Zashiki Onna (Manga Review)

Title - Zashiki Onna
Author -Mochizuki Minetaro
Illustrator -Mochizuki Minetaro
Chapters - 11

Story - One night, mild-mannered college student, Hiroshi Mori, bumps into a woman visiting his next-door neighbor. A large, creepy woman, she has long hair, wears a coat and carries shopping bags in both hands. He had never seen her before. But then, without warning, the woman starts stalking Hiroshi, shifting her attention from his next-door neighbor whom she had been visiting to Hiroshi himself. Who is she and what is she after?

If I can describe Zashiki Onna in one word it would be suspenseful. Right from the first page this manga screams creepy. The main protagonist Hiroshi runs into a mysterious who is stalking his next door neighbor. Once she finds out that the neighbor has left she swifts her attention to him. The build up and realism of Hiroshi situation is what makes this manga scary. The fact that this can happen to anybody adds more sense of fear to the reader. The mysterious woman is truly the highlight of the manga. As you read the manga you get invested on wanting to know her backstory. Why is she after Hiroshi? Where did she come from in the first place? Mochizuki Minetaro has cleverly written a manga where you care about the characters. I found to the most interesting part is Hiroshi psychological breakdown as the stalking goes from mild to severe. Hiroshi starts off strong but as the woman mind games, and stalking his friends and family persist Hiroshi strength begins to waver. Mochizuki does a great job of showing the effects of someone in a stalking situation from both sides. Mochiziuki shows the psychological breakdown of the one doing the stalking, and the one who is being stalked. It was great to see how Hiroshi refusing to acknowledge the woman was effecting her. The more Hiroshi pushed away the more she got angry and possessive. This was truly the most scariest moment of the manga as the mysterious woman is very unpredictable. The unpredictablity of not knowing what she would do next makes this a must read.

Art - Mochizuki Minetaro has great illustration in this manga. The best highlight would be the facial expressions of the woman. She is drawn very creepy and if you seen this woman walking the streets you might not take a second look. She is a personfication of what I would call a stalker. I loved the way she looks and her face when she is angry. Overall the art is great from start to finish.

Final Grade 8.5/B+: If you're a fan of horror and like a good suspenseful story "Zashiki Onna" is the one for you. This is one creepy manga that will hit home if you've ever been in a stalking situation. Great pacing, great art and characters you care about it. Check it out.