Sunday, March 1, 2009

Manga Review: Abducted By Demons Arc

When They Cry: Abducted by Demons Arc
Rated OT
4 Slimes
Copyright Yen Press 2008-2009

THE CHARACTERS

Keiichi Maebara: He’s our main hero and a newcomer to the village of Hinamizawa, which has a very nasty history. His best friends are all seem to be worse than that kid from The Omen. He f***s up two of them pretty good with his baseball back towards the end when they decide to try to inject him with something. The story ends with him ripping out his throat.

Rena Ryugu: Yeah, this girl is very… VERY weird and extremely freaky. She is either extremely giggly & ditzy or she is so possessed and insane that it is downright terrifying. She has a machete that would make Jason envy. When she tries to try to inject Keiichi with an unknown substance, he breaks her skull with a baseball bat.

Mion Sonozaki: She’s a bit… developed in certain areas and she is just a step below how freaky Rena is. She comes off a warm and cheerful person, but you don’t want mess with her. When she tries to inject Keiichi with something near the end of the arc, he smashes her face with a bat.

Kuraudo Ooishi: He’s a police detective investigating the murders in Hinamizawa over the past years. He is the only one Keiichi can trust and the only one with a lick of sense that lives outside of the village who knows about the place.

Jirou Tomitake: A freelance photographer who is familiar with the village. He is the most recent victim of the Oyashiro-sama’s Curse when he claws his neck out.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ School girls are extremely scary!!
+ Some girls had a normal tendency to go crazy over cute objects.
+ Drugs make you rip your throat out.
+ Some girls have anger issues that result in broken windows and guys beaten up with baseball bats.
+ Before eating Ohagi, always check for needles!
+ Girls have a darker side to them, sort of like a Mr. Hyde personality almost, but worse.
+ Girls have cat like eyes when they are pushed too far.
+ There are places worse than the Village of the Damned and Silent Hill.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
Book 1 Page 32 – This is a horror comic right? I haven’t seen anything yet to suggest that.
Book 1 Page 42 – I feel a bit scared.
Book1 Page 50 – I’ll take that as if something did happen.
Book 1 Page 59 – My God! She’s got a knife! RUN!
Book1 Page 60 – Oh wait, never mind. False alarm.
Book 1 Page 100 – Alright, where did my horror comic go again?
Book 1 Page 127 – Well isn’t that pleasant imaging.
Book 1 Page152 – Once again, I’ll assume that you do know.
Book 1 Page 158 – What's the hell is up with her?!
Book 1 Page 165 – HOLY CRAP!!!
Book 1 Page 186 – Augh! Stop doing that!!
Book 1 Page 192 – Its official, it’s time to either move or runaway.
Book 2 Page 14 – I already knew this town was messed up, tell me something I don’t know!
Book 2 Page 20 – Well I suppose that counts as something I don’t know.
Book 2 Page 30 - Yikes, tagged team evil girls!
Book 2 Page 37 – You’re not helping me want to come to school tomorrow you know.
Book 2 Page 49 – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST SOME SORT OF JAPANESE CUISINE!
Book 2 Page 67 – I still say you should move or runaway. Whatever gets you out of town quicker.
Book 2 Page 96 – In other words you mean you killed him right?
Book 2 Page 116 – This always happens to teens or kids in horror movies!
Book 2 Page 125 – And good evening to you as well incarnation of evil itself.
Book 2 Page 154 – Don’t you have a home to go to?
Book 2 Page 173 – Well you do have some evidence to arrest her at least now.
Book 2 Page 176 – Run!  run for your life!
Book 2 Page 179 – GET AWAY FROM ME DEVIL SPAWN!!!! AUGH!
Book 2 Page 190 – Why don’t most people in slasher movies fight back like you?
Book 2 Page 199 – Is it safe? Sorry, had to throw it in.
Book 2 Page 208 – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST TWO DEMONIC GIRLS!
Book 2 Page 212 – Why while sympathy for either one of them? One tried to butcher you with a machete better than what Jason uses!
Book 2 Page 226 – That isn’t pretty.

NOTABLE QUOTES
Rena Ryugu: YOU’RE LYING!

Mion Sonozaki: What did you have for lunch today?

Rena Ryugu: I was behind you the whole time.

Rena Ryugu: I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

THE PLOT

Have you ever been frighten before? Answer seriously, have you ever been frighten before? Well, if you haven’t, why don’t you pick up book one and two of When They Cry’s Abducted By Demons arc. The series was originally made as a video game back in Japan that was turned into an anime and turned into a manga. The manga series is set up into a bunch of arcs, with two books a piece. One arc tells one part of a story and the next part is known as the Answer Arc, which explains what happened in the previous volumes. So, let’s take a look at the first arc, Abducted By Demons.

The story opens up in 1983 with us meeting our hero Keiichi Maebara who has recently moved into the little village of Hinamizawa, where he goes to school that is primarily filled with girls.  Lucky dog. One of these girls is called Rena Ryugu, who he is best friends with. She takes him to the town’s local garbage pile to look for “cute things”, which she is obsessed with. I'm not sure what kind of cute thing you can find in the dump. There, they run into Jirou Tomitake, a photographer, who tells Keiichi mentions a certain incident that happened in the town.

