I had some time to kill at Books-A-Million, and I stumbled on this manga. I’d seen it before, and I was fascinated by the art on the cover, so I finally decided to read it. I didn’t know what to expect, but wow xD Keep reading below to go along with me!
I read this offline in the store, so it is the official translation, but I do not own the series. I read the omnibus -I’m not sure if it comes any other way-, but I did not write down the summary on the back. If I ever have the time to get that, I will update this section with that information.
Warning: This manga does show graphic gore. If you’re not comfortable with seeing gore, then this is not the manga for you.
Every post past this point will be a spoiler, so please read ahead with caution!
Plot: 1 star. This is actually hard to pinpoint, but I think the plot of the story revolves around the story from 26 years ago. First, we have to learn the full story, and then the characters need to figure out how to stop it early. Finding out the story was the first important mystery, but once you learn the story and its curse, the priority shifts into ending the curse as quickly as possible. You can’t have one half without the other. It’s an evolving plot, really, and it does get concluded at the end. I have to give this a full star.
Art: 1 star. The art is what drew me in, and it never disappointed. The umbrella scene was traumatizing, but the positive(?) spin for that is that the art is incredibly detailed. The use of shading and linework definitely evokes emotions.
Story Progression: 1 star. This manga does a very good job of capturing your attention early on. By the end of chapter 1, there’s already an inkling of mystery. The first few pages are a bit slow, but that only lasts while the main character meets his class presidents. The pacing does a good job of stretching out the anxiety and confusion of the story which prompts you to keep reading. It also helped me get more invested in the story itself. Things pick up right at the end, as they should. I was never able to predict what would happen next, so it kept my attention the entire time. I definitely have to give this one star.
Genre: 1/2 star.
A “Japanese mystery horror” is very fitting. This is definitely a mystery. The horror genre works, but it’s more psychological with gore -which I suppose would be horror. I never got scared while reading this, but Japanese horror generally messes with your head more than anything. The mystery factor cranked that to 11 for me. I kept trying to put the pieces together when I wasn’t even seeing the whole puzzle. I was getting as paranoid as the main character; it was impressive xD Horror is not my forte (as the main page states, I generally don’t read horror), so I’m not sure if this is horror or if it should be classified as psychological. Some sites would add “mature” to cover the gore factor, but that’s splitting hairs.
I’ve tried doing some research (which is not my strong suit) -which means that I googled some terms, and here’s what I found about genres:
The Japanese horror definition is useless xP I was disgusted and startled by the umbrella scene, so horror here fits to some extent. Psychological thriller does not, or at least, the Western idea of it does not suit this manga. Honestly, psychological horror is the best fit, but that would remove the mystery genre. Since I’m so on the fence about this and Google has failed me, I’m going to give genre half a star. I don’t know Japanese horror well enough to know if this manga fits.
Enjoyment: 1/2 star. I’m not sure how to feel about this manga. It’s not the usual sort that I read, but I definitely chose to read it, and I never reached a point of giving up on the story. I was fascinated by the mystery aspects, but I was also disturbed by the gore. I wouldn’t call this reading “fun”, but it was absolutely an experience. It’s a complicated feeling.
If you’d like to see my full review, then please click here