Yumekui Kenbun — Nightmare Inspector

by dm00

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A recent Jason Thompson column about Yumekui Kenbun — Nightmare Inspector sent me off to the library. This is a delightful mild-horror series. The art is very nice (with some wonderful dream concepts). In the first three volumes, at least, I’d say the writing is stronger than that of xxxHoLic, in a similar genre. xxxHoLic makes better use of drifting smoke and textiles, Yumekui Kenbun is a little better at the fantastic, I think.

Hiroku is a baku — a dream-eater. He hangs out in the Silver Star Tea Shop (which basically destroys the shop’s business, as only people afflicted by nightmares go there). While at first the series seems pretty nightmare-of-the-week episodic, by the third volume we’re seeing links among some of the dreams and dreamers. After reading the first few volumes from the library, I’ve decided this is a series I want to add to my collection.

NightmareInspector2-116

The dreams are simultaneously real and surreal. Hiroku is interested only in nightmares, and many of the dreams come to suitably nightmarish conclusions.  More than once, the people who seek out Hiroku’s help learn that they should be careful what they wish for. The series has a reasonable patina of pop-Freudianism: dreams are messages from the unconscious (sometimes, they are passive-aggressive messages).

We learn why Mizuki, the impoverished (and moe) tea-shop owner puts up with him in volume two.

Oh, yes, there’s another feature: this series is set in the Taisho Era. Taisho Baseball Girls (and a lot of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei‘s aesthetic) have given me a taste for the fashions of that time (if Senbonzakura turns into an OVA I’ll be thrilled, if uncertain about the political message).

(I’ll add a recommendation for Jason Thompson’s column — he’s introduced me to several manga series that I’ve enjoyed quite a lot.)

3 Responses to “Yumekui Kenbun — Nightmare Inspector”


  1. 1 storyshares May 15, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Interesting. Looks like it’s similar to Genkaku Picasso with its idea.

    • 2 dm00 May 15, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Thanks, I’ve had the first volume of Genkaku Picasso on my shelf for ages, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I’ll have to check it out.

      That said, one of the attractions for me in Yumekui Kenbun is the art style. One of the reasons Genkaku Picasso has been languishing on the shelf is that the art style doesn’t appeal to me quite as much.


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