Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, vol. 1-2

Muhyo is an Executor, the highest ranking practitioner of paranormal law, the youngest Executor ever. Roji is his assistant, a mere second clerk, who helps run their business. Together the two can help anyone out with their supernatural problems, from a girl who is killing people on a subway platform to a haunted piece of furniture. Whatever your need, they’re there to serve justice and pass judgement.

Nishi’s tale is horror with enough humor tossed in to keep it from being too frightening. Roji’s hapless antics and Muhyo’s dislike for almost everyone lead the two into numerous silly and dangerous situations. Unlike with a lot of episodic tales, Nishi manages to vary the tales enough to keep things from seeming repetitive. Some stories connect together, especially as a pattern of troubles starts to emerge, pointing toward an old foe of Muhyo’s as the culprit.

A story that combines horror and humor requires just the right art to pull it off and Nishi handles that nicely. The characters are drawn in a cartoonish fashion, especially the short, squat Muhyo, and this style highlights the silly moments. The scary parts are equally effective though and rely on a combination of dramatic perspective and genuinely creepy ghosts and ghouls to up the spook factor.

One thing that I particularly liked is that Nishi handles issues like popularity, jealously, and bullying believably, but without preaching. That makes the fantasy world setting feel more realistic. The teen rating is earned because of the horror moments, some violence, and some shots of underwear, but nothing is over-the-top graphic. Readers looking for a light fun horror read, or those who don’t think such a thing is possible, should find themselves pleasantly surprised by this series.

Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, vol. 1-2
Yoshiyuki Nishi
Vol. 1, ISBN: 978-1-4215-1376-8
Vol. 2, ISBN: 978-1-4215-1377-5
VIZ, 2007