25 Days of Manga, Day 1 of 25 – Mieruko-chan Vol. 1 (Review)

Publisher: Yen Press

Creator: Tomioki Izumi

Translator: Leighann Harvey

Letterer: Alexis Eckerman

Genre: Horror

Rating: OT (Older Teen/16+)

Release Date: 11/17/2020

MSRB: US $13.00 / CAN $17.00

Reviewer’s Note: I received a review copy of Mieruko-chan Vol. 1 from Yen Press in exchange for an honest review of the volume. I was not compensated for my review, nor will I be compensated post-review. All manga reviews are spoiler-free and image-free unless noted in the review. Opinions are my own.

Happy Holiday Season to one and all! I hope that however you choose to celebrate -and whatever traditions you choose to celebrate- fill you with joy as 2020 winds down and we look towards a new year.

This year, I’m going to be participating in the 25 Days of Manga challenge, a very laid back manga themed challenge that’s part advent calendar, part read-a-long, wholly fun! I’ve got a lot of manga in my TBR (To-Be-Read) Pile, and I plan on chewing through a fair portion of it, all while filling out the bingo card for this challenge.

That being said, let’s dig into my first read of the challenge: the horrifically hilarious Mieruko-chan Vol. 1, which might be an…odd choice for the holiday season. Let’s roll with it regardless.

Mieruko-chan Vol. 1 is the story of a seemingly normal, everyday high school girl named Mieruko. Life is normal—until it immediately isn’t. Mieruko starts seeing monsters: horrific, hideous monsters that appear no matter what she does. Worse: she’s the only one who can see them! There’s only one thing left to do: ignore them…even if that doesn’t work.

The actual manga is less horrifically scary and more tongue in cheek about Miko -our titular Mieruko-chan- and her current, haunting predicament. By the end of the volume, not much has been done to cure her sudden spirit-ladden sight. In fact, it seems like Mikowill be stuck like this for the time being! In many ways, it’s funny, though you do pity Miko: it sucks seeing so many spooky spirits!

The chapters play out as loosely connected vignettes, at least in this first volume. It’s the kind of series that feels like you can read a chapter, put the book down, and pick it up later without forgetting what’s going on. I’m actually quite fond of manga like this: they’re easy to read when you’re on the go!

Art-wise, the series is nice enough to look at, but not remarkable. Miko and Hana have a very 2010’s look. What I will say is that the monsters are drawn rather grotesquely, which works in their favor. They feel as creepy to the reader as they do to poor Miko!

Comedically, the series is…average. I chuckled a little, but not often. That’s not to say that Mieruko-chan Vol. 1 is explicitly unfunny: in fact, there’s a few gems that made me guffaw. Still, by and large, I don’t think I’ll be in stitches over this inagural volume.

The one major ding against this series is how hard it leans into leering at the two main female characters, Miko and Hana. While generally mild, you get tired of boob jokes every chapter. I’m not a super big fan of fan service, so it definitely put me off from this volume.

Honestly, I probably won’t be continuing Mieruko-chan. It’s not my kind of comedy, and the creator likes to leer at the female lead and her friend Hana a bit too much for my taste. Still, the good thing about manga is that every story has a fan: I hope that Mieruko-chan Vol. 1 finds its audience, and continues to do well in the future!

On to the next read!

TL;DR: Mieruko-chan Vol. 1 is a mildly comedic look at one high school girl’s battle to stop seeing horrific monsters everywhere. While the premise is funny, the comedy is average. Additionally, the prominent amount of fan service may not suit every reader’s tastes, and the lack of genuine horror may not give horror fans thrills and chills. Still, there’s an audience for this series: here’s to new readers finding it!

Read If You Like…
*Tongue in cheek comedy
*Mild fan service

Rating: ★★★ / 3 out of 5 stars
Bingo Card: “Read a Manga with Green on the Cover”

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