Countdown 7 Days Volume 1

Lonely Mitamura may be a teacher at the exclusive Sheol Soul School – an academy dedicated to the afterlife – but he has a lot to learn about human emotions and helping others. In fact, his star pupil Tsuru thinks she’ll teach him a little lesson by running off during a field trip in the living world. Now, Mitamura has only seven days to track Tsuru down with the help of a brand-new (deceased) sidekick. Will the clock run out before they find her?

By: Kemuri Karakara
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Age Rating: 16+
Genre: Supernatural Action/Comedy
Price: $12.95
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Countdown 7 Days tells an interesting story of a man, Mitamura and his journey from being someone with little interest in the feelings of others to the start of a rediscovery that life is worth something. It’s too bad it didn’t stop there.

The focus of this story is all on Mitamura. He has a cold and uncaring personality, though he isn’t completely aware of it. He says and does things that hurt other people’s feelings, and doesn’t particularly care how it affects other people. He isn’t malicious, he just does whatever he feels is required in a situation. When he first meets Hanasuki, he doesn’t hesitate for a second to lie to him about being to bring him back to life. All he knows is he needs help finding Tsuru, and he will use anything or anyone to do that.

Tsuru is very much the opposite of Mitamura. She seems to be the only soul that cares about him. She is always getting angry at him for his cold and oblivious ways. She isn’t seem much throughout the volume, since she is who Mitamura is searching for, but she is just as much the focus of the volume as he is. She has a connection to Mitamura that not even he remembered, and it’s this revelation that makes the first two chapters worth it. Hanasuke and Mitsuhide, another teacher from the Soul School, don’t seem to have much relevance to the story other than to show Mitamura’s cold and reckless personality.

I really enjoyed the first two chapters. It was good to see Mitamura start to change as he rediscovers a part of himself with Tsuru and Hanasuke helping him. While Mitamura seemed like a jerk at the beginning, once his past is revealed, he doesn’t seem like one quite so much. I liked his journey.

The third chapter starts to follow Hanasuke, as he joins Tsuru and Mitamura at the Sheol Soul School. The universe is expanded a bit, with the course training explained. While he is trying to adjust life dead, he is suddenly chosen to return to real world to find out why guardian spirits are disappearing. This chapter felt like it was stuck on. The first two chapters make a nice one-shot. Hanasuke’s storyline feels like an afterthought. Like, it was decided to serialize the title, and a new plot had to be created. I didn’t really care for this new story.

The volume ends with a bonus one-shot story. Soothead is set in a kingdom in a fantasy-like setting. Soothead is a person who is like a bogey man. He is blamed for all the bad that happens in the kingdom. His real purpose though, is to protect the kingdom by “sweeping out the trash”, such as getting rid of corrupt politicians. I liked this one-shot. Soothead is an interesting character. He is still very much a boy, and likes to “play” with the bounty hunters who try to catch him, but he can become serious when needed. He really loves his kingdom and the king, and shows it in his working for the good by taking on the bad.

Overall, Countdown 7 Days was an entertaining, single volume, but I don’t know how well it would work as a continuing series. The Hanasuke story line just didn’t appeal, partly because Hanasuke isn’t an interesting character. If this title does continue, I may check out the next volume, just to see where the story would go, but as it stands, it’s a better one-shot.

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