She stands in front of you, clutching a teddy bear to her chest. She can't be older than 8, with long, straight black hair and a frilled dress. You don't know her name, but she's smiling warmly. And then, suddenly, she isn't: Her doe eyes widen, white and afraid. Her mouth gapes and blood drips past her lips. You follow her gaze down -- a knife protrudes from her stomach, staining her dress bright red, blood dribbling into her socks and Mary Janes. A knife that your hands are grasping tightly.
This is how the video game Neverending Nightmares begins, and it's also the first scene in a manga of the same name that debuted last week. As a game, Neverending Nightmares is a chilling, powerful peek into the darkest thoughts of a person struggling with depression and intrusive thoughts. The protagonist, Thomas, is trapped in a hellscape loop, repeatedly waking up only to realize he's still in a terrible nightmare: Headless corpses are piled against black-and-white walls; bodies hang from meat hooks in a claustrophobic cell; Thomas pulls a vein from his wrist like a stray thread.