One night, mild-mannered college student, Hiroshi Mori, bumps into a woman visiting his next-door neighbor. A large, creepy woman, she has long hair, wears a coat and carries shopping bags in both hands. He had never seen her before. But then, without warning, the woman starts stalking Hiroshi, shifting her attention from his next-door neighbor whom she had been visiting to Hiroshi himself. Who is she and what is she after? Originally published in 1993 - before the term "stalker" was acknowledged in Japanese society, this well-written horror manga is about a young man pursued by a mystery woman. Serialized for just ten weeks, this short, single-volume manga unusually become a hit bestseller, selling a staggering 400,000 copies. Regularly chosen as "the scariest manga ever" in magazine horror specials.
This is one of my favorite mangas.
A really creepy story, I'm pretty sure there's something more on this work because you can't stop reading it.
The stalker lady is one of the creepiest characters ever, it's all about the appearence and the personality, some details on her makes this manga scary as hell.
Story - I only just read Ibitsu the other day and I have to admit that I much prefered Ibitsu to this manga. The plotlines are pretty much identical. Two very creepy women stalking the main lead by breaking into their houses, etc. I felt that Ibitsu however had a lot more meat to the story and in comparison I felt that 'Zashiki Onna' just did not match up to the creepiness and twists that was experienced through Ibitsu. However, if you want a creepy manga without the goriness that is drawn in Ibitsu then this is the better choice to make. I felt the gore made the Ibitsu what it was. I felt this was more a mere shell of a story.
Art - I wasn't overally bothered by the art but I felt that the creepy tall woman was drawn to look almost unhuman which was pretty well done.
Character - One thing I have to say about this is that I felt there was almost no character development at all. You don't really feel anything for the characters and as a result, the story probably has less of an impact for this reason. Not to sound like a broken record but the characters in Ibitsu were much more development which helped aid in the creepiness. I did not feel this as much from this manga.
Enjoyment - As the manga is short, it didn't take long to read. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read Ibitsu first as I may have appreciated the story a little more. I felt the idea in this story is very reminiscent of Stephen King's 'Misery' (which is also worth reading if you like this!).
Overall - I think its pretty clear in this review that I much more preferred Ibitsu to this. If you are one who is partial to a bit of gore and epic creepiness, I highly recommend Ibitsu which literally had me hiding in the company of other with the lights on and in comparison I could watch this in the dark, alone.read more
Story: The story was pretty addicting, and set to the right pace of the length of the manga. Aside from the predictable fact of knowing that the woman will always be in the most unfortunate places at the most unfortunate times for the main character. However, about halfway through the manga, because of the sudden involvement of other characters and the initiative to rid the main character and co. from the stalker, you don't know how the story will end. Rather than being a teenage scare, this 1993 thriller manga has a somewhat vague and unhappy ending, which makes the story better.
Art: The art was horrid, to say the least. I understand that the style was supposed to be more realistic, and I think it was. But it wasn't very appealing. The art only really worked for the stalker character and the ugly smile she pulled off towards the end. The story easily makes up for the eyesores, though.
Characters: The characters had typical personalities. Though they weren't all that developed. I feel like the main character had reasons for the why he did some of the things he did, but we never see those reasons. So you're left to chalk it up that he's just an idiot. The mystery behind the stalker woman and lack of background is a good choice. Even though the characters weren't really all that outstanding, it just worked for Zashiki Onna.
I think that this is a good, quick read if you're in the mood to get creeped out. But if you're someone who looks at art as a vital part of the manga and you can't stand reading something unless it has good character development, then you might want to look elsewhere. Definitely something to try out, though.read more
Story- Story itself is pretty cliche. Those things run down in urban legends.
Art - This is actually one of a handful of horror mangas which I actually felt a bit uneasy. I think it has something to do with the artist's style, which deviates from the regular pointed chin, big eyed characters.
Character -The lady who stalks the main character is scary, and I believe the story itself is scarier that Ibitsu, partially because of how the story is drawn and for one of the characters in the story to actually be able to touch "zashiki onna", which made the lady become this sort of touchable being for a chapter or two, instead of the usual "mysterious, unstoppable being/spirit".
Enjoyment - The only thing I have to argue with is that the manga ends pretty abruptly. There's no full explanation for what has happened, which I imagine isn't really such a big deal in a genre such as horror. But still, when a story is being told, it would feel better if some sort of solid conclusion is pulled through.
I still re-read the manga from time to time; I like it because the artwork matches with the story. It's short and very strange, but there are a couple of strings that are left untied in the plot. But it's an interesting manga, overall. read more