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Manga / Lovesick Dead
aka: Undying Love

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Not all strangers give the best advice.
Lovesick Dead (also known as Undying Love and Intersection Fortune Telling) is a short horror manga series from the Kyoufu Manga Collection by Junji Ito, known for such works as Tomie, Uzumaki, Gyo, and The Enigma of Amigara Fault.

Ryuusuke, a boy returning to his foggy hometown of Nanchou-shi, notices that its unique form of fortune-telling has become increasingly popular since he left. People will go to crossroads and cover their faces, and ask the first passing stranger to answer their questions to find advice and solace in their lives. But ever since he left, girls who go to the crossroads have begun to break down and violently kill themselves after hearing an answer.

While he seeks to find the cause and solution to this disturbing problem, he is challenged, for not only are the dead not leaving the crossroads, but Ryuusuke fears that he may be tied to the mysterious events in more ways than one...


Tropes appearing in Lovesick Dead:

  • At the Crossroads: The fortune telling is practiced at these, and often, life-changing questions are asked there...and unfortunately, answered for the worse.
  • The Atoner: Ryuusuke, for he believes he started this whole mess as a child by brushing off a woman who became the first crossroads suicide from his dismissal. He not only resolves to catch the one causing the problems, but seeks to restore hope and avert future suicides by giving good fortunes, which eventually becomes his defined role.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Intersection's Pretty Boy cultivates the obsessive love of the girls in the town, even after their deaths. Ryuusuke, after becoming the White-Clothed Pretty Boy, tells the undead horde of spirits to go right ahead and love him, and the chaotic swarm destroys them all.
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  • Big Bad: The mysterious figure known as the Intersection's Pretty Boy, whose pieces of advice have compulsive and devastating effects on the girls who hear them.
  • Bishōnen: Both the Intersection's Pretty Boy and Ryuusuke, as the White-Clothed Pretty Boy are depicted with femininely attractive faces and gain the term as an epithet in the original Japanese text, which becomes "Pretty Boy" in English.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While at the end, the Pretty Boy and ghosts seem to be gone, many lives have been ruined by intersection fortune-telling and the protagonist must bear the burden of restoring and aiding the town as it continues its practice.
  • Black-and-White Morality: The Intersection's Pretty Boy vs. the aptly-named White-Clothed Pretty Boy AKA Ryuusuke.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Ryuusuke and Midori knew each other as kids and become romantic upon reunion. The horror stepping in makes sure it doesn't let it last, though.
  • Determinator: Ryuusuke, who has a personal stake in stopping the events and gets accused of being the devilish Pretty Boy along the way, will nevertheless do anything to catch the real deal. Not even being mobbed by a giant army of suicide ghosts and being most definitely killed in the encounter stop him from continuing to oppose the Intersection's Pretty Boy, becoming a Messianic Archetype in the process.
  • Driven to Suicide: Starting with one woman, many girls have been driven to suicide after hearing bad intersection fortunes, seemingly compelled by the mysterious Pretty Boy to doom themselves after hearing his advice. The majority, who are told they will never have love, become obsessed with their crushes until a final rejection pushes them to kill themselves. Even the dead still have this urge when they are denied the answer they want, but it is likely they have already been so warped by the Pretty Boy's initial words that the newcomers are not to blame for their reaction.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The Intersection's Pretty Boy.
  • Exact Words: Midori is compelled by the Pretty Boy's advice to hate Ryuusuke for the rest of her life. After he begs for her to forgive him, she goes out and kills herself to spare herself and Ryuusuke that torment, noting that by shortening her life, she has ended the problem while fulfilling the pronouncement.
  • Fan Mob: A very twisted case with the Intersection's Pretty Boy and the girls he has told will not find love. Their affections turn to him and they mob him just like a normal group of teen girls and an attractive male idol, which is even what the scene is mistaken for by a newcomer to the town.
  • Frame-Up: Ryuusuke's friend Teshima frames Ryuusuke as the Intersection's Pretty Boy, even going so far as to pierce his ears in his sleep because a lack of ear holes would have proven them different. However, he wasn't trying to implicate him to others, but to get him to doubt his sanity so he would kill himself and join Reishi in death at her urging.
  • Good Counterpart: The Intersection's Pretty Boy gets one in the form of Ryuusuke, who becomes the White-Clothed Pretty Boy, encouraging the suicidal to find purpose by helping others instead of driving the happy to suicide.
  • Lean and Mean: The Intersection's Pretty Boy is unnaturally tall and the instigator for the current tragedies befalling the town.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The Intersection's Pretty Boy is suggested to be either the unborn child that died with Midori's aunt (who was the first fortune-telling suicide), or the runaway elder son of the man who had affairs with both Midori's aunt and the "troubled woman" in the second chapter.
  • Ominous Fog: The town is filled with it at nights when the Pretty Boy is out, though it disappears once the supernatural evils are gone. When a mass suicide occurs, the fog turns red from the blood, and when Ryuusuke becomes the White-Clothed Pretty Boy, the fog becomes softer and more ethereal.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The spirits of the girls who died look more solid and take the form of their rotting corpses, though it's never clear how physical they are.
  • Police Are Useless: When Ryuusuke visits the police about the situation, he is instead turned against because of the efforts to frame him as the Intersection's Pretty Boy.
  • Prophet Eyes: The Intersection's Pretty Boy and later, the White-Clothed Pretty Boy.
  • Serial Escalation: The woman in the second chapter keeps having worse issues to deal with, asking countless questions seeking advice and always taking the worst options, destroying her life with increasingly drastic and damaging choices. She was given the advice to put her issues into context to make them seem smaller, but seeing as the malicious Pretty Boy gave her that advice, it turned into a quest to constantly "seek a bigger problem". When she self-immolates, the question remains whether she was sucidal or whether she was just creating a bigger problem for herself.
  • Slashed Throat: Possibly as a side effect of whatever has gripped the town, the girls all commit suicide by cutting their necks with box cutters.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The girls told they will never succeed in love turn into these, first with Reishi Tanaka, and then with a swarm of victims and the Intersection's Pretty Boy.

Alternative Title(s): Undying Love, Intersection Fortune Telling


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