Recently, disturbing news regarding Masaaki Nakayama, a horror manga author known for his manga Fuan no Tane (2013), has been circulating online. According to many social media posts, he has stopped working in his most recent work to “stay alive”. Dramatic as it sounds, even some relatively reliable sources have been echoing this information as gospel truth.
From what they say, his latest manga PTSD Radio is so abhorrent that it has started to affect his health. Reports of Nakayama suffering Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) all of the sudden during its production are often mentioned to confirm this alleged curse. The fact that PTSD Radio is apparently on hiatus since its sixth volume seems to corroborate the author’s reticence to keep working on this manga.
However, just as we have seen before, the language barrier and foolish reporting create a game of telephone difficult to clarify. Luckily, here in the Yurei, we are committed to finding the truth, thus we are going to find out what happened to Masaaki Nakayama and if PTSD Radio deserves all the craze.
What is PTSD Radio about?
Also known as Kouishou Radio, this 2010 manga narrates the story of Ogushi-sama, “the God of Hair”. Through a series of interconnected vignettes alternating between past and present, different characters suffer the effects of the whims of this god. Neither good nor bad, but full of thirst for sacrifice, Ogushi is a deity that channels its chaotic energy through human hair.
This haunting method sounds kind of whimsical and not scary at all until you realize that hair can lead to all sorts of body horror. After all, you must remember that your body is full of it, and Ogushi-sama can also control it and attack you. This entity creates unique creatures made of hair and other nasty supernatural materials that can either haunt you or possess you until you become the shell of a person.
Is PTSD Radio good?
Beyond the rumors we will address later, this manga stands out by itself in terms of visuals and narrative. Just as the works by Junji Ito and Hiroya Oku, Masaaki Nakayama creates an intricate story with out-of-the-ordinary horrifying creatures. Even the most desensitized reader will feel unnerved by Ogushi-sama’s transgressions and lackeys.
On the other hand, while each event happens to different people and through different forms since it affects a specific city, it gives a sense of unescapable cosmical horror. No matter how much the Ogushi-sama’s old town has evolved, top-notch technology and solid apartments will not stop his wrath. This deity resents the lack of respect and devotion that humans are showing to him and it shows.
Unfortunately, one aspect that did not work well in this manga is the character design. Since the story jumps from one point of view to another, it would be helpful if everyone looked more distinctive. While some plots are auto-conclusive, some others are revisited. Since the latter are usually the ones that give the story some sense of cohesion, it is frustrating to not know for sure if it involves an already introduced character or a new one with similar features.
The lack of originality is even more irritating after seeing Nakayama’s creative potential. The entities he creates are diverse, but always terrifying. Probably he wanted to focus more on these creatures to enhance the supernatural atmosphere. However, since humans are just as important for the plot progression, their generic characteristics make the story confusing at times.
What happened to PTSD Radio’s author?
Now as for the rumors, this is what really happened with Masaaki Nakayama. According to the extra chapters included in volumes 5 and 6 of PTSD Radio, he indeed started to experience strange occurrences. However, the source of them is not the manga itself, but the office he used as a studio for its production.
For six years, he rented an office in Sapporo. Located in an almost empty rundown building, this place seemed perfect despite its appearance since it was cheap and spacious enough. Shortly after moving in, Nakayama found in a storage closet a strange package wrapped in oiled paper. According to his account, it contained nothing but a piece of a hastily dismantled home shrine.
Without giving it a second thought, he left the package there, but soon he would experience different kinds of inconveniences that slowed down the manga production. Simultaneously, he and his assistants would hear strange sounds and smell a rotten odor in the office. Nakayama would eventually decide to leave the place and, after a terrifying incident he refuses to elaborate on, he knew something was not right with the place.
Shortly after settling in his new studio, he suffered from Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). Curiously, this happened right after talking with his team about what happened in the previous office. After recovering and trying to make sense of everything, he decided to tell his experience through these extra chapters.
This was not a good idea though. It seemed that whatever was haunting him did not want him to talk about it, because the disgrace around him increased. For this reason, he put on hold the publication of further extra chapters involving his old office but not PTSD Radio itself.
Is PTSD Radio still on hiatus?
As mentioned before, PTSD Radio was never on hiatus due to the alleged supernatural tragedies suffered by the author. Nevertheless, the manga was paused at some point after volume 6. The cause of this happening is quite boring in comparison to the rumors. PTSD Radio was published in Nemesis, a bimonthly manga magazine that has been discontinued since 2018. Due to this, now Nakayama’s serialization has been transferred to another digital publication, Comic Days. This change probably stalled a bit the publication of new chapters, but as of December 2022, Nakayama is working on new chapters for PTSD Radio. Funnily enough, he is aware of the rumors about his work, and he believes this is a result of misinformation and limited research.
Creating viral stories around a piece of media to pump up the audience’s interest is not an uncommon practice. Despite what people might think, this is not the case with PTSD Radio. As a result of careless reporting, readers are more interested in the supposed phenomena surrounding the manga than its content, which is a real shame. It does not really matter if Nakayama experienced the effects of a curse or not because he never intended for this to be the focal point of his work. While it is a disturbing tale that can parallel the likes of Ju-On, PTSD Radio is a real source of horror that you cannot miss if you are into this kind of manga.
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Hi everyone! I am Javi from the distant land of Santiago, Chile. I grew up watching horror movies on VHS tapes and cable reruns thanks to my cousins. While they kinda moved on from the genre, I am here writing about it almost daily. When I am not doing that, I enjoy reading, drawing, and collecting cute plushies (you have to balance things out. Right?)