Konnichiwa! Howdy! Dia Duit! If a gruesomely drawn extremity horror with sick fan service based on a Creepypasta style urban legend with a deranged Gothic Lolita as the lead is your cup of tea then…

Welcome! Welcome! Sit down, grab a seat and let Straight Outta Kanto pour you a steaming mug of undiluted nightmare fuel.

Ibitsu by Haruto Ryo is a 2010 horror manga by Square Enix and Yen Press. Ibitsu is the Japanese word for “Twisted” – as in twisted and perverse. The complete thirteen chaptered volume by Yen Press also features two bonus “Twisted” side stories “Hall of Dolls” and “The Curious case of The Editor.”

Ibitsu lead protagonist, Kazuki Ito, is an ordinary young Japanese man who makes the fatal mistake of answering an odd, if seemingly innocuous, question from a stranger at the garbage dump one night: “Would you… have a little sister?”

Considering the fact that the question is asked by a strange, scruffy young girl lying amongst the discarded neighborhood garbage bags… dressed in a Gothic Lolita outfit… at night… You’d honestly think Kazuki would have the wherewithal to see (and avoid) serious trouble when he sees it!? Bless his cotton socks.

Little does Kazuki know that the girl before him demanding his family history is in fact the Demon Lolita from the local urban legends. Legend has it, if you are approached by the Demon Lolita she will ask “Would you… have a little sister?” If you answer “No!” she will kill you there and then in a “twisted” way. If you answer “Yes!” Well…

Let’s just say Kazuki finds out the bloody, brutal way that accidentally becoming an urban legend’s onii-chan (Big Brother) isn’t all it’s… cracked… up to be. Demon Lolita is determined to not only be the ONLY sister in Kazuki’s life (which poses a grave and gory inconvenience for his ACTUAL sibling), Demon Lolita is determined to be the ONLY person in his life full stop!

Cue envelope pushing (and often times erring on the psycho sexual side) violence, cliff hanger after cliff hanger, fantastically drawn cinematic style horror scenes and brilliant use of tropes from what seems like every urban legend out there.

If you’re in any way squeamish or only a casual fan of light horror, this is definitely not the manga for you. I would also advise a trigger warning for anyone prone to distress from scenes of self-harm, abuse or sexual violence.

However, if you’ve a “twisted” sense of humour and a strong stomach then I cannot recommend Haruto Ryo’s Ibitsu enough. Fun fact, I loved this manga so much I even got a tattoo of the Demon Lolita on my right arm shortly after reading and still don’t regret it!

There’s something perversely enjoyable about allowing yourself to be drawn in as a spectator of Kazuki’s unravelling descent in to madness, the spiraling plot twists of Demon Lolita’s origins and the dizzying realization that Haruto Ryo is NOT afraid to “go there.”

But tell me quickly, before you go… Would you… have… a little sister?

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