Zekkyou Gakkyuu (Screaming Lessons) is a Shoujohorror anthology by Emi Ishikawa.The stories are opened by a strange girl (whom we later discover is named Yomi). She also gives the ending narration, usually describing the moral of the story and warning her audience not to fall into the same trap like the protagonist did. Despite being aimed at middle-schoolers, the manga is surprisingly-dark, and makes heavy usage of Cruel Twists...A live-action film adaptation is being released in early summer, and combines "The Truth About Yomi" (from volume three) and "Human Rank" (from volume eight).
The manga contains examples of:
Adult Fear: Lots, but especially "The Kind Mama's House", involving a child who seeks comfort from an anonymous stranger, who takes advantage, stalks her, and eventually kidnaps her. While many of the stories involve some form of supernatural intervention, this one could easily happen in real life.
Afterlife Express: The bus in "The Bus To the Underworld," (translated as "Bus To Hell" by some groups, though it actually goes to a generic afterlife, rather than Hell). Apparently you can board even if you're not officially dead, as the protagonist boards it and wakes up in her house after refusing to get off at the stop, with her family revealing she collapsed at the station and was in a coma for three days.
Backstory: The two-parter "The Truth About Yomi" gives our narrator one. It's revealed that Yomi was once a normal girl who was severely bullied by her classmates. She only had one friend, whom she encouraged not to defend her because the bullies would turn on her next. One day the bullying became too much for her and, after making sure her friend was out of immediate danger, she deliberately blew up a classroomwith her tormentors inside with her. The explosion blew her body in half, which is why she appears only as a floating torso in the stories that follow.
Broken Aesop: At the end of "The Bonds of a Curse", Yomi provides a tacked-on moral that killing is wrong, even though this story has one of the few genuinely happy endings in the manga. The protagonist and her new friend face no consequences for their curse, the one who died was an Asshole Victim who deserved it, and it ends with them happily moving on with their lives now that the helpless puppy said Asshole Victim tortured — eventually to death — has been avenged. The more obvious, better-supported Aesop is the stock "don't judge a book by its cover," with strong elements of Beauty Does Not Equal Goodness.
Cats Are Mean: Saya the black kitten in "Black Cat Saya" shapeshifts into the protagonist's mother and terrifies her when they're left alone together. It turns out she's doing this as Revenge for the protagonist telling her father to leave her to die when she was struck by their car. In the end, she murders the protagonist the same way and shapeshifts into her.
There's a extra sidestory after that set twenty years later that implies that Saya killed the parents sometime later and still using their abandoned house as its hideout. She's now posing as a teacher and seems to have taken up eating humans.
Close-Knit Community: An entire apartment complex provides a creepy example in "The Friendly Apartment Complex." Residents all take care of and know each other, the adults tutor the children, they have a vegetable garden where they get all their food...and no one is allowed to leave the building for anything, contact the outside world, or even speak to people who don't live in the building. "We have everything we need right here."
Creepy Child: Yomi is this herself, but then you have the kids in the stories...
Special mention to "The Kind Mama's House." A young girl, Anna has been chatting with a blogger named 'Mama,' and soon sees her as more of a mother than her own mom. Mama sends Anna gifts, helps her with her homework, provides a shoulder to lean on...and then Anna discovers that Mama is stalking her and plans to murder her mother so she can be Anna's "real mother." Anna saves her mom and shouts at Mama to go away, and she does...only to show up inside Anna's house days later, deciding to simply kidnap Anna and lock her up, just like she did many other children before her. The last scene shows Mama blogging about how spoiled her new daughter is, but that she still loves her.
The "Black Cat Saya Side Story" turns the original story from a Karmic Twist Ending into this. It's heavily implied that the transformed Saya ate Ayako's parents, and it's left unclear whether her job as a teacher now that she's grown up is just a method for her to catch and eat children.
Deadly Prank: Sorta. In "The Devil's Game," the protagonist encounters a murderer in both the game and real life, and flees. The murderer corners her in the bathroom and she notices her life in the game is nearly gone. In desperation, she decides to erase the save file, hoping it will save her...and her friends come in as the murderer unmasks himself, revealing they were only playing a trick. But it's too late; in erasing the save file, the protagonist has wiped herself from existence.
Aside from the occasional Murder the Hypotenuse plots, "The Devil's Game" has the protagonist's friend dressing as a murderer and chasing her into a bathroom, scaring her senseless because she was ignoring them. And "Execution Classroom" pretty much runs on this.
"Guard of the Mountain;" when the elderly couple tell campers to be on their best behavior, they mean it. Set off fireworks? Catch a firefly and not let it go? Litter? Pee in the river? They'll kill you and cook you into a stew.
Downer Ending: So many stories end with the protagonist suffering from a horrible demise, that actual happy endings that aren't bittersweet can be counted by hand.
Earn Your Happy Ending: The genuinely happy endings are very rare—and when they do occur, the protagonist usually has to go through a lot of hell to get it.
Education Mama: Some of the protagonists meet their untimely fates because they were pressured by parents who wanted them to be the best.
