Hanako and the Terror of Allegory: Volume 1
TOKYOPOP, 2010 (2010)
Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto
he title of Sakae Esuno's latest manga has a nice ring to it. However, it feels like something was inadvertently lost in translation. While
does mean a tale, and
Hanako an the Terror of Allegory
is about stories, allegories are specific tales with abstract, often religious, symbolism. Those in this manga are not allegories, but rather urban legends.
ver since hearing the story about
The Man under the Bed
, Kanae Hiranuma has been haunted by one, which is why she goes to see Daisuke Aso, the
. Aso himself is haunted by two
– one of them is about a hundred hiccups and the other is Hanako, a spirit tied to the bathroom. After Aso solves Kanae's case, he gets her to join the detective agency, where they solve two more urban legends:
Slit Mouthed Woman
anako and the Terror of Allegory
is a fun horror manga, but more than the title loses meaning in translation. The three stories in this volume are all Japanese urban legends unfamiliar to Westerners, which takes away from the terror, and leaves the reader a little confused. Sakae Esuno's artwork is on par, though, and does add to the mystery. But for a manga like
Hanako and the Terror of Allegory
to work in North America the same way it does in Japan, it would have to contain stories like
, or other classic American urban legends.
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