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Domu: A Child's Dream
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Domu: A Child's Dream

(Domu: A Child's Dream #1-3)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,536 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Old Cho, a disturbed old man with psychic powers, takes control of an apartment complex and causes the tenants to kill themselves or others, but is finally challenged by Etsuko, a young girl with her own psychic talents.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 21st 2001 by Dark Horse (first published 1982)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  1,536 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Domu A Child's Dream by Katsuhiro Otomo
Domu: Otomo's Pre-Akira Masterpiece

The uncontrollable power of 'Akira' threatens to swallow everything in tentacle range, even it's older sibling, with whom the mega-manga shares it's own dramatis personae of troubled telekinetic characters: DOMU...


'Domu', Otomo's first masterpiece, has always been overshadowed by the grandeur of Akira, but both the art and the story display the full range of his cre
Seth T.
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Domu by Katsuhiro Otomo

It’s a little bit sad to me that many or even most of the people who know the name Katsuhiro Otomo will likely only know him for his sprawling vision for a post-apocalyptic Neo Tokyo, as found in Akira. In a way, that’s kind of like saying that it’s sad that most people will only ever know Herman Melville for Moby Dick. That is: it’s not really sad at all and that there is a good reason why the great torrential works are the ones that imprint on the shared cultural experience. There is a reason why when so
Anthony Vacca
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Following a parade of suicides in a park-side spread of apartment complexes, an ineffective police investigation fails to detect that the culprit is a shrunken geriatric whose mask of senility hides a very potent command of psychokinesis as well as a sadistic streak. When a young girl with a messy head of hair and equally wild and dangerous psychic abilities moves into a flat with her family, an extravaganza of carnage and mayhem soon follows. Sort of the Japanese answer to David Cronenberg's sc ...more
To many Otomo's Akira is the absolute swan song of his career--& they would not be wrong. I would find it hard to argue because I too am in awe of it.

But my heart belongs to Domu: A Child's Dream. To me, it is Otomo's true masterpiece. It would be the forerunner to Akira--the "shades of things to come" & a glimpse into the imagination that would one day create a graphic novel epic to rival all others. It is a deeply moving piece of work that has inspired me throughout all my creative impulses when wr
Duncan Lee
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If there is anything that I learn about reading mangas, that there is always one title that stands out among the rest from the creator. For me, one of my personal favorite from Katsuhiro Otomo has always been Domu: A Child's Dream.

Domu is a simple, gripping dark-tale that was drawn and written in a cinematic way that let your eyes follow panel by panel in such a way how a director intends the audience to see his movie as it was meant to be. It started off with a mystery that leads to murder and soon Otomo po/>
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel is mad good. The illustration is incredible, drawn in a style that manages to be both painstakingly intricate and wildly frenetic at the same time. The story is instantly engrossing. Set almost entirely in a Ballardian tower block complex, inescapably huge and haunted by the horrors of modern life, this is the place that a cast of troubled souls call home. People are dying here day after day but no one knows why. What follows is a supernatural tale totally devoid of creaking f ...more
Nate D
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
An eerie noir set in a sprawling housing complex, building into a conflagration of battling wills. It's the prior work by the author/illustrator of Akira, and even though I've only seen the film version of that one, it shows, especially in the huge, cinematic confrontation sequences. At its strongest in its contexts: the housing complex is rendered in mind-bogglingly perfect architectural detail, fully conveying the inhuman scale of the place, even as the lives of a huge cast of residents are sk ...more
Well this was a deception to me, I had read this book a couple of years ago and I forget the name and most of the history but I was looking forward to re-read it, so when I finally found it I was really happy, but this time it was a disappoint to me, the history fells undeveloped, there are so many characters that end up not having any development or connection, it's just fells like for me is a really incomplete and weak history, the drawing is amazing, I can say that.
Reuben Negron
Jul 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
What can I say about Otomo's Domu - it's quite simply one of the best graphic fictions I have ever read. The art is so meticulously detailed. Each panel reads like a movie still, pushing the narrative along at Otomo's undulating pace. The story - a deceptively simple murder mystery is so subtly revealed, so elegantly told that it reads like visual poetry. Being an artist I've learned much from reading Domu over and over. It's a grand example of the potential comics can reach. Everyone, comics fa ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Domu is the story of a little corner of spiraling chaos in an otherwise ordinary neighborhood. It's a clash of opposing forces and their effects on the surrounding community, and a wonderful tale of the extraordinary in the monotony of the everyday.

At first a slow creeping mystery, Domu ends in a staggering set piece of destruction and confusion, as seen through a number of different characters, and it's these characters - the heroine, the villain, and the clueless police officers as
Vesselin Metodiev
Katsuhiro Otomo's precursor of Akira. The combination of mundane and supernatural makes for a really eerie atmosphere, which serves for creating immense tension to the damn great climax.

4 out of 5 stars.
Kazuya Sakakihara
Met this masterpiece again at a local library's used book sale. How come I was able to find this rather obscure manga in suburban Seattle? And it's the original Japanese version! I literally grabbed it upon the sight and rushed to the cashier, and was surprised again that it was priced only 50 cents. Anyway that's how I got this book in my hands again after more than 30 years.
You could say the backbone story isn't that compelling. But it's more about... I don't know. It just feels stupid t
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, read-in-2016
I read this a long time ago. I read it again yesterday at my book store, ignoring customers and furiously torn between turning pages to see what happens next and marveling at the hyper-detailed environment drawn in every panel: every stone, window, jacket, _everything_ is drawn like some comic version of Orson Welles' deep focus. It makes Otomo's world feel infinite. Everything is visible; everything is detailed. It feels like the story we're focusing on is only one story that's happening—sure, ...more
Dan Lockwood
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've spent years trying to track down a physical copy of this book, and finally found one recently. Beautiful artwork, as expected, and a great little story that clearly serves as a warm-up for Akira. Unfortunately, my English edition (Mandarin's 1994 version) is appallingly lettered, with text randomly bunched in corners of speech balloons; SFX and signage translations occasionally placed well away from the required location; and a few pages that are apparently of a different resolution to the rest. ...more
William Clemens
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book.

