3×3 Eyes (Sazan Eyes) (3×3 EYES )
• Yuzo Takada • Dark Horse (1995–2004)
• Kodansha (Young Magazine Pirate Edition/Young Magazine, 1987–2002)
• Seinen, Occult, Action
• Unrated/16+ (mild language, graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations)
Globetrotting pulp horror/action-adventure manga, a minor 1980s classic, midway between Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, and H. P. Lovecraft. Teenage Yakumo dies and is reborn as the unkillable zombie servant of Pai, a cute Chinese girl with a split personality, who is actually one of the last survivors of a race of three-eyed beings from Tibet, immortals with awesome magical powers. Pai’s goal is to lose her immortality and become human, but her uniqueness makes her the target of other monsters, not to mention paranormal investigators and half-human cultists, who seek to use her to resurrect the evil god Kaiyan Wang. Working in a light, anime-influenced style (with occasional love comedy), Takada successfully depicts a world where secret cults sacrifice naked virgins in skyscrapers and monster rampages are caught on the evening news by incredulous reporters. The supernatural creatures are original, the cliff-hanger plots are exciting, and the balance of horror and humor is just right, even if Pai’s surface personality is your stereotypical “China girl” ditz. The English edition ends abruptly (some additional material was printed in Super Manga Blast! magazine but never collected), but it isn’t that big a loss; the later Japanese volumes become badly repetitive and succumb to shônen manga power escalation. Prior to the 1995 Dark Horse edition, the first volume was released in monthly comics format by Innovation Comics (with the same translation and retouch by Studio Proteus) in 1991.