Lovesick Dead (死びとの恋わずらい Shibito no koiwazurai ) is the fifteenth volume of the Horror World of Junji Ito series. It was originally printed in Japan in 1997 and published in English in 2021 by Viz Media as a part of the Lovesickness story collection. Before it's official English release, it was completely scanlated by fans, with the title Undying Love.
All four chapters were originally published in Namuki from May to November 1996.
Lovesick Dead was adapted into a film of the same name in 2000.
The main protagonist. Ryuusuke is a 16-year-old boy who has moved back to Nanchou-shi after ten years due to his father's job. When he was 6 years old, he upset a woman who was playing intersection fortune telling, which caused her to commit suicide. Ryuusuke feels horribly guilty about the incident and becomes uneasy when faced with the topic of the game. He has a crush on his friend Midori, but is afraid to tell her that he feels he was responsible for the death of her aunt. After Reishi Tanaka commits suicide, Ryuusuke becomes determined to hunt down the Intersection Bishounen and help people playing the game. Eventually, he gains the nickname "Dead Man" due to his increasingly sickly appearance and for being "responsible for" Reishi's suicide. His friend Teshima also spreads the rumor that Ryuusuke is the Intersection Bishounen, which causes him to be the target of obsession by nearly every girl in school. Eventually, Ryuusuke admits to Midori that he was responsible for her aunt's death. But, his admission causes Midori to meet the Intersection Bishounen, who compels her to emotionally and physically torture him before committing suicide. After finding out more details about the Intersection Bishounen and the woman's death, Ryuusuke goes to kill him. He is seemingly killed by the ghosts of the girls who played the game and the Intersection Bishounen, but in the end, he becomes the White-Clothed Pretty Boy, who spreads happiness to girls playing the game.
The Intersection Bishounen
A handsome, black-clothed man who wanders the streets searching for girls playing intersection fortune telling. He has an unnatural influence on any girl that asks him a question, causing them to follow his advice without question and later to kill themselves out of despair. Girls that meet him also tell their friends about him obsessively, causing more girls to become curious about him. It turns out that ten years before, his father cheated on his mother with another woman. That woman turned out to be Midori's aunt. After her death, the boy ran away from home and was never seen by his family again. The Intersection Bishounen causes a mass suicide of girls in the town and later causes their bloodied ghosts to appear in the streets. He is not killed by Ryuusuke when he attempted it, but Ryuusuke instead became the White-Clothed Bishounen, countering The Intersection Bishounen.
A 16-year-old girl and Ryuusuke's love interest. Midori is interested in intersection fortune telling, but doesn't take it too seriously. Over the course of the story, Midori is disturbed by the way Ryuusuke treats her, as she loves him, but has no idea why he's so cold to her. She worries about him when he's labeled as the Intersection Bishounen and is the only one to know his hiding spot after he ran away from home. Eventually, Ryuusuke admits to Midori that he was responsible for the death of her aunt ten years ago. Angry and desperate, Midori tries to play the game, only to run into the real Intersection Bishounen, who tells her to hate Ryuusuke for the rest of her life. Midori is compelled to follow his advice and for the next several days, emotionally and physically tortures Ryuusuke. One day, Ryuusuke, growing increasingly worried about Midori's deteriorating mental and physical health, tells Midori that he will turn himself in to the police to save her. The love in Ryuusuke's words momentarily snap Midori out of the Intersection Bishounen's curse, and she quickly takes out a razor and cuts her own throat. As she bleeds to death, she tells Ryuusuke that she's glad that since her life is over, she can be free from hating him.
Chapter 1: The Intersection Bishounen
Japanese title: 四つ辻の美少年 (Yotsutsuji no Bishounen)
The story begins with a girl playing "Intersection Fortune Telling", the latest trend with schoolgirls in the area. The game is that the girl must stand on the corner of an intersection. When a person comes by, she covers her face and asks them for her fortune to be told. The man the girl meets tells her that her love life will be good if she keeps working hard at it. Satisfied, the girl leaves.
Meanwhile, Ryuusuke and his mother are riding the train to their new home, the town of Nanchou-shi. Ryuusuke and his family moved away from Nanchou-shi ten years before, but are now coming back permanently. The town is seemingly perpetually covered in fog and Ryuusuke is not very thrilled about moving back to town.
At the station, he and his mother meet up with his father, who tells them about the girl playing Intersection Fortune Telling. As his father explains the game to his family, Ryuusuke begins to feel uneasy.
The next day at school, Ryuusuke meets Midori Shibayama, who he had a crush on back in kindergarten, and her friend Reishi Tanaka, who tells him that the girls in school have been eagerly talking about him. When the two girls start talking about Intersection Fortune Telling, Ryuusuke gets upset and as he runs off, tells them that it's something they shouldn't touch.
That night, as Ryuusuke looks out into the fog from his room, another girl is playing the game. She sees someone walking up to her, so she hides her face with her schoolbag. It turns out to be an attractive young man. The girl asks him if her love life will be good, but he tells her that it's not worth trying.
