By Kei Kusunoki & Kaoru Ohashi (TokyoPop)
This powerful and engrossing urban horror tale with classical supernatural overtones features the exploits of two mysterious young men, Ren and Rai, as they attempt to help ordinary people enmeshed in the sinister coils of the supernatural.
Years previously, two little boys were supposed to have killed a young girl in the apartment building where Chiaki lives. That’s why it’s half empty and the people that do live there are all weird.
Home is not her only problem. School is awful and her parents are acting strange and her boyfriend won’t talk to her and her period is really, really late…
When she meets Ren and Rai, she discovers a whole new and unsuspected world. The boys sold their souls to the demonic Diabolo – who specialises in buying the souls of children – but like all Devil’s Bargains they were cheated, and now they use the powers they’ve been granted to thwart the fiend’s schemes.
But there’s a deadline. All the devil’s clients become insane murderous monsters on their eighteenth birthdays. The boys have less than a year before they must kill each other…
And that’s just the introductory background: The two boys’ mission to save other victims from making their mistake is simply a vehicle to tell modern horror/adventure stories in a chilling urban setting with ordinary people as the stars, and it works very well indeed.
The action is finely balanced by an oppressive atmosphere not often present in Manga, but which superbly enhances the tension, allowing the beautiful clean drawing style to enhance rather than dilute the aura of fore-doomed intensity. This is a highly recommendable treat for supernatural thrill-fiends.
© 2001 Kei Kusunoki & Kaoru Ohashi. All Rights Reserved. English text © 2004 TOKYOPOP Inc.