Mieruko-chan: Vol 1

Yen Pr. Nov. 2020. 146p. pap. $13. ISBN 9781975317577.
Gr 10 Up–Mieruko is a high school girl with a sinister secret: She’s able to see grotesque monsters that other folks can’t. And even though you’d never know it by looking at her, deep down, Mieruko is scared to death. If she pretends she can’t see the monsters, eventually they leave her alone. So Mieruko is going to have to keep up her brave front if she’s going to navigate her way through this curious yet horrifying situation. Even if the simplistic schtick of “see monster, be afraid, soldier on” does become repetitive, it never gets boring. The artwork looks great, with the monsters standing out in particular. In a book that’s much more comedy than horror, the creatures are genuinely grotesque; while the story may be funny for readers, it’s no laughing matter for poor Mieruko. However, the excessive amount of fan service may make this inappropriate for younger readers. High school girls (plus their female teachers) getting fondled by monster arms, plus the locker room lingerie panels, will make this inappropriate for school libraries. Still, most readers will be eager to learn more about Mieruko’s daily happenings, to see why these monsters are visible solely by her, and to discover whether she’ll ever be able to experience a normal life.
VERDICT A slice-of-life manga with a unique premise. Interest will certainly be piqued to see just how Mieruko will weather the latest monster storm. An additional purchase because of some mature scenes. The anime debuted October 2021.

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