Otaku USA Magazine
Mimi’s Tales of Terror Is a Collection of Creepy “True” Stories

Mimi’s Tales of Terror is an adaptation of Hirokatsu Kihara and Ichiro Nakayama’s work adapted into a manga by horror legend Junji Ito. It consists of nine stories with Mimi — “On the Utility Pole,” “The Woman Next Door,” “Rustling in the Grass,” “Grave Placement,” “Seashore,” “Just the Two of Us,” “Scarlet Circle,” “Sign in the Field” — plus a bonus story with different characters called “Monster Prop.”

The original book is a collection of urban legends that allegedly “really happened.” Ito admits to making changes, and almost all the urban legends happen to a character he created: a college student named Mimi.

Starting out, Mimi is annoyed by a neighbor in her apartment building being too loud. But it’s the residents or resident next to the noisy neighbor who might be the real threat.

From there, poor Mimi gets into one scary situation after another. Her boyfriend might insist there are logical explanations for these happenings, but Mimi is convinced there are only supernatural explanations.

She moves across the street from a graveyard and mysterious things happen. She and her friends go to the beach and one of the friends is drawn to spirits the others can’t see. A child whose mother died in a terrible way is haunted by the woman’s burnt corpse. A strange red circle on a wall seems to suck people into another world.

Even if you don’t think these things really happened — and I don’t — the stories are very effective in their creepiness. It’s sinister and disturbing, and both the stories and their artwork can linger in your brain afterward. This one isn’t for the easily spooked, but it’s a great read for fans of horror. There is an additional comic and afterword from Ito explaining how he worked on this adaptation. This would especially be a good read for people wanting something that fits with the Halloween mood.

Story: Hirokatsu Kihara and Ichiro Nakayama
Art: Junji Ito
Publisher: VIZ Media
Translator: Jocelyne Allen


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.