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Trepanation is the procedure of drilling a hole in the skull. It is said to increase the blood circulation and improve pressure inside the skull. It is also said to bring out a person's sixth sense, the ability to use ESP, see ghosts, move objects with one's mind. This is speculative fiction based on the concept of trepanation.
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Little to add
By and large, reviewers like Mizura have this manga on the nose. There is, for those who may have sought it out based on category tags, one thing I would like to add: This truly is one of the relatively few cases where the direly overused "Psychological" category tag is in fact well and truly applicable. It seems people tend to use it for any manga where a character... thinks. In this case, it's actually a primary, focused theme (in fact, probably THE primary theme). Anyway, my opinion may be a little more charitable, as I rather appreciated the use of really intense one-on-one interaction scenes as the primary drama and catalyst for plot, and the way it shucks the somewhat cliche direction the plot initially seems headed for. But ultimately, there's a lot of subjective fluff, head-up-own-backside "artiness" for its own sake, and wrist-tossing internal melodrama that kind of hampers that, even if it's still fairly intriguing. The story could easily have been shaved down to half its length with better pacing and less navel-gazing and lost no dramatic impact. It teeters on the verge of what I'd call pretentious, but that the same author gave us Ichi the Killer gives me a bit more faith they aren't completely up their own backside. If nothing else, it's a gutsy series unafraid of taking risks.
... Last updated on October 5th, 2013, 3:16am
Excellent concept, but lacks real meaning
The story's concept was extremely interesting, and the various situations were quite entertaining to behold, but I felt that the author ultimately went for the shock factor without much real psychological content. The series somehow ends too soon, with only a few "cases" in total, so you feel it doesn't really fully explore this otherwise extraordinary ability, and the "cases" that do get resolved are presented in a way that will shock you at first, but may make you feel "eh?" after thinking about it some more.
In the end I walked away without any real insight into the human condition, just a bunch of over-dramatized nutcases. If you don't read it for psychological insight though, this is an extremely novel manga with a level of shock-factor entertainment that you'll rarely find elsewhere.
Homunculus is one of the most amazing manga's I have ever read. If you're into psychological manga this is for you. By an amazing mangaka, Homunculus is certainly one of my all time favourites.
Oh wow, awesome..The trepanation, human natures, Nakoshi's visual when using the power, psychological explanations. This manga really interesting..
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Warning for you who can't endure yaoi things, this manga contain yaoish scene on some part..
... Last updated on January 21st, 2013, 12:19am
One of the best psychological manga
At around volume 9 it got bad because it seemed like he was just trying to reduce the drawing workload. Then it picked back up again. The tone of the manga changed completely after he met the teenage girl, and then it just got different and weird. The themes were good, but I would have rather had him stay on that storyline instead.
His comment in volume 11 about the forms was a good monologue. The story changes from a trying to solve homunculi concept to him trying to find himself out. It makes the story deeper but less interesting.
I like how he gets called out for his self-pity too. He became what he didn't like about others, but he was self-righteous about it. Best moment in the series.
The ending is also absurdly hilarious
... Last updated on December 31st, 2012, 2:59pm
this manga produce a lot of emotion in me. revulsion, disgust, mirth, alarmed, frightened, depression, melancholy etc. and enlightenment. that's the best part about this manga, enlightening me about myself.
i can't really further describe this manga in terms of plot, characters, art and other literary device, though it excel in any and every way they cease to matter as they are just the vehicle to deliver those emotions and those revelations straight to the readers.
just read this, and you will understand.
if nothing else, it kept me so very interested. the entire concept, the characters, (especially Ito! he was incredibly interesting and such a good character) the situations... the art... the psychology behind everything, the homunculi... it flies by without using too many or too few words. yamamoto uses his characters a lot to tell the story, and not just words, which was very pleasant.
now, my only complaint is that the story kind of plateaued somewhere in the middle... and never came back down. i felt like it was a roller coaster that built up and built up and built up and... never amounted to anything really. that's only my humble opinion though. the end was a little muddled also... i was kinda like... hmm... hmm? but it is ambiguous and goes along with the psychological theme left to interpretation by the readers. can't blame him for that - plus it fit the whole character. it left me wanting more, though, more answers and more understanding. i might need to read it again to seek that out, but we'll probably just have to fill the holes with our own speculations.
oh and another complaint, sorry - it's just really not that realistic at points... not just the homunculi, but like others have mentioned, the other character's reactions, some of the situations... it just left me a little unsure of the story. it more than made up for it, however, in other parts of the story.
the only thing i'm really, really confused on is the serial killer category...? maybe i missed something really big?! haha...
anyways, it wasn't all that twisted and horrific and gross, it was a LOT more heavy on the psychological, so if you have such reservations i'd give it a try. heck, if you're at all interested in stories that weave theories and take you on a page turning adventure (ok, not literally, more a psychological adventure mind you - he doesn't travel too far haha), give it a try!!
... Last updated on June 25th, 2012, 6:19pm
interesting to boring to BAD
awful ending as expected it started out so very interesting but started to dragg around volume 6 then the ending was just bad its like he himself gets bored with his mangas and just dont know what to do with them this one just suffers so much from the horrible ending[alot more than his other works] I wont ever read another manga from this person[if he ever makes one]
Author shows his understanding of human psychology by fascinating depictions and the artwork compliments it. It keeps you interested most of the time because of the unique stuff in the manga.
The only two complaints I have, Firstly, he has wasted panels at places to create unnecessary stress and secondly the ending sucked. It wasn't as though the ending was badly made but it was unhappy and disturbing and there were better and more realistic options but he went for this one to create impact and an atypical ending. Nonetheless, it was worth the read
... Last updated on September 14th, 2012, 11:36pm
The manga begins about one man and ends on the same note. The ending was disturbing and painted such a bizarre, surreal image as I read it. I haven't finished anything in a while that left me feeling the way I did after reading this. The author of Homunculus is crazy. I didn't expect this to end the way it did but am glad to see it was able to end, but I'm honestly a little unsure of what to make of the ending.