Mail Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 1-59307-591-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Mail Vol. #02

By Jarred Pine     March 28, 2007
Release Date: February 01, 2007

Mail Vol.#02
© Dark Horse

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Housui Yamazaki
Translated by:Douglas Varenas
Adapted by:Carl Gustav Horn

What They Say
Detective Akiba comes to the aid of a terrorized man who is being stalked by what appears to be a possessed doll. But possessed by whom? Does the "victim" know more than he is letting on? Akiba's job is never done, however, as his travels introduce him to a tormented young bride whose new husband has a mysterious past, a woman trapped in a haunted elevator, the lone survivor of a landslide whose not-so-lucky friends are trying to lure her to the afterlife, and more tales of ghostly terror.

The Review
The main problem I had with this second volume of MAIL is trouble shrugging off that feeling of deja vu while going through this set of episodic content. Not only is Yamazaki using familiar horror troupes and themes from outside works, but his own stories within MAIL are blending into each other as well.

That being said, Yamazaki still does a good job with presenting the stories with proper amounts of morose atmosphere and providing a genuinely creepy reading experience. Most of the chapters are a bit telegraphed, which is most likely a result of the homogenous problem mentioned above and an overall problem of the horror genre in general, but there are a few twists to keep the stories interesting. Yamazaki also does a nice job with exploring the relationships between dead souls and the living world; a couple times in ways that I've never experienced before.

The spiritual exorcist/detective Akiba is also on the verge of becoming a one-trick pony. With the stories feeling all too familiar from one to the next, a more fleshed out Akiba from his current two-dimensional status would help elevate the overall book into something more memorable. Instead, Akiba is just there for the quirky Hitchcock Presents introductions and wrapping up the stories with his spirit gun and few words of thought to close things out. His role has become a bit too formulaic, but Akiba remains a character with a ton of potential.

Yamazaki is finding a solid groove with his artwork here, and Dark Horse's production continues to be top notch--giving readers a high-quality release for $10.95.


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