Written by Ross Locksley on 17 Aug 2022
Distributor Seven Seas • Author/Artist Tomohi • Price £11.99
Assigned by the school's newspaper club to investigate local legends, Ninamori Akane asks the introverted new transfer student, Amemura Fujiko, to accompany her as she explores the town and discovers the simple truths behind the spooky stories.
As books go, the premise is very simple; two high school girls visiting gorgeously rendered locations at dusk. I'm known to be easily drawn to attractive artwork, and so it's no wonder I selected this on my latest book run. Featuring a stunning cover in glorious sunset pastel shades, it really stands out - the embossed font of the title lends it a pleasingly premium feel in hand, and all in it just begs for a flick-through.
The artwork inside is just dreamy, with lovely attention to detail, albeit depicted in a watercolour fashion so that nothing is ever too sharp. The organic feel of the artwork perfectly compliments the story, with each locale depicted as suitably wonderous and mundane at the same time.
The plot doesn't demand much of the reader, honestly. There's no overly complex solutions to the stories behind each location, and subsequently the book has a very Iyashikei (peaceful slice of life) vibe that will suit fans of Laid Back Camp or Aria very well. Tonally it puts me in mind of Kawakami Hiromi's People From My Neighbourhood (highly recommended by the way) with the ghosts within all being of a very personal nature.
As a bit of an architecture nut (seriously, I have so many books of building photos!) I absolutely adore the helter-skelter stairways, hills and rooftops of Akane's neighbourhood which are just great to stare at and get lost in. The burst of colour in the middle of the book is also a welcome addition, and overall I really can't recommend it enough as a pleasant read that passes time with a couple of likeable protagonists. Shonen fans might find it a mite dull, but then we all need to calm down and chill out occasionally.
Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.
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