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Came the Mirror and Other Tales by Rumiko Takahashi

A Full Review

Came the Mirror & Other Tales manga on a dark blue background

Came the Mirror & Other Tales (Kagami ga Kita) by Rumiko Takahashi was my most anticipated new read of 2022. VIZ published the short story collection in February 2022, and it's been years since we got another short story collection. VIZ previously published Rumic World Trilogy (3 books), Rumic Theater: One or Double, and Rumic Theater. All 5 books are severely out-of-print, but I hope VIZ will re-license and republish them one day as I mentioned in my most wanted licenses post here.

Came the Mirror manga frame

Came the Mirror & Other Tales is a one-volume short story published under the VIZ Signature line. So, it has some color pages, and it's taller and slightly bigger than a regular VIZ release a la Shojo Beat, Shonen Jump, or Shonen Sunday manga. The price is $17.99 retail, and I'm satisfied with the price and quality. Jumping into the book and stories—there are 6 short stories in all, and they are the book's namesake "Came the Mirror" followed by "Revenge Doll," "The Star Has a Thousand Faces," "Lovely Flower," "With Cat," and "My Sweet Sunday." The collection of stories was written between 1999-2014 and was published in Shogakukan's shonen and seinen magazines. You definitely feel the age in the story "Lovely Flower."

"Lovely Flower" manga frame

"Lovely Flower" is a horror mystery with a comedic tone that follows a woman who's being stalked by a man with a flower that smells lovely to everyone except her. The story references actors who were hot stuff back in 2003-2004 but aren't quite as hot today. The best short story is saved for last, and it's "My Sweet Sunday." "My Sweet Sunday" is the Takahashi x Mitsuru Adachi crossover autobiography that covers how they became mangaka and got started with Shonen Sunday and more importantly, how they became friends. The story was also written to celebrate 50 years of Shonen Sunday magazine in 2009. The story is written as a dual pov where Takahashi and Mitsuru each write and draw about a time in their life. The story covers from the time they were children to the present day 2009, complete with their signature art style and humor. On the other hand, The weakest story is the first story and book's namesake "Came the Mirror."

"The Star Has a Thousand Faces" manga frame

"Came the Mirror" is a horror mystery story about students preventing their own murder while purifying monsters. They purify monsters via a mirror embedded in their hand. There's some blood, gore, and scary imagery, and it's the least comedic story of the bunch. I just wasn't feeling that particular story. Finally, Ranma 1/2 fans, of which I am one, will probably enjoy "With Cat," a supernatural romcom about a martial artist with a fear of cats getting cursed by his childhood friend's pet cat.

"With Cat" manga frame

In summary, Came the Mirror & Other Tales is a solid short story collection. I highly recommend you pick this up, especially if you're a Rumiko Takahashi fan. (I am biased, lol.) If you're not a Rumiko Takahashi fan, the stories are still enjoyable. They are all standalone so you don't need any prior knowledge of the wonderful world of Rumiko Takakhashi (aka "Rumic World") to enjoy them, especially the autobiography. I haven't read Mitsuru Adachi's manga (not really big into sports manga), but I did enjoy seeing his perspective and work in the autobiography. Anyway, go read Came the Mirror and Other Tales!

Came the Mirror & Other Tales back cover shows the premise, rating, branding, and price tag. Book is on a dark blue background

Check out Came the Mirror & Other Tales via VIZ's website here.

What to read after Came the Mirror & Other Tales:

  • Rumiko Takahashi's other works—Urusei Yatsura, Inuyasha, Rin-ne, Ranma 1/2, MAO, Mermaid Saga, etc.

  • Ryoichi Ikegami's works (Mai the Psychic Girl, Strain, and Sanctuary are severely out of print, but Crying Freeman is still accessible.)

  • Crossgame by Mitsuru Adachi

  • Short Game by Mitsuru Adachi, a short story anthology (Maybe I'll try this one!)

  • Mujirushi by Naoki Urasawa

  • Orochi by Kazuo Umezz

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