H.P. Lovecraft meets Japan – The shadow out of time manga

It’s been a while since I read the original “The shadow out of time” story. But I wanted to find a different take on it, and what better than a manga?

The story was adapted by Gou Tanabe, and seems to be a part of an entire series based on Lovecraft’s work. In it, much like in the original, the story revolves around professor Peaslee, a professor of political economics in the Miskatonic university.

While teaching at one of his classes, he collapses in pain and passes out. He wakes up in his bed, only to see that somehow he has aged drastically. He sees his son Wingate, who is also older than when he last saw him, who explains to him that 5 years had passed after he collapsed at the institute. On top of that, during those years the professor seemed to have amnesia and was a completely different person. A completely different person than what he used to be.

The other version of him knew different languages, was interested in different subjects like history and occultism. He traveled the world exploring various archaeological sites. This led to his wife filing for a divorce and taking his children away, other than Wingate, who stayed to look after him.

At first, he tries to adjust and go back to his regular life, but his ever increasing nightmares of strange structures and creatures make him try and make sense of his missing years and the other version of him.

Adapting Lovecraft can be hard. We have seen many examples of it being done poorly. Be it movies, shows, or even other books. But I knew that adapting his work in manga format would be a perfect fit. It has a few pacing differences but nothing too major. Even though it can never capture the essence of his work it was still awesome and I really enjoyed it. It really gave you the feeling of dread that Lovecraft’s work delivers, as well as capturing the slow descent into insanity.

I would have prefered to see some more drawings of the cosmic horror variety, Tanabe’s artwork is still very good (well, to be fair I was not the biggest fan of the faces but everything else I loved) and it can be a great intro into the world of cosmic horror.

Final verdict: 7.5/10

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