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Manga / PTSD Radio

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A horror manga by Masaaki Nakayama (author of Fuan no Tane), that consists of short, eerie ghost stories. Unlike Fuan No Tane, the stories here aren't completely unrelated and many intertwine at different points. A recurring theme is the probably-malevolent "God of Hair" and the people who worship it.

Tropes appearing in PTSD Radio:

  • Anachronic Order: The chapters take place at different times, but many of them intersect.
  • Body Horror: In multiple forms. The tiny, semihumanoid, multijointed things with a deformed facial opening that combines their eye sockets and a perpendicular mouth that try to crawl into people when they sleep or even dropping into and disguising themselves as their drink are a good start.
  • Creepy Crows: A vengeful flock of crows follows the protagonist of one chapter. But they aren't really crows...
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  • Creepy Doll: One story involves a group of kids finding a large sealed doll covered in hair... and whatever was bound to it is furious at being exorcized.
  • Cursed Item: A table, from which a ghost inexplicably emerges at night. When it is turned over to a monastery for inspection, the head priest immediately has it incinerated, and shows the owners several nails that had been imbedded in the wood. As he explains, it's likely the wood came from a tree used for ushi no toki mairi, turning it into a source of impurity and corruption.
  • Demonic Dummy: A straw dummy that might be possessed by the God of Hair (or might be one of its forms) appears.
  • Explosive Breeder: The Body Horror things multiply copiously inside human bodies, and exit in a rush via any available orifices.
  • Ghostly Goals: A girl keeps waking up in the middle of the night, seeing a vague, inhuman mouth panting at her side, exhaling a foul-smelling breath. Despite this, the presence also pulls her from crossing a dangerous road, leaving her confused as to what it is and what it wants. Later, it drags her to the family kitchen just in time to see a fire start and for her father to douse the flames. Then she realizes the mysterious ghost is a dog - the late pet of the former owner. She makes sure his grave will be left untouched and thanks him for the help, now sure it's nothing but helpful.
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  • Laser-Guided Karma: A member of a group of school bullies ends up mysteriously comatose after threatening to cut the hair of a weird new kid. Turns out he's not the first one.
  • Living Shadow: Some manifestations of spirits, if they aren't made out of hair.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It's suggested that part of the horror began in WWII. A Japanese soldier asked a friend to, should he die in combat, cut off a lock of his hair and take it back home for his family's traditional funerary ceremonies. However, the friend failed this obligation, and instead stopped at a local barbershop and grabbed some of the cut hair, which he presented to the family. The real problem started when the lock of hair was stolen from the container, used in a Ushi no toki mairi - a traditional Japanese curse ritual, and offered to "the hair god".
  • Nightmare Face: Deformed faces, with various numbers of eyes, mouths and rows of teeth, are prominent in the ghosts and monsters featured in the stories.
  • No Ending: Much like the author's other work, many of the chapters just end with no resolution. Subverted later, as many chapters are revisited later, adding context and filling in the overarching story of the reason behind the nightmarish events. Played Straight with the series on a meta-textual level. The stories are handled akin to a signal fading in and out on a radio. With one of the stories even focusing around the concept itself, with several workers trying to determine what's befallen one of their number, only to never be seen again. The reason why the stories themselves receive no greater resolution is because both A: Nothing Is Scarier and B: Seeking out the ending might result in the reader unwittingly writing their own.
  • Prehensile Hair: Hair and its manipulation is a recurring element of the ghosts in the stories, based on the long-forgotten rituals related to the worship of the God of Hair.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: It's shown that in the distant past, the God of Hair was a benevolent force that helped villagers as long as its rituals were properly observed. However, its power was badly abused by several prominent people to kill off their rivals and have a largely innocent but compulsively loyal woman pay for the crime. Having its main totem smashed likely didn't help either.
  • Psychopomp: One of the God of Hair's initial duties. Several rich villagers killed off their rivals by beckoning the God into taking their souls.
  • Room Full of Crazy: One of the weird boy's victims obsessively writes invitations to the God of Hair into the walls and floors of his room.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Twice. The first time, an abandoned shack is explored by two men, who are following a trail of radiation until they find a small box sealed with talismans, which is the source. One of them breaks the talismans to look inside, and finds... nothing. Even the radiation count drops like a stone. Meanwhile, the outside onlookers see a massive shadow escape the shack and dissolve into the night sky in a wave of cold. The second time, an exasperated landlord has a property that has proved impossible to sublet demolished. As he supervises the destruction, for a moment he glimpses a large group of humanoid shadows slowly leaving the remains. Both times, the responsible groups wonder exactly what they just released.
  • Surreal Horror: Horrible things happen to people for no discernible reason they can understand... the problem is, those horrors often turn out to have their own logic, which doesn't mesh with human understanding.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Done to a young girl in a rural village, though apparently as some kind of ritualistic safety precaution by her family, to stop the "god of hair" from taking it, and threatened towards a strange transfer student by a gang of bullies. Later on, there are indicia that it's a very old tradition, that has something to do with the ultimate source of whatever's happening.
  • Your Head A-Splode: If the initial curse wasn't bad enough, when "the hair god" statue was being moved, an impatient worker smashed its statue with a mallet, deforming it, grotesquely inflating his head until it popped like a balloon, and remotely killing the overseeing priest by blowing everything above his jaw.

Alternative Title(s): Kouishou Radio