Alright, got another EP to settle and this time...It's from a manga created by...One of the most famous horror mangakas of all time, Junji Ito. (Yes! That Junji Ito). Without further ado, let's begin the EP shall we.
What's The Work
Now, for those who don't know who Junji Ito is, he's basically one of the top mangakas of horror genre with hits like Enigma of Amigara Fault, Tomie, Uzumaki or Gyo. And for those who still don't know about his works, this link should help you to know how Junji Ito manga looks like. Anyways, I'm going to discuss a candidate from one of his manga that I followed called "Travelogue of the Succubus" and it's one of his recent mangas.
Anyways, the story of Travelogue of the Succubus focuses on a journalist named Wataru Tsuchiyado who investigate several weird supernatural phenomenons that happened around Sengoku Mountain. During his travel at the Sengoku Mountain, he then discovered a mysterious beautiful girl with long golden hair named Byakuya Kyoko. It was soon revealed that the woman herself? Is a survivor of the Mount Sengoku eruption that happened years ago and needless to say, a dark and evil cult tries to retrieve her for nefarious purpose.
And yes, the leader of said cult is the person that I want to discuss today. Meet Aido Kagerou everyone!
Who is He/What Has He Done
Aido Kagerou is a mysterious but charming person who is the representative of a cult who tries to unravel the secrets of the universe. You see, it was revealed that he and his cult tries to retrieve Byakuya Kyoko, in which they did, because she had a power called Clairvoyance that could access the "Akashic Records", a library of the whole universe.
After capturing Wataru and Byakuya in which he tied the latter to a cross, he orders all of his cult members to meditate in order to retrive an Akashic Records in which it took a shape of a jet black cloud that Wataru tried to investigate earlier. However, at the same time, Byakuya warns the cult member that their efforts are futile and it will contains severe consequences. They literally got the end of the stick because they got burned and crushed by the Akashic Records at the end. Fortunately, both Wataru and Byakuya escaped the incident.
Unfortunately however, it was revealed that Aido Kagerou survived the incident too because he was saved by a being known as Jet-Black God from Outer Beyond and amasses other members for his cult with him ordering to crash the curved mirrors with their cars to make his second in command, Beniko Yamaoka, appeared. It was also revealed that he kidnapped several people that Wataru had met before to find Byakuya Kyoko easily because all of them had met Byakuya Kyoko.
Before the Sengoku Mountain erupts again, he then had his cult members to perform a ritual by staring and meditating towards the innocent people which resulted in them covered in the jet black hair with the former becoming insane and the latter was reduced into nothing but skeletons. And yes, Wataru was one of the victims. However, he is revealed to survive the ritual that could kill him and got transported to another dimension which is revealed to be an Edo period.
However, at the same time, Aido also survived the incident too and got transported into the Edo period. Disguising himself as a mysterious wanderer, he then told the shogunate at that period about the location of a missionary named Miguel and his followers and that includes Byakuya Kyoko. Before Miguel and his followers are executed, he then orders them to carry crucifix while climbing the Sengoku Mountain and was revealed that he intends to execute Miguel and his followers by throwing them into the crater when they were tied in a crucifix.
Before Miguel was kicked, he asked about the person who created the universe. When Miguel answered it was God Almighty, Aido scoffs that answer as he said that it was going to be him that will create the universe and was revealed that he executes Miguel, his followers and Byakuya to gain her clairvoyance powers. However, Byakuya then defeats him by shooting a beam light towards him. Killing the mad cultist once and for all while Byakuya, Miguel and his follower disappeared into the darkness as they jumped into the Sengoku Mountain while Wataru returned into the present day. So a happy ending yeet!
Freudian Excuse/Mitigating Factors
Let's get the elephant out of the room first: Yes, Junji Ito mangas can be mind screwy and has a bit of mind screwy plot which is understandable in order to enhance the scariness of the manga. However, Travelouge of the Succubus had a rather easier to follow plot despite well, its still mind screwy at the end and Chapter 4 was kind of a Big Lipped Alligator Moment. So I don't think this doesn't hamper Aido's chance of qualifying as a PE.
Aside from that? Yes, he said that he receive a revelation from the God from the Darkest Corners of Universe but as far as his relationship goes towards said god? It was rather pure fanatical interest rather than genuine love anyways. And by the end of the chapter, he reveals his true nature as a person who wanted to slake his own god complex at the end. So no, nothing at all from him.
For a cult leader? I think he basically meets it. The ritual that he performed which caused several innocent people to get reduced into nothing but skeletons and him trying to execute a frail missionary and his followers just to get into one person so that he could get her clairvoyance to become god in the universe and his end goal to spread the influence of Indigo Shadow across universe? Yeah, I think he makes it.