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Distributor ADV Manga
Author/Artist Koji Suzuki/Meimu
Price $9.99 (£6.50 - £6.99)
Well, I have to admit I read this one before I saw the movie... At first I was moderately impressed but as time went by Dark Water seemed to sink away in my memory. It is a collection of 4 short stories (the film is based on the first story) around the theme of water. Now, being based on the novel by Koji Suzuki (of Ring fame) I expected an extremely high quality, which I got, to some extent.
Now, when it comes to Ring I was a bit dissapointed, although I loved it I wasn't really scared. However, I adore it more than most other movies and follow it tirelessly, I have seen almost all the movies (and can't find Spiral or Ring 0 anywhere), read the first novel (gonna get the others) and read the manga devoutly. Of course, Koji Suzuki didn't do the manga, but the man known only as "MEIMU" did. MEIMU handled 2 or 3 volumes of the excellent manga series (the best bits, no less) and is simply a brilliant story teller. However, this manga graphic novel doesn't quite live up to his name.
Although it is 4 short stories, most of the pages are set aside for the first two, these two are also the only remotely creepy stories. And I mean "remotely". This isn't "shivers down your spine" stuff. the third story did however have a lot of potential, a modernised Marie Celeste with a creepy creature sounds appetising doesn't it? Well, so does the concept of more than (about) 10 pages. See, that's the problem. Every story within could have been a masterwork of horror, but they just go too fast to build up the tension nough. An extra 50 pages to the book would have done it well and made it much more worthwhile. But for now what we're left with is mediocre horror, by no stretch of the imagination bad, but clearly not a way of dragging new fans in. Go for the chilling movie, Ring series or, best of all, the Hino Horror series. If after all that your hunger for horror isn't sated then read Dark Water. Until then, fans only should apply.