Aha! Yes, I was finally up to the challenge of reviewing a Horror manga. Here we have Zekkyou Gakkyuu, a first ever manga published Ishikawa Emi. If your really interested in mangas that aren’t focused on one single character and want to read something not too cutesy or obvious, then read on!
Zekkyou Gakkyuu or also known as “Screaming Lesson” in their English format, is published by Shueisha, in the Ribon Magazine. (The magazine that brought you Chibi Maruko-san, Full Moon o Sagashite, Aishiteruze Baby, Kodocha and Stardust Wink) Pffft!! I know right? The same magazine that targets readers around 9-13 years old is serializing a horror manga?? I’m happy to say that with it’s monthly update, and already 10 volume long series, we can see Zekkyou Gakyuu as an ongoing project and also as a live action film soon to be released this Summer!
Surprisingly, the first time I saw the chapter, I literally thought it was just your normal shojo manga. It had all those big twinkly eyed characters, typical romance themes, and even some adorably drawn male characters. Ahh, but this is where all the surprise come…Although Ishikawa-Sensei is fully capable of drawing down to earth looking characters , she is also able to draw one of the most scariest scenes I have ever seen. (e.g The Land of Mermaids) What I admire about her artwork is that although her manga is in the Horror genre, she is still able to identify how “scary” her manga should be. There are some moments where she throws in a “Happy Ending” or fades her scenes to black to have her reader decide what happened to our protagonists. Her ability to combine horror with Shoujo was really something unexpected!
Zekkyou Gakkyuu is set up as a series of anecdotes. There are different characters, setting, scenarios in every chapter. (Excluding chapters that have the title of Part 2 or Part 3) In addition, every chapter is introduced by our main character, Yomi , who is basically a ghost who lost half of her body. (yes, she is just floating with her upper half) After each ending, she appears once again and gives a sort of “moral story” to her readers. I guess you can say it’s a more “ghastly” addition to your typical Aesop’s Fables.
Although the manga SEEMS to have all those themes you would find in a regular Shoujo manga, the way the author carries out the plot is very interesting. The manga tackles scenarios such as “What happens when you get rejected from a confession?” go back home and cry. Nah. Something much much more…obsessive…
Or if “What if you get into a fight with your best friend?” Let’s just say you won’t come back in….one piece.
As I have stated in the previous topic, all the characters in each story differ. The only character you see to have a regular occurrence is Yumi Akimoto (aka Yomi), our story’s host and raconteur.I actually think it’s a creative outtake on your typical “following the story of….blah blah blah” Instead, you get to follow up on the lives of different characters and how they cope with everyday life decisions. And let’s admit it, it does feel quite satisfying to see those spoiled characters you always hate get a horrifying punishment or two 😛
If you liked Zekkyou Gakkyuu, or are interested in the horror genre be sure to check out either these mangas below:
– Fraken Fran (has a similar short story format as Zekkyou Gakkyuu except highly explicit and uncensored. BEWARE!)-
– Uzumaki (Not for the faint of heart. Will create nightmares for you.)
– Another (Started as a light novel series, has a similar school life genre to it with a little twit of mystery.)
– Yuureitou (Very cool plot, but if you don’t like plots where characters have to develop slowly, this is not for you)
I’ll be sure to add a reviews of all of them later on in the future 🙂 Until them…happy reading !!