In other news, it's Review Rednesday! And that means a review! Up this week, Corpse Party! Spoiler level: this is the one where I realize that not many of our readers are going to be familiar with the series, so I pretty much tell everything that happened.
I never really paid much attention to how long it usually takes to type up these reviews, but now I have about ten, fifteen minutes, so we'll see if I can finish it before I have to leave!
Let's see, this review is for Corpse Party volumes three and four, also known as Omnibus 2. We spent the last week juggling Corpse Parties and a volume of Devil Survivor, so while it was all pretty clear at the time, now it's kind of a blur. Right, three starts with Yoshiki and Ayumi. First off, we agree with the person who drew the bonus gag manga at the end, when they wished Yoshiki luck. Man, poor guy. Also, I wonder if all horror manga/anime/games have a harem element, because so far, we're two for two.
...It's hard to remember stuff when I'm trying to go fast. But one thing I definitely remember is when they ran into Mayu talking to all the ghosts. I thought, "Finally! Someone thinks to try talking to them!" Maybe it's all the murder mysteries we watch, but I just have it in my head that if they were the victims, maybe they're NOT evil. Like, maybe the evil person is the one going around killing people. (On the other hand, all the murder mysteries we watch do tend to have major jerks get killed at least every so often. But still.) So I thought hey, maybe if we try talking to the ghosts, they'll turn out to be really nice or something. I pretty much shared Mayu's opinion about them, which is why I'm kind of upset about how she died. (As a related note, poor Mayu! Every other dimension has somebody stepping on her guts.)
Another point of interest is that the character descriptions still don't tell us that Yui is dead. Makes you wonder.
Naho is a mystery. Another mystery is, if Seiko and Naomi were lucky to be together, why is it that all the other students (including students from other schools) end up with more than one other person that they know in their dimension? Maybe the corpse that explained the situation to them was one of the especially unlucky ones.
It also occurs to me that this review might not make a whole lot of sense to anyone who's not reading the series, and this isn't exactly the type of series we'd recommend to everyone, so this review might not make sense to anyone who reads it other than us unless I give better summaries. Hmmm.
Okay, here's the gist: The kids are stilled trapped, they're running into the ghosts of kids who got murdered thirty years ago, and they're starting to go crazy and/or see things. Apparently the ghosts are the ones who created the dimension they're trapped in, so all the corpses tell them not to trust them. Also, there's four of them, and one of them wasn't around when Naho came along and tried her secret weapon, so we suspect the one that wasn't there is really the one pulling all the strings. I also wonder if she was the one who killed the other three kids, even though they say it was a teacher who killed them, because, as we find out in volume four, the teacher is walking around (also a ghost) with a sledgehammer, and why would he be walking around with a sledgehammer if all the kids were killed with scissors? (Still a really creepy weapon, by the way.)
...And now we should probably go meet our ride. I'll finish this up later.
It is now...three days later, and my mind's a total blank. Right, Naho. Let's talk about her. She shows up just in time to help Yoshiki and Ayumi, and she's the one who explains to them what all is going on. She's also the one who set up the website where Ayumi got the whole stupid idea to begin with. On the one hand, you want to say, How stupid is that? An occult expert posts about some occult thing to do on her page and then doesn't update forever, as if she's disappeared, and you think, "Hey, that sounds like a cool thing to try!" But on the other hand, I guess even a lot of occult fans don't take it THAT seriously. So anyway, Naho is trapped right alongside everybody else, only she's dead now...or at least she claims to be a ghost. But she does keep disappearing. Is that because she's a ghost, or because she figured out how to get from one dimension to another, or both? It does seem to be the case that all corpses exist in all dimensions. And the other thing is, after helping Yoshiki and Ayumi, she goes back to Naomi's dimension just long enough to explain that the curse was starting to take over Seiko and make her kill people but Seiko's psychological defenses kicked in just long enough to let her kill herself instead. Yippee. And then Naho tells Naomi aww, sucks to be you, and she disappears again. What was that all about? Is she a good guy or a bad guy? She's clearly very picky about who she's nice to.
And then we finally start to focus on Satoshi, the guy the books have been claiming is the main character all this time, despite his not being in the series for approximately two whole volumes worth of material. Unless you count the swooning memories of Naomi and Ayumi. We should have known that Yuka had a crush on him, because every pair that gets put together has someone crushing on the other one, and Satoshi's just not the type to be in love with his little sister. Speaking of Yuka, though, I don't know if we mentioned this in a previous review, but she really acts more like she's in elementary school than in junior high. That wouldn't be a problem if Satoshi didn't talk (in his inner monologues) about how she's always acting so grownup. We have a hard time making sense of it.
