The Enigma of Amigara Fault is a scary Japanese horror manga by Junji Ito. It’s about some human-shaped holes that are found in the side of a mountain after an earthquake.
In Japan, there is a huge earthquake that destroys several towns and villages. After the earthquake, a large fault is discovered on the side of Amigara Mountain. When scientists examine it, they find that the fault is several Kilometers long and very, very deep.
A teenage boy named Owaki is curious about the fault and decides to hike up Amigara Mountain to take a look. On the way, he meets a girl on the trail. Her name is Yoshida and she is looking for the fault as well.
“When I saw it on TV, I knew I had to come,” she tells him.
When they finally reach the fault, they are awestruck by what they see. In the side of the mountain, there are thousands of human-shaped holes.
The scientists are baffled. The holes are thousands of years old and go deep into the mountain. They were uncovered by the earthquake, but they are definitely not a natural formation. Someone or something dug them out from the inside.
Yoshida runs down and begins frantically searching for something.
“When I saw it on TV, I caught a glimpse of one of the holes,” she says. “It was in my shape.”
There are so many holes that she can’t find the one she saw, but she is convinced the shape of it was identical to her.
They meet a man named Nakagaki. He says that most of the people gathered around have come for the same reason.
“We’re all looking for our holes,” he says. “I finally found mine.”
As they watch, Nakagaki takes off his clothes and walks into the hole. Before they can do anything to stop him, he disappears into the side of the mountain.
Owaki raises the alarm and a crowd of people gathers around the hole, shouting at Nakagaki, but he doesn’t come out. The scientists can’t find any trace of him.
News cameras and TV journalists turn up to cover the incident. A rescue team attempts to enter the hole, but they can’t fit. When night falls, they are forced to give up.
Lying in his tent that night, Owaki has a strange and disturbing nightmare. He dreams he is Nakagaki, trapped in pitch blackness, hundreds of meters into the hole. He’s stuck and he can’t move forwards or backwards.
Owaki wakes up screaming for help. When he gets out of his tent, he sees Yoshida standing there. She has a worried look on her face.
“I need to show you something,” she says. “I found my hole.”
When she shows him the hole, Owaki realizes that it does look identical to her. Yoshida is trembling with fear.
“This is my hole,” she says. “It was dug for me. It’s waiting for me to enter… and when I go in, I’ll be trapped in there forever.”
All of a sudden, they hear shouts nearby. A teenage boy is climbing up the side of the mountain, trying to reach the hole that looks like him.
“I have to go in!” he shouts. “Tell my mom goodbye!”
With that, he disappears into the side of the mountain.
Other people decide to go into their holes as well.
Yoshida is terrified. She collapses and Owaki tries to calm her down.
“I’m going to have to enter that hole,” she cries. “I’m going to die there inside that hole!”
“Don’t worry,” says Owaki. “I’ll help you.”
He picks up some rocks and begins filling in the hole so nobody can get in.
“There,” he says. “Now you’re safe.”
That night, Yoshida is too scared to be alone. Owaki tells her she can stay in his tent.
“I’ve always been alone,” she says. “Ever since I was a child. My parents didn’t care about me and neither did my friends.”
“You’re afraid of that hole because you’re lonely,” says Owaki. “Don’t you see that? Nothing could be more lonely than that hole. But you don’t have anything to worry about now. I’m with you.”
Yoshida hugs him tightly and they share a kiss.
That night, Owaki has another nightmare. he finds himself in the hole again, surrounded on all sides by cold stone. The walls were carved in such a way that they kept him from going backwards. There was no way to retreat.
He had no choice but to continue moving forwards. Each movement he made caused him to slide slowly forward and the feeling of claustrophobia was almost unbearable.
To his horror, the further he went, he felt the shape of the hole start to change and his body began to stretch.
In the middle of the night, he awakes with a start. The sleeping bag beside him is empty and Yoshida is nowhere to be seen. Worried, he grabs a flashlight and crawls out of the tent to look for her.
When he finds her hole in the side of the mountain, he is horrified to discover that all of the rocks have been taken out. A horrible realization washes over him.
She has gone into the hole.
He shines the flashlight into the hole and screams her name, but there is no reply.
“Why?” he cries. “Why did you do it?”
He drops his flashlight. It lands on the ground and the beam illuminates another hole in the side of the mountain. When Owaki looks up and sees it, he starts trembling with fear. He recognizes the shape of the hole.
This is his hole.
Then, as if drawn by some strange force, he takes off his clothes and walks into his hole.
Several months later, the scientists discover more holes on the other side of the mountain. Unlike the other holes, these ones are quite small and they are not human-shaped. In fact, they don’t really have any shape at all.
One of the scientists decides to take a look. He shines his flashlight into the hole and what he sees makes him scream in terror.