Stalker Woman

Zashiki Onna
Author: Mochizuki Minetaro

Oh this manga… It was one of the first series I ever read on the Internet and it always manages to scare the pants off me!

Zashiki Onna is a classic Japanese horror series from the 90s and follows the story of a young college student who finds himself being followed by a strange woman who is essentially stalking him.
This series has an interesting little history that I won’t go into in depth, but to touch upon it, this manga was written before stalking was recognized as word or a crime so at the time there wasn’t much you could do about it if it happened.
Zashikki Onna plays upon the fear of the known, of having someone following your every movement to the point of obsession and with the fear of the unknown, the things going bump in the night. For these reasons, the manga gives off a very real vibe that feels like it could be an urban legend or a “based off a true story” horror flick.
Zashiki Onna is fairly tame as far as horror goes, in that it has almost no blood or gore (someone gets a bump on the head and a few other injuries) but the true reason it’s terrifying is because it is a psychological horror series. The idea that it could really happen, as well as the artful way the main character’s mental state is shown throughout, from angry, to afraid, to possibly driven to the brink of insanity, is very well demonstrated. As the story progresses, we are made to question everything and it boils to an extremely memorable conclusion that I won’t spoil for you.

Ok so now I have to mention one other series with a similar plot, which is constantly compared to Zashiki Onna, Ibitsu, written by Ryou Haruto and being a newer series is more popular on the net. It also features a female stalker and poor male victim. While I did enjoy Ibitsu, it plays far more into the violence and less into the psychological horror, and also plays more into a supernatural vibe. Don’t get me wrong! Ibitsu is not a supernatural manga, nor is it bad, but it definitely didn’t feel like it could really happen and freaked me out less than the simplistic style of Zashiki Onna. I bring it up because it is eerily similar and clearly takes inspiration from stalker manga that came before it. (Borderline a remake or copycat it’s so similar at a few parts) Read it if you dare as it is still a pretty darn freaky series with a unique flare of its own!

Zashiki Onna is a classic horror manga and a must read for fans of the genre. It is also a good read for people who love horror but don’t want the gore of series like Uzumaki, Gyo, or Manhole.
If you dislike horror manga I would say skip it and try a lighter manga like Assassination Classroom.

PS. Thank you to everyone who reads this world! I have just reached the 3,000 view mark and I am so grateful for the support! If I make it to 5,000 I got a special review planned... so bribery! ;)

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