Reading Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda’s book Yurei Attack! The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide gave me a lot of ideas as a writer, but one that spurred my imagination was a story I didn’t want to write, just read.
Yuten Shonin was the subject of one of the chapters in the Close Encounters section of the book. Yuten was an exorcist who traveled Japan, offering his services to anyone, regardless of their gender, social status or background. He took on the cases that “other experts found impossible to explain or address – in essence, an Edo era ‘X-Files’.”
I read that line, and just started having images of an Edo era Yuten traveling the country with a skeptical partner assigned to him by the Shogunate who was tasked with reporting back about Yuten’s encounters. The skeptic would have the early Scully role of coming up with rational explanations to the phenomena and never being there to actually see the supernatural phenomena, just the end result.
A title like this would combine so many things I love; historical Edo period setting, the supernatural and the X-files. The phenomena could include not just exorcising yurei, but also dealing with yokai. And just keep things interesting, a few of the stories should be explained logically, just to punctuate the supernatural stories more.
I know there are tons of supernatural manga both set in the Edo period, and dealing with exorcists, but have there even been anything that follow this formula? Because I would read the hell out of it if it did! And if it doesn’t, someone needs to get on this stat!