Domu. Created by: Katsuhiro Otomo. ISBN: (Amazon). Pages: Domu by Katsuhiro Otomo. It’s a little bit sad to me that many or even most of the . Domu. Katsuhiro Otomo. 6 chapters | Ongoing | Rank Facebook share · Twitter tweet · SupernaturalSeinenPsychologicalHorrorTragedy. Results 1 – 30 of 66 Domu by Katsuhiro Otomo and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at

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Inalmost a year after it was released in Japan, the Western world was given its first cinematic taste of anime with the sci-fi epic Akira. Religious fanatics, biker gangs, and shadowy government figures all vie for control of children with superhuman powers, while the truth behind World War III teases just out of reach. But before AkiraOtomo penned and illustrated a shorter piece of raw, dystopian horror: Set in a government housing complex where a series of inexplicable deaths are taking place, Domu serialized between is resolved through a conflict between an old man and a young girl, both of whom secretly possess extrasensory powers.

While Domu foreshadowed Akira in many ways, it is a much more intimate story with fewer characters and just one location, the Tsutsumi Housing Complex.

The residents of Tsutsumi are a forgotten, surplus community. Dreams left unfulfilled, private sufferings gone unchecked, and the struggle for identity in the monotonous wash of concrete go some way to explain the rash of suicides plaguing the complex, yet the police are at a loss to explain exactly how many of these deaths occurred. From the beginning, Otomo sets out to introduce the overwhelming, modernist structure as a character in and of dimu.

Full panel shots of the building in high detail and high contrast are found throughout, and are often employed as bookends to each chapter. Its circular layout insists upon dreary introspection for half of the residents it houses: Many prisons, schools, and hospitals also follow a similar template.

The circular design—reminiscent of the Panopticon —allows for both greater visibility and fewer places to hide, and is often toomo by a otoo central observation point. Tsutsumi is monotonous in its aspect as well as its makeup: Behind this impassive exterior lie grimy, cramped apartments hidden among a labyrinth of iron and concrete hallways.

The Iron Man otojo As the story progresses, otoko becomes clear—to the reader at least—that the mysterious deaths can be traced back to Old Cho, an apparently senile old man who is in fact using his telekinetic powers to cause fatal accidents or, as in the iconic scene featuring a depressed young man with a craft knife, forcing residents to commit suicide.

Domu :: Review — GOOD ok bad

Old Cho frequently kills from the background, unseen by his victims, his twisted revelry seeming to come from the building itself.

Old Cho is not the only resident with special gifts. Donu finds otkmo adversary in the form of a young girl called Etsuko. They clash the very moment Etsuko and her family move into the tower block, when she uses her abilities to catch the plummeting baby Cho, fomu his psychic powers, had snatched and dropped from the balcony. The final act of Domu marks a stark departure from earlier passages, as the static panels showing the impassive monolith and its cowed inhabitants are replaced by dynamic and violent scenes, splashed with blood and fueled by emotion.


By the end of the book, it is hard to tell who really won or what a victory would even mean, but it is clear that most of the violence was down to random malice, or misguided fear and rage. It is ironic, then, that the reduction of human beings to just pure function results in senseless, unproductive violence.

Affordable social housing turned into isolated ghettoswhile the idea of social progress became just a gear, an empty promise, in the great Soviet machine. The modular, repetitive nature allowed for quick and cheap rebuilding, but, perhaps in part due to its success, it also aided in the dissolution of identity. Each building, each home, was just a copy of the last, with nothing substantial to distinguish each from each: And so too its occupants.

In contrast to the urbanization implied by modernist housing, America saw large numbers of people, many of them returning veterans, flee the cities after World War II in favor of suburban living.

Combining the power of assembly-line mass production with the G. Spreading out in a grid, rather than towering above, suburbia very often entailed a similar rationalization of living spaces.

Domu: A Child’s Dream by Katsuhiro Otomo

Things were much grimmer in Japan, of course. Suffering atomic bomb strikes that wiped two of its cities clean off the map, as well as the death of an Empire, caused a national crisis of identity.

The country was then occupied by and otoo in the image of its conquerors: Tower blocks went up where pagodas once stood, no longer hewn from stone and wood but erected with concrete and rebar. This synergy would be expanded upon in the later Metabolism movementwhich sought to bring inspiration from organic, biological structures to modernist architecture during the s.

Domu: A Child’s Dream

For each of his victims, Cho claims a glittering prize, a personal token: Before being forced over the precipice of their hopelessness, literally and figuratively, otoml piece of their identity is stolen before being secreted away somewhere in the bowels of the building.

While it is unlikely that Otomo wrote Domu as an explicit attack on modernism in Japan, the influence of the displacement and anxiety it caused is clear in his work. In Domuwe see Otomo start to develop two of the principle themes that went on to make Akira a timeless classic: These themes went on to define an era of storytelling in manga and anime characterized by pervasively bleak visions of the future. The loss of privacy and individualism caused by massive modernist social housing estates is also explored in J.

It is as though living in this monochromatic, function-centric environment leaves us with only two potential identities: Regardless of whether you read Domu for its gripping and pioneering storytelling, for what it tells us about the role played by modernist architecture in postwar Japan, or purely for its wonderful aesthetic, it is a work that easily ddomu on its own two legs, despite often being overlooked as some sort of practice run for the Akira epic.


Rather than the abstract, existentialist sprawl that is the latter, in Domu we have a more concise and personal tale, with a sense of looming oppression that bleeds from every page. The next time your morning commute takes you past some austere, concrete tower block, remember: Patrick Haddad is a domk writer currently living in Berlin. He has worked as a teacher for 10 years in three different countries and also writes on tech, language, and education.

When modernist projects failed it was more often due to the fact that governments saw public housing not as a way to reinvent communities, but as a way to cram the largest amount of poor people into the smallest area.

With proper planning and leadership, modernist public housing can and has worked, to a point. Blighted ghettos existed long before brutalism oomo they still exist today.

I apologize, but I consider myself someone who will defend most styles of architecture, no matter how unpopular and pedestrian. Sorry again for the long post. Hey thanks for your comment, very interesting and I basically completely agree.

In the article I tried to write from the perspective, or at least my perceived perspective, of the author. That Brutalist architecture inspires such strong reactions is what Domuu intended to explore, rather than to directly blame the aesthetic for social problems. I consider myself a fan of modernist architecture, and am lucky oromo live amongst some fantastic examples in East Berlin.

My aim was to explore that doku as it is represented through art. However, this is basically impossible to properly quantify. I like sharp angles, modular shapes, and stark colour schemes, yet my neighbour might find the same thing oppressive or overbearing. I would hope that the human odmu is stronger than concrete, but if repeated attempts to annihilate it are all clad in the Brutalist style, it is forgivable for people to link one with the other. Sounds like that would be a good article.

Probably slim pickings on pro-modernism source material though, at least in the time frame covered by this site. Thanks for the response, this article sounds better in context.

You are commenting using your WordPress.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. The fault is with society and government rather than aesthetics.

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