A boy and girl must uncover the secrets of a ghost boy cursed to haunt a playground.
In a neighborhood in Kyoto, Japan, Hisao and Sayuri meet a boy, Toothless, at a small playground and soon discover that he is a ghost imprisoned there. He shares with them that the playground has magic abilities: The swings allow you to see into someone’s dreams, the sandbox brings life to your innermost fears, and the slide makes you young or old, depending on which direction you go on it. When their friend falls victim to the slide’s power and ends up in the hospital, so old that he is suffering from dementia, they must uncover who Toothless really is in order to save him. Following clues, the two kids find disturbing evidence of another crime as they unearth the truth. Although this is a ghost story, the spookiness is well-balanced with endearing moments of friendship, and there is beauty in the way the characters help each other change and develop. The Japanese-style black-and-white illustrations have sharp lines and detail, creating an alluring, eerie world. They capture emotions and evoke sounds, making readers feel as if they are in a real ghost story. The narrative and illustrations work together seamlessly to create mysteries that are baffling yet intriguing.
An eerie graphic novel mystery that is bewildering and unnerving in the best way possible. (Graphic novel. 12-adult)