Some people stop watching an anime or reading a manga for several reasons. Sometimes it’s because a title is just so nightmarishly bad that they can’t bear to watch the rest of it to completion. Sometimes it’s because there are just too many episodes/volumes that it seems insurmountable. I stopped reading MPD Psycho for neither of those reasons. 

For anyone that’s never heard of MPD Psycho, here’s the basic rundown, at least as of the first volume: a detective working with the police has multiple personalities. When the story begins, Kiyohiko Amamiya is the detective’s uber-intelligent present personality, who appeared after Shinji Nishizono, a previous docile personality, went crazy, violent, and then dormant. There is a larger mystery connecting a few different serial killers—all of the perpetrators are somehow involved with an institution known as the Eye Bank, and have bar codes on the whites of their eyes.

I was instantly drawn to this series because the art is super-crisp and the idea of a detective with multiple personalities was intriguing to me. However, where I was expecting an entertaining, relatively lighthearted and engaging mystery series, I was met with some of the most grotesque and violent crimes against humans that I have ever seen, including in other serial-killer shows like Criminal Minds and CSI.

The potential I saw in the multiple personality disorder of the main character started to pay off, and I loved it, but the series is honestly just too violent for me. There’s a statement by the author in the back of the book that talks about wanting to re-instill a sense of fear and awe of death in readers that have been disillusioned by depictions of death on TV and in films, but I think he instead gives those people more to feast on. I get his point, but he didn’t have to make the deaths he depicted so grotesque in order to make it. If there’s enough in “ordinary” death and murder to make it fearsome, then I think he should have gone that route instead.

I want to keep reading it. I really do. I’m interested in the overarching plot and where things are going with the characters. I could even borrow more volumes of it and continue, but I’d be too afraid that I’d end up throwing up on property that isn’t mine. I’d keep buying it, but there are other series I’m in the middle of that I know I’ll be able to stomach. Horror movies just aren’t my thing, and neither, apparently, are horror manga, but for some people, I couldn’t recommend this first volume enough. For many others, though, I’d tell them they’d just be better off without. I’m pretty sure I am.