I know what you need: cannibalistic children, a possessed daughter, a shady pharmacological conglomerate, some creepy android dolls, freak weather related events and the Swiss (the people, not the cheese). Good thing Moto Hagio’s Otherworld Barbara has all these unique features or else you’d be stuck reading 2-3 different western horror stories and watching an M. Night Shyamalan movie to boot.
In Otherworld Barbara, follow Watarai, our young George Michael doppelganger and who serves as our requisite straight man...as you enter with him into a rich family’s possessed daughter’s dream construct, a simple but pleasant enough rural island populated by what initially seems to be just some regular village folk. The kids here are alright too...except they can float around and people have some strange xenophobia towards outsiders.
But when the Island of Baraba starts cropping up in Watari’s real outside life in seemingly random ways he suspects it’s more than just serendipity...
Take your metaphorical corn chip and dip into layer after layer of storytelling so rich I am getting indigestion just thinking about it. With some throwbacks to Inception or Pan’s Labyrinth and enough dissociative females to shake a Murakami novel at, Otherworld Barbara doesn’t disappoint.
Recommendation: find a hermetically sealed container to store your disbelief while you read