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Missing is a series of Japanese light novels by Gakuto Coda, published by MediaWorks under their Dengeki Bunko label. The first novel in the series was adapted into a manga, which is being released in English by Tokyopop[1] since August 2007, along with the novels since November 2007. Missing is a modern fantasy and horror series involving five high school students dealing with a series of supernatural events. It is based heavily on research into actual folklore, magic, and human psychology.

Characters

These names are in Japanese naming order, family name first, then given name.

Utsume Kyoichi - "The Shadow" "The Dark Lord of the Human World"
Generally addressed as "Dark Lord," he is a walking library of supernatural knowledge. While handsome, his eyes are piercing, and he often frightens people. As a child, he and his brother, Souji, were captured by a kami-kakushi, which left Utsume with the ability to smell the other world. His brother never returned, so Utsume always wears black clothing. He has amassed an immense amount of 'black' knowledge. He is always unemotional and poker-faced, and never expects anything from anyone. While he never expresses any such desire, he secretly longs for death. He is also denies passionately the existence of love -- "Affection is an extension of possessive feelings," he claims. When he met Ayame she told him "You have no idea what it's like to fall." Member of the literature club.
Ayame - "Kami-kakushi" "The Wind that Longs for Human Form"
Fragile but beautiful girl with a lonely smile. Utsume introduces her as his new girlfriend, and is caught off guard when they ask her last name; he gives her name as "Kondou", the same name as one of his friends...but only because he could think of no better names in time. It is suggested that her name, "Ayame", is an old and uncommon name. Her black hair and dark red clothing stand out. Sings beautiful songs, which have the power to resist beings from the other world. She herself was once a creature of that world, and ordinary humans are unable to detect her presence unless introduced to her. Always nervous and retiring.
Murakami Toshiya - "Schäferhund," later "Loup-garou"
A traumatic incident in their childhoods left him very protective of Utsume and his other friends. Fears the other world, is very tall, and athletic. His uncle trained him in an unusual variant of karate. His home is the only shrine in Hazama city. Member of the literature club.
Kidono Aki - "The Glass Beast"
Cool, with an acid tongue. Describes herself as a literary girl brought up wrong. Badly bullied as a child, which gave her a fearsome pride. She preserves her own ego by looking down on others. Fears group activities because of her experiences, and is one of the few students to live alone in an apartment. Calls Utsume "Kyo-no-ji" and harbors feelings for him in secret. Which means she does particularly care for Ayame. Member of the literature club. Inugami-suji.
Kondou Takemi - "The One Who Remembers"
A very ordinary boy. Acutely aware of this, which makes him admire strange people. Number one member of the Utsume fanclub, but that leads to tragic results. The only member of the main six cast members whose past remains unknown, but his parents appear to be alive and well. The most feminine looking of the male characters. Has a bell which leads to the other world hanging from his cell phone strap. Outgoing, and friendly with Ryoko, the other ordinary member of the literature club.
Kusakabe Ryoko - "The Gentle Mirror"
Too capable of sympathizing with others, a bright and kind girl. Has many friends, but this often puts her in danger. Has a complicated background. Second member of Utsume's fanclub, but in love with Takemi. She was the last person to see Utsume on this side.
Togano Yomiko - "The Witch"
Calls herself a witch, and the name has caught on. A mysterious individual prone to deep pronouncements. Unnaturally innocent. Entirely lacks malice. Almost always in the school garden, smiling to herself.
Jinno Kageyuki - "The Dark Lord of the Night" "Darkness Given Name" "Supporter of All Good and Evil" "The First Magician" "The Granter"
Darkness. Gave Takemi the bell. Unclear if he was ever human — his existence is a mystery. Came to know too many secrets, and became magic itself. At his first meeting with Takemi and Toshiya he told them that Ayame was once human but fell to the other side, and has gone mad from the loneliness. He thought that they have an extremely low chance of success, and they will likely have to kill Ayame, "though that is so hard when she is already dead." Had no desires, but loves change.
Ozaki Matsukata - "The Occultist" "The Magician Hanging from the Tree of the World"
Wrote under the pen name Oosako Eiichiro. One of the founders of Seisou Academy, left many magical items behind in the school. His books contain many accounts of genuine supernatural events, and reading them can cause those events to occur. The Agency has carefully removed these books from general circulation. This did not stop Utsume from acquiring several of them through private channels. Hanged himself from a tree on school grounds. Has a horribly twisted smile, showing the pure malice in his heart.
Haga Mikihiko - "The Man in Black"
One of the men in black from urban legends. An Agent, working for The Agency. The Agency has a powerful influence upon society, and can easily make a few dozen deaths disappear. Often appears before Utsume, giving information and orders concerning supernatural events. Refers to Utsume as 'an experiment.'

