Adapted by Naoshi Arakawa
After the strange disappearance of Mitsuru and an ominous trail of blood where he was, the seven remaining students try to solve the mystery of their situation with some heightened anxiety. Shimizu theorizes that this situation is like the Langoliers Incident, and they’ve been pulled into the subconscious of the person who committed suicide. The others reject her notion as foolish and too much like a Stephen King novel. Shimizu finds Takano alone in the hallway, trying to figure out who committed suicide. Shimizu recounts her friendship with Takano, their friendly rivalry, and ultimately her plans for her future, but soon realizes that this isn’t Takano. Later, then real Takano and Akihito discuss the premise of this predicament: maybe they’re being punished by the person who committed suicide because they didn't do enough to save their classmate.
There is a bit more focus on the person who committed suicide in this volume, as well as a fuzzy depiction of the moment it happened. The publisher has included the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number at the front of the book, which I very much appreciate. There are more elements of horror in this volume but for the most part, this has more psychological thriller elements than horror. Keeping in mind how different Japanese society views suicide compared to America, this series will need to come with a warning other than the Hotline, just in case readers have any suicidal ideations.
There is one page in this volume full of sexual innuendos - Akihito remembers the festival day and a play that was put on, and some male students make sexual jokes during the scene where the princess is supposed to awaken with a kiss.
I feel there are several different types of illustration brought together in this title. The characters and the focus on their facial expressions is very reminiscient of how important this element is in shōjo manga. However, the detail in the backgrounds and the horror details are solidly shōnen styles. The art really brings up the degree of spookiness and sets the emotional tone throughout the story.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1
Publisher: Vertical Comics (Kodansha)
Publication Date: June 15, 2021
ISBN: 9781647290429 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, School Life, Mystery, Horror, Paranormal, Kodansha
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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