I will be writing a short review per story + give it a rating.
Story 1: I know Basketgore: 4 stars
First up, what is with this weird title. 😛 Basketgore? Who thought of that?
Secondly, I really was so happy for our girl when she finally got asked out by her crush. Sooo sweet! But the story quickly turned dark when she, happy, came back home and started getting threatening calls. Is it a friend who doesn’t like her going out? Jealous fangirls? Or something darker? The tone was set, and I couldn’t stop reading as accidents started to happen. I just needed to know what was going on and who the culprit was.
OMG, I totally didn’t expect that person to be the culprit. That totally came out of nowhere, especially as the author was clearly showing us that someone else may be it. But it turns out there is more to that story. Well done author!
I do still wonder why the basketgore. The story wasn’t filled with gore, so a bit disappointed. Yes, this sounds wrong, but given the title I had expected tons of bloodshed.
But it was still a creepy, spooky read, and I did love reading it.
Story 2: Labyrinth Maze of Memories: 2.5 stars (because it was still creepy at points)
Ohhhh, a girl who lost her memories, what happened to her? Why is everyone being so mean to her? What is the meaning of that dream? And is that girl really her friend? I had so many questions, and I loved that we slowly, but certainly, found out more and more about what is going on.
The twist? My gosh, I didn’t expect that. I am not sure how I felt about the class/school doing that to our MC.
Story 3: Best Friend: 2 stars
Eh, girl I think you should find a new friend. I was highly uncomfortable with how Koyuki was possessive about Hiroyo. Controlling everything she does. Making sure she never shines, make sure no one notices her, make her very insecure. Throw away love letters. Make sure that Hiroyo wears glasses (I am not 100% sold on that she really needs them, and given the rest of the story I guess it it was just a ploy from Koyuki to make her less attractive). Make sure to always “protect” her. And Hiroyo is going with it. I guess I could understand, I know what it is like to feel lonely, but I think she should just say no to Koyuki occasionally.
I loved the love interest and how he tried to help out Hiroyo. How he fell in love with her and was willing to do all that for her.
However, after that statue thing and the dare things seemed to change, and I just wanted to shout at my pages for Hiroyo to say her opinion on the matter. Because she wasn’t happy.
Eventually the story takes a darker turn as Hiroyo finds out things about the duo. But by then I was already bored about the story. The ending? I saw it coming a mile away, but I just wasn’t that scared or surprised given how long it took before it happened.
Story 4: The Neighbor’s Doll: 4 stars
Yes, another creepy doll story! Yeah, sure, take that doll from the garbage. Totally not creepy or anything, especially given that apparently that thing can smile and have facial expressions. Oh no, not creepy. runs away screaming
Yurika, please… you clearly don’t want the doll, you just don’t want Itsumi to have it. But I guess that is how it goes, I am not sure how I, as a mother, would have reacted. On the one hand, your kid is happy with the doll, it was discarded, but if the original owner wants it back… you can’t say no to it.
Yurika was a spoiled little brat. I didn’t like her at all. Her mom should really have a good talk with her about how you treat people and stuff.
The doll was seriously creepy, though I am not sure if it is evil or if it is just looking for a home. I wonder how the doll will react when Itsumi gets tired of it (because that may happen).
Story 5: Black Cat: 3 stars
No just no, I get you want to be accepted, but this isn’t the way. I am at least happy she knew she has done wrong (plus she did go back to check if it was OK), but that still doesn’t make it better. It didn’t set a good tone for me.
But thankfully this one got seriously creepy as the cat took revenge on her and her classmates. It was many ways of creepiness, and some ickiness as well. I had a suspicion what would happen at the end, and I was right! Still a lovely ending, but I hope that our girl is able to speak up more often now, and doesn’t participate in the hurting of animals any more.
Story 6: Former Residents of Darkness: 4 stars (could have been 4.5 if it wasn’t for the ending)
A bit confused as to how old our MC is. At times she looks to be at least 14/15, but then she would do something, and I felt she was more like 8 or 9.
But this story was scary. The scariest so far, and I love it!! A creepy house, ghosts, shaking rooms, a dad whose face changes at times, and many other things.
The history of the house? Well, that explains several things. It is kind of crazy that the estate agent never said anything, but then again, he wants to sell the house and get done with it. But I think the best course of action is to just burn down the house or break it down.
The ending wasn’t my favourite. It was all a bit too magical and rushed. The whole story was great, but it feels like the author had to make an ending as they were reaching the end of their allowed number of pages and just made this one. I feel if it had a few more pages it would have been better.
Story 7: Last Request: 4.5 stars
Whoop, more creepy dolls! Yes! And this one was even creepier than the first one. At first it seemed to all be kind of sweet and happy, but it took a darker turn as soon as the puppy came into play. Ah dang. Not the puppy! From that point it got creepier and creepier. I get that she, the doll/Ayano, wanted attention, I get that she wanted to be found, but I think in the years of waiting she turned evil.
I loved Yamato and what he did for our MC. Sure, he was skeptical, but he did protect her.
Next time she finds a doll or hears about a restless spirit I hope she will not be praying for them.
Story 8: If You Turn the Page: 4 stars
Oh yeah, sure, find a book with missing pages in your deceased mom’s study and write in it. I just knew this was bound to go wrong very fast. And it did! The second she mentioned the story she was writing in the book, someone dropped dead in front of her. Welp. That is not good.
Then again, who the hell writes about deaths in their story? She seems like such a sweet girl, but apparently, she writes some dark as hell stories.
I liked what her friend did, but eh, I knew it wouldn’t last. Come on, I have seen the same scenario in many other manga and anime, and I know that this is just one of those tropes. Always fun to see it though and see the relief with the characters… well, until they find out nothing was fixed. grins
Sorry, but I was just laughing when that scene happened. I know it is not appropriate and it was sad, but it was just so hilariously drawn and way too magical. Like the deaths in Final Destination.
The ending? Eh, I am not sure what to think or make of it. It was just weird. But I do like that no one is safe.
Story 9: Red String: 4.5 stars.
The shortest one in this bundle, only 10 pages, and it was a mixture of creepy and sad. I felt sorry for the girl. Little did she know how far that red string would go, how far the love ran. Be careful who you call your soulmate. Be careful with who you date if he is not your soulmate.
Almost all the stories also had a small note with the writer’s own experiences with the supernatural, they were quite fun to read, and I like that they were added.
The art was a bit hit and miss. I guess that is what happens when you have 9 different artists and 9 different stories. I didn’t have a clear favourite, but I did have a one that wasn’t my favourite, namely the 4th story’s art.
All in all, a pretty good short story collection, perfect for those hot summer days when you could use a case of goosebumps.