Plot: The 13 Club is a website run by a mysterious man named Kudan and his associate Kasuka. The website is dedicated to exploring and spreading weird stories from true events to urban legends to possibly supernatural tales. The manga is a collection of various stories making up a sort of anthology.
Breakdown: While I did really enjoy this series both for its intriguing stories and the plot twists, I do have have to say that it felt very disjointed.
The first chapter, for example, is much more detailed in in its art style. It goes for a much more realistic look only shifting to a more traditional anime style when it came to the girls. It was also most notably fully shaded, offering a feeling of great depth and detail in the scenes that I adored.
However, after that, the realistic style and deep shading were gone and we shifted back to a more traditional style, which isn’t that bad considering that the manga is still very detailed, but why make the first chapter so beautiful when other chapters weren’t going to stand out as much?
Next, while this is an anthology of sorts, the third story goes on for way too long in my opinion. It spans over six chapters in this 11 chapter long series – over half the series is just this one story. It’s a good story, but it definitely didn’t need to go on as long as it did.
Finally, there’s no real theme with the stories. Some are supernatural based though we’re given no explanation as to what is going on with the stories, magic-wise, some are merely urban legends, and one’s a murder mystery. I guess that fits with the fact that their website covers all of these, but reading the stories in succession makes for a slightly weird read.
All of these factors made it sometimes feel like I was reading a different manga. For instance, the final story feels so much more different, almost a Zekkyou Gakkyuu vibe over the murder mystery.
I also don’t know who or what Kudan and Kasuka really are. They obviously have some form of supernatural capabilities, but they’re not explored at all.
Those complaints out of the way, as an anthology/short story lover, these stories do have a lot going for them on their own. Kudan is a pretty interesting character that I wish we got to see more of, and while the twists for some of the stories were predictable, they were still really fun rides. Even if the execution could use some work and I feel like it should’ve gone on for longer, especially since there’s no real ending, it’s still a fairly short and pretty cool read that I’d recommend to pretty much anyone.
Additional Notes and Information:
13 Club was written and drawn by Tatsuya Shihira and it was published by Ultra Jump.
Recommended Audience: There’s some brief nudity and some pretty damn freaky concepts. One little tidbit by Kudan actually made me pause my reading to cringe….Uegh….god, why did he have to say that?
There’s some mentions of sex, but none actually shown. The language is also a bit coarse. 14+