One Missed Call 1 & 2 by Yasushi Akimoto and Mayumi Shihou

One Missed Call 1 & 2 book cover
Rating 7.0/10
Not the sort of book to read without the light on

Japan is famous for Ringu (The Ring) based on an old Japanese folk tale and Ju-On (The Grudge), so it's only right that their manga would be just as notorious. In The Ring, the horror was linked to a videotape being watched by innocent victims, and in One Missed Call, a mobile phone switchboard is possessed by a vengeful ghost.

A group of teenagers tell scary stories during break time, not realizing that the real horror will soon be coming their way. When one of the teenagers gets a missed call, she finds out that she is actually calling her own phone sometime in the future. After a day or two the one who got the call dies in mysterious circumstances, and another teen gets a call and so on forming a chain link of utter disaster. First Yoko, then Kenji, and they can't understand why it is happening, only that there is suspicion that a dead girl is haunting the switchboard, going from person to person. Once they turn up dead, the bodies are examined in the morgues, and each time the victims have a red candy lodged in their mouths but no one knows why.

When they have been spooked by what has occurred, the girls think it would be a good idea to scrap their phones, and in doing so they hope to prevent the ghost from preying on them, but for Natsumi Konishi, the horror does not end there. Yuumi has to cope with the death of her friends and the haunting from the ghost who follows her every move.

Known as Chakushin Ari in Japan, One Missed Call isn't for everyone. If you are used to seeing cute chibi or shojo art that uplifts, don't read this. If you are in a depressive state it will only serve to worsen it. The art is the sort you would expect from shonen style manga artists, but it does convey a sense of unease in part two of the series. When the ghost is seen by the victims coming through mirrors and walls to torment them, it is not the sort of book to read without the light on. The victims are the usual unsuspecting lot; they are ordinary, everyday girls and boys living out their lives with hopes and dreams for the future. What they don't know is that most of them won't be able to plan for the future as the ghost will intervene.

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