Akira, a second year middle school student, has a normal life on an island of solitude, a serene and peaceful school setting. Akira's daily life is shattered one day by the transfer of a mysterious boy; Matsushiro Nishigami who introduces himself as a shinigami with the phrase "Anyone who gets close to me dies." What could be the meaning of such a bizarre introduction?
Due to the author Himura Masaki's illness, Shindere Shoujo to Kodoku na Shinigami was put on an indefinite hiatus after its 20th chapter was published on March 28, 2013. Himura passed away on June 17, 2015 after more than two years of fighting cancer, leaving this and another series she started while being in the hospital—Nyuuin Note (Hospitalization Notebook)—in an unfinished state. The last volume containing chapters 15 to 20 was published only in digital format on September 24.
Shindere Shoujo to Kodoku na Shinigami is a manga that can easily flip between comedy and thrilling mystery in a single panel, which often does. If you’re reading this thinking it’s going to be something lighthearted like Hyouka (which also deals with the “school mystery” genre) then you’re going to be in for a shock. One other thing I should mention first is that the author of this manga is actually too sick currently to continue writing this manga (which is said at the end of the most recent chapter, #20). The story does end the current mystery it was in but the overall plot
is left unanswered so take that into account before getting into this manga.
The story begins when a mysterious middle school boy named Nishigami who claims to be a shinigami (Death god in English and also very similar to his own name) who ends up causing everyone close to him to end up dying moves to a small island and starts going to school. There he earns a bad reputation as he tries to make everyone hate him so that no one else dies. One girl, Wakanae, and Nishigami end up becoming class presidents together though. They begin to unintentionally grow closer, but as he predicted, she ends up dying right in front of him. However, she is resurrected thanks to the deity of the island. From there, mysteries centered around the idea of resurrection begin to surface and these two students get dragged into them and forced to solve them in order to protect themselves and the people around them. At the same time they are also looking for a way to return Wakanae back to a normal human because now that she has been resurrected she can no longer leave the island that she wanted to leave so badly.
Art – 8/10
The darker scenes are drawn very well with extra emphasis put into showing change in pace from comedy to drama. The character designs are decent as is the scenery. The comedic scenes have their own appeal as well and the art can make them very funny at times but sometimes it seems a little stereotypical the way the characters are drawn in these scenes.
There aren’t a whole lot of recurring characters and the only main ones are the ones mentioned before. Nishigami is extremely talented at solving mysteries even though it’s never mentioned why he is so good. One interesting character who is not seen much but seems to be hiding a lot is Nishigami’s Uncle (named Kuro) who is a doctor and the reason he moved to the town. He’s basically one of the creepiest guys I’ve ever seen (he’s like Shinra from Durarara!! on the outside with Izaya on the inside and a ton of mysteries surrounding him, if that makes any sense). Wakanae is a normal middle school girl who lives with her father. Not much is known about her mother since they make it unclear exactly what is true about her except that she’s not around anymore. There's also a shrine maiden, Touka, who cannot speak to any men unless she intends to marry them, even her own brother Itsuki, who likes Wakanae. Aside from them, the only other noteworthy people are the culprits involved the specific case and Yoroizuka who is only brought up towards the end and begins to have something to do with Kuro (the creepy guy) at the very end. He has an eyepatch and there’s something to do with what’s under and why it’s hurting Yoroizuka but I not much else is known since that’s where the manga is currently stopped.
I did enjoy this manga and I caught up on it quickly. I wish it would continue and I hope that the author overcomes their illness. But I would recommend this if you like mystery or horror things. It has good amount of comedy but I wouldn’t read it just for that aspect. Stuff like Fukashigi Philia and Aku no Hana are somewhat similar to this as far as manga go and while Shindere Shoujo is much less gory and horrific, the anime Another is kind of similar as well.