Bangaihen 1: Koen no Kaidan!?
(Side story 1: Park Ghost Story!?)
Authors: Inada Shiho and Ono Fuyumi
Publisher: Kodansha Comics (Nakayoshi)
Volume Information: Vol. 2 ISBN 4-06-178912-0
Date of Publication: 1999.03.05
Length: 43 pgs / 183 pgs
Format: Original Japanese
Difficulty: Moderate - with yomigana
Strange things have been happening at one of the local parks, currently being used as a location for a movie. It seems that from half a year earlier, couples have been targeted and had water dumped on them from above, much like having a water balloon dropped on them. However, there is no evidence of water balloons being used, nor is there anybody nearby when these incidents occur. With these events interfering with shooting the film, the movie producers need to have matters cleared up and asks Masako for help. Masako in turn asks the folks at Shibuya Psychic Research for help however, Kazuya is less than keen on taking on the job. Rather he suggests Masako tell the producers to either change locations or terminate the film.
Much to Mai's surprise however, Masako manages to convince Kazuya to take on the job. How did she manage this minor miracle? Could it be that Masako knows Kazuya's weakpoint? And if so, what could it be??
Very much a side story, this chapter reveals more about Mai's workplace when they are not actually investigating a case. The story itself is neither particularly deep or involved but rather sets the stage for some minor character development and speculation about Mai's boss, as well as to illustrate more clearly how Mai feels about him. While we have seen a little development of Kazuya's character, his background still remains a mystery.
More than anything, it is the development of the relationship between the various characters that makes this side story interesting. From using the office as a teashop / gathering place, to the friendly banter and teasing between one another as well as the wild speculations about the company itself, this interaction keeps readers interested in the story.
One thing that has caught my eye is the art style. While I noticed it earlier, the lack of femininity of Mai's and other female characters is a touch... odd. Masako aside (wearing a kimono can be a very flattening experience...) Mai is occasionally at risk of being mistaken for John. Besides this one minor peeve, the artwork is fairly light and clean. All in all a nice light read, it makes for some interesting character development.
- JYN, 2002.02.03
café rating (original japanese):
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