Spirit Photographer Saburo Kono is a one-shot manga, written by Kaiu Shirai and drawn by Posuka Demizu, the creators of The Promised Neverland. The story follows, Sota Koganei, who instead of going to school, spends his days playing games at home. Things start to change when Saburo Kono moves in next door, the next in a long line of people who only stay a few days and end up being chased away by a spirit dwelling in the apartment.
Saburo Kono introduces himself as a normal photographer, but he’s anything but. He’s a spirit photographer who travels around looking for spirits trapped in our world and takes pictures of them to capture and then release their souls. The spirit in the apartment next door to Sota is his current target and he moves in with no furniture or belongings (beyond his cameras) in hopes to find the spirit.
There’s a lot of unexpected moments throughout the story, which zips along at a quick pace. It’s less than fifty pages long and doesn’t waste a single panel on any of those pages. When Sota first meets Saburo you’re not sure what his motivation is. He lies a lot, and tricks Sota into helping him find the spirit, but he has good reason to act the way he does. It starts out as a mystery story with a hint of horror and as the story progresses the horror takes over, before the story shifts to something completely different towards the end.
It’s a really neat little story, packed into less than fifty pages. The story is completely self-contained and has a satisfying ending, but at the same time there’s room there is Shirai and Demizu ever want to develop the world in the story. Saburo Kono is an interesting character and it would be good to see him again. If you’re a fan of horror manga, then this is definitely worth checking out if you have a few spare minutes.
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