A series of strange murders leads police to begin investigating what should be your typical apartment building. As the police get closer to finding the killer, they discover that the murders and this building are anything but typical. The books build up to an all out psychic war between two powerful persons, filled with blood and gore and destruction.

The plot is fairly simple and there aren't really any big surprises. but the carnage and destruction is so
The spaces! By god, the spaces! That's the real star of this book, not the display of unexplained proto-Akira telekinetic combat, but the straight lines and concrete doom of the exactingly rendered environment of apartment blocks as it is constructed to an oppressive degree around the large cast of lightly sketched characters and then as it is deconstructed as part of an explosive, intense, and often horrific psychic battlefield.
Emily Burkman
Jul 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Pure eye candy.

A horror story that pares off all the excesses of plot and character development and goes right for the kill. Dangerous mystical old man and an even more dangerous little girl turn a Tokyo public housing project into the scene of their battle royal. Lots of dead people. Excellent art that grabs you by the seat of your pants and then flings you off the side of a concrete wall.
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
When I bought the Akira mangas I bought this too. It's goddamn awesome.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This surprisingly hard to find book is great. I remembered the seeing ads for it when I was a teenager and just assumed it would be easy to get my hands on a copy. Turns out I had pay $40 and it has evidently been out of print in English since its one 1996 run by Dark Horse. It was originally published in 1980 or thereabouts in Japan and is from the artist who would later become famous for Akira.

The art is striking in its detail and flows in an easy to read and understand manner. Lots of panels
Jun 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Content warning of gore. I wouldn't have picked it up if I had realized how gory some of the scenes would be. Also, there were a few panels that just seemed gross, as they had a little too much detail in terms of sweat or whatever.

As for the story itself... I wish more time had been spent with the girl, as the back blurb acted like the story was going to be mostly between the old man and her. However, most of the time it was spent with other people who didn't know what was going on.
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1001-comics
I picked this up because I saw it cheap in a used online bookstore and it had Otomo's name on it. After looking into it a bit more I found that it's a relatively difficult book to track down, pre-dates his most famous work Akira, and sadly seems to be one of a very few of his longer-form comics available in English.

This was excellent. It begins off as a detective-mystery story, but the mystery is resolved fairly quickly for the reader. It then turns into an explosion-filled action comic for the last
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Tsutsumi Housing Complex is plagued by a long string of suicides, accidental and unexplained deaths. Although it becomes clear to the reader that this is the work of a sadistic old man with strange psychic powers who kills for amusement, the story seems more about the horror and alienation of the modern world. The deaths are inexplicable, random and anonymous, just like the winds of fate that buffet all of us through modern life. The inhabitants of the miniature city have developed their own ...more
Sooraya Evans
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
A number of unexplained death cases at an apartment complex catch the attention of law enforcement. I’m particularly impressed by the detailed artwork bringing the apartment complex to life. The story was not so well-developed. With no mention of the past, the main antagonists motives were unclear. Not to mention the rushed and disappointing ending, considering the epic showdown prior. I think the narrative was mostly wasted on other minor characters, making this a somewhat tedious read overall. ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fantastic art, brilliant story, quite chilling.

Much is hinted at and implied in the story, although there are scenes of quite shocking gore as well.

An easy 4 stars, probably 4.5 - only marked down because the story slows down in places, and in other places some of the leaps in plot can be hard work.

This is the third time I’ve read it over the years, easily bears repeat readings - tho time to pass this on, -and perhaps appropriately in Kondo style to say ‘thank you for your service’.
Precursor to Akira in many ways. I thought it was a decent psychic-horror story, though the rave reviews elsewhere make me wonder if there's something I'm missing. Very nice, detailed artwork with well-written characters. Perhaps it came across as more groundbreaking in its time, but I felt like I'd seen this horror movie before.

The notes about Otomo's career and life were very helpful.
Juho Pohjalainen
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's basically Proto-Akira, good for all the same reasons but generally to a lesser extent: there's less story, less character development, less psychic powers, and less amazing art. A bit greater focus on murder mysteries and other such tense spooky stuff, though, up until towards the end when the espers go all-out.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The brilliant, early 80s mini opus from Akira creator Katsihiro Otomo. Worth every penny if you can find it (check your library!). Lucious insights into the brain that brought us NeoTokyo, psycho/nuclear annhiliation, and man machine Deus ex machina uber gore.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. The movement in this book is incredible. Better than Akira, and I LOVE Akira.
Arjun Rajkumar
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fantastic horror manga. Captured well by the artist. One of the 10 must read horror manga
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just. Wow. From the usage of gap, the art, to the story.

Everything is perfect.

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Katsuhiro Otomo (大友 克洋, Otomo Katsuhiro) is a Japanese manga artist, film director, and screenwriter. He is perhaps best known for being the creator of the manga Akira and its anime adaptation, which are extremely famous and influential. Otomo has also directed several live-action films, such as the recent 200 ...more

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Domu: A Child's Dream (3 books)
  • Das Selbstmordparadies, Band 1
  • Domu: A Child's Dream, #2
  • Domu: A Child's Dream, #3