Title: Mieruko-chan Vol. 2
Author: Tomoki Izumi
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
I’m not going to lie, I love the whole cute girls in the horror genre theme that I first discovered in Corpse Party. This relies heavily on atmosphere and presentation, which I would assume would be difficult to pull off in manga. There’s just this idea that it will be overly moe or dive heavily into fanservice that overpowers the more horrific themes. However, Mieruko-chan has such a unique balance of slice-of-life comedy blended with some truly scary situations. This is continued in Mieruko-chan Vol. 2, which finds Miko at least thinking about accepting her strange powers.
Mieruko-chan Vol. 2 features 7 chapters of horror as Miko continues to deal with the power to see ghostly figures and curses. Her best friend Hana is also a significant presence in each chapter as she fumbles through the world as the dizzy best friend, but she’s just so pure that you can’t help but believe in their friendship. This is further believable when we aren’t focused on the ghost and you get to just see them texting each other, which is important because otherwise, I would say they don’t seem like a good match-up.
Another character introduced is a girl named Yuria who is also tapped into the same powers that Miko possesses, but not as strong. This creates even more problems for Miko as she now must save each of them without revealing that she can actually see ghosts. Up until this point, we’ve just experienced Miko’s daily life of avoiding the truth, but finally, we see some progress in her understanding of the curses, which makes the upcoming volumes a must-read.
The flow of the chapters is all over the place, but they tend to have small one-liners or characters that connect them together. It makes the timeline less important as we simply focus on Miko’s interactions with these ugly creatures. It’s assumed that she has some type of responsibility to exorcise these creatures, but the volume only touches on this a few times. Instead, the volume seems to want to focus more on the blend of comedy and horror situations, which I was totally fine with. Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt the pacing due to how entertaining the chapters were.
The illustrations are amazing. The ghosts are well detailed and nightmare-inducing against the cute characters and well-timed comedic scenes. I also enjoyed how the author gave huge panels to these creatures because they are just so grotesque that they deserve the spotlight. I also appreciated how the cast is kept small, there aren’t any love interests or overly fan service scenes, which gives the chapters more time for the zany horror.
Mieruko-chan Vol. 2 continues the haphazard chapters found in the first volume but progresses the plot a few inches as Miko accepts her powers. We don’t see too much character growth, but I seemed to forget all that due to the truly hysterical and horrific situations that take place. Further, I very much enjoyed the relationship between Miko and Hana, which you’d think wouldn’t work, but does due to the author’s attention to focusing on scenes where they can show their true personalities.
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