Media

Light novels

There are thirteen light novels in the Missing series.

# Title ISBN Japan/America Release date J/A
1 Spirited Away (神隠しの物語 Kamikakushi no Monogatari?, "A Tale of Kami-kakushi") ISBN 4840218668/ISBN 978-1427800329 Jul 2001/Nov 2007
Utsume introduces his friends to his new girlfriend, Ayame, and promptly vanishes off the face of the earth. His friends contact a magician and members of an Agency that battles the other world in an attempt to get him back.
2 Letter of Misfortune (呪いの物語 Noroi no Monogatari?, "A Tale of a Curse") ISBN 484021946X/ISBN 978-1427800336 Oct 2001/Mar 2008
Aki receives a cursed fax, and is haunted by invisible dogs.
3 Kubi Kukuri no Monogatari (首くくりの物語?, "A Tale of Hanging") ISBN 4840220107/TBA Jan 2002/TBA
4 Kubi Kukuri no Monogatari: Kanketsu-hen (くくりの物語・完結編?, "A Tale of Hanging: Conclusion") ISBN 4840220611/TBA Mar 2002/TBA
The Agency asks them to help a student suffering from terrible nightmares. The student turns out to be the granddaughter of a famous occultist, Eiichiro Oosako.
5 Mekakushi no Monogatari (目隠しの物語?, "A Tale of Blindfolds") ISBN 484022112X/TBA Jun 2002/TBA
After Takemi and Ryoko participate in a ouija board session, they begin to see a ghostly child wearing a blindfold.
6 Awase Kagami no Monogatari (合わせ鏡の物語?, "A Tale of Opposed Mirrors") ISBN 484022188X/TBA Oct 2002/TBA
7 Awase Kagami no Monogatari: Kanketsu-hen (合わせ鏡の物語・完結編?, "A Tale of Opposed Mirrors: Conclusion") ISBN 4840222630/TBA Jan 2003/TBA
A student artist has painted each of the seven mysteries hidden in the school, all of them real. He has shards of a broken mirror embedded in his eye...
8 Ikenie no Monogatari (生贄の物語?, "A Tale of Sacrifice") ISBN 4840223769/TBA May 2003/TBA
The headmaster holds secrets from the past, while the ghost of a girl buried in the school walls begins taking girls who shower alone...
9 Zashiki-warashi no Monogatari (座敷童の物語?, "A Tale of Zashiki-warashi") ISBN 4840224854/TBA Oct 2003/TBA
10 Zoku: Zashiki-warashi no Monogatari (続・座敷童の物語?, "A Tale of Zashiki-warashi: Continued") ISBN 4840225710/TBA Jan 2004/TBA
11 Zashiki-warashi no Monogatari: Kanketsu-hen (座敷童の物語・完結編?, "A Tale of Zashiki-warashi: Conclusion") ISBN 4840227039/TBA Jul 2004/TBA
The Witch returns to the school, while a fortune teller has been filling the dorms with Zashiki-warashi.
12 Kami-oroshi no Monogatari (神降ろしの物語?, "A Tale of Kami-oroshi") ISBN 4840229961/TBA Mar 2005/TBA
13 Kami-oroshi no Monogatari: Kanketsu-hen (神降ろしの物語・完結編?, "A Tale of Kami-oroshi") ISBN 4840230382/TBA Jun 2005/TBA
Side Yama (夜魔?, "Night Devil") ISBN 4840232490/TBA Nov 2005/TBA

Manga

Three volumes long, adapting the first Missing novel, with art by Rei Mutsuki. Tokyopop is publishing the series in English since August 2007.

Reception

Anime News Network gave the first Missing novel a positive review, citing, "Moody atmosphere, engaging characters and folklore-based storyline create a supernatural mystery that's worth solving." However, the reviewer found fault with the exposition heavy mid-section.[2] Anime on DVD praised the "surprising amount of depth" and the "intriguing" plot, but had some concerns about the characters.[3]

References

  1. "New York ComicCon 2007: Tokyopop panel". Anime News Network. February 24, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  2. "Missing: Novel 1 - Spirited Away". Anime News Network. February 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  3. "Missing Vol 01 Review". Anime on DVD. May 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
ko:Missing

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