The girl Yomi—a creature without legs—leads through a world of horror, which slumbers in the midst of everyday life and only lies in wait to pounce on the unsuspecting. Anyone who is foolish enough to engage in it terrible things will happening!
Zenkkyou Gakkyuu (or Scary Lessons) is a manga about Yomi, a girl without legs, who tells you storys about little girls - more often than not they're going to middle school - who do something stupid and then be punished for it by some supernatural powers.
So actually there are many short stories which always have a moral, just like in 'Struwwelpeter', but Scary Lessons is much more creepy. The stories usually follow the same pattern:
A girl is almost satisfied with her life but has something she doesn't want and wishes to go away / wants to change. Therefor, she tries something which causes some ghosts or stuff to help her, but in the end she is punished by the ghost / killers herself.
Yomi then tells the reader not to do the same thing the girl did, for example if she was jealous of her best friend and wanted to be better but died in the end, Yomi says that you have to love your best friend, no matter if he / she is better than you or not.
Though there is a pattern, the stories are all different, you won't read the same stuff over an dover again. it's pretty scary, also because of...
If you skim through the manga, there is one thing you're deffinetely going to notice: The art style changes during the storys.
At first it's always pretty cute and happy, it looks like a shoujo manga. The further you scroll, the more disturbing will the art look. Emi Ishikawa is good in drawing cute things, but she's even better when it comes to insanity, ugliness, gore and dolls / blank stares.
I almost shit myself when I was reading it before going to bed and suddenly looked into a mad women's eyes.
You can't really say anything about the characters because the only character who is there in every volume is Yomi, and she doesn't do anything but to tell you the stories. But the girls in the story are often very dumb and selfish, and that's why I just gave it 6/10.
I really like these little short-storys. They all start with a situation everyone has been in before and never have a happy end (I hate happy ends :|) It is also one of the few mangas that are really creepy. If you enjoy the horror genre, you'll enjoy this manga.
To me, it's one of the best mangas ever. But it's just a collection of many short stories, so it can't be too epic. Still, the art style is awesome, it's cute, it's creepy and it makes you think. 'This situation seems very similar. Maybe I should think about it before I wonder how I could be better than my friend...'
Please excuse my grammar mistakes, I'm German. It is also my first review.read more
Well...where to begin? I actually never write a review...
I first saw Zekkyou Gakkyuu in a recommendation. I was interested and begun to read it.
I actually don't like shoujo's. But this was a good one! The story's are not hard to follow. Somehow, it reminds me of Hell Girl.
The art is ok, it looks like normal art for manga's.
The main character is Yomi, but you don't only follow Yomi as main character. Each chapter has one main character; an average schoolgirl, wich goes later in the story insane.
However, every story is interesting and it isn't hard to follow because you just follow one story in every chapter.
The characters are sometimes a little ''bratty'' or ''jealous''.
Well, the overal is an 8. I really like the story and i was never interested in a manga as this one! read more
Zekkyou Gakkyuu (Scary Lessons) is a horror anthology manga. Being an anthology, doesn't follow a plot, being composed of self-contained stories, which are narrated by a ghost girl named Yomi..
The typical formula for a chapter goes thusly: they tend to start out in a slice-of-life way, with the typical problems that kids go through at that age. Studying, wanting to fit in at a new school, worrying about their body image, being competitive, wanting to impress that guy at school and have the perfect boyfriend, etc. Then, something shows up that would help them out with their troubles, the protagonist makes use of it, then lets it go to her head. That's when things get dicey, and the character ends up paying for it, big time.
Since the manga has the word "lessons" in the title, each story ends with a moral: don't be selfish, be grateful for what you have, trust your friends, don't do drugs, old people are douchebags, etc. It's kind of like a Saturday morning cartoon in that sense, except it's a horror manga.
With that in mind, the stories are pretty much your typical horror fare. The stories, while not that scary, accomplish what they set out to do pretty well. The twist endings, if you've ever read horror stories before, are pretty easy to see coming, but for the most part, make sense within the context of the story. "For the most part" meaning that, every once in a while, there's a story that misses the mark. A few chapters end with a twist ending that is so absurd, so off-the-wall, so illogical, that the story becomes less scary and more comedic. But with that out of the way, the manga nevertheless has a pretty good track record, and some of the twist endings are genuinely pretty clever.
