A suicide by a middle school boy has earned a particular apartment a reputation as a good place to kill yourself. Things get so bad that all the other tenants move away, and the owner just wants to tear the place down. The presence of the boy's ghost and the continuing suicides that accompany it are making things difficult, so the owners contact the Livelihood Preservation Group to take care of the problem.
Misaki and Souichirou investigate the matter, and determine that the boy's suicide may have been instigated by another boy. Securing the other boy's participation in the exorcism is difficult, but accomplished. The real surprise is the true reasons behind the suicide and why the ghost has stayed behind. Learning that the other boy wasn't the reason for the suicide, Misaki convinces the ghost to move on.
And yet, it turns out that the continuing suicides were not associated with the first suicide after all. An internet bulletin board is directing suicidal people to this apartment, dubbing it the "Hanging Mansion." The question of why is for later chapters.
Ai Kunugi is sure that the death of her sister and her niece was no accident, and she's right. Something strange is going on in her sister's apartment so the Livelihood Preservation Group is call to take care of the problem, but the police have determined that the baby's death was abuse and the sister's death a suicide. No one believes her, so Ai returns to her sister's apartment and finds Po, the toy bear.
Someone else is looking for the toy though, and the man who killed her niece surprises Ai in the apartment. He's only looking for the bear, but is the kind of person who won't pass up an opportunity for a little rape. Luckily, Misaki-san isn't the kind of person to let a little rape continue when she happens upon the scene. Disturbed in the act the rapist runs away, even defeating Souichirou in the hallway. He leaves the bear though, and that's the evidence that proves his guilt.
Mitsuru is the one to save the day. Misaki's stalker manages to follow the rapist and relay his location to Misaki and Souichirou. They trace him to a Yakuza facility, and manage to force him to admit his culpability. This admission and his death by lightning bolt allow the ghosts to depart, giving Ai some closure and linking her to Misaki.
Mistress Misaki of the Roppongi S&M club doesn't usually do scatology, but sometimes she gets talked into it. When she returns form cleaning herself up from her current client she's startled to discover that he's killed himself. This is a complicating scene for an experienced S&M Queen, and the police don't seem to believe that she wasn't involved.
Forced to detail the events that led to his death Misaki reveals that the dead man had performed oral sex on her, something that she normally doesn't engage in. Privately, she reveals that this is the first time she has climaxed while performing her job. Still, the police seem to suspect that the death occurred during their "play", and press her for more details.
Unexpectedly her former client's ghost appears, unseen to the police. Through Misaki he tells everyone where he left his suicide note, and it is quickly found. The police are apologetic and inform her that they were pretty sure from the circumstances that it really was a suicide, but that they were obliged to to look at all possibilities. Misaki accepts this and is thankful to her client for saving her, and also for the joy he unexpectedly gave to her.
Souichirou is in trouble, and his fear is only going to make it worse. After investigating a girl's suicide out in the forest where a serial killer dumped his victims, Souichirou is being driven mad by their ghosts. Misaki knows it's a very bad place, but why? And why did her father the Director of the Livelihood Preservation Group send her there?
Part of what's going on is that a bank wants to build a golf course on the site, but it's going to take a trip to a transsexual hermaphrodite club to get to the truth. The bank is the real client, but the danger is real too! The ghosts and the suicides are congregating here in the forest because it's the gate to the world of the dead, or so they've been told. Who told them, and why?
Misaki-san has her work cut out for her. She needs to convince the ghosts that their killer has met justice, save Souichirou and the bank representatives, and stop the ghost of a suicide from sending more suicides out into the forest. All without being sucked into the world of the dead herself! Not bad for a days work in the life of a Necromancer.
Misaki doesn't really want to get involved with Ai again, but when they have a chance meeting on a train it's hard to avoid the little girl. She doesn't know it yet but Ai has begun to see the dead too, and in her sweet way wants to be like her mentor. But Mitsuru has taken an interest in Ai Kunugi, mostly due to her connection to Misaki-san. It's a good thing too.
While Misaki goes about her daily sex-related work life, Ai passes a ghost every day on a bridge. The ghost looks lonely and sad, so one day the kindly Ai offers to help. Luckily Mitsuru is watching, because this particular ghost isn't as benevolent as it seems. This ghost holds a dark secret, and a black desire.
Trouble has found Ai, and now it's found Mitsuru as well. It's time for Misaki-san to save them from a ghost who needs someone to join with him in death, just as he died with another. Once again a stuffed bear is the real hero, saving both Ai and Misaki by absorbing the ghost before being destroyed. It's the end of Po-Po the bear, but not the end of Po in the story.
