Ghost Hunt 7 by Fuyumi Ono and Shiho Inada: B

From the back cover:
After a series of disappearances in an old mansion, the intrepid ghost hunters of Shibuya Psychic Research try to unearth the gruesome secret of this scary maze of rooms and passageways. The discovery that the house has a history of murders leaves the team fearing for their safety. What mystery is this dark manor hiding? And will SPR crack the case in time to save one of their own from a terrible fate?

Just like the previous volume, the art was not very consistent in this volume. I worry that this series is going to experience Gravitation syndrome, where the quality gradually drops off and one is left with characters that look completely different and a story that makes no sense. If that happens, it’ll be a real shame, since this series started off with such potential.

Anyway, the creepy mansion plot concluded in this volume. The actual solution was less interesting that some scenes along the way, like when messages from murdered ghosts appeared all over the walls of the mansion or when breaking down an interior wall led the team into a dark area containing a freaky-looking incinerator. I also enjoyed seeing Lin demonstrate some of his abilities.

A few more hints were dropped about what exactly is up with Lin and Naru, with the former mentioning how he was sent to “observe” the latter. This was mildly interesting, but was spoiled by some dialogue around it that didn’t make a lot of sense to me (“Did you forget you said you were one of 17 children?”). Too, the sudden open dislike between Masako and Mai continued. I find this abrupt change in the status of their relationship to be really bothersome; if things will shift this quickly and randomly, how can we ever expect any satisfying payoff for Naru’s various secrets?

I think at this point that what the series needs is another really awesome Naru-Mai scene so we can reconnect with the main characters. Hell, at this point I might even welcome a high school case again just to recapture the feel of what the story used to be like.

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