Horror Is Subtle in This Monster Wants to Eat Me Manga
Image via Yen Press

Horror Is Subtle in This Monster Wants to Eat Me Manga 

There’s been an influx in horror manga series that involve slice of life elements and romance lately. We have The Summer Hikaru Diedbringing in an eldritch abomination. Now Yen Press picked up Sai Naekawa’s This Monster Wants to Eat Me, with the first volume hinting at a potential relationship and horrifying end. In the case of this latest yuri series, perhaps the most compelling part is the potentially toxic relationship between Hinako and the mysterious Shiori.

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Editor’s Note: There will be some spoilers for the first two chapters of the This Monster Wants to Eat Me manga below.

Hinako is an orphan. She lives alone. Her family is entirely dead. It seems like she blames herself for it. However, we don’t know exactly what happened. She has friends at school, like Miko. However, she’s clearly traumatized by her past. So much so that when she walks past the sea after school one day and is nearly killed by a monster from the depths, she doesn’t even seem all that stunned when a mermaid named Shiori brutally kills whatever it was coming after her. Then, when Shiori explains it is because she is defending her meal and she is going to devour Hinako, Hinako seems… okay with it all.

It’s a tremendous gut punch, to be certain. As I read through the introduction to the horror manga, I figured maybe the interaction with Shiori might be the motivation to help Hinako seek help. That maybe it would make her feel something again and react. But to have her accept a possible fate, and perhaps even be okay with or embrace the idea, really help set the series apart. It made me want to learn more about her, a heroine so far gone that becoming a monster’s meal would be an ideal ending for her. 

Likewise, this sort of introduction is an incredible setup for Shiori herself in This Monster Wants to Eat Me. In popular media, we’ve been trained to see mermaids as pretty and idealized creatures. They’re more of a beautiful aspiration, though some stories do depict them as horrors from the deep. And many times, Shiori is absolutely adorable! She looks like a gorgeous character, and there are many moments when she’s polite to and protective of Hinako. However, Naekawa also has these moments in the first volume of the manga that do show what a horror Shiori can be. We see grotesque vestiges lurking under the elegant facade. It’s fascinating. As I read, I wanted to know more about her. The lore surrounding mermaids here. The reason she showed up.

But also, I can’t help but wonder about Hinako’s mysteries and secrets as well. While Shiori is the more overt danger and threat, perhaps there’s something to the human girl that isn’t quite right or trustworthy either? After all, Shiori and other monsters are drawn to her because of the way she’d taste. We know there was a disaster that took the lives of her parents and sibling. Perhaps there’s some greater part she played or trouble on her end as well?

Like the relationship that is developing between Hinako and Shiori is one of predator and prey. Shiori is guarding and perhaps even toying with her meal. Hinako doesn’t realize how close danger is or perhaps doesn’t care. Neither of them is invested in this situation for the right reasons. This is going to be unhealthy and dangerous. Yet, I could see myself growing attached to them and their relationship and wanting to see this through.

This Monster Wants to Eat Me is setting itself up as a horror manga where the reader may feel as though they can’t look away, even if the relationship is doomed or disaster awaits. We know Shiori is the type of mermaid that isn’t going to be pretty and content. She’s a ruthless monster. We already saw two situations in which other abominations tried to come after Hinako. Meanwhile, we still don’t even know what’s going on with Hinako and her family to get her to this point. While she seems to be a completely innocent victim, perhaps there’s also something going on with her to cause such feelings of guilt as well. 

Volume 1 of This Monster Wants to Eat Me is available now, and Yen Press will release volume 2 of the horror and yuri manga on September 17, 2024. 

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.