Circus Wonder – Natsu no Himei

Natsu no Himei is by far my favorite story of the volume. It’s also the shortest and a straight up horror story, which allows the plot to seem much less contrived than that of the first two.

The summary behind the cut contains spoilers, of course, so don’t read more than the first real paragraph if you care about such things.

Summary

I have forgotten the names of the protagonists already and am too lazy to get up and look up what they were. Since there are only three characters of importance, I’m just going to name them “Girl,” “Guy,” and “Creepy Girl.”

So. The story begins with showing us Guy and Girl together, who are pretty close but not romantically involved. Of course this leads to Girl finally gathering up the courage to confess. She leaves Guy a letter in his shoe locker thing telling him to come to a specific room in an abandoned school building and goes to prepare it for his arrival by picking the lock and writing “I like you” on the blackboard. Aww, what a cute way to confess. On the way out she meets an ominous looking Creepy Girl with long black hair.

Later that day, she hurries to the building to meet Guy there, but, to her horror, she arrives just in time to witness him falling out of a window on the third floor. Everyone believes that he committed suicide, but Girl blames herself because it was only through her that Guy was even able to get in the building. Here the horror part really starts up! On a different day back at school, Girl sees a blood covered, zombie-esque Guy who repeats a name over and over again. Girl is rightfully freaked out and screams the name, at which point Creepy Girl appears and claims the name as her own, also reminding Girl that she’s her best friend. The incidents of seeing Guy repeat themselves, once during class and once at night, where he crawls up on her bed and drips blood all over her (gross!). Creepy Girl gets close to her during all of these incidents, until one day, after or between class, Girl talks to her about her guilt concerning Guy’s death. Creepy Girl mentions a mutual friend (Ha!) that had committed suicide in the abandoned building and was still waiting there. To settle things, they should head there.

Somehow, Girl doesn’t notice that something is terribly wrong and agrees to go to the abandoned building together with Creepy Girl. As they’re talking on their way up to the third floor, the realization finally hits Girl that, wait a minute, before Guy’s death, Creepy Girl or the friend she mentioned had not been around at all. “Who the hell are you?!” follows met with a Creepy Girl in skeleton form. Girl freaks out and runs ahead to the room on the third floor where Creepy Girl waits for her outside of the window. It turns out that Creepy Girl is a great big bundle of angst; she killed herself because nobody was paying attention to her and was then somehow surprised that nobody paid any attention to her after the fact. It culminates in a big “boo hoo nobody ever says my name so I’ve forgotten it and now I will kill you” cry fest where Creepy Girl tries to pull Girl out of the window until Girl calls out Creepy Girl’s name to make her disappear. Unfortunately, she does so a hair too late and is falling out of the window… until Guy appears and pulls her back in. Later, she goes into the room with a blackboard and finds “Me too.” written under her “I like you.” She cries. The end.

Impression

Natsu no Himei is very simple and somewhat generic (female ghost out for revenge!), but I like it a bunch because it’s short, gets to the point, and is populated by at least somewhat believable characters. Yeah, the
reason for the attacks perpetrated by Creepy Girl is sort of weak, but the fact that the two lovebirds actually have a previous relationship instead of just instantly falling in love instantly is refreshing after Akuma ni Please.

There’s also no fantasy setting that has to be explained and runs the risk of seeming overly hackneyed; the only supernatural elements are ghosts, which are common enough in popular culture to warrant no extra explanations.

Art

Average, with a few scenes involving creepy girl that look nice. Oh, and dead, bloody Guy is drawn well, too. As in the other two stories in this volume, the hands sometimes look weird.

Ease of Comprehension

It’s the easiest story to understand out of the three; in fact, it was easy enough that I didn’t require a dictionary to understand the whole story. (I needed a dictionary for the other two and haven’t magically learned a lot of Japanese over night.)

Overall

Average horror story that looks better to me because I like horror stories. I certainly don’t regret having spent 50 cents on the tankoubon that contains it.

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