Its name won't come out by clicking on 'search'.
But in the remote village of Ashikari,
a mobile phone revives a tragic legend...

A roller-coaster-thriller-action comic created by the best ever, select team of stellar creators!

XX (reading 'ex-cross') is the title of a manga series developed for mobile phones, as part of a multimedia project that starts from a much talked about novel, That mobile is XX, written by Nobuyuki Joko and published by Takarajima-sha in 2004. The novel was the top contender for the first Kono Mistery wa Sugoi! (This Mystery is Great!) award. Joko's mobile phone horror masterpiece is now being adapted into a mobile manga by a co-production between Takarajima Wondernet and Production I.G. The creative staff betrays I.G's cinematic production-style approach, with illustrator's Sho-U Tajima (Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Otogi Zoshi, MPD Psycho) in charge for character designs and Blood+ director Junichi Fujisaku as director and scriptwriter. The story, co-written by Midori Goto (Blood+, Otogi Zoshi) portrays a horror-ridden mystery born from the mobile phone-dominated society.

The 24-episode mobile manga XX is currently being serialized in Japan on weekly basis and distributed by Takarajima Wondernet through its mobile phone content service, Wondercomic. A live-action movie version of the novel, written by Tetsuya Oishi (Death Note) and directed by Kenta Fukasaku (Battle Royale II), is scheduled to hit the Japanese screens from December 2007. Nao Matsushita and Ami Suzuki star in the roles of the two heroines.

"Kagome, Kagome..." A chant echoes in the moonlit night. Madness fills the air. Then a death-cry breaks the still of the night. And the doomed lore handed down in the village crawls out from the oblivion of time once again...

Early summer. Two university students, Shiyori Mizuno and Aiko Hiuke, get off at a shabby bus stop. They're at the Ashikari Village, an isolated hot springs village off the beaten track in the mountains. A place so remote that does not even come out searching on the Internet. The ideal place, Aiko suggested, to heal her friend's broken heart.

Then, Aiko makes an appalling confession. Deeply shocked, Shiyori returns to the inn alone and discovers an unfamiliar mobile phone waiting for her. As the phone rings, she picks it up, just to hear the most spine-chilling words in her life: "Run! Or your legs will be slashed!"

Author profile: Nobuyuki Joko
Born in Osaka in 1974. B.A. in philosophy from the Department of Literature, Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. His debut novel, That Mobile Phone is XX (2004) was initially voted the runner-up among the contenders for the first Kono Mistery wa Sugoi! (This Mystery is Great!) award by readers via internet ballot. The novel was then published as a best-kept secret of the award and sold 100,000 copies.

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© 2007 twn