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A good start (review for Vol 1 only)
Apr 22, 2008 reviewed by Obsessed
Nightmare Inspector was an interesting surprise. With not much in the summary box and a misleading title, I wouldn't be surprised to find low interest or disappointed readers.
Summary: The work centers on a Pet Shop of Horrors-esque tea shop in a time period that can only be described as Godchild (Old England) meets some girls in distress wearing kimonos. It makes the work somewhat surreal in that sense. The tea shop is where the main character, a nightmare eating baku, resides. His promise is simple - he'll end your nightmare if you are willing to let him have/eat it. Naturally, there is a horror element to the work due to the nightmares.
I'm not sure where the title came from or if this is a case of lost in translation. There is no inspection at all in this work, no police undertones, no detective work period. Rather it is dream interpretation, which the author does nicely.
There are seven chapters in this first volume - six which are episodic in nature. The final chapter is a cliffhanger. Based on this I don't know if the author can maintain a longer story. The stand alone chapters are entertaining and improve. The first chapter is by far the dullest and will sadly be the preview you get on websites. The second chapter improves vastly and each successive chapter becoming more and more interesting. The endings become more macabre with eerie touches and a sense of malice coming from the clients. By the sixth chapter, I was hooked, loved the writing and decided that my $9.99 wasn't wasted (which was a concern I had after chapter one).
The only problem with the writing in that each story begins with the same fanfare - At this tea shop those that blah, blah, blah, people who have nightmares. Also the nightmares begin in the same fashion with the same dialogue repeated.
The art improves as well and begins to touch the horror elements. The first work doesn't even look all that interesting despite the well drawn characters and use of screentone. Once again by the sixth chapter the characters begin to interact in more interesting ways and the art is more graphic.
However, the seventh chapter, the cliffhanger, leaves me hopeful that both will only continue to improve. The twist that creates the cliffhanger is good and spices up a somewhat dull chapter. All in all, I eagerly await vol 2.
If you are a fan of works like Pet Shop, Godchild, Descendants of Darkness (sorry no shounen-ai), Tactics (minus the humor), Ghost Hunt, or just a fan of fantasy works this is something you should enjoy. I would however encourage others to read the second chapter in stores if you are sitting on the fence.
Obsessed also recommended: Pet Shop of Horrors, Godchild, Descendants of Darkness, Tactics, Ghost Hunt,
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