Otomo's first major work and featuring a spectacular flying battle between two opposing individuals with psychic powers, Domu is the classic stuff of manga comics, one moreover that sets the tone for the artist's only other major comic work - the masterful Akira.
A series of unexplained deaths at a high-rise block have the police baffled, the deaths being too varied and frequent to be explained as suicides, accidents or even the action of a single murderer. This is because the deaths, mostly falls from the upper floors of the tenement building, are being caused by a malevolent person or entity with psychic powers. However there is someone else within the building - a young girl who has noticed who is behind the events and who has the power to oppose his random and senseless actions.
There could be some social commentary in the generational struggle that ensues, but principally, and after the slow build-up, what Domu really presents is an opportunity for Otomo to depict the spectacular battle that this confrontation allows, building it up to hugely destructive and bloody proportions. Even if that is all that Domu is about, it's more than enough, Otomo achieving it with a remarkable sense of pacing in his gradual building of the action, finding the most dynamic way possible to express the battle in his impressive layouts and splash pages where the force of the tensions simply rise off the page. It's not hard to see themes and a style that would be taken to perfection, with greater finesse and to an even more apocalyptic level in Akira, but Domu is recognisably the work of one of the major Japanese manga artists.