But anyway, they started going around using the cell phone for a light, and I thought, "Aha! That's the light that Yui-sensei saw!" Because Yui-sensei went out to look for Naomi and she saw a cell phone light. But they're in different dimensions, so even though she saw the light, they didn't get to talk to each other. This is seriously the most frustrating setup, especially because it seems so arbitrary about what can cross dimensions. I'm sure it's all based on what would move the story and/or be the creepiest. On the bright side, Satoshi's pretty optimistic about somehow communicating between dimensions, and I like that because all the doom and gloom is pretty oppressive.
In addition to trying to find everyone, Satoshi and Yuka are desperate to find a working bathroom, because Yuka has to answer the call of nature and refuses to just find a corner or a hole (there are holes all over the place). On the one hand, I totally understand that, but on the other hand, people are dying everywhere; you don't have a whole lot of time to waste looking for a bathroom. Satoshi eventually convinces her to just use a spot outside...and when she goes back inside (because ghosts attacked her, not because she was able to relieve herself), he's gone. So now the "main character" is gone again, and I seriously have to wonder how he can be the main character at all.
But more importantly, this is the volume where people start turning homicidal. We run into Sakutaro Morishige, who seems to have a fetish for dead bodies. We didn't really know much about him before, so I thought maybe he had just been hiding the fact that he was a super creeper, especially because, of the two things we knew about him, one is that he's a great actor. The other is that he and Mayu are really close, which made for all sorts of mixed feelings when he ran into Satoshi and Yuka for the first time. On the one hand, he was super creepily taking pictures of a dead body, and on the other hand, he talked to Satoshi (pretending to not be a super creeper) about being really worried about Mayu. The really fun twist to all of this is that the corpse they were standing in front of (the one he was just photographing) was Mayu's! Yay. It would be one of those, "If only you knew!" sad ironies if he hadn't already revealed himself to not be the most trustworthy person.
So after Satoshi disappeared, Yuka's trying to find him, and she runs into Morishige again, only now she's pretty sure he's trying to kill her. Why? Because he's standing over the body of a girl she and Satoshi had met mere moments ago, and she was alive at the time. But Morishige is so very desperate to help her find Satoshi that he won't leave her alone and follows her into an art room where she hides under a desk...that already had someone hiding under it. This girl is oddly silent until she starts muttering something about little birds, and she attacks (harmlessly) Morishige so Yuka can get away. Then she dies or something. I don't remember exactly how that went down. At the end of it, Morishige was gone, she was on the floor, and Yuka said, "Sorry I can't help you, but...I gotta go! Bye!" And then the mysterious girl vanishes, and the important thing to note is that she's got weird snowflake thingies around her, just like the mysterious Naho.
Finally, Yuka goes back to where Satoshi disappeared and sees that yes! He's there! ...Some guy who's not Satoshi after all. He's a guy named Kizami who offers to help her find Satoshi. But wait, Kizami? Wasn't one of the corpses hatefully repeating the name Kizami back in Yoshiki's dimension? Oh well, he seems like a nice enough guy! So he and Yuka go off together and run into another one of Kizami's classmates...and then they find a bathroom and while Yuka's inside, Kizami kills the other classmate for talking about his sister. The end. (And she didn't ever actually use the bathroom, either.)
So yeah. It's full of all kinds of bad stuff. Actually, volume four was okay, because it relied more on suspense than dismemberment and gore. I'm really curious to know if the homicidal ones were always a little homicidal, or if it's just the effects of Tenjin Elementary School. I guess we'll find out later. (Also, it's possible that Morishige isn't homicidal at all. He just has an unhealthy fascination with dead bodies. It would be one thing if he were studying to be a doctor (he looks like the type), but no.)
Wow, reading that reminds me that by the time the series ends, there are still a bunch of unanswered questions! Dun dun DUN!
Today I'm thankful for meeting our quota for work today, having alternatives to our usual lunch (we usually have grilled cheese sandwiches, but I forgot to put out butter to soften and using the microwave makes it all weird), getting to see Page snuggled up in one of her boxes, Page not asking to go outside so far today, and making progress on Project: Defrost the Freezer.