When Keiichi asks Rena if she knows anything about what happen, but she says she knows nothing, though the look in her eyes suggests otherwise. He then decides to ask another friend of his, Mion Sonozaki, about what happen. She explains that there was a plan a while back to build a dam in the area that would have drowned the whole village, but it was eventually cancelled due to a “protest”. He asks her if there was any violence during the protest, she promptly says there was none, but like Rena, Keiichi doesn't believe her. I mean really, look at those eyes and try to tell me she isn’t lying.

Keiichi decides to research a bit more into the situation and discovers that someone involved with the dam project was brutally murdered and shreded into many pieces. He decides that they didn’t want to tell him about this about it was a bad part of the village’s history.  You just keep thinking that. Things go back to normal as the town holds its annual Cotton Drifting Festival, where Keiichi and his friends run into Jirou again.

Everything is fine, but Keiichi later talks to Jirou, who reveals to him about the mysterious curse of the Cotton Drifting Festival, better known as Oyashiro-sama’s Curse (the village's guardian deity). Each year, after the dam murder, people have been killed who have had a connection to its project. Keiichi is nervous about the curse, since today was the festival and there is always murder around that time. The next day, he gets a visit from Kuraudo Ooishi, a police detective from the Okinomiya district. He informs him that Jirou has been murdered.

Ooishi tells him that Jirou may have been murdered because he was an outsider of the village, unlike the previous victims. He tells him to be also careful of his friends because they have some sort of connection to what has been going on. Keiichi refuses to believe that his friends could be involved. He goes back to school like nothing happened and helps clean up at the end of the day with Rena. During his cleaning, he discovers a sheet that points to their being a person named Satoshi who used to go to their school. He asks her about it, but she, once again, acts like she knows nothing.

On the way home, fed up with being left out of the loop, Keiichi confronts Rena and demands that she tells him everything that she is keeping from him. This plan doesn’t go well because she goes all demonic on him, providing us with some of the creepiest moments in the volume of the series. After this freaky encounter, he goes home and gets a call from Ooishi who tells him more about the case. The part he tells him about is something called “demoned away” in which someone constantly disappears after a murder. Apparently, Satoshi was one of the demoned away the previous year.

If things just don’t get even worse for him, he finds out from his dad that Rena had came to his house and went up to his room. Since she never came in, it is most likely that she had heard everything Keiichi and Ooishi were talking about on the phone. Volume one ends here, so I’ll move onto the next.

It opens up with Keiichi meeting Ooishi at a restaurant outside of the village to talk more about what is happening. Ooishi explains that everyone of his friends have some sort of connection to the murder victims and that Rena has had a pretty freaky past, including brutally beating people with a baseball bat and breaking every window in her old school. He also tells him that she used to say that “Oyashiro" was constantly watching her.

When Keiichi returns home, Mion and Rena meet up with him and act all innocent and stuff. Then, without warning, they go all demonic on him and start questioning him about his meeting with the Ooishi, though they don’t know his name. They also threaten him that he should show up to school tomorrow, since he had taken the day off to talk with the detective. Alright, at this point, I would demand my parents to move me out of this town.

Keiichi starts to fear for his life, so he writes the entire story of what is happening to him and places it behind his wall clock so that no one could find it. He then also arms with himself with a baseball bat for protection. If things don’t go even more to hell, his parents leave the village to go to Tokyo for a business trip, so he is all by himself. I sense danger already!

Speaking of danger, Rena shows up and tries to break into his house. He manages to keep her out, but she stays outside and keeps watch on him through out the night in the middle of a rain storm, constantly repeating, “I’m sorry” over and over.

If you think that’s bad, the next day because is hell on Earth for Keiichi. On his way back from school, Rena appears and tries to attack with this large cleaver that would put the serial killer from Friday the 13th to shame! He fights her off, but is attacked by a couple of villagers, who apparently are also in on the situation.

He wakes up back in his room where he finds Mion and Rena waiting for him. They pin him down and are about to force this unknown substance in a syringe into his body! Just when he is about to be injected, everything goes black. When everything changes back to normal, he finds himself still in his room, clutching his baseball bat with Mion and Rena’s bodies and tons of blood all over the room. He writes down the entire situation of what has happen and hides it, along with the needle, behind his clock for safe keeping as he flees into the night.

At some point or another, Ooishi gets a call from Keiichi who tells him that Oyashiro has found him and has forced him to claw his neck out. As the final pages come to a close, we learn that police has discovered the bodies of the two girls and Keiichi’s as well and assume he killed them in some sort of rage. The police discover the message behind the clock, but discover missing lines from it and that the syringe is also missing, although they don’t know that.

There are so many mysteries left unsolved and many things that are confusing. What happened to Keiichi, what was that mysterious drug, what is up with the curse, and what is the deal with Rena’s scary past? I have no clue, but luckily the next two volumes are the Answer Arc, that should be able to explain what the hell happened. If not, darn it! Anyways, buy this comic right now and prepare to be scared!  I'll be back later with a review on the next arc.

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