Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
Technological Horror, The Evolution of Supernatural and Weird Horror?
In H. P. Lovecraft’s "Supernatural Horror in Literature" (1927), Lovecraft describes a horror that distances itself away from anything physical and attempts to attack the psyche of the reader through cosmic mystery, ancient folklore and culture as well as our primal instincts. Themes such as space and the deep ocean, primordial Gods and mythology and their respective mysteries seep into literature to create a profound sense of dread and isolation from the real world.
With the advancement of computers and networks, a new theme in horror fiction has found its footing amongst the aforementioned ideas: the theme of technology and the mystery of cyber data, the disposable nature of human flesh, its replacement by better and stronger artificial prosthetics and the paranoia of human-made machine rising against its own creator after achieving consciousness, something only humans so far possess. Works such as Harlan Ellison’s "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" (1968), Mamoru Oshii’s "Ghost in the Shell" (1995) or Frictional Games’s "Soma" (2015) explore this newfound horror with different methods, but with great success.
The question therefore lies within the nature of this trope. Is technological horror part of the weird and the supernatural as it treats technology as its own entity and its own vast realm of mystery, similar to that of the endless space and the deep ocean? How does technological horror fit with the ghost, thriller or other forms of scary themes? What other modern fictional stories bring forth technology as a truly terrifying aspect that attacks the mind of the consumer and isolates them from their world, rather than cause brief shock or superficial scares?
The continuation of the Berserk manga series, a blessing from the skies or a curse?
Berserk is an incredibly influential series of manga in the dark fantasy genre of literature and has amassed an expansive following throughout the world. It has branched out into different anime, films, video-games and other forms of media, inspiring countless other artists. Unfortunately, its story could never be finished as Kentaro Miura, the original creator, had passed away about a year ago, leaving the series on a sour cliffhanger.
As of 7th June 2022, the Japanese manga magazine Young Animal officially stated that it will continue the serialization of the famous Berserk manga series without the visionary Kentaro. Headed by Kentaro’s best friend Kouji Mori, the close friends and coworkers of Kentaro Miura promise to deliver an authentic end to the manga, stating that they know how it ends, since Kentaro would often discuss the narrative with everyone on the team before drafting the scenes, dialogue and aesthetic decisions.
The question therefore lies within the nature of finalizing someone else’s work after their death. Though the continuation of the series seems to be in capable hands, should it still be continued? Is the authorship and authenticity of the work more important than its continued serialization and commercialization? Will this decision attract controversy from the fans, how so or why not? Will the original vision of the manga’s themes and aesthetic features differ, or become watered down? How can one describe the differentiation between auteurs in an artwork or franchise?