Monday, April 21, 2008

Yumekui Kenbun Nightmare Inspector, Volume 1 by Shin Mashiba

Hiruko is a Baku, or Dream Eater, who works out of a place called the Silver Star Teahouse. When patrons are troubled by bad dreams, they can come to Haruki, who will put them to sleep and enter their nightmares with them to find the source of the trouble and solve it, then Eat the bad dream.

This volume has a gamut of bad dreams, from the dream of a weathervane, who wants to see his dead mistress one more time, to a woman who has been able to change the course of her life by writing in her dreams and now fears becoming a murderer, to a woman who has been losing parts of herself in her dream and wants to get them back before she loses herself completely, to a girl who fears killing herself in her dreams and the boy who wants to save her, to a boy whose father died in a way that makes him afraid that he killed his father, and wants to find the truth, to the fan of a deceased actress who wants to find a way to save her in his dreams, to a man who wishes he could see the face of the girl who calls him every night, but whose face he has never seen, not even in his dreams...

I can't really say the stories are usual, but all of them are short, and rather quick reads. We don't learn much about Haruko, although the ending of the last story shows that he definitely isn't all-knowing. Why he needs to hang out in a tea-shop or even how he became a dream-eater in the first place isn't explored. Perhaps they will be in future installments of the series.

For now, I can only recommend this series for an intriguing concept and interesting stories. We'll see how and if that changes with later volumes.

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