The stories are usually around 30-35 pages long, but some of the chapters (usually the bonus ones) can be around twice as long. Sometimes, there's multiple-part chapters, but as this is an anthology manga, there isn't any overarching plot or continuity apart from those. All you need to know for every chapter is that there's a ghost girl named Yomi, and she tells you a scary story. It's not a heavy read anyway; you could probably finish reading a volume in half an hour, 45 minutes tops.
In terms of characters, there isn't really much to say. The only character who appears in every story is Yomi. Every once in a while, she appears in a story and helps out the protagonist, resulting in a rare happy ending. But for the most part, what she does is narrate. She's a decent character, I guess. Since the stories aren't that long, there isn't really an in-depth look into the personality of the characters from the stories, but for the short runtime, they get a decent enough amount of development. Sometimes, it turns out that the protagonist was the bad guy of the story all along, so that's cool.
In conclusion, Zekkyou Gakkyuu is an okay horror manga. It's not that scary, nor does it break new ground in terms of storytelling, but it fulfills what it sets out to do pretty well, and it makes for a decent read if you're in the mood for it.read more
Emi Ishikawa's Zekkyou Gakkyuu (Screaming Lessons) is a shoujo horror anthology wherein most of the stories revolve around a young girl who comes across some kind of cursed item or creepy happening that ends up killing her at best or giving her an even worse fate than that. The happy endings in these one-shots are few and far between, and the protagonist usually has to go through hell to get it.
The only consistent character between chapters is Yomi, a ghost girl and the teacher of the titular 'screaming lessons'. She narrates the opening and ending of each story and usually provides a moral to the reader relating to each story. Many of these lessons seem to be metaphors, albeit rather strange and twisted ones, for things that may affect the young girls these stories are aimed at, such as struggling with school (Supplements for the Brain), cyberbullying (Black Forum) or eating disorders/weight loss (The Requirements of a Belle). Some of the morals are tacked on and directly contradict the ending of the story it is attached to (The Bonds of a Curse) and many of them are extremely pessimistic and questionable life advice to give to an adolescent girl (The Do-Gooder Club). Despite this, Yomi's narration does an excellent job of establishing the theme of each piece and giving the reader something to think about before reading the next chapter.
The girls who appear in these stories exist mainly to suffer -Madoka Magica has nothing on some of the misery these characters go through. Most of the heroines are more or less the same -a grade or middle school girl (though some protagonists are older) who has some kind of flaw or insecurity that is exploited so she can have her life ruined by supernatural curses, serial killers, or something else similarly horrible. A few chapters have a twist in which it is revealed that the protagonist is really the villian, hiding their insanity or their true cruel personality behind a facade of niceness, which is fun to shake things up a bit. For the most part though, the leads are generic nice-girls who really don't deserve the awful fates they meet.
Yomi stays calm and collected yet still creepy throughout the manga. The two-part story 'The Truth About Yomi' that explains her backstory gives her some more characterisation beyond her role of the story's narrator, and is definitely a high point of the series.
The artwork of Zekkyou Gakkyuu is rather typical for shoujo manga, with the standard cute art style. Yomi's uniquely cat eyed appearance is rather appealing, and definitely helps establish her creepiness while also being appealing. The rest of the character designs are quite generic, with giant eyes and soft lines, but don't let this fool you -this is a horror manga, after all. Scenes of gore, horrifying monsters and deranged, twisted facial expressions will stare at you from the page out of nowhere, and the artist spared no effort in making these scenes as unsettling as they could get away with in a children's manga. The contrast between cute and scary works brilliantly.
My personal favourite stories from the series are 'The Bus to the Underworld', 'The Ocean is Calling', and 'The Day I Became a Demon'. All of these stories are similar thematically, and also in that they are supposed to be sad rather than scary. These occasional doses or heartfelt sweetness are very much welcome in a series that absolutely destroys its heroines in the way Zekkyou Gakkyuu does, and to me are the strongest chapters in the series.
In all, Zekkyou Gakkyuu is a treat for younger horror fans, though I imagine that older readers would find it immature and silly. The closest thing that I know of to compare it to is the 'Tales from the Crypt' series of comics. If you enjoy shoujo but are tired of cutesy romance you are likely to enjoy this manga.read more