GhostTalker's Daydream Vol. 1 – The Albino Dominatrix Necromancer

Daydream is a manga written by Okuse Saki and illustrated by Meguro Sankichi that is promoted as a dark twist on the ghost busting genre. It’s got sort of Yume Tsukai’s strange, often sexual take on the tired genre, as well as an almost Black Lagoon feel in it’s ability to make dark situations fun, and compromising it’s predictability with good arc pacing. The first volume shows potential and has some definite technical pluses, but isn’t without issues.

The main character, Saiki Misaki, is a 19-year old albino woman working as a dominatrix at an S&M club by day and a ghost talker by night (well, really no time of day is attached to either.) Also, she’s a virgin. These fact, boldly stated on the back of the book, the nice cover art, and some images I saw of suicide while flipping through were enough to sell me the volume, and I’m not disappointed, though I do think it could be better.

When the focus is on Misaki, we don’t get so much a sense of her personality and background as we do just getting the above information displayed. There wasn’t enough of such focus for it to get old, and in fact it was played pretty well, but I suspect it will eventually get boring reading dominatrix jokes and Misaki wishing she could grow pubic hair unless some development gets in there. As far as what we do get, though, Misaki is pretty fun. Her morals are a bit confusing, though. She claims that she doesn’t like being a dominatrix, but shows signs that enjoys it.

At the end of each mission (of the two) Misaki starts using some strange power called the ‘demon thread’ which has her controlling a serpentine rope. She also shoots a fishnet at someone at one point, leading me to believe that she is in fact a ‘super dominatrix’. Nothing is explained about it yet, though.

Misaki does her ghost talking job with her partner, Soichiro, who looks so much like Yamazaki from Welcome to the NHK it’s comical. Soichiro is ironically terrified of ghosts and won’t watch the exorcisms, instead providing the muscle for the operation and acting as backup. He’s a fun guy, the right mix of nerdy and cool. He is humanized by being on the same level as his opponents, which sort of balances out the absurdity of Misaki.

My favorite character, though, it Mitsuru, Misaki’s stalker. He is only shown by face a couple of times creeping in the shadows, but Misaki is constantly pissed about him. What makes him great is that while he is the bane of Misaki’s existence, he is also really helpful in that ‘last person I wanted to be so helpful’ kind of way. Because he is following Misaki, he can help out with things, like one time he sends her a folder of pictures he had taken of someone they were looking for that he had tailed after Misaki and crew’s run in with the guy, and he also sends them emails with some valuable info found online. He also steals Misaki’s panties, leaving behind 100,000 yen and bugs her house.

now, we do have some weak points. While misaki is a strange character and all, the stories are pretty average. The first volume has two stories (which aren’t divided into chapters) and neither of them is unfamiliar to ghost-busting manga. However, this is paid for by solid execution and pacing, not letting the stories get too wordy or outstay their welcome.

The other weakness, while I hate to say it, is the fanservice. Some of it is fine, like the panty shots and Misaki seen in her dominatrix outfit. However, for example where misaki’s had her panties stolen and is walking around without any, and at one points trips, flashing her bare vagina at a bunch of gawking guys. The resulting joke is okay, but it just seemed way too silly and forced. That said, there were only really 2 scenes like this, and they weren’t enough to be a huge turn-off for me.

The character designs are quite nice. They are drawn in a sort of realistic way that adds to the story’s believability, but without compromising attractiveness. I’d compare it to the artwork in the Goth graphic novel or perhaps Death Note without the crazy hair. The backgrounds were very nice with a sort of smudged-ink look, but also look like they were very likely computer-produced, which I’m not sure how to praise. What I admired most was a very cinematic visual sense. A lot of images are used and they flow into each-other very well, keeping a consistent sense of direction and location, which I think is extremely important (and is why a lot of manga pisses me off when it is done wrong.)

The best parts where definitely the climaxes of each arc. The first had a pretty trippy ghost-story ending, which was good. But much better was the second which ended in a group fight between Misaki’s team and some yakuza thugs. The action is very well-drawn and once agin has a very good sense of direction and action. It’s also worth mentioning that the sound effects are considered rather important in this manga, since the characters sometimes react to them (which confused me at parts because I’m not used to paying attention to the sound effects.)

In any case, the first volume was pretty nice, but i can’t say it’s something I’d rush out to buy another volume of. I might continue it at some point. One thing that surprised me was how easy it was to reread just days after my first go-through considering the kind of story it is, and I even liked it more the second time, which is a huge plus. There was apparently a 4-episode OVA for it, but the things I read make it sound terrible, and the director has mostly worked on H anime so I’m sure it pushes all the wrong elements.

2 thoughts on “GhostTalker's Daydream Vol. 1 – The Albino Dominatrix Necromancer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s