In honor of the spooky season I am here with a review of the one volume manga series, Haunted House.
Haunted House is a comedy-horror manga created by Mitsukazu Mihara. This one volume manga consists of a series of seemingly disconnected chapters about a teenage boy named Sabato Obiga. Sabato, whose name has its roots in the word Sabbath, is a typical teenage boy. However, his family is anything but normal.
Sabato’s family embraces the Halloween and Gothic lolita aesthetic. His mother is the spitting image of Morticia Addams and his father looks like a steampunk, haunted house employee. Sabato’s twin, older sisters (Lisa and Misa) embrace Gothic lolita fashion with mirrored attire every chapter. Their home is setup like a haunted house and they each bathe in blood daily. Imagine them as The Addams Family crossed with The Munsters, only with slightly more bite.
Each chapter generally has the following setup:
- Sabato meets a girl he likes.
- Sabato goes on a date with the girl and it goes well.
- Somehow, Sabato is forced into a situation where the girl meets his family.
- Sabato’s family freaks out the girl.
- Sabato mourns the fact that he will never find love.
Each chapter brings new issues for Sabato and new girls for him to pine over, as well as new, goth inspired ridiculousness from his family.
As the series progresses, we see that Sabato’s family truly loves him. They show concern that he is not embracing their aesthetic and worry that Sabato will have issues adapting to the world around him. They love him, even if the way they show it is odd and may seem off-putting to some. In that way, it’s reminiscent of Chibi Vampire, though again a comparison to The Munsters is apt, with Sabato playing the role of of a more self-aware Marilyn.
Haunted House is a repetitive, horror-comedy manga with a mix of good and bad. The art is very stylized and very 90s, though it matches well with the characters and story being told. However, due to it’s stylistic nature, it may be a turn off to some readers.
While there are some genuinely funny moments, overall the series becomes boring and uneventful as the plot resets every chapter. It’s not bad, per say, it’s just not good. If you are looking for a spooky, yet loving family, just stick with The Addams Family.
Overall Rating: C-
Art: B — Effective and matches well with the story/characters being presented. May be a turnoff to some readers.
Characters: B- — The characters were enjoyable and well presented, albeit repetitive in their actions. The main character (Sabato) is bland, but that is intentional.
Humor: C — The series has it’s moments that are genuinely funny. Then there’s the other, repetitive moments.
Story: D — Overall what little plot was included was repetitive and boring.
Haunted House can be purchased on Amazon.