Foreshadowing: Before the reveal of the narrator's backstory, a number of omake arts depicted her as having no body below the waist, with her blouse, skirt, or skin trailing off into tatters shortly thereafter, and one story featured her as a ghost.
The Game Come to Life: In "The Devil's Game," the protagonist finds a seemingly-harmless RPG/Dating Sim-like game's outcomes happen in the real world as well. Then she runs into a murderer in the game and discovers in the real world, someone is following her...
Green Aesop: "The Fish Family" has one, warning people to prevent global warming. Apparently, it's because of global warming that the majority of the planet has flooded, and the protagonist, her family, and everyone she knows undergo a mandatory surgery to receive gills.
Grows on Trees: In "The Money-Tree," there's a special bonsai tree that has yen bills growing from it. Considering the genre, this proves to not be a good thing after all...
Bonus points for "Colorful Strawberry." The final page suggests that an actual newborn will be killed, the youngest victim in the entire comic.
Karmic Death: "The Bonds of a Curse" involves a girl, Ai, and the cute puppy she and the rest of her class care for. Even the creepy loner girl (who is rumored to practice curses) loves the puppy. However, soon Ai notices that the puppy has been sustaining injuries. One day, when Ai shows up at school, she discovers that the puppy has been brutally killed. It's soon revealed that the boy Ai has a crush on has has been abusing the puppy by tying a rope around its neck, fastening it onto his bike, and riding the bike while the puppy is dragged along. The puppy dies from its injuries. Furious, Ai asks the creepy girl if she still had a voodoo doll. We then hear that the boy had been killed after his clothes were caught on a truck and died from the injuries he sustained by being dragged... just like the puppy.
"Graduate Number 108:" A popular elementary-school girl and her friends notice an odd shadow behind her in every photo in their yearbook. Each time they look again, the shadow is closer to her, until finally it drapes its arms around her shoulders. The girl figures it must be the spirit of a girl who went missing, because she never liked the protagonist and was "weird." Then we discover that in reality, the popular girl bullies everyone into being her friend, and had killed the girl when she refused to be bullied, and burned the body in the incinerator. As the girl is ready to throw the yearbook into the incinerator to dispose the evidence, gloating that she'll continue to bully others into middle school and high school, the burnt corpse of the girl pops out and drags her inside.
"The Sacrifice Club:" A girl learns about a sacrificial ritual that the town used to do during their festival centuries ago, and decides to kill the girlfriend of her crush so she won't have competition. During the festival, she, completely off the deep end now, lures the girl away from her boyfriend and prepares to sacrifice her... only for her friends to turn against her, declare she's disgusting, and reveal her crush standing nearby, having seen everything. Everyone leaves her, alone and humiliated, in the forest. And then on her way back home, she runs into the real sacrifice club. And guess who this year's sacrifice will be?
"Miracle Ball" has an example of good karma: The captain of the girls' basketball team at school is having trouble with one particular member of the team—she tries her hardest, but she's just not as athletic as the others. The captain leaves her in the gym alone to practice at her request...an discovers the next day that she was killed when the backboard fell on her, severing her head from her body. Interesting, after that the team plays better than ever before, even when the girl was on the bench. It turns out that immediately before her death, the girl prayed for a way to help her team...and some supernatural force transfigured her head into a basketball for her team. So whenever the team plays with the ball her head became, the girl's spirit aids her team and makes them stronger. The ending pages take place years in the future, as the captain has gone pro, and gives an interview as she holds that same ball, declaring she can't imagine playing without it.
Interesting varaint in "The Girl Under the Bed." The protagonist is preparing to play a trick on her friends after hearing a horror story of a girl who hides under beds and kills occupants, when she overhears them saying that they really don't like her at all and wish she'd leave them alone. Unable to let go, she decides to try scaring them all by making them think the girl under the bed is real and out to get them, thinking they deserve it for only pretending to be her friend and speaking so cruelly of her. In the end, the girls knew all along she was playing a trick on them, and the girl under the bed comes for her instead of her supposed friends, because she actually tried to terrify them and hurt them worse than they did her. It would have ended better for her if she'd said nothing.
Kill It with Fire: While it's unknown if hitting her head on a rock or being thrown in the incinerator is what killed the missing girl in Graduate 108, there's no doubt about it that the protagonist met this fate.
Murder the Hypotenuse: "The Sacrifice Club"'s protagonist wishes to do this to her crush's girlfriend. The extra pages for "Bloody Valentine" reveal that the protagonist succeeded in Institutionalizing/Jailing The Hypotenuse.
Nightmare Face: Despite being a shoujo, this anthology has plenty of these to spare.
Nightmare Fetishist: Yomi delights in the creepy stories she tells and the reactions they get, but isn't actually a bad person, and every story in which she's directly involved in events ends up coming to a happy ending as a direct result of her involvement.
Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Possibly. Considering that Yomi provides opening and closing narration to each story, and when you realize that she herself is the ghost of a student who died in an explosion at a junior high school, it's not too far a stretch to believe that all the stories are happening in the same area.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: "Slit-Mouthed Woman". Because the main character provokes her classmate with the story that the new teacher is the titular monster, her classmates attack the teacher until her face is disfigured. The teacher then goes insane from the disfigurement and now wandering around the neighborhood as the monster, complete with the modus operandi.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Zig Zagged in "The Day I Became a Demon," the protagonist wishes for her ex-best friend to "disappear from this world" after being bullied by her. She finds herself sent back in time to shortly before her friend turned on her, and decides that this means she must be the bully now, and bully her friend so much she'll want to die. But it turns out that her best friend had made a wish first, and her wish was to Set Right What Once Went Wrong in bullying her friend—this time she would decide not to, and stick by her. Once the protagonist realizes her mistake, she manages to save her friend and the two repair their friendship in a rare happy ending.
Together in Death: Heavily-suggested to be the case in the end of "The Toilet Goddess." A girl hears rumors of a goddess who lives in an abandoned toilet in school who'll grant a wish to whoever cleans the toilet every day. After an argument with a former friend, the girl shoves her in the bathroom while shouting at her to "disappear." She does, presumably having been dragged into the toilets. After the girl realizes her mistake, she begs for the goddess to reunite them...and is dragged in herself. Yomi's ending narration says that she's sure the two friends are "happy and together again."
In "Bloody Valentine," the protagonist is planning a romantic date with her boyfriend for Valentine's Day. But then she starts to get threatening letters, becomes the victim of cruel jokes, and gets a stalker. Her classmates warn her that her boyfriend's ex is jealous, and may be behind the stalking and letters... Well, they're half-right. But the girl isn't his ex—she's still his girlfriend, and the protagonist is a delusional yandere who threatened her crush's girlfriend so much he had to pretend to break up with her.
"Graduate Number 108:" On the day of her graduation from elementary-school, a young girl looks through the class album and discovers a weird shadow lurking behind her. She and her classmates believe that she's been cursed, and it seems that one of her classmates, who disappeared some time ago, is behind it because she never liked the protagonist and rejected her friendship. Again, half-right. The missing girl is behind it...but only because the protagonist bullies everyone into being her friend, and when the girl spelled it out for her and refused to be cowed, the protagonist murdered her. Her spirit is coming to get revenge.
In "The Family of Five", the youngest daughter has her entire family; father, mother, sister, and brother, following her everywhere, including her class, and always sitting beside her. Because she can never shrug them off when she wants to confess her love to her crush, she says to her family that she wants to run away from them. Her family then chases her with knife in their hands. Cut to the home ec class, a student accidentally severs her own little finger. As it pans to the floor, the youngest sister bleeds to death in the same position as the finger.
Yandere: The protagonist in "The Sacrifice Club," as well as the one in "Bloody Valentine." The statue in "Best Friend" is this as well, of the "kill you so you'll never leave me" variety, and even a three-year-old is this in "Make-Believe Sisters." The little girl from the bonus-story "Colorful Strawberry" also qualifies.
Yank the Dog's Chain: Quite constant in a lot of stories. Sometime the protagonist realizes they're wrong and seeks to try and make amends...but the monster of the story doesn't work on morals sadly.
Twice over for "A House for Dolls," as it not only shows the villain survived at the end, but has an Extra Story confirming that she made the Final Girl and her mother and daughter into dolls.
"Black Cat Saya" does this to the audience when the girl protagonist is run over but seems to have been saved, taken to a hospital and treated where her parents are standing over her. Looks like she learned her lesson and even made Saya a grave...then we find out that the girl IS Saya and the one in the grave is said girl whose place she's now taken. Oh, and just in case you're comforted by the fact that there's some justice in this, no matter how brutal, an extra story reveals that Saya grows into a monster worse than the selfish and spoiled girl she killed and replaced.
"Guard of the Mountain" ends with the Final Girl fleeing in terror for a town, then falling and passing out on the road. She's picked up by a kind woman who tells her that she's safe now... and then reveals that she and her husband are a bit lost and about to ask for directions. They end up asking the elderly cannibals that the girl had been fleeing from...the cannibals who ask everyone lost to stay for a night or two.
"My Older Brother and I" ends with the protagonist deciding she doesn't want the "perfect" brother she wished for, but her real brother and her real parents. To make her happy, the fake brother she wished for gives her family back and disappears forever, and the protagonist begins to repair her relationship with her brother. Then she overhears him telling a friend he wished for a "better" sister, and the final pages show the newly-made, fake sister send the protagonist to the sand to be trapped. One can only hope the brother will make a similar decision...
"Bloody Valentine" ended with the Yandere protagonist getting a Karma Houdini after attacking the man of her affections and his girlfriend. It would have been a typical Downer Ending, if not for the bonus pages released later. The boy is in the hospital, but his condition is stable and he's ready to return to school, and then someone tells him that the girl who attacked him is institutionalized, and his girlfriend is coming to visit. But they say the wrong name, and it's the Yandere's silhouette in the door...she somehow framed her attacking him on his actual girlfriend, getting her put away, and she still gets off scott-free. The look of horror on the boy's face says it all.