What is Used Record manga about?
Used Record is a short horror manga story from famed Mangaka Junji Ito. It follows a girl who sneaks an old record out of her friend’s house, after that friend refused to let her make a copy.
The song on the record tends to emotionally move all who hear it in a very deep and powerful way. You could say that they become obsessed with it.
The story takes place over the course of about an hour or so by my guess. What we see is the havoc that is caused between a selection of unrelated people that the main character, Nakayama, crosses paths with.
More haunting than horror
This short manga contains no graphic horror elements, save for the killing of one character with a rock. Instead it focuses more on the haunting aspects of the record itself. This untitled record could be considered a song from beyond the grave. As the short story progresses, we find out a little bit more about the origin of the record, which up till now has been a mystery.
Although the story is a short one, it still feels like it has a big history to it. I couldn’t help but allow my mind to wander around the mythology of it. How had this record made its way from its unusual recording to the main characters? If there were more recorded at the same time, where are they and what effects are they having on the people who have them?
Used record is the first story in a collection of short stories by Junji Ito. This collection is called Shiver, and is available to buy here. Although Ito is in his prime with his more grotesque depictions of horror, this story is a good example of his ability to tell a spooky tale without all the gore.
Like with some of his more famous works, this one deals with the idea of obsession. Like the men who obsess over Tomie, or the people of Kurouzucho who become obsessed with spirals in Uzumaki. But unlike those larger overarching stories, Used Record tells it’s story in a very condensed format, ideal for a quick 5 minute read.