Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack by writer/artist Junji Ito, is an older manga, but not well known (or at least as well known as Ito’s other work). The title and cover art caught my attention, but was a chosen read at random.


Reading Gyo made me think of the Sy-Fy original B-film, Sharknado. Something about deadly ‘fish out of water’ that helped me draw parallels between the two. I find there might be some small inspiration here.

To me, Gyo is bizarre, even for a manga/anime.  I give it credit for being unpredictable, keeping me on my toes, though the conclusion is a bit anti-climatic and does not answer any of the questions it asks — which turned into a round-robin of outright stupidity. I am still going back and forth on whether it is the worst anime I’ve ever seen, or the most creative.

Here is a small synopsis of Gyo:

Tadashi and his girlfriend Kaori, fight to survive killer fish that roam the streets of Tokyo. A World War II bombing experiments allegedly turned marine life into land-surviving, land-walking seafood. They don’t grow legs and walk; rather, they have walking apparatuses are attached to their bodies which are powered by their bodily gasses.


These gasses give the fish a death stench. Once you smell it, you become infected. Once the fish have no more gas in their bodies, infected humans take their place.


Infected with what? I don’t know, and neither does the Junji Ito.

I don’t want to give too much away. Honestly, the more information you get, the more the story will make less sense. However, one of the things the Gyo manga really does have going for itself is the art.


The images are haunting and downright scary. Kudos to Ito for his art style and the use of black and white. In the animated version of Gyo, some slight changes have been made. Instead of Tadashi being the protagonist, the roles are reversed and Kaori is the main protagonist. Check out the wacky trailer:

While I admire the creativity and originality of the story, I can’t wrap my head around what I read. I’m starting to think maybe I wasn’t meant to. Maybe Gyo is one of those stories that amounts to an experience and nothing more.

Why do I say this is the Sharknado of the manga world? Well, I found Sharknado to be horrible, yet equally fascinating. It’s something about that deadly ocean life…I would only recommend this movie to hear others thoughts on the Sharknado comparison.

If you’re reading this, and have read Gyo before, what are your thoughts? Is there some validity that one may have inspired the other? You be the judge!

Valerie Complex
Valerie Complex is a freelance writer, professional nerd and native New Yorker whom has a love for Japanese animation, and all things film. She is passionate about diversity across all entertainment mediums to include anime. Follow her on twitter @valeriecomplex
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