Direction: Right to Left
By: Midori Hagi
Publisher: Digital Manga Guild
Type: Series, Manga
Genre: Supernatural, Suspense, Shojo
Every year, the same ghost story goes around the school: the tale of the Twilight Demon. It is said to be the most terrifying ghost story conceived, yet its every detail is shrouded in mystery. Rumors tell of a girl named Makoto Minase who delved into the story years back and disappeared as a result.
When an unusual young boy researching bizarre phenomenons meets one the story’s victims, he decides that he must discover the truth behind the horror.
This year, however, the ghost story has spread much later than usual… and with a chilling message from the very girl no one has seen in years, Makoto Minase herself.
*le sigh* I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but DMG dropped the ball on this in a HUGE way. Everything about this is bad. This is highlighted even more by the fact that another company has licensed and released the same titles, only in superior quality all round.
This is the first time I’ve read a manga that’s given me a WTF moment, in a bad way. I read the entire thing several times (which doesn’t take long) yet even now i still don’t really understand what the hell is going on in this story. From the outset it’s giving off this vibe that it’s an introduction chapter for a new series, but it never gets anywhere.
The story is confusing and rather weak, Hagi tries to build up the characters but fails to really give them any depth or personality. As the chapter draws to an end (i refuse to call this a volume) we get a major information dump on the ‘hero’ that gives you another WTF moment. It’s like ‘where the hell did that come from’. What’s worse is that there’s no proper conclusion to the story, it’s just left hanging, which infuriates me the most.
Hagi’s art isn’t bad, which would be a saving grace for this chapter. However as with all new series it starts off weak, but has the spark to be good. It’s also hampered by the constant ‘crap’ on the page. Can’t think of anything else to describe it. It’s like he decided she wanted most of the chapter to be covered in a fog of some sort.
DMG generally do a really good job when it comes to their releases, however this time the release looks and feels like an old scanlation project. The ‘raws’ the manga itself, looks to have been scanned from the magazine, rather than working on high quality versions direct from the original publishers.
Another thing i noticed, and really annoyed me, was that they changed the direction flow of the text in some of the speech bubbles. rather than reading right to left they suddenly switched to left to right, and then switched back; which makes for a confusing read. Granted there was only one time when it was really noticeable, but when i went through it again i picked up a few others.
This in an of itself would have been a complaint, but not a huge one, if they’d gotten their editing right. I read most of my manga on my Kobo Arc (think Kindle Fire HD) so i side load them into the kindle app. The problem with the editing this time though was that it was such low resolution it blurred with the mess on the pages and made it very hard to read at times.
I did open it up o my PC using Kindle and it was slightly better there, but the words were still fuzzy and hard to read at times. I would be forgiving of this release, though i still wouldn’t say it’s a good one, if it wasn’t for the fact the title was also release on iPhone and iPad by a company called Isaona. The Quality of their release is significantly better to the DMG one, see the below screen shot’s of the same page.
This is the pages from the DMG release, notice the top panel with all the hatching and ugly stone work. Now look at the same page as done by Isaona:
The difference is staggering, the Isaona version is cleaner and clearer, significantly better.
Sadly for the first time, DMG has failed and i have to say avoid this title. Hopefully they’ll redo it and clean it up, at which point it’ll be a ‘meh’ title. Looking it over again i can’t help but wonder if this actually went through any QC or was released as is, due to it only being a chapter long.