Hideyuki Kikuchi is a Japanese novelist best known for his character D, who wanders a desolate far-future landscape, hunting vampires. The cultural threads from which D’s world is woven include Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name and H.P. Lovecraft’s nameless horrors. No wonder D himself only goes by a single initial.
When I read the first novel in the D series, one small detail that stuck with me was a peculiar form of entertainment that Kikuchi’s high-tech vampires had devised. They genetically engineered plankton into “huge ravenous monsters that could take a school of seven-foot tuna right down to the bone.”
Countless movies have tapped into the horror of giant insects, but giant plankton is a grotesque variation that I have never seen anywhere else.
Kikuchi’s vampires, as bloodthirsty as ancient Roman Coloseum-goers, enjoyed ocean excursions in sturdy but transparent bubble-like craft from which they could observe the gruesome struggles of these giant creatures up close.
As it happens, Kikuchi was born in 1949 in Choshi, a Chiba Prefecture town where fishing is a major pillar of the local economy. Perhaps he glimpsed something ominous in the sea…
You can read a little more about Choshi in tomorrow’s post on this blog.
Meanwhile, you can read a 2008 interview article I wrote about Kikuchi HERE.