About the Mangaka
Kikuchi Hideyuki is famous for his horror novels, specifically Vampire Hunter D, and has been compared to both Stephen King and H. P. Lovecraft.
Kikuchi wrote his first novel, Demon City Shinjuku, in 1982 and has written numerous horror novels in the past 20 years, including the 19 novels about Vampire Hunter D.
Couldn’t find much on Shin Yong-Gwan, beyond him also doing the art for Eternity, which was published by Tokyopop.
About the Manga
What can I say, another great volume that creeped me out to the bone!!
I liked the cover of this volume better than the first, it has a better feel to it for me. Though I do wish DMP didn’t waste so much space on the border.
The first page of the manga itself is the black and white version of the cover, and it loses a lot of the feel of the cover. It looks and feels like they just bleached the colour out of the cover, and as a result it looks a bit, well, weird.
The first part of the volume wraps up the story from the previous volume, and damn it’s done well. The art for this part of the volume is dark, creepy and looks awesome.
I loved the character designs and the way the art goes through some changes. One panel we’ll have what I consider a bit of comical art, but in the next we get dark, gore and creepy. The way this works keeps you on edge, you can’t let yourself go or something will literally bite you.
As I read through I have to admit I found some panels, especially those depicting the accident, border line to much for a 16+ title. At times it has an almost slasher horror feel to it. The ending of the first part of the volume was done really well, although the art still has the dark feel, it also has a lighter happy tone to it that peeks in.
The change in art for the second part of the volume takes some adjusting. We go from dark of night creepy, to a day light creepy. Also we aren’t eased into it as we were in the first volume.
I found that the Akamushi in this part of the story has some of the best designs I’ve seen in the two volumes and I really liked them.
I was also impressed with the detail that Shin beings in in this volume looks pretty awesome. Although I have to admit his old guy at the beginning looks like he’s nothing but wrinkles hehe
Midori, the damsel in distress for this story, has me won over already. Her design was amazing and I found I liked her more than the previous damsel. Midori has a whole tainted innocence feel to her, and the way Shin captured her in this volume was perfectly done.
The art of the ‘evil’ this time wasn’t as creepy as I was expecting. Sure it looks pretty gruesome, but it lacked the oomph of the previous volume. On my third read through I realised it was because of the change of setting. Something creepy set in a creepy setting and portrayed in a creepy way is really powerful. However because this time it was all done in a normal household setting, the art just didn’t have the oomph behind it.
However what it lacked in the art side it more than made up for it in the story side, which quite frankly I found more creepy than the previous story. Part of this is because it set in such a normal way.
There were several hints in this volume about things, but I still find myself wondering just who the hell Akamushi is. Sadly this volume ends in a cliff-hanger like the previous volume, and we’re once again going to be waiting ages for answer to all the questions brought up in this volume. I hope we get the next volume soon!!
All told Hideyuki and Shin come together and bring us a great and well balanced story that’s enough to give you nightmares!!
DMP did a decent job with the release, with the exception of my cover gripe. But that applies to all of DMP’s releases. The translation flows smoothly and consistently without feeling re-written. They lose points for not keeping honorific’s, though I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt this time since I got the impression there weren’t any used in the original.
After rereading the first volume as well I’m tempted to put it on my Essential Read List. However I feel like I’ve been adding things to it a bit to fast and it’s no longer really an essential list. So, Taimashin will have to wait for now. However I can and do recommend it highly. If you’re into the darker side of manga, such as Anne Freaks, give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Where to Buy