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Sotoba is an old-fashioned Japanese village nestled deep in the mountains. It has a small population of about 1300, and the villagers strictly follow age-old traditions and customs. One sweltering summer, a mysterious and deadly disease begins to spread rapidly among the villagers, affecting young and old alike. In the midst of this spate of puzzling deaths, a family of beautiful and elegant individuals moves into the abandoned 'Kanemasa' mansion on the hill-side over-looking Sotoba.
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I was uninterested with the first couple chapters as well. But now, after 6 chapters, I like it a lot. The best way I can describe it is to say that it contains elements of Biohazard, Higurashi, Monster, and The Hour of the Mice.
The plot intrigue and character quality are very intellectually compelling and solid story-wise. And the mysteries don't stay mysteries for unreasonable amounts of time. There's already been a major revelation which starts to connect things together. I just hope the story doesn't end too quickly. (My favorite character, the goth loli who's introduced a couple chapters in, has hardly been developed yet.)
Each chapter is 50-60 pages, so I understand how people can become bored when all they have are the first couple chapters to read, but once you get familiar with things you end up reading it far more quickly. If you decide to read this, then I strongly believe you should commit yourself to read up through chapter 4 or 5 to obtain a real taste of what it's like.
Ah, by the way, the art's fantastic. Especially the color art of course.
The manga's plot took a while to get going imo. (In the first couple volumes) people just kept dying and that was about it. And it was a little hard to get into/follow with like 90 characters introduced in the first couple chapters. Makes you dizzy. I just kind ignored all the old people (they are usually not important) and just focused on remembering Natsuno and his "friends", the doctor, and the monk and the people directly involved with them (parents, nurses etc).
The art style is kinda new to me, and it might take a little getting used to for some people, but it grows on you. It goes nicely with the plot. (I think it's cool btw)
It got better plot-wise (and less confusing) as the story goes on and Shiki is one of those rare manga that actually delivers on the eerie/creepy atmosphere. That is one of the reasons why I continued reading it. It kinda reminds you of the good ol' zombie movies or something. Classic. It also delivers on the mystery level as well. Something like Edgar Allen Poe+Sherlock Holmes+Dawn of the Dead. Nice.
I'm docking a point only because in the "doctor" chapters it gets a little slow (and this is usually when all the non-important characters are thrown at you by the dozens). Well, at least until Volume 6 or so. He rules Volume 8.
Anyway, stick with it until at least Volume 4. Things get good then
I just gotta put this in too: The anime is awesome! It's the same as the manga so far, but it's much more easy to get into. Love the opening as well
... Last updated on August 7th, 2010, 12:17am
This is up to c03 - So far this manga does very well in pacing and development.
It doesn't go for "shock" horror as commonly seen in other late horror mangas, but instead works with a sense of building, development, and some degree of suspense.
So far, it's very well done.
This series has penty of hits and plenty of misses till the end. The art is absolutely horrible, that combined with a very slow beggining and the introduction of awful characters made me almost drop this series. But i decided to continue and it didn't turn out so bad, the art became secondary to the plot. Plot wise it turned out average when considering everything. It's deep, it has some interesting takes on an old subject matter, but at the same time suffers from drifting to pointless subplots. One major flaw was trying to justify the shiki point of view: the mangaka tried to turn them into villains only to reconsider and almost make them into the heroes. How can that be possible? I sure as hell didn't fall into such a nonsensical plot device, the justifications in the final chapters were plain absurd. One major greatness combined with a flaw was the somewhat realistic plot progression: you can't possibly expect the characters to know what is going on at first and i give kudos to the mangaka for that, but at the same time the plot evolved too slowly considering the events that transpired and a mass paranoia would have been fitting in some characters near the middle. The characters were just waltzing around seemingly oblivious to their surroundings and the events. I'm glad something did happen and the story raced to the end, it developed into quite a page turner. The main dillema is not difficult to understand but the options available seem pretty shallow and not well thought out. Discussing survival and such themes i could think of several options on the spot, there is no way that one party (i don't want to spoil) could have a case in the trouble of the manga. It was completely surreal and one of the reasons i despised them. Also i wish the series could have been longer and discussed more themes. As for the characters i'm also troubled. On one hand you have some nice characters going on: the doctor developed nicely, so did many others. There were actually some interesting stories and backgrounds told by them and i was actually compelled by them. But again at the same time there are also some horrible characters including Megumi, Masao, the young priest and Sunako (?). How can i feel for those characters? Masao was one of the most disgusting, pointless and stupid characters i have seen in manga. Megumi was annoying, shallow and just terrible. The young priest is actually the character i hate the most, coming up with some horrid reasons and decisions. I mean really? That's how he was? Also with the biblical references that didn't do much for me. And lets not forget Sunako. I'm lost at words. Another interesting point is how some characters seemed to break their mold in the final chapter. Despite everything Giant Ookawa still rocks as a badass character. Overall this manga has some interesting points, i like these kinds of stories, mysteries in small towns, so yeah that was a big plus, it was deep, it introduced plenty of interesting moments, so i give it a higher grade and choose to forget most of the bad things. And that includes the ending: for me that was very rage inducing, just thinking about it makes me feel mad.
