Can a guide to the supernatural help Kyouichi find his sister?
Title: Ghost Diary (Kaidan Nikki)
Publisher: Kadokawa (JP), Seven Seas (US)
Artist/Writer: Seiju Natsumegu
Serialized in: Comic Dengeki Daioh
Translation: Krista Shipley
Original Release Date: April 18, 2017
Sukami Kyouichi comes from a family of exorcists; while this young kid might be talented he’s nothing compared to his older sister whom he adores. When Kyouichi gets in over his head it’s up to his sister Hanaichi to bail him out, but shortly afterwards she vanishes. Several years down the road Kyouichi is still searching for his sister and he’s hit upon his first lead in a while: a grim reaper who says she’s a friend of his sister and that finishing the Ghost Diary she left behind is the key to resolving everything.
This was a pretty dull introductory volume. While Kyouichi really is motivated to find his sister, and grim reaper Kowloon really is motivated to finish the Ghost Diary and regain her memories in the process, essentially every other bit of character motivation in the story revolves around romantic interest (and possibly Kyouichi’s since the story is dancing around the idea of “Kyouichi really loves his big sister a lot a lot a lot” without committing to anything). Frankly I’m not interested in a non-romance series where essentially all of the character motivation revolves around romance, it’s boring! To wit, for a story titled Ghost Diary the actual Ghost Diary has surprisingly little to do with the story. The main instigator for each standalone chapter is “Kyouichi and his friends investigate a mystery” so the supernatural element is central to the story but filling up the Ghost Diary is casually tossed out at the end of each story making this titular element seem like an afterthought. Given how integral the Ghost Diary is to the series long-running plots you would think it would be integrated in better but more of a disused prop than anything else.
I’m glad to hear that Ghost Diary is only three volumes long since it doesn’t seem to have the momentum to carry the story much farther beyond that. The stories are predictable in their repetitiveness and there are absolutely no unique or even interesting takes on any element of the story (including the art which lacks any distinctive qualities). I’m tempted to read the other two volumes because that’s not a significant investment of my time, but this volume was such a disappointment to my supernatural-story-loving-heart that I really don’t think those next two volumes are worth making time for.