Tag Archives: Viz Media

Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun Vol 1

Title: Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun/Nightmare Inspector/Yumekui Kenbun

Author: Shin Mashiba 

Artist: Shin Mashiba

Genre: Mystery, Supernatural, Historical, Shounen/shoujo?, Horror

Status: Completed

Summary: For those who suffer nightmares, help awaits at the Silver Star Tea House, where patrons can order much more than just Darjeeling. Hiruko is a special kind of private investigator. He’s a dream eater. And he’ll rid you of your darkest visions…for a price.

Lost Things

Dreams on the menu this volume: a restless soul, a murderous beauty, a woman afraid of falling apart, a grieving lover, an unforgiving son, a suicidal actress and a mysterious voice on the other end of a lonely young man’s phone.

-Viz Media


I’ll begin by calling it ‘weird’ more than ‘morbid.’

Having read Yumekui Kenbun a few years ago, I recall happy and unique memories when I first read it. Now that I revisit Yumekui Kenbun a few years later, it seems that my response has sort of dumbed down.

Yumekui Kenbun is for the reader who loves stories like Natsume: Book of Friends and xxxHolic. There’s a very surreal and magical quality to it; the atmosphere it creates is like the weak smell of tea, whereas xxxHolic is hazy incense. Yumekui Kenbun has a very disjointed structure – each arc is seperated by the nightmare inspector’s client. I believe it’s one the weaker aspects because it doesn’t seem to have a very good flow – one can just re-arrange the each chapter and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. This may very well be intentional for a more defragmented and eerie effect but it isn’t coming through clearly. It becomes more like a mini obstacle in following the story.

The little mysteries themselves are reasonably simple and quite unique and they are really thought ‘out of the box.’ The stories are often eerie and depressing (it is a nightmare after all) and they are all secluded into their own little world with a little twist that is quite enticing. You can really tell that the mangaka injected a lot of effort into crafting these stories; it’s very surreal and dream-like. But it again, doesn’t seem to attain the full potential it deserves.

Yumekui Kenbun is the avant garde of manga. Its artwork is divine and otherworldly, and the background and surroundings have a very haunting effect which I say is the focal point of Yumekui Kenbun. I find it very inspiring – it encourages you to think beyond and it feels like you’ve been released into the unexplored. Though it is surreal and haunting, the drawing is actually quite defined and clean. It’s like a paradox, but I think that achieves this ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ quality. It’s as if it’s fading but it’s not, like Salvador Dali’s painting – ‘The Persistence of Memory.’

Yumekui Kenbun is a manga you dream of reading but is too hard to find. It’s quite reserved and I think it’s audience is very much restrained to the niche community. If you’re looking for a traditional & cultural themed manga like xxxHolic, you won’t find it very strong in Yumekui Kenbun – it invites you to a little dreams with odd pockets of mystery. It’s a little thrill, not a roller-coaster. Highly recommended.


Story: 4.3/5

Art: 3.9/5

Character: 3.3/5

Execution: 3.0/5

Overall rating & any additional comments: 3.6/5, it’s execution brought it down heavily.



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Record of the Fallen Vampire Vol 1

Title: Record of the Fallen Vampire

Author: Kyo Shirodaira

Artist: Yuri Kimura

Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-fi, Shounen, Fantasy, Super-Natural, Tragedy

Status: Completed

Summary: Thousands of years ago, Vampire King Akabara “Red Rose” Strauss lost both his kingdom and his queen. Since humans were unable to kill the queen, they sealed her away, erecting thousands of fake seals so that the king would never find her true location. Despite being pursued by relentless dhampires, Akabara continues to search for his queen to this day…

Akabara’s quest takes a sinister turn when an entity called the Black Swan appears. The Black Swan inhabits the body of a young human girl every 50 years, giving her the power to destroy the Vampire King and his queen. With each incarnation the Black Swan grows stronger–will the 49th Black Swan mean the end of Akabara? -Viz Media


First of all, I’d like to dedicate my love for this title – Record of the Fallen Vampire – clearly not your every-day vampire manga. So forget Twilight or Vampire Knight for this short moment because this is unlike any vampire themed story out there. If I had one word to describe this story, it would be epic. Not the ‘that’s epic dude/man/guys,‘ sort of epic, but more like an important-piece-of-history kind of epic. If you’re still not quite sure what I mean, the bottom line is that this isn’t a story for everybody – can anyone read poetry and expect to get it right away?

Record has a very serious tone with some gentle dark aspects, but I wouldn’t call it scary or gloomy. It bears similar traits to a history book with myths and legends; the author really went out to do what he decided to do – a record. Some may find it confusing since the first volume transports the reader into three periods of time. Another big stray in the story is the fact that the protagonist is a tragic hero – he isn’t a bad man, but he isn’t completely innocent. Definitely not your typical head-strong chatty hero with a hidden lion heart. There’s no blood-sucking involved – the vampires are presented as just being stronger human beings who can perform magic and age much slower, and are faced with discrimination.

The art is nice – lots of fine details especially with coloured work, but I thinkcompared to other vampire themed mangas out there it’ll probably be just above average. Mangakas seem to love drawing elaborate, exaggerated and detailed art for super-natural beings like fairies, vampires, magicians etc. The action scenes can be a little confusing(on the other hand manga action scenes always seem to confuse me).

Record presents a vampires themed stories in a very different light – I even dare say a whole new dimension. A tragic hero hunted by a never-ending curse – how did he end up this way? Lots of depth and complexity, story-telling and some fighting…all you have to do is read the records to find out.


Plot: 4.1/5

Art: 3.5/5

Character: 4/5

Execution: 3.8/5

Overall rating & any additional comments: 3.9/5


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