Manga-ka: Housui Yamazaki
Publisher: Dark Horse
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: February 2007
Synopsis: “Postcards from purgatory… Haunted cell phones, hotel rooms of horror, and the drowned dead are all laid to rest as Mail concludes with Detective Akiba taking a trip down memory land – the dark patch of his blind youth, when he befriended a little girl in the woods, not knowing that he would one day see her again – and under very different circumstances!”
Volume three marks the final volume of Housui Yamazaki’s horror manga, Mail. It takes some different turns than previous volumes as the spirit detective Reiji Akiba becomes more personally involved with some of the cases.
The first chapter is especially interesting, taking readers back again to Akito’s childhood. He made a promise that now, years later, has him leading a ghost to life instead of death. It was a great chapter because it was another rare glimpse into Akiba, who, for the most part, is an ‘appear at the last minute to save the damsel’ plot purpose. It’s a shame that this is the last volume, as I would’ve liked to have more opportunities with him like this, especially after a new addition to his story.
The stories themselves weren’t as flat-out scary as I’ve found prior ones to be, but they all had a certain something that the others before them lacked, be it Akito’s involvement or the scope of the hauntings. As usual, there are some chilling warnings for readers, from the danger of cell phones, to reasons why you should always follow your vacation guidebook.
All that I liked about Housui Yamazaki’s art and Dark Horse’s publishing remains intact here in volume three. DH was even kind enough to let readers know that Akiba makes an appearance in the series Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (also published by DH). All the more reason for me to eagerly tear into the plastic wrap covering my fourth volume of KCDS!
In the end, Mail was a creepy manga and a lot of fun in the way only a good horror can be. I’m sad to see it end but certainly enjoyed it while it lasted.