If you missed them check out my reviews of the previous arcs:
Review: Forbidden Pastime
And for a third time this series returns to a school setting, but this time it returns for my favourite story of the series. Strange occurences are happening on a daily basis all over the school and the students are panicked. Several aren’t coming to school anymore at all. However, the strict staff at the school think it’s all in their heads or that they are playing some silly game and won’t deal with any of the issues. When the SPR and friends arrive on the scene it is already chaos and within minutes of setting up a base a phantom dog attacks a girl in a classroom.
There are several reason why this is my favourite story but the first would have to be the introduction of a new character, Yasu. He’s a student who contacted SPR to try to get the situation resolved and he hangs around helping out with odd jobs and providing valuable insight to the location. He also stays on in a support role in the remaining narrative arcs.
The second reason I like this story is there definitely seems to be more menace in this story. We’ve encountered ghosts and curses and all sorts of other things previously, but there’s been very little sense of ongoing danger. The Forbidden Pastime turns that on its head and at time you genuinely wonder how things are going to be alright at the end.
- Mai learns some magic. Not well and she doesn’t use it particularly well here but it is about time she learned something about how to defend herself from spirits given her current occupation.
- Yasu is a fantastic addition to the cast and adds some genuine levity into scenes that are very heavily weighed down by the dark atmosphere of this story.
- Lin finally gets to show off some of his expertise.
- Kazuya continues to not tell people things for the sake of being Kazuya. Seriously, would a ten second explanation kill him?
- A lack of any teaching staff at the school that express anything other than contempt for the ghost hunters. If phantom dogs, weird smells, fires and other strange events are occurring that often, how can all of the staff assume the students are lying?
There are some tense moments in this story. It isn’t exactly horrific but it will make you sit up and take notice. Well worth a watch.