave it a B+ praising the silly moments the manga had and how they resembled that of an action/horror story normally seen in theaters. Michael Aronson of Manga Life gave it an A echoing similar praise regarding story stating, "Logic holes and an absurd concept be damned, this is still an utterly compelling read that’s sure to squeeze at one’s stomach a few times." Read About Comics noted Ito's art skill from keeping the story from becoming "silly".
For the second volume, Kimlinger continued to praise the story stating,"This final volume may be one of the most genuinely nauseating books ever to blight a shelf." Fortune gave the it a B+ again praising the artwork and pacing of the plot, although noted that the plot had some holes in its logic and that readers who enjoy concrete and definitive endings may not like the ending of the manga. Aronson also noted issues with the plot, however noted, "It’s still a gorgeous piece of scar tissue that seems like a polished experiment more than a deeply considered publication."
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