Akihito relives the day of the festival when their classmate commits suicide, and particular focus is on one student who Akihito could have done more for. Akihito witnesses him constantly being bullied, and often stands up for him, but lets a couple of encounters slide without helping. Akihito wonders if this is the person who committed suicide and trapped them here, and whether it was entirely his fault. After this, Akihito disappears and doesn't get a chance to discuss with the others what he has discovered. Rika also gets separated from the group and has a flashback of her own and also disappears.
Seiichi has a fairly normal life full of going to school and being home with his family. His father is often away at work, so he and his mother spend lots of time together. He's a dutiful son who helps his mom when he can. His cousin comes over often to play video games, but Seii doesn't quite seem like he likes hanging out with him. Seii's friends are sort of mean to him but still try to invite him to get-togethers, most of which Seii turns down. In the first week of his summer break, his extended family decides to go on a hike and get away from the city for a while. What happens on the hike irreparably changes Seii's life and flips everything on its head.
Illustrated by Dustin Nguyen
Eight young children play amidst destroyed buildings and derelict cars that spell out with certainty an apocalypse they all lived through. Some doodle on the buildings, others strum guitars. All of them are vampires. A few find rodents to eat, but then, they smell something they've never encountered before - a human - and it starts to make them salivate. A few of them attack the human and taste blood that is more delicious than anything they've had before, so they continue to hunt for more humans. Half of the group is reluctant to leave the city and disobey their creators, but the others can never go back to draining rats again.
Illustrated by Gavin Fullerton, colored by Chris O'Halloran, lettered by Tom Napolitano
Poor little Jamie is terrified of the monsters in the closet that come out at night and try to eat him. His father, Thom, is trying to convince him that when the move from New York to Portland, the monster will stay here, and he doesn't have to be worried anymore. Behind all this fear is a tumultuous family situation. Thom and his wife fight constantly, but he's trying to make things better. Trust has been broken between them, but they're both hoping the move will offer them a chance to hit reset, and they can remember why they fell in love in the first place. Much to Thom's dismay, Jaime's nightmares keep visiting him every night, and the monster didn't stay in New York.
Illustrated by Dustin Irvin and Damien Torres
Widow Sarah Winchester moves to California and begins work on a sprawling mansion where construction must never cease. She assembles a team of laborers who work around the clock to keep building new wings of the house. Despite the enormous labor force, her project is plagued with setbacks. Robber barons try to take part Sarah's land for the construction of the railroad, but Sarah and her niece sabotage the survey equipment night after night. Other members of the California wealthy want in on Sarah's inner circle, and sabotage her when they are rebuked. A member of her crew accidentally stabs a co-worker and swears it was because of tricks played on him by vengeful spirits. And then there is the question about the spirits themselves and the role they played in the building of the Winchester Mystery House.
Arisu and his friends are slackers who couldn’t care less about high school or even what comes after it. Arisu is especially bored with how his life is playing out, and he often wishes to be swept away into another world. He soon learns to be careful what to wish for, because he and his two friends are mysteriously pulled into a future dystopia. The city is starting to be reclaimed by nature, but what's happening in this place is far from natural. Arisu, his two friends, and a mysterious girl are forced together into a team and must play twisted games in order to stay longer in this world. The failure for playing is instant death, so they're damned if they do, damned if they don't.
Illustrated by Pius Bak and Roman Titov
Warning, this review contains spoilers, but then again, so does the title.
Joey and her boyfriend, Astor, go to Astor’s family home for the summer - Crestfall Bluffs. Astor is worried about coming back home as a recovering alcoholic, so while Joey is apprehensive about meeting his family, she pulls it together to help him keep it together. She also wants to make a good impression as she may land an internship at a prestigious law firm owned by one of the many affluent families of Crestfall Bluffs. But, when she sees Astor’s father murder a man and the rest of the rich eat him, she has to come to terms with what is expected of people in this world. She decides to do the unthinkable in order to be accepted, and it comes with an even bigger price - those who start eating human flesh can no longer be satisfied with other foods. Joey befriends and later falls in love with the nanny of Astor’s much-younger brother. The two work together to turn Crestfall Bluff on its head and instead of eating the poor, they eat the rich.
Vol 5: A Game of You, illustrated by Shawn McManus, Colleen Doran, Bryan Talbot, George Pratt, Stan Woch, Dick Giordano, lettered by Todd Klein
Barbie, who we first met in A Doll’s House, is back again - this time as a long absent princess of a small realm within The Dreaming. Joining her on this adventure are Wanda, her neighbor and a trans female, Thessaly, who is apparently centuries old and a witch, and the lesbian couple of Foxglove and Hazel. Barbie is called back to her dream realm when one of her faithful subjects crosses realms and ends up in the Waking World looking for her. The Cuckoo, the villain of Barbie’s dreams, has also stationed an agent in Barbie’s building who tries to manipulate the other occupants into attacking Barbie in her sleep, but Thessaly is stronger, and she forces the agent to give up the Cuckoo’s plan. She then barters passage for herself, Foxglove, and Hazel to enter into Barbie’s dream to save her.
This volume takes over from volume two with the video that Ushio and Ushioh made to explain how they have been working together to stop the shadows. Ushioh then remembers everything that happened from the moment she copied Ushio, and she shows Shin and Sou from her own memories what happened to Ushio. Ushioh then remembers all the practice she did in using her special shadow powers, and the three go to an abandoned medical facility on the island to investigate further. Several paths lead to this facility, and before long, the pairs of Mio and Tatsu, and Master Negume and Ginjiro also enter the medical facility. They all learn much more about the shadows’ plans, but are once again unable to stop everything bad from happening, so Shin loops back for a fifth time.
Illustrated by Natsuko Uruma
Kiyoharu Saeyama is currently posing as a high school biology teacher, but that's only because he's really a Curse Breaker on the hunt for the next Curse Killer. He's contracted to find those who make pacts with Curse Gods, and break their contracts before too many people die. He has some special abilities that help him trace Curse Killers - he's able to ask the dead one question about their contractor in the hopes of narrowing down the suspect pool. Curse killings also come with several unbreakable rules, and they're not exactly spelled out for the Killers. So, while they're busy making sure they meet their quota of kills per month, Killers must also find out the rules and make sure their kills go off without a hitch. If they successfully fulfill the terms of their contract, the Curse Gods will bestow on them immense power.
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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