[Manga] Shinrei Tantei Yakumo – Akai Hitomi wa Shitteiru

A manga adaptation of Kaminaga Manabu’s novel of the same name, Shinrei Tantei Yakumo tells the stories of Saitou Yakumo who is born with a red left eye that enables him to see ghosts and spirits alike. However, he does not have the ability or power to exorcist them to complement his ability to see them.

After hearing some rumours that Yakumo has spiritual abilities, Ozawa Haruka consulted or rather, “hired” him to solve a case involving her three friends who met with misfortunes (one went into coma, another mysteriously disappeared, and the third one had supposedly committed suicide) after entering a deserted house said to be haunted just for the fun of it.

From that point onwards, they got closer as they solve many more mysteries to come…

  • Case #1: The Locked Room – The deserted house in question was haunted by a woman who had been left in the basement to death. Bloody scratches are all over the basement that indicates that the woman must have been struggling to get out of her confinement. The woman is one of the student in the university and she had an affair with a professor and when he called it quits, she wouldn’t have it and threatened to reveal their affair to his wife. In desperation, he accidentally killed her or so he thought. She was actually alive but thinking that she was dead, he placed her in the basement where she eventually died. Coincidently, Haruka’s friends was at the scene of the crime and the professor had no choice but to silent them for good; it was fortunate for the girl who only landed in the hospital and the guy who went missing was actually hiding but not so fortunate for the guy who had supposedly committed suicide; he was murdered by the professor and was passed on as a suicide case.
  • Case #2: The Dark Tunnel – Ghosts and spirits of hit-and-run victims manifest in this tunnel and driving motorists to their death. Yakumo saw a spirit of a woman bleeding in her forehead, possibly a victim of hit-and-run. They found a body of a woman who had been thrown down the cliff to cover the fact that she was a victim of hit-and-run. Later, they also found out that an acquaintance of Haruka who has been haunted by a ghost of a boy is actually the culprit in a hit-and-run case where the boy was the victim. He had left the boy under a tree and throw in some branches so that it appears that the boy died from falling off the tree rather than from being hit by a car. His reasoning is that by the time they reach the hospital the boy would have died anyway from the serious injuries and that it’s not worth it to destroy his future just because of an accident. (My inner thought: heartless person like that should just rot in prison =.=)
  • Case #3: Message from the dead – Haruka’s close friend, Shiori suddenly appeared in front of Haruka in spirit form. Fearing the worst, she called her on the cell phone and rushed to her apartment but still couldn’t find her. At the same time, Yakumo’s police detective friend told him that he is investigating a murder case where a charred body of a woman said to be Katou Emiko is found. After some investigations, they found out that Shiori was having an affair with Emiko’s husband who is also dead of poisoning. It only made sense that she who had an affair with the deceased husband is the murderer in both cases. As it turned out, Emiko is very much alive and the charred body that they found is actually Shiori who was pregnant at the time of her death. Emiko had been conspiring with her brother-in-law to fake her death with Shiori as her stand-in and with that, her brother-in-law would be able to collect the inheritance money left by her husband and they would split it between them. The plan appears to be foolproof except that the charred body belongs to someone who had been pregnant at the time of her death and Emiko is said to be barren; in short, the body couldn’t have been Emiko’s.

Interesting read, this manga is. Some may say that it is similar to Ghost Hunt but I would say that this one shines in its own way. I wouldn’t say that it’s better than Ghost Hunt but it is a good read nonetheless. Nice artwork, interesting characters and simple storyline that doesn’t bore you half to death with long explanations. A good read when you’re not in for heavy reading. Too bad that it lasted only in two volumes…it would be great if there’s more.

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