So lately I’ve been ordering a lot of manga. I’m in the mood to discover my next big manga love story. I’ve also not been reading as much webcomics. At least not family-friendly ones. As such, I figured I would switch my webtoon recommendations for manga first impressions until I build up a nice stock of webtoons to recommend once again. And I might be onto something here with Phantom Tales of the Night. For me, maybe not for you.

Why I Picked up Phantom Tales of the Night

Look, if you have been following my first impressions, you probably saw a pattern. I like Yokai! and Ghosties and mysterious hotel managers. What, you didn’t pick up on the hotel managers part? Weird.

Official Summary

“Your secret now belongs to me.”

Welcome to Murakumo Inn, a curious establishment that opens its doors to the troubled masses, human or otherwise. But to pay for the stay, the equally curious innkeeper takes payment only in the form of one’s deepest secrets…Who will come calling today?

My First Impression

Oh, this is xxxHolic.

What I liked

I’m not being coy, Phantom Tales of the Night is incredibly reminiscent of xxxHolic. Something that was made way more obvious to me due to the fact that I am currently reading xxxHolic. Spoilers for a future potential post, I love xxxHolic. So the similarities only made me appreciate Phantom Tales of the Night more.

However, Phantom Tales of the Night is a lot more mature and mean spirited. By mature, I don’t mean sexual but the themes are more mature. Let me see if I can illustrate my point, the second chapter begins with: The day of my older sister’s funeral was the happiest day of my life. All the things that should have been mine finally came back to me.

What I’m saying is that Phantom Tales of the Night is so far a lot like xxxHolic, and even a little like Natsume’s Book of Friends if those were horror stories full of nasty people. And I like that

Any drawbacks?

It’s pretty weird and this one is going to be an acquired taste. There is a bit of gore but mostly monster imagery which is lovingly drawn in a lot of detail. It can be a bit freaky. Also, although there is pretty much zero fanservice, the main character does have a tendency to just go around naked for some reason. So if artfully covered up nude male bodies make you uncomfortable, there’s that. Maybe I should have put this point in the things I like.

The first volume is mostly monster of the week, or should I say secret of the week. In many respects, the main character is the monster, and as such your mileage will vary.

The characterization is a little bit high school goth, I can see it getting on people’s nerves.

But I loved it. I mean really loved it. Phantom Tales of the Night is tailor-made for me and I will be ordering all the volumes I can get my hands on.

Am I the only one who likes this series? Let me know. Maybe we can talk about it together!

8 thoughts

  1. Yeah I can definitely see the XXXHolic vibes here. As long as the mature themes don’t go sideways this sounds like it has a lot of potential to be sure. Funnily enough Clamp just announced they’re finally going to be ending the Holic hiatus soon

    1. I can’t deny that a lot of this is very subjective but I got mesmerized by the first volume. I went right ahead an bought the next volumes (everything available) right away…

  2. You like mysterious hotel managers? I have suggestions.

    I assume you’ve seen the original Psycho? Here’s a couple more you might enjoy.

    The Night Manager, TV mini series. It stars House and Loki as an arms merchant and a vengeful undercover agent.

    And for something REALLY weird…

    The Night Porter (1974) with Dirk Bogarde and – Charlotte Rampling. Former SS officer tries to leave it all behind him. But them he meets a former prisoner and restarts the S&M relationship he once had with her. At the same time his old comrades are stalking him and trying to pull him back into the Nazi fold.

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