Summary from GoodReads.com:
“In the spring of 1998, Kouichi Sakakibara transfers to Yomiyama North Middle School. In class, he develops a sense of unease as he notices that the people around him act like they’re walking on eggshells, and students and teachers alike seem frightened. As a chain of horrific deaths begin to unfold around him, he comes to discover that he has been placed in the cursed Class 3 in which the student body head count is always one more than expected. Class 3 is haunted by a vengeful spirit responsible for gruesome deaths in an effort to satisfy its spite. To stop the vicious cycle gripping his new school, Kouichi decides to get to the bottom of the curse, but is he prepared for the horror that lies ahead…? “
I had other books lined up to review before this one but after reading volume 2 of Another last night I wanted to get my thoughts out right now.
This is a manga series that people have been begging me to read. Someone suggested it on here and at least five different people on other parts of the internet asked me to give it a look. I am a fan of manga, I am a fan of horror, and I love all things Japanese horror, so I thought “why not?”
So after all of those recommendations how did I find it? Meh. I will admit that I probably went into this series with higher expectations than I should have. I haven’t read much, if any, horror manga before but what I had seen of the genre before I had absolutely loved. It is twisted, dark and full of images that usually end up burned in your brain for years after. No one does terror and unnerving better than the Japanese. J-Horror is my favourite. But this series was just meh. It was like someone had read a few horror novels and decided to write their own by using all of the tropes they just read. Sure it would appeal to some audiences, maybe those who had not read a lot of horror before but overall it was just dull.
When I was approaching the end of volume 1 I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue the series but the end got a little interesting so I read volume 2. Volume 2 was just an info dump and the dullness of volume 1 was replaced by pacing that was too fast. I get that there is a curse on the class and students are dropping like flies but give the reader, and the main character, time to react to a death before throwing another one at us. The first big death in the series was amazingly done. It was fast and simple but lingered long enough to leave an impression and a shock factor. I know I wont be running while holding an umbrella any time soon after seeing that scene. But it was just down hill from there. The main character is reacting to one death when he gets a phone call telling him about another death that just happened “off screen”. Seriously, that happens. Give us a moment, even a page or two of space would be nice.
I wont be reading volume 3 any time soon unless I suddenly feel the urge to find out what happens at the end, though it was that predictable I could probably guess it myself. It was a pretty manga though, the art was nice and exciting when it needed to be but sadly that didn’t apply to the writing.
Gore, violence, suicide. This is a manga so when deaths occur you will see it most of the time.
2 out of 5 skulls
I gave both of these volumes 2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.com. This manga series has its audience but I am clearly not really it. I think this would be a decent start for anyone who wants to get into Japanese horror though. It is a little tropey and the pacing is off at times but it doesn’t have the weirdness you see in a lot of horror manga that could put people off. Just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean you cant. I might watch the anime.
I didn’t enjoy this series very much but it got me thinking, I should read more horror manga. I spent my lunch break yesterday researching the best horror manga that is out there and wrote myself a little to-read list. It is pretty varied, from your regular ghost stories to strange tales involving fish with legs (seriously), so it seems like a fun little reading project and they could be fun to review. What do you think?