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Zekkyou Gakkyuu

Have you readers heard of this particular story about a hauntingly beautiful girl with long, black hair donning a school uniform but missing the lower half of her body telling spooky tales of school children to people through manga? It used to be said of the girl that she was an unfortunate victim of a bullying incident, and over time her presence changed into that of a sinister nature, though nothing concrete could be dished out except from the kids themselves who would have mostly disappeared before they could say anything. Anyway, the girl served mainly as a narrator. Oddly enough, I used to listen in to her storytelling sessions without actually realising who she really was.

That girl was Yomi. Well, technically she was already a ghost from the beginning of her storytelling. Oh, and the colour of her hair would change quite unknowingly (?) with different covers. The chilling tales that Yomi told largely involved children in elementary or middle school, hence their situations naturally took place within the school premises, their own homes, and other familiar backdrops like the park and such. Also, the horror elements were a lot milder since in unspoken tradition, it would be deemed inappropriate or cruel to inflict overly bloody and gory consequences onto children. Despite all that, I was still intrigued by those stories.

Yeah, the stories became increasingly addictive each time. I didn't realise that I was gradually being lured into the amazingly unstoppable force which Yomi had generously unleashed. The first one concerned the choices made through a game console which in turn became the consequences in reality. It actually reminded me of how many spooky tales would integrate moral lessons and such that mirrored the need to make the society a more tolerable existence. The themes were mostly what a lot of people could easily relate to in their schooling years.  

Of course, other stories offered different interpretations of urban legends, folklore and horror pop culture which were tailored to the suitability of younger readers. Most elements should also be familiar to adults, in particular me since I was the one who brought this up in the first place. Gosh, I was so blown away by the wide array of stories. Many had kept me right at the edge!  

Oh, the title? Zekkyou Gakkyuu. The mangaka is Ishikawa Emi. Some scanlations translated the title as Screaming Lessons. The series has already concluded with 20 tankoubon volumes released over seven years from 2008 till 2015. I highly recommend Zekkyou Gakkyuu to readers who appreciate the horror genre. But even if you don't fancy being scared, do still consider the title since it is supposedly targeted at younger readers (yet certain adults like me still read it anyway) and the level of horror is relatively much milder.  

On with the remaining chapters!

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

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