Manga Review: MIERUKO-CHAN Vol. 2 by Tomoki Izumi (2021)

Genre: Slice-of-Life Horror
Year Release in English: 2021
Source: BOOK☆Walker

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content warnings: Ghosts, body horror, disturbing imagery

It took so much of my self-control to not immediately inhale this as soon as it hit my phone. Continuing with the excellent ghost designs, this volume introduces new characters and new lore (?), while still keeping up the slice-of-life pacing.

I winced at every new ghost introduced here. They are larger, more intricate, but I really liked how Izumi introduces softer moments where maybe the ghosts aren’t all bad. In fact, helping them find closure Sixth Sense style might be a way for Miko to find peace with her new horrifying ghouls.

One of my favorite archetypes is the character who declares themself to be someone’s apprentice. Here comes Yuria, a fledging medium who wants to know why the old woman closed up her shop and what exactly is up with Miko seeing ghosts beyond ever her comprehension. I can’t wait to see how this relationship evolves, especially since Miko tries to maintain that she cannot see anything going on around her.

Manga Review: MIERUKO-CHAN Vol 1. by Tomoki Izumi (2020)

Genre: Slice-of-Life Horror
Year Release in English: 2020
Source: BOOK☆Walker

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content warnings: Ghosts, body horror, groping, disturbing imagery

This manga might be my new favorite thing. It follows a girl, Miko, as she goes about her daily life with one major problem: she can see ghosts. They are not friendly, and no one else around her can interact with them. Sometimes it’s funny, other times it’s horrifying, and I am so interested in where this story is going.

The ghost designs are so excellent. The art style really balances the slice-of-life and the ghostly terrors. They’re so inventive, and each one has me both terrified and unable to look away. The page-by-page jump scares are exquisite. I really enjoy Miko and Hana’s friendship, they do every day girl things that leave me convinced they are girlfriends.

There is a brief introduction of rules and lore, with the breaking spirit beads and visits to mediums. It’s light in this first volume, and I really hope it gets explored.

Manga Review: AZUMANGA DAIOH Vol. 1 by Kiyohiko Azuma (2003)

Genre: Slice-of-Life Comedy
Year Release in English: 2003
Source: Borrowed from Friends

Rating: 4 out of 5.

One of the essential slice-of-life manga, I came into Azumanga Daioh by way of Pop Team Epic. Unlike Pop Team Epic, this manga is grounded in the experience of five high school girls and their two teachers, which things only being absurd enough to exagerate reality.

The entire cast is so charming, and so, so, so useless. Except for maybe Chiyo, but she’s ten years old and in high school, so make of that what you will. Everyone has their strengths, but its their weaknesses and differences where the humor really comes forth. Sasaki can’t make friends with cats, Osaka is the transfer student and that’s not even her real name.

The two teachers are a sapphic delight. Casually going on dates together, insisting on driving together, showing up at each other’s homes. It’s sweet and subtle, but fits right in with the other shenanigans going on around. I really liked the beach episode and that time they tried to adopt a kitten, and it just wasn’t having it.

Can’t wait to see what comes next.