Dear Noman is series about ghosts, teenagers, smooching, and a group that is working together to keep the world safe from ghosts. Sounds creative, but is it good? Let’s discuss.
The first volume begins by introducing Mashiro, a teenager who has been able to see ghosts all her life. At the start, Mashiro finds herself in a predicament, as a small ghost she’d bene following turns into an enormous monster. As the creature tries to attack Mashiro, a human with crow-like features suddenly flies into the fray and destroys it. The crow turns out to be a ghost, also known as a Noman, by the name of Bazu.
As Mashiro can see Bazu, she is bought in to an office of the Boundary Preservation Society, a group that exists to keep the human world safe by monitoring Noman. Over time, if a Noman does not move on from the world, it eventually becomes absorbed with anger over its death, life, or anything and becomes a monster.
And then comes the smooching.
In a strange moment, Bazu accidentally kisses Mashiro. Per the rules of Noman, that makes Mashiro Bazu’s master, which is when the Boundary Preservation Society offers Mashiro a chance to join them. She accepts.
The remaining chapters follow a few different stories where Mashiro sees a potentially dangerous Noman, Bazu comes to help out, and Mashiro tries to find her own way to help them move on. In some cases, Bazu needs to defeat them in combat. In other cases, Mashiro is able to calm them down and help them see that anger is not the solution. The first volume ends with Mashiro meeting another ghost named Chitose, who appears to have a crush on her. She recently committed suicide, but left with unfinished business. As certain ghosts are able to withstand turning into their monster form by retaining a certain self-control, Mashiro wants to know if Chitose, who appears to be one such Noman, would join them.
The entire concept—a world where ghosts are present and a teen girl is saving the day—is fascinating. Dear Noman is additionally a kind of a buddy-cop story featuring two characters with very different personalities trying to work together for the common good. Mashiro is a calm young woman who just wants to help everyone she can, while Bazu is an embittered crow who suffered greatly in life, so holds a grudge against the entire world.
Bazu and Mashiro’s relationship is central to the plot. It is a friendship, partnership, and potentially a romance. Bazu’s the harsh angry tsundere and Mashiro is the calm, sensitive type.
The romantic overtones of their relationship as well as the new Noman introduced in the last chapter make me concerned this is going to take a harem approach. While I really like the first volume, I am not all that interested in a series about a teen girl with a harem of ghost girlfriends.
With all that said, I absolutely want to know what happens next, to see if Chitose ends up joining the group and if Mashiro is able to calm down other Noman instead of resorting to violence. I also want to see if Mashiro can help Bazu work through her issues.
Bazu was a crow in life and was abused. She needs to heal after everything that was inflicted on her, and Mashiro may be the one to help her through it.
With all these potential stories ahead, and a strong start to volume one, I’ll be continuing with the series to see where it all leads.
Overall Rating: A-
Art: A — I like this art style. The characters are expressive with a very delicate aesthetic.
Characters: B+ — Bazu and Mashiro in many ways are pretty basic archetype characters. However, archetypes exist for a reason, they work in various situations. Also, I was still interested in the characters so despite being pretty basic characters, I still liked them.
Story: A- — I am absolutely invested in the story Neji has created. We’ve got ghosts, fantasy, and romance. It also has Bazu who I have become invested in seeing if she’ll learn that humans are not entirely evil and that she deserves to be loved.
Translator: Leighann Harvey
Letterer: Chiho Christie
Dear Noman, volume 1 is available from Yen Press.