Mimi's Ghost Stories is a collection of horror stories based on urban legends, all centered around one incredibly unlucky college-aged woman named Mimi, written by Junji Ito (author of "The Enigma of Amigara Fault" and Uzumaki). Somewhat Lighter and Softer than most of his work, this collection of supernatural horror was originally published in serialized form between 2002 and 2003.
This Manga Provides Examples Of:
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Mostly from Mimi's boyfriend Naoto. Mimi becomes incredibly frustrated by this in the final chapter.
- Coat, Hat, Mask: The neighbor's disguise in the first chapter.
- Covers Always Lie: Just from a quick glance at the cover, the reader would think that the woman on the front with the red silhouette and blank, soulless eyes was the main villain. It's actually the hapless protagonist.
- Creepy Cemetery: There's an example located behind Mimi's new apartment after she moves. It starts out being more creepy in-universe before it's revealed to be haunted.
- Driven to Suicide: The ghost woman in "Sound of Grass", along with the ashen woman in "Alone with You", who is revealed to be Kei's mother.
- Dumb Muscle: Mimi's new neighbor after she finally gets moved away from her first disturbing apartment. He just keeps moving gravestones around so that the spirits of the dead can watch him pose.
- Haunted Heroine: Notably averted. Mimi seems to stumble across the supernatural wherever she goes, but she's otherwise as normal as Ito protagonists get.
- He Knows Too Much: The woman in the first chapter is certainly unnatural, but she seems relatively harmless until Mimi learns what she is. Then she goes after Mimi to try to keep her quiet, likely because she doesn't seem able to speak.
- Humanoid Abomination:
- The titular neighbor in "The Woman Next Door" is revealed to be at least partially made of adjustable metal beams, which take the place of limbs and which she unscrews and extends at will to take different figures. Weirder still, she has fully functional and normal-looking gloved hands which can come off, her face is never seen, and she buys groceries, implying she needs to eat.
- It is heavily implied that the waitress from "At the Seashore" may be one of these. See Nothing Is Scarier.
- Lighter and Softer: Despite still being a horror story by any reasonable definition of the phrase, the stories presented here are somewhat lighter fare than most of Ito's work. In the words of one reviewer, they sure do have the protagonist survive a lot more than his other works tend to, and since there isn't a buildup or devastating climax at the end of these events, all of the events are by definition less threatening to the heroes.
- Nothing Is Scarier: In "At the Seashore", all of the photographs showing the waitress who shares the area's history with the protagonists are destroyed by the man who develops them, and are never shown.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: The ashen woman from "Alone with You", who is actually the ghost of Kei's mother. Of course, she's only friendly from her perspective, and just disturbs Kei.
- Urban Legends: The source of the stories related in the graphic novel. Referenced in the book's Japanese name, which translates more closely to "Mimi's Urban Legends".
- Weirdness Magnet: Mimi, who doesn't do anything to invite or deserve all of the supernatural craziness she gets put through.
- With Friends Like These...: In "The Red Circle", Mimi's friend Misa plots to kill her and shack up with Mimi's boyfriend.