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Dark Metro: Volume 1    by Tokyo Calen & Yoshiken Amazon.com order for
Dark Metro
by Tokyo Calen
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Japanese horror manga tends to either be psychological tales that weird you out more than they frighten you, or blood fests filled with twisted creatures that look scarier than anything you could imagine. Tokyo Calen and Yoshiken's Dark Metro looks from the cover like it would be the latter, but its stories are more in the former style.

Rumors have been circulating that the Japanese subway system is haunted with after hours ghosts roaming wild, trying to lure lost passengers to their demise. Luckily, mysterious, good-looking Seiya is there to save those who are not meant to die yet. The first volume of Dark Metro tells tales of five haunted subway riders an actress whose rival threw herself in front of a train and now wants revenge; a new conductor encounters a ghost who keeps trying to kill himself; male students who have inadvertently been leading girls to their deaths; a male escort who was responsible for a girl's death; and a teenage girl who was saved from a subway fire when she was little but cannot forget the man who saved her.

The majority of the stories in Dark Metro focus on why the ghosts exist, rather than on petrifying the main characters (and, in turn, the reader). Yoshiken's illustrations are a little more scary than the stories, but for the most part are well executed and support Calen's tales. Since the stories are only loosely connected by their location and the presence of Seiya, there is no real cliffhanger at the end of the first volume to hook readers, but those who like a little chill will anticipate further episodes of Dark Metro.

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