Nightmare Inspector by Yumekui Kenbun
At the end of the Taisho era in Japan, a small tea house draws patrons to Hiruko. He is a Baku-he or “Eater of Dreams.” It is said Hiruko can enter a nightmare and release the victim from suffering. He can put people to sleep with the wave of his cane and accompany them into the nightmare.
The stories in this manga are very odd and don’t seem to make much sense. In one case, a boy walks into the tea house and asks for help. It turns out he is a weather vane. I’m confused about how a weather vane could walk into a tea shop and how do weather vanes have nightmares?
Another tale features a girl who always writes the same thing in her dream. She asks him to change it, but when they get to the part where he can, she ends up writing the same thing. There is a secondary character in the tea house who sometimes asks Hiruko what happened and his explanations don’t make much sense either.
There are also repetitive chapter beginnings which are common in mangas that were serialized in magazines. I always think it is better for the editor to cut these out when composing the manga book.
I absolutely love the art in this manga. It’s a very interesting sort of steampunk/cosplay mix with long art deco lines. The styling of the Baku-he is awesome.
In the back, there is a short letter from the author. The best thing is a full-page illustration/explanation of Hiruko’s cane by the friend of the author. It’s hilarious and informative. It makes me wonder what sort of manga would come from the author and best friend collaborating.
Overall, I’d say, check it out for the art, but don’t hold out much hope for the story.