Vol: 1; Ch: 5
2007 - 2008
2.841 out of 5 from 107 votes
Rank #20,045

When Rin was rifling through his desk with his friend Yama one day, he had no idea he'd chance across a treasure map shoved behind one of the drawers. But when the two friends, along with Chiku and Himeko, follow the trail, all they find is an abandoned wardrobe with a drawer that refuses to open. And that's when Rin's nightmares truly begin...

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Hiki aims to be scary, but it mostly falls flat on its face. The premise is an interesting one, and it falls squarely in the Ring-type of horror camp. Questions about what is real and how much we can trust our senses arise as the horror ramps up, but the execution mars it. Characters are incredibly shallow, with barely any personality traits to speak of. For example, we have your childhood friend guy, childhood friend tomboy gal, annoying guy, asshole teacher, and your overworking father. This is pretty much all there is to say about the supporting cast.The only one that is interesting is Rin, our poor, haunted lead character. His increasingly loose grip on reality is what's handled best from a writing standpoint, and what prevents this from being a complete waste of time. Some of the situations feel forced, especially when the idol appears in its third chapter, never to be mentioned again. It could arguably also count as filler, not adding much new to the story, but mostly just padding it out to justify a tankoubon release. The story is pretty bare-bones, and the schtick of a scary girl coming out whenever you try and remove something from a container wears out quickly. The art is the saving grace, with unsettling scenes and imaginative horror. I especially liked the final chapter. The character designs are pleasant to look at, if a little milquetoast. However, there are some annoyances, like cheeky mouths, an animation technique to have to avoid animating the entire face when someone is talking. Since this is a static medium with only one frame, there is no need to use such shortcuts. All in all, I can only recommend it to those really starved for horror manga, or in want of some lighter fare. There is no gore, and the violence is not too bad, focusing more on The Ring-like scares.

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