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Title: Ghost Talker’s Daydream Vol 4
Authors: Okuse Saki & Meguro Sankichi
Publisher: Dark Horse
For Mature Audiences
May Contain Spoilers
If having hallucinations is scary, then seeing them at school would be terrifying. But when the hallucinations talk back to you, that’s the kind of fright you’ve come to expect from the world of Ghost Talker’s Daydream. Come join Saiki Misaki, the albino dominatrix necromancer, as she jumps head-first into another supernatural mystery. This time around the case becomes more personal, as the power that gives Saiki the ability to see and talk to the dead is the very thing terrorizing her client. Prepare yourself for an anything-but-typical "speaks to ghosts" manga that will blow you away with beautiful and sensual art coupled with a terrifying story. Dark Horse Manga continues to deliver top-notch Japanese horror manga at its finest. From writer Saki Okuse (Twilight of the Dark Master) and artist Sankichi Meguro.
I am always reluctant to pick up a series in mid-stream, because it’s so hard to connect with the characters and the plot. Since I received this out of the blue, I decided to give it a try, mainly because it’s the season for creepy reads, and it seemed to fit that bill to a T. I have very mixed feelings about this now, and I am going to have to track down the earlier volumes to see what I missed.
Ghost Talker’s Daydream reminds me a little bit of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. This one is strictly for grown-ups, due to the nudity, a few grotesquely bloated corpses, and one of the main character’s disturbing dreams. Saiki is away at a hot spring, leaving Kadotake to deal with her creepy replacement. Ai and Mitsuru are forced to deal with a double suicide, and an overly gung-ho detective who is determined to get to the bottom of the deaths. Threatening messages from YUO have Ai and Mitsuru on the defensive, and it seems as though they are slated to be the next suicide victims.
The plot is complex, and I did get lost at the beginning, because I didn’t know who the characters were and I didn’t understand their relationships with each other. By the end of the volume, I think I was on pretty good footing, though, and I found an intriguingly dark mystery with ghosts and some very flawed protagonists. Mitsuru, especially, gets a raised eyebrow, and reading this volume didn’t help me to understand him or his complicated feelings for either his sister or Saiki. I got the sense that he is one troubled teen, and he has many uncomfortable issues to work through, and I’ll leave it at that.
Ai has ghost talker abilities, but they aren’t fully developed, and without Saiki to help her, she quickly falls prey to an unscrupulous police detective. He will do anything to solve his case, including putting Ai at risk. I found this storyline gripping, because you are left with the inkling that Mitsuru and Ai are going to be grave danger, very quickly.
The art is very detailed, with fine lines and complex backgrounds. I like how Sankichi uses shading to build on suspense.
I found this volume to be a very intriguing, but a lack of familiarity with the characters and the plot did hamper my enjoyment of the book. You have to start somewhere, though, right?
Review copy provided by publisher