It was totally awesome. At first I just try it because I love Houshin Engi and I love Fujisaki Ryu's works. I was slightly disappointed and confused about the first few chapters, due to the slow pace and perhaps the number of names mentioned. But it starts to get really good after the revelation of 'shiki'. The plot is actually intriguing, given that it's based on a novel. The theme is dark and there's little comedy, which is totally different from Houshin Engi, but I still love it
Anyway, the plot is tight and the art is superb. I'm really looking forward to next chapter.
The manga started out really well and I had high hopes for this series considering the story is coming from Ono Fuyumi (12 Kingdoms) and the art is by Fujisaki Ryu (Houshin Engi, one of my all-time favourites).
Unfortunately, after 5 chapters the story isn't all that scary even though it's supposed to be horror, and the vast number of characters just makes the story confusing and hard to keep up with. It felt like I was reading the White Pages at times when all of a sudden 20 new characters were introduced! Not to mention the main characters all remain underdeveloped. Also the 50-60 pages per chapter format doesn't help when the story isn't very exciting. I found myself forcing myself to get through some chapters.
I am quite disappointed with this manga. I don't know, maybe later down the track I'll come back to the this manga when the story has actually progressed but as of now I'm putting this manga on hold.
... Last updated on August 31st, 2008, 9:32pm
I like this manga (though anime give me little shock). Story is actually realistic, and even there are MANY minor character... well, I just ignore them and focus on those main. Even though I don't really liked Natsuno because his character, I can understand him. Because being shipped into some unknown vilage with naive and gossiping people... it would piss me too. Story is little slow but it getting better and better as chapters goes. Doctor Toshio starting act somehow scary and creepy, but still trying save people. Only one I don't really like is probably priest Seishin... he know there are vampires, but don't give damn.
But my favorite character is Tatsumi. Since even when he acted all cute and harmlessly, it was obvious he's most dangerous one...
This is the artist of Hoshin Engi... The first thing I want to say is that I didn't like hoshin engi, so I've already had bad experience with this artist... just saying.
Anyways, the art is a bit between good and bad; this is a shonen manga, with accompanying art, but it's a bit different... Some of the characters, such as the (I think) main character, yuuki, are made pretty sharp and crisp, which I notice from those eyes and that chin. It's not bad... but it feels maybe a bit odd at times. The scans aren't the best, but so far the art feels pretty okay mostly, B+ or A-, but generally, that's it. Nothing too special about the art, which leads to plot and story...
Which really turned me off. Something about the way that it is a slow paced story is really annoying. I mean, I've read some slow paced ones before, but the thing about this one is that it starts to build, get some rising action... and then it's gone, back to slowness. What the hell is up with that? The storytelling feels off because of this, jumping from one place to another, and focuses on things that aren't particularly interesting, meaning the more itneresting things(the supernatural stuff, characters with a sharp design, etc.) are not shown as much as we want. IT took me three days to get to chapter four... I know of one or two scenes where it was pretty exxagerated as well.
But strangely enough by then, it was somewhat interesting. The rising action and tension and stuff hanged on longer, like those last couple pages of chapter 3... and then sharply dropped off to half boredom with chapter 4's starting. The dying over and over thing, where more and more characters are continually introduced(the profile count thing) is sort of very annoying. I mean, we get it, they're dying, right! There are some cool pictures and good lines every now and then, it's just the rising action and then suddenly falling is sorta annoying.
Characters are okay. Yuuki's a bit of a jerk, but so far it's fitting him just fine. Others characters are just your average town people, so you'll probably like them or at least not dislike them too much. And of course, some characters are just so much cooler when they're dead and make scary appearences in the main character's mind...
Yeah I was into it at first, but after the millionth mysterious death I fail to see how NO ONE has mentioned the rich family that freakishly moved in in the dead of night. And yet all are focused on our hero, who, from what I can tell, moved in and has behaved normally throughout his time in the town... I guess the catch is you have to invite the vamps into your home? i think, I don't know that for sure, just a guess. Anyway, I was interested but I've lost it over the course of a million deaths and not a single breakthrough... in a town like they describe it, come one, who wouldn't wonder about that family?!
Interesting premise, but extremely stupid characters
The premise of the story Is intriguing and rather refreshing. The story has a certain draw to it that kept me reading chapter after chapter. Unfortunately, the characters destroy any suspension of disbelief I had. Itís been a while since Iíve encountered such an entirely retarded cast of characters. I feel the story could have ended in 10 chapters if only the characters had a minimal IQ of 80. The characters are rather bland with limited development, but not completely uninteresting. For example, the bond between Natsuno and Tooru was fun to read about. Itís a tragedy that it wasnít further explored though. So many characters were introduced, then killed off without elaboration that 95% o f the cast was forgettable. The main characters suffer an overabundance of tropes and lack depth. The art is passable, but wonít win any awards/ At times, the charactersí bodies are so elongated that you wonder if the artist drew this while laying down. Overall the manga felt shallow and predictable with a dew redeeming qualities. 5.5/10