Naori is not your typical lesbian. She often falls for straight girls, and in reality wishes she were a man. She's been trying to use drugs to seduce the young girl Arisa, when Shizue intervenes. Shizue is a model and part of the editorial staff for a S&M magazine where Misaki writes a column. Ostensibly a lesbian, it's not unusual for Shizue to hang out at gay bars in her off time. Tonight she's brought home the confused young girl who was nearly caught in the clutches of the notoriously predatory Naori.
Arisa and Naori are both women confused and in pain, and when Shizue leaves for work the two meet again. This time they commit suicide together, leaping to their combined death from Shizue's apartment. Naturally enough Shizue feels responsible for not being able to save Arisa, and imposes on Misaki as her friend to find out why they committed suicide.
The truth is far from Shizue's assumptions, and during the investigation it is Arisa's ghost that tries to get Shizue to kill herself. All along it was the girl who wanted a companion to share her suicide. It takes the combined strength of Misaki, Souichirou, and even the ghost of Naori to save Shizue. In the end Naori really liked and even respected Shizue, who was mistaken about the whole situation.
Addendum: So It's Low
This chapter ends with Souichirou's Cow Nightmare. Souichirou is eating at a Beef Bowl Restaurant when cows begin to come in and sit down next to him, also ordering Beef Bowl. Misaki is the waiter behind the counter, and she remarks that Souichirou should have a Human Bowl to complete the Metaphor. She even offers to add a finger to Souichirou's dish. Oh the irony.
Nothing good can come from waking up hung over on a park bench. Misaki-san has been out drinking a few too many times lately, and waking up in the park just brought up the contents of her stomach and a few sad memories. Her first love and their first attempt at sex was such a failure. Misaki's lack of pubic hair just reminded her boyfriend of his little sister, rendering him incapable of continuing. Thus the relationship ended before it really began.
Being sick in the park isn't the most private of activities, and it draws attention from all around. Although many people are staring, a kindly old man offers to take her to his nearby home to collect herself over some iced tea. Reluctantly but thankfully Misaki agrees, and follows the old man home to meet his elderly wife. They are waiting for their son to come by with their granddaughter, so they find an extra guest welcome during the wait.
In Misaki's world nothing is simple, and when the child arrives everything becomes clear. The Granddaughter is a ghost who had died ten years earlier and the grandparents were ghosts as well, having recently died. In the end it was the ghost of the girl who wished for Misaki to exorcise her Grandparents. Already in a nostalgic mood, Misaki is touched by the situation and thinks back to her childhood living with her own Grandmother.
A retelling of an ancient urban ghost story, the Taxi that picks up a girl on a dark and stormy night only to find that there was no girl but the seat was still wet. However, this time there's an element of truth to the story and Misaki's father is the one to find the evidence.
What happened that night only becomes less clear when Misaki investigates and finds the driver has committed suicide the following day. There doesn't seem to be any answers, although it's clear there was some supernatural phenomenon. When the body of a murdered girl is found where the Taxi driver said he took the ghost, something of the truth surfaces and Misaki's father suspects the driver of some involvement.
Misaki-san suspects another driver at the taxi company, and she has a plan to expose him. The plan involves letting him try to rape her, and counting on the spirit of the dead driver to save her. During the course of his attempted rape the other driver confesses to the murder but is unable to continue when the ghost appears. Luckily Misaki jumps out of the Taxi just before the ghost, or possibly the other drivers guilt, causes it to crash off the road and explode. Later, Misaki muses that right or wrong this was the first time she had killed someone.
Mitsuru himself has been scheduled to succeed his father in a temple, and when Ai finally finds him there the trouble begins. Two girls, one of them Mitsuru's sister-in-law, have committed suicide on the temple grounds. Their suicide was instigated by the Rock N Roll suicide BBS, and finally we have a name to go with the situation: YUO. Both Ai and Mitsuru received text messages from YUO right when the suicides occurred. Knowing that Ai is a necromancer, Detective Gada is recruiting Ai to help him find out the truth behind YUO.
The truth is even more perplexing, as Detective Gada uses drugs to help Ai speak to the dead girls. Mitsuru's sister-in-law apparently has been sexually abused by his father, and blames Mitsuru himself. There may be some justification in this as some of Mitsuru's past fantasy life is revealed, and perhaps some clues to his actual past. It's unfortunate that Misaki isn't available to help Ai, and Souichirou is helpless as well. Only more questions surface throughout this chapter.
