Review: Hanzai Japan: Fantastical, Futuristic Stories of Crime From and About Japan

Hanzai Japan: Fantastical, Futuristic Stories of Crime From and About JapanHanzai Japan: Fantastical, Futuristic Stories of Crime From and About Japan by Nick Mamatas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got this as part of a bundle at and I have to say that it was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Frankly, some of the stories are scary in that the crime depicted is horrific and yet it’s told in such an engaging way. Also, this is a book in which reading the introduction is a good idea.

As per usual with an anthology, my per-story status updates:

“(dis) – A woman photographer who loves to take photos of abandoned places finds a dead body at one of them. The story goes back and forth in time while you learn about her obsession.”

“Sky Spider: A musician finds himself on a ghost plane with an important decision to make. Very beautifully written, even if it takes a bit too understand what’s happening.”

“Rough night in little toke: a tattoo in little Tokyo allows the guy to get people’s thoughts. Leads to a murder revelation.”

“Outside the circle: American journalist wants a big break story, but it lands him in huge trouble in Japan.”

“Monologue … – a very strange urban fantasy start which turns very dark. My favorite so far.”

“Best Interest: Yakuza and Godzilla – what more could you ask for?”

“Vampiric: Solving a mystery involving vampires in future Japan”

“Jigoku : A murderer looks back on the causes of his murders”

“The girl who loved shonen knife: Apocalyptic background to a girl in high school who just wants her band to win the audition. Second favorite story.”

“Run! : A crazy guy explaining why he HAS to kill – with a great twist at the end”

“Hanami: Kitsune legends and modern business plus a bit of noir detective work. Very fun read.”

“The Electric Palace: Reminds me a bit of Shoshana in Inglorious Bastards – theater owner, Yakuza, and world war 2”

“The long-rumored food crisis: terrifying tale of how evil people life become in a food shortage”

“Three cups of tea: Not sure I understand the ending, but the journey was neat”

“Out of balance: a man walks from his life to become a killer for hire. Great ending”

“The Saitama Chainsaw massacre: Although my knowledge of tropes meant I could predict the ending, it was still a heck of a ride to get there.”

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