“Ringu” rip-off anyone?
Actually, the premise of Shirasunamura isn’t necessarily a bad one. The story follows antisocial Oogami, who is a full-time exorcist/”god undertaker” and part-time detective. His only friend is his ghost-sword, Kazari.
It could have been passably interesting, especially since I was kind of amused by how Oogami really, really would rather be a detective but he keeps getting pulled away from his passion to fight vengeful spirits.
Unfortunately, the execution is some kind of hot mess.
I found Shirasunamura by pressing the ‘surprise me’ button on MangaPanda again.
According to Baka-Updates, there are 10 volumes of this manga in Japan. Six chapters have been scanted. So, this is another one that cuts off abruptly… which in this case is probably just as well.
The whole thing felt like a rip-off of things we’ve seen before. There’s all that stuff that reminded me of “The Ring.” (which is clearly intentional since there’s an image of everyone watching that movie at the start.) So maybe I could forgive that, especially since there’s a wonderfully rendered spooky truck driver scene near the end of chapter one, but the whole thing reads like someone thought that what Bleach needed was more panty shots and less substance. Because like every shounen in the history of shounen supernatural adventures our hero has a sentient sword (who appears as a middle/high school girl, complete with short-skirted uniform, which is handy for those up the skirt eye-view panels). Plus, any time there’s some battle, he calls out ridiculous sounding super-powers and spits up buckets of blood.
So, there’s that. Add to that WILDLY inconsistent art. Our hero looks like an 80s reject with a terminal case of yaoi hands.
On the same page we can go from that overly cartoony, mis-proportioned miss-mash to almost photographically rendered art:
I read all six chapters, though, because… because… actually, I don’t know why I kept reading. Maybe I was hopeful there would be a quick resolution?
I was kind of intrigued when we find out Oogami is actually ranked 88th, and is considered extremely expendable by the Undertaker’s Headquarters. But, that was obviously going to be part of his main character arc: Must. Get. STRONGER!
Frankly, there weren’t enough of those moments to hook me. It’s kind of an amusing train wreck, though. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can find it here: http://www.mangapanda.com/shirasunamura
I will probably return to yaoi after this…