A young woman has thrown herself off a bridge one year earlier, and her ghost still waits on the bridge. Funakoshi determines that she's lonely, and some creative detective work leads Souichirou to two men. Both of these men have worked with and dated the deceased girl, but neither one will take steps to calm her spirits. Of the two, only one loved her deeply and was broken hearted in her death.
It is not Souichirou's negotiating skills, nor is it Funakoshi's necromancy that resolves the case. Without a viable resolution to his pain, the dead girls true lover throws himself off the same bridge. It is a solution to the problem, but not one that Souichirou is happy with. The dead girl's ghost and her dead lover cross over, but the Lifestyle Preservation Group needs Misaki back and Souichirou is dispatched to find her at once!
Misaki herself has checked into an onsen (hot spring) to somehow try to forget her responsibility in the death of a cab driver. Unexpectedly, and apparently by accident, she meets a former necromancer late at night in the baths. Their lives are not that similar, and Misaki begins to wonder if her life can calm down to where she can have a normal existence like this woman. She wants to quit, but it's apparent that the ghosts and the evil won't leave her alone. Somehow, she needs to come to terms with that.
There's so much to come to terms with. The three people that are searching for her, each for their own reasons. YUO, the unexplained youth directing the current string of suicides. Even her own responsibility in the lives and deaths of the people she comes in contact with. There's even more yet to come, and Misaki-san is oblivious to its implications.
Detective Gada has brought with him an unstable necromancer. Haru is also his lover, but there are far more difficulties between them and the rest of the world. In tracing down the uneasy dead in the area Haru becomes a catalyst, (or possibly uses Misaki as a catalyst) drawing Misaki into her attempt at necromancy. Only Souichirou's efforts manage to draw Misaki-san back to the world of the living, but Gada and Haru slip away to the lake.
Haru isn't capable of handling the masses of the dead that are centered in the lake, and Misaki with her friends are needed to help. She has become lost in the world of the dead, and to the world of the living she appears dead. Placing her trust fully on Ai, Misaki-san enters the world of the dead to retrieve Haru. In the process she learns of Haru's hermaphroditic secret and her sad past, as well as making a direct confrontation with YUO. Nothing is resolved but in the end it is Ai, with the help of Po the bear, who brings Misaki back. Haru is saved, but the consequences of the situation are not clear.
The Police believe it to be a suicide, and without being asked Misaki looks into it as best she can from the train. The ghost of the woman who died is there, but doesn't really seem like a suicide. The ghost tells Misaki to look for Hige to find the answer. Hige, it turns out, is the old woman's cat, and it's up to Misaki and Shizue to find the animal.
Finally it becomes clear that the cat was the old woman's only companion and had escaped her. She had only been trying to recapture the cat when she fell in front of the train. It was not a suicide. Of course, by this time Misaki and Shizue have missed their plane, so they end up going fishing.
At the same time Mitsuru is being taunted by YUO and his dead mistress, or possibly his dead sister in law. He is unsure if YUO is real or imaginary, or if anything that is happening to his is true. He has been spending all his time trying to track the illusive adversary through the remnants that are scattered around the internet. Only his infatuation with Misaki saves him when pushed to the brink by his delusions.
In order to save Mitsuru Misaki-san is doing her best to exorcise the evil from the apartment, with help from Mitsuru's father and the spirit of the dead necromancer Futaba sensei. Mitsuru's father is little help and is nearly caught and killed by the evil that permeates the place, but Futaba sensei was a necromancer and he knows what needs to be done. Misaki confronts and is nearly destroyed by the true evil, but the reasons behind the spirit's despair is only a teaser in this, part one of two.
Even Kinue is under the control of the bereaved ghost, and is no protection to his mistress. Only her understanding of the situation can be a lightning rod for the sadness and clean the room. However, Souichirou is in danger from a more real threat. YUO and his followers have found him and are doing everything to stop him from supporting Misaki-san's efforts. He is beaten unconscious, and hallucinating visions of Misaki, but in the end is saved by a man and his dog living in the park.
It is the man in the park that draws all the strings together. The first deaths were a mother and daughter suicide caused by her husband leaving them. The next death was the horrible accident of the two children dying in the bathtub. Finally, there were the (several?) deaths including Mitsuru's mistress, the Necromancer sent to investigate, the maintenance worker who's son had fallen to his death, and possibly others. There's something behind it all, but the only thing that is sure is that YUO is involved. His motives are still unclear.
Kinako, a freelance writer for the magazine, suggests playing by "The True Tile Taker" rules. This turns out to be a form of strip-mahjong where the tile-taker has to remove two pieces of clothing. Shizue as a model and editor for the magazine is quick to agree, but Fumiaki is a fat man as well as an editor and agrees only because of his fantasies concerning his coworkers. Lisa agrees because she correctly believes she's a better player than the others.
