a.k.a. Kamikakushi no Monogatari
by Gakuto Coda, art by Rei Mutsuki
Published in the U.S. by Tokyopop
Slugline: Kyoichi, anti-emo gothboy extraordinaire, pulls his friends into his obsessions. Next stop... the Twilight Zone.
I go into these manga just about blind -- I don't even read the blurb on the back cover, most of the time -- so the fairly shojo-flavored cover and the moderate oddities in the first part of the book left me completely unprepared for the sudden turn into CREEPYLAND. Kyo's friends stumble, with convincing innocence, straight into his secret obsession with the paranormal, and then start looking for answers and deciding to help him, whether he wants it or not.
The quite effective creepy scene is followed by a fair block of exposition, which while necessary is also not nearly as much fun. As the beginning of a story, it lays out the plot objective and some of the problems and characters in a neat package, but what will happen next is not exactly clear. This "literature club" does not seem to have the resources to track a vanished friend through a shadowy, paranormal reality.
Mutsuki-san's artwork is breezy -- there's an intermittent, invisible breeze mussing everyone's hair just so -- and nicely composed. And according to the back of the book, yes we'll all have the chance to read the story again as a light novel, if you're into that sort of thing.
Tokyopop labeled this series "Mystery" but we don't have a tag for that. Hopefully this mention will snag any searches for mysteries.
Missing: Kamikakushi No Monogatari, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.