Seven Seas Entertainment brings creator Shin Mashiba’s latest series “Yokai Rental Shop, a four-part tale about finding the truth about family and legends.

Hiiragi Yase recently lost his mother who spent most of his life raising him alone. Before she passed, she told him about a half-brother his dad had before meeting her. He ended up looking for him, hoping to meet possibly the only living member of his family. His search took him to “Pet Shop Crow” in Shonan City, an expensive pet store filled with imported animals. Hiiragi found the small-statured and bandage-wrapped owner Karasu swinging around the place. Questions filled Hiiragi’s head over his strange older half-brother and more arose when a client asked for a pet that humans wouldn’t usually own. Karasu knew she wanted one of the “special” ones so he laid out his scroll and drew blood over it using a pair of scissors he had. Suddenly the pet shop owner, the client and Hiiragi appeared in a strange area filled with ancient rooms and cages. The animals inside were far different from those in the shop for they were many of the fabled creatures from Japanese mythology. The client wanted something to bring her beloved idol celebrity who just died so Karasu rented her a nekomata, twin-tailed cat. Using its powers, the demon literally brought the casket to the woman. Seeing the disheveled corpse of the idol instead of him revived made the client back out of her deal. Hiiragi couldn’t believe that this was the business of his older half-brother, but he would later find out what made Karasu the way he is and also about the mysterious father of theirs.

“Yokai Rental Shop” is very reminiscent of Mashiba’s first manga “Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun” with how the initial protagonist goes on to find their person of interest who would take them on various supernatural adventures. Instead of history and allegory, “Yokai Rental Shop” showcases creatures and the curses they carry. Karasu is more self-centered with his means of conducting business compared to the former human Hiruko of “Nightmare” who continues the work of the Baku out of obligation. Fans of Mashiba will notices that her art style is nearly the same as her debut, though her scenes with heavy detail have a cleaner quality. It is interesting to see that “Yokai” is a much shorter series compared to the nine-volume “Nightmare” after getting similar vibes, but it might be good not to linger and put some strain on the story.

The fourth and final volume of “Yokai Rental Shop” will hit shelves right before Halloween. Check out Seven Seas Entertainment for more information. Also visit VIZ Media to check out their official translation of “Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.