Reviews: Ghostly Things Vol 1 & Dungeon Builder: The Demon King's Labyrinth is a Modern City Vol 1
Updated: Nov 29, 2020
Ghostly Things Vol 1
This first volume of Ushio Shirotori's Ghostly Things is a charming and briskly paced supernatural fantasy with a fluid and engaging art style. The story follows teen Yachiho who moves into a new house by herself as her father is overseas. She's been given the task to find a Book of the Dead by her father (as ya do), and she immediately encounters a range of strange spirits and creatures roaming in her house. Turns out her home also acts as a portal to the spirit realm, and she's drafted to aid a small spirit named Moro who oversees the passing of spirits from the mortal realm to their rest in the spirit realm.
The story doesn't waste any time in getting you acquainted with the premise, and then it turns into mini-stories focused on different creatures. We jump from a little crablike creature whose is afraid of the waters where spirits must pass through, a spirit of rot that's seeking something in the home, a tale of kodama spirits learning the cycle of life, and more. This first volume really packs in a chunk of interesting creatures and world building, as well as setting up some future conflict.
The books notes it's for teens and up but there's absolutely nothing overly violent or troublesome in this first volume, so I would say it's solid for ages 8+. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the mood for some modern fantasy and supernatural fun.
Dungeon Builder: The Demon King's Labyrinth is a Modern City Vol 1
As per many of the 'resurrected in a fantasy world' entries in this sub-genre of fantasy, there's an idea and a style to this and less care about how we get to the premise. Which I'm actually ok with because honestly, why waste the time wading through the usual background tropes? The core concept to this series is that a guy gets reincarnated into a demon lord in a world where the lords create dungeons to devour human emotions. It introduces a semi-convoluted series of rules and set up for how the mechanics works and then intros the push of the series; Procel, our lead, is a decent enough guy who has a different idea as to how to progress in this world. He decides to make his dungeon a happy city where he can feed off of positive emotions.
And let me tell you, they won me over big time with the skeletons.
Procel, as like all other demon lords, has the ability to create monsters. He instead decides to create a friend and creates his 'daughter' Tenko and later her sister El so that Tenko can be happy. He also creates El to be a weaponsmith because his particular power of 'Creation' can conjure up weapons from memory. Which means we get skeletons with semi automatic rifles.
The series does deal in plenty of fan service and a relatively shallow plot, but despite these faults it has fun. It mocks itself for particular tropes, doesn't waste any time getting to the action, and offers a few interesting world building concepts. I'm not going to say this was groundbreakingly fantastic, but it was fun enough and hey as long as we keep getting those skeletons I'm good.