Lisa's past is important here as we learn of the murder of her boyfriend, and very good mahjong player, by her former boyfriend. The game continues until a critical point for Lisa, where her boyfriend's ghost appears to help her. This shows us that Lisa may be a necromancer herself, perhaps with some foreshadowing. However the advice from the ghost is ultimately useless, as a cat jumps up on the table interrupting the tension and causing general laughter.
Now Gada needs Misaki's help. He searches her out, but due to their history she's disinclined to help him. Here Gada shows an unexpected amount of humility and accepts responsibility for Haru's death. Misaki-san agrees to help him but only under her own conditions.
Misaki-san is disturbed for another reason. Mitsuru is missing and she's been unable to find any trace of him. This is a mixed blessing at best, because Misaki has developed some appreciation of the former stalker. He's helped out on several occasions, although he's also a link to You that Misaki is loath to lose.
Misaki has been asked to find out where and when exactly the "Flame of Lament" is supposed to take place. Yuo has been unsucessfully questioned before, and in fact caused his state-appointed lawyer to kill himself, ostensibly by intimidation from the many ghosts that are with him. While Misaki interrogates Yuo, Souichirou investigates Iogi Yuo's past.
The investigation turns up lots of information about Yuo. His father, Iogi Minoru, was born into a wealthy family, and apparently never had to work a day in his life. He aspired to being an author, and wrote a book called "The Vestiges of the Beast", about suicide. Yuo's mother liked classical music, and did not pay much attention to him as a child. When he was young (about 5 years old?) his father planned a double suicide with his mother, and their house burned down. At the time, the police attributed the fire to an accident. At five years old though, Yuo knew differently, and kept quiet to hide the shame of the suicide.
After many years, even though the police report at the time of the fire called Iogi Minoru's book a worthless piece of literature, it had since been included in an influential magazine's list of important books on suicide, and had become a cult classic with suicide cults. Yuo himself has been active in the suicide area ever since the suicide as well.
While "interrogating" Yuo, which to all appearances meant just staring at him silently, Misaki runs into Haru in the spirit world, and is told that Yuo actually died when he was 5 years old in the fire... Misaki and Souichirou determine to go to the place of Yuo's original death and perform an exorcism there. They have to rush though, because they are running out of time before the "Flame of Lament"!
On the way to the country villa where Yuo died, they think that they are being followed by someone with the same type of motorcycle as Yuo...
While all of that is happening, Kunugi Ai has been taken by Fujiwara Mitsuru to a gathering place of people that will take place in the "Flame of Lament". The ringleader there, Imibiyame, a young woman with apparently some very painful disease, is worried about the plans since Yuo has been captured and will not be able to perform Necromancy in order to show them all to the other side. Fujiwara MItsuru says that Kunugi Ai is also a Necromancer, and will be able to help them. Imibiyame does not trust Kunugi Ai though, and brings her to an old condemned apartment building filled with ghosts. While Kunugi Ai performs Necromancy and allows the ghosts to speak, Imibiyame is convinced, and handcuffs Kunugi Ai in a room to wait for the Flame of Lament.
While Kunugi Ai is waiting for the others to return, who have left to gather more participants for the "Flame of Lament", two men come into the room, and are about to rape her. Fujiwara Mitsuru comes in at the last minute to prevent the rape. As Kunugi Ai and he talk, he explains his reasons for wanting to commit suicide, mainly his guilt over his half-sister. Kunugi Ai herself also professes a desire to kill herself because she is "impure".
During the interview with Yokozeki, a man who demanded to see someone from the Lifestyle Preservation Group, she finds out that he was bit by a dog, and over the past four days the light wound has become worse and worse, and he is troubled in his dreams by a vicious Dog that attacks him. He's starting to go crazy with fear.
Despite saying that he was bitten by the dog when he tried to pet it at a supermarket, Yokozeki has a flashback when they drive to the supermarket that shows the truth: he has been taking part in a scheme to sell unneeded household repairs to an old lady (a real problem in Japan.) The first time he went there, he was bitten by the dog. In order to continue the charade and dupe the old lady, he and his boss kidnap and kill the dog Meri, leading to his problems with the ghost dog. Funakoshi is called in to perform an exorcism, and says that the dog has only been protecting its master.
In the end, Yokozeki goes mad, kills his boss and possibly himself, and Mukousaka takes the dog Meri to a cemetary where she can rest in peace. The old lady, Kuraki, sees the ghost of Meri one last time, and bids her to wish "Grandpa" well on his journey to the afterlife.