From the time we're born, humans are fascinated by mysteries. As babies everything is a mystery to us, and we become curious. Because of that, as our brains develop we seek to find the answers to the mysteries we could not understand as babies. As we mature and grow older, we are each faced with a mystery that we want to solve no matter what. Can I be a good parent? Why am I alive? Is there any other life in the universe? Some of these mysteries we can find answers to, others we cannot. But every human is constantly trying to solve some sort
of mystery, rather they realize it or not. That is why the mystery genre is one of my favorite. It taps into one of our most base desires as human beings. The desire to not only solve, but understand, mysteries.
13 Club is centered around mysteries. Sometimes these mysteries are solved, sometimes they are simply archived by our recurring character, Kudan. Luckily, they are always fascinating. From the first mystery I was hooked. While not always original, the mysteries are structured in such a way that they feel unique. The manga is not linear, and each mystery is separate from the others. The final mystery was weaker than all the rest, and raised some questions that weren't worth raising in the final chapter. The only thing that all the mysteries share in common is Kudan, the owner of the 13 Club website.
Kudan is an interesting character. While he is fascinated with, and at times at the heart of, numerous mysteries, he himself is perhaps the biggest mystery in the manga. We don't know who he is, why he is fascinated with mysteries, how he met his assistant, or anything else for that matter. We don't learn much about his assistant either, but to me I felt that rather than being a mystery, she was an unnecessary character. The one off characters that were contained in each story segment were almost always interesting, with a few being weaker than others.
Despite the backgrounds being rather simple (which, let's face it, is pretty common in manga) the art was well done. The character designs were good, and all of the artwork was sharp, clean, and up to snuff with today's standards.
If you are a fan of the mystery genre, this manga won't disappoint. It is an exciting ride through the mystery that is the human psyche, and is presented in such a way that it's hard to feel lost or bored for even a moment. Once this sinks its teeth into you, it won't let go. It has some character and story issues depending on which mystery you're reading, but it scratches the mystery loving itch that we humans are born with. If you aren't a fan of mystery.... well, you are lying to yourself, so get reading.
13 Club, a website that hosts strange tales that you wouldn't see in your daily life.
The manga covers 5 short stories about strange things happening to the people. I am going to keep this review spoiler free. But first of all, I would like to say that this manga isn't for everyone... Parts of it made my stomach turn, and not because of the gore, but because of the shocking way that the stories are told. Even so, I still enjoyed it and I am excited to get into the review!
Story - 9/10
As I said, this is a series of short stories, meaning that each
story is significantly different to the other and the only relevance being Kudan, the man who collects these stories for his website. Perhaps I would have given the story a higher score if it was a whole story altogether. But some stories had dragged the others down. I would have given the first story an 9, the second an 8, the third an 8, the fourth a 9 and the last one a 9. You may see why once you read the manga, or you may completely disagree with my opinion, that is up to you to decide. However, I found the stories each to tell a moral story, which was quite intriguing.
Art - 8/10
I really liked the artwork and I think that it really gave the manga a more "mysterious" feel to it. The reason I gave it an 8/10 and not a 10/10 is because of the mistakes that I could spot, which were made by the manga-ka. These mistakes are mostly visible in his more detailed drawings of the characters' faces. Even though the artwork is really good, I found some characters had differed to their previous drawings.
Character - 8/10
The characters were well made and very interesting. I found Kudan to become a weird and lovable iconic figure for the manga. The only thing that the characters missed was character development, which none of them had.
Enjoyment - 7/10
This manga had kept me entertained, but it didn't keep me addicted to it. I didn't feel bored, but I felt like I could stop reading anytime, and it would have been okay. Even though the stories were interesting and some made me stick to the manga, there were some that simply put me off. Because of the spine-chilling mystery in the third manga, and all of the unfortunate things that happened to those unfortunate people really made my stomach turn.
Overall - 8/10
Overall, this manga was pretty good, and I loved the story telling involved. The artwork was nice, the characters were interesting and unique, and I had enjoyed this series quite a bit. It is a shame that it was only 11 chapters long, and I would love to read a sequel.
"Who am I?
I'm the president here....a collector of curious stories"
13 club is a psychological manga (it might not be listed as one, though) that manages to shed some light on the dark side of human psychology.
The protagonist of this manga is Kudan, who runs a website named 13 Club.
He loves to collect urban legends, and other weird stories from different parts of the japan.
The manga contains 5 different stories, each having its different protagonist, and cast of characters. One thing that remains the same in every story is the appearance of Kudan, who loves listening to their stories.
In the arc 'Investigation act',
he helps the protagonist by solving the mystery.
The art is at its peak in the first chapter, but quality gets somewhat lower after that. But it's good enough, and neat and clean.
Kudan is a likeable character. You'll love his socializing skills, his knowledge, his sense of humor, and his mysterious personality.
The manga doesn't give much information about his background.
I loved the manga. The best arc is 'Investigation act'.
If you love psychology then this manga is for you. You'll get to know about dark side of humans.
There is even a reference to 'milgram experiment'.
This manga offers unique approach to exploring urban legend an weird unique stories, from the point of main character who explores them and maintains a web site dedicated to them. It is an interesting read if you like mysteries and urban legends, and worth sparing time to read.
In first chapter of the manga art is way better than in the rest of the piece, but that doesn't destroy reading enjoyment. As for the story, manga consists of only 11 chapters so there wasn't place for deeper characterisation of main character Kudan, but enough to highlight his main traits. Mysteries and interesting storyes he explores
are tense enough to leave you wandering what's going on. Overall I give it 7 (good), for it was a good read.