School Zone Vol. #03 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C

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  • Art Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 190
  • ISBN: 1593074336B6
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: School Zone

School Zone Vol. #03

By Josephine Fortune     January 29, 2008
Release Date: September 27, 2006

School Zone Vol.#03
© Dark Horse

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kanako Inuki
Translated by:Heidi Plechl
Adapted by:

What They Say
This building may appear to be a normal elementary school, but look a little closer and you will see that it has a very, very dark side. For this is no ordinary school... It is a haunted place wrapped in curses, where monsters and ghosts torment the students and nightmares become reality.

Terrible things happen to those who enter this place, but the worst fate, it is said, is reserved for those unlucky enough to learn all thirteen of the school's horrific ghost stories. But what else would you expect from a school that was built on an old burial ground? If only adults believed what the children who have to attend this terrible school have been trying to tell them...

The secret of the mysterious mirrors has been revealed, but with these precious pieces of spirit-binding glass shattering around them, the students of this spooky school have to deal with the ever-increasing number of vicious ghosts who are crossing from the spirit realm into the realm of the living, and bringing all kinds of wickedness with them! Will Yosuke and his friends find a way to banish these horrors for good or, with all this running for their lives, are they just running out of time?

The Review
This volume brings this series to a rather abrupt and upsetting conclusion. The plot that had developed last volume won me over, and going in a direction which explained the various ghost stories and brought them to life to antagonize the kids is about what I wanted to happen. However, since this is the last volume, you know there's no way all the stuff that was started in the last volume could wrap up neatly. It makes me wonder if the series was cancelled prematurely.

Instead of going through more of the ghost stories, the series goes back and forth between two alternate dimensions with little explanation as to how the characters are moving between dimensions or what dimension the action is taking place. To the series credit, two of the ghost stories are explained at length and resolved, and we at least get a setting for all the children in the ghost stories. The ones that are explained are pretty cool, and it makes me a little sad that we don't get to find out about the others. I think I would have wound up liking the series a lot had it only been two volumes longer.

Unfortunately, it's not, and things are wrapped up rather sloppily in this volume. The problem of the ghosts in the school is actually left mostly unresolved, and the "split personality" of the main character is mysteriously left open. Also, the series keeps hinting that the twin girls may not be twins, but this is also left open despite heavy hints even in this volume.

I wound up being very disappointed with this series. It starts off with weird, incoherent pacing, and just when it looks like it's going to get interesting, it ends sloppily with a bunch of loose ends. There are definitely some cool things about it, and it is of the splatter horror manga variety that I like a lot, but it was just so bad story-wise. I'm hoping that her newer series, Presents, is a bit better since Kanako Inuki is supposedly the "Queen of Horror Manga."


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