Flash Review – Phantom Seer

Riku Aibetsu has the prophetic ability to foresee disasters, a talent which has saved many of her friends over the years. But when she meets Iori Katanagi, a boy who shuts himself away in an empty classroom lined with talismans, she learns she isn’t predicting these incidents, but causing them. She’s what’s known as a Beckoning Hand, and the knowledge of her true identity pairs her up with Iori to learn how to harness her power and fight off the eerie supernatural spookies lurking in this world.

The Creepy:

For the lot of titles in the supernatural genre, supernatural is little more than a placeholder for magic. But supernatural is called so because it defies our understanding of nature, taking on a warped and alien form. It’s in the unknown that terror is found, and this manga taps into that fear by designing creatures of horrifying stature. Just like how the highlight of a horror manga is turning the page to an abomination which should neither stand nor breathe, this manga unironically shines when it draws its monsters with the darkest ink and thickest pen in the grisliest technique.

The Inconsistent Tone:

Points are given for bringing out the characters’ personalities during the down moments, but their cartoonish expressions and banter is at far odds with the dark tone of the battles. It doesn’t work well as a juxtaposition because all the characters ever talk about is fighting demons, and so there isn’t an adequate separation of these extraordinary duties from their ordinary days of sipping milkshakes.

The Snooty Protagonist:

Iori’s whole shtick is that he’s an intolerable brat, and watching him feels like sitting in class while a bully fires spit-wads at me all period. The manga tries salvaging him by making him into a badass who’ll do the right thing in the end, but when his overpowered sister has to pry him off his lazy ass to get him to work, it doesn’t paint a good image of him as the hero I should be cheering for.

The Verdict:

The artwork is slick and the storyboarding sometimes on point, but good artwork can’t save this bad narrative. It has fragments of what could make for a great manga, but they’re carelessly thrown in, often disappearing as quickly as they appeared. More terrifying than the midnight-black creatures of this manga is its horrendous quality.

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