A gothic manga set to hit stores April 8 is Shin Mashiba’s “Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun” which chronicles the cases of Hiruko and the people who seek his help. Hiruko, who hangs around the Silver Star Tea House, is not human but a creature who eats your dreams in lieu of payment. Suffice it to say his clientele is made up of folks plagued by nightmares.
Published in America by VIZ Media, “Nightmare Inspector” is geared for teens and comes with a price tag of $9.99. Each chapter is a story of a client who has found himself or herself at the tea house for one reason or other.
The artwork is beautiful and several of the stories have a twist to them such as the fan obsessed with an actress. He finds to his cost that life does imitate art. The story of the young man who yearns for the woman who he only knows as a voice at other end of his phone is actually a tale about narcissism. And the woman who dreams she is literally falling apart has a bloody secret to hide.
Volume One hints there is more to Hiruko than meets the eye; calling him as someone no longer human. So how did he become a nightmare inspector? Why is his base the teahouse? Hopefully latter episodes will answer these questions.
It reminds me of the horror comics I read while growing up in the ’70s and ’80s. “Nightmare Inspector” doesn’t break new ground but it’s a nice read.
The manga was published in Japan by Square Enix, the publisher of the first manga series from Shin Mashiba.