Title: Mieruko-chan Vol. 3
Author: Tomoki Izumi
Release Date: June 29, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
The Mieruko-chan series was recently picked up for an anime adaptation, and for good reason. The series understands how to balance pacing with horror without the need for mindless exposition. But, on the other hand, it knows how to have fun. In Mieruko-chan Vol. 3, ghostly apparitions begin to hit closer to home as they appear around school and make Miko’s life a living hell.
Mieruko-chan Vol. 3 centers around the disappearance of cats in a nearby park, but that’s only slightly touching on a much larger plot development within the story. For the most part, Miko continues to deal with the ability to see ghosts, and she continues to ignore them. It works, but there’s a scene where she can truly express her feelings of terror without repercussions, which leaves a significant impact on the reader.
Hana is constantly plagued with nightmarish creatures falling her, and Miko does her best to steer her in the right direction. However, some adverse effects are out of her control, so she turns to a backup plan for help. However, it seems that Miko’s choices come with their own set of consequences, and we’re left to see what comes of this in later volumes.
Mieruko-chan Vol. 3 is incredibly well-paced. We’re strung along as readers and fed bits of information about the more significant issue at hand without feeling the need to skip ahead to just get it over with. Author Tomoki Izumi also includes time for establishing friendships between the girls and Yuria, who doesn’t have nearly as much to say in this volume. I hope that Miko and Yuria get a bit more time to talk about what the hell is going on and alternative ways to deal with these creatures because this is getting out of hand.
The illustrations continue to impress me. I love how the story isn’t afraid to use four pages to convey one terrible scene featuring these creatures. Their presence becomes more profound, and their attachment to humans is well defined through each panel. There are also scenes of pain as Miko holds back from reacting to everything she’s witnessing. Without these scenes, I feel like it would be left to assume that it was easy for her, but that most definitely isn’t the case.
Mieruko-chan Vol. 3 offers many story elements that I’d hate to spoil in this review. For a manga that is relatively light on the dialogue, it has so much to offer in terms of character depth and emotion. The horror elements play well to keep the reader’s attention, but I think it’s Miko’s pure bravery that I’m primarily drawn to. This is an excellent volume that reveals a lot about the cast and ways of dealing with this curse, all while under the guise of what could be an anime episode with a beginning, middle, and end.
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