The next day, everyone is talking about the dead freshman girl who slashed her own throat. Some girls mention that ten years before, a woman killed herself after playing Intersection Fortune Telling. Ryuusuke, who overheard the conversation, feels uneasy again. Midori watches him as he leaves the classroom. Outside, Ryuusuke freaks out over being back in town, believing that he is being punished. Ryuusuke then flashes back to ten years ago.
When he learned that he was going to be moving, he got into a fight with his parents and ran away from home. While wandering the streets, a woman came up to him. She told him that she is in love with a man and is pregnant with his child, but he's married and wants her to get an abortion. Ryuusuke rationalizes that the woman he met back then had a mental breakdown and resorted to intersection fortune telling as a way to solve her problem. Young Ryuusuke angrily tells the woman that he has no idea what she's talking about. When she asks him if her relationship with the man will work out, he tells her it won't and runs away. However, he looks back and sees the expression on her face. That night, he couldn't sleep and felt remorse over what he told her. The next day, he went back to the intersection and found her lying dead in a pool of blood. Ryuusuke now feels guilty, believing that he is responsible for the woman's death.
Midori attempts to ask Ryuusuke what's wrong, but he denies being distressed about anything. Midori then tells him that she notices he gets agitated when the subject of intersection fortune telling comes up. Although Ryuusuke attempts to change the subject, Midori tells him that ten years ago, her aunt had a married man's baby, but because the matter was never resolved, her aunt started resorting to intersection fortune telling to get help. Ryuusuke, shaken up, leaves in a hurry.
After school, Reishi catches up with Midori and asks where Ryuusuke is. Midori is hesitant to answer, so Reishi changes the subject. She asks Midori if she's heard about the Intersection Bishounen. She then explains that before the freshman girl died, she called her friends about the attractive young man in black who told her that her love life wouldn't work out. She then kept repeating the same things until she hung up. Reishi then asks Midori what's wrong. She replies by saying that Ryuusuke has been acting strange around her and she's afraid that he doesn't like her anymore. Reishi decides to take it upon herself to fix the problem
The next day, Reishi confronts Ryuusuke about his behavior. Ryuusuke feels even worse and tells Reishi that he does like Midori, but he's responsible for something bad that happened. Reishi can't get anymore out of him, so she decides to play intersection fortune telling. While waiting on the corner, she sees the Intersection Bishounen. When he stops in front of her, Reishi asks him for advice on the situation with Midori and Ryuusuke. He tells her to worry about her own love life more and walks away.
Later, Reishi tells Midori that Ryuusuke wants to end his relationship with her. She then admits she went intersection fortune telling and says that she believes the man she met was the Intersection Bishounen. She decides that she will take his advice and tells Midori that she is in love with Ryuusuke. She then runs off to confess her feelings for him. Over the next few days, Reishi attempts to get closer to Ryuusuke, but he doesn't feel like having a girlfriend at the moment. She not only becomes more aggressive in her methods, but she also becomes more sickly-looking. Eventually, Ryuusuke gets tired of her being annoying and screams at her to go away, since he likes Midori. Reishi, confused, says that she thought he was ending his relationship with Midori, but he tells her that he still won't go out with her. Reishi loses it and starts rambling on about the Intersection Bishounen and her love life. Ryuusuke tries to calm her down, but it does little good.
At school, Ryuusuke is told by a friend that another girl killed herself over intersection fortune telling and that the school she was from is not allowing students to play it any longer. He then says that all of the girls who killed themselves claimed to see the Intersection Bishounen. Meanwhile, Reishi looks on at the boys from afar.
While walking home, Ryuusuke runs into Reishi. He tells her that everyone's worried about her and that he believes he went too far that morning. However, he still loves Midori and just wants to be Reishi's friend. When he attempts to explain his actions, Reishi takes out a box cutter and slits her own throat.
Ryuusuke, feeling responsible for this death, too, decides to start helping people playing the game. When marking down where the other girls committed suicide, he finds that they are all around the same area where the woman killed herself ten years ago. In shock, Ryuusuke becomes obsessed with helping people who play the game. One night, he sees the ghosts of all of the girls who killed themselves, including Reishi. Midori becomes worried about Ryuusuke and attempts to follow him when he goes to help people, but she gets lost in the fog.
Meanwhile, Ryuusuke sees the Intersection Bishounen and attempts to catch him. Instead, he finds the ghost of the dead woman. He attempts to apologize for what happened, but she points to the right instead of saying anything. Midori, while looking for Ryuusuke, sees the Intersection Bishounen. Luckily, he passes her by without any harm and Ryuusuke meets up with her. At that instant, the fog clears and any signs of the man are gone.
Chapter 2: The Troubled Woman
Japanese title: 悩む女 (Nayamu onna)
Two months later, Ryuusuke is determined to catch the Intersection Bishounen. Midori, who has been tagging along, brings some flowers with her to lay at the intersection where her aunt died. Ryuusuke is too afraid to tell Midori that he caused her aunt's death and that he saw her ghost. While praying at the corner, a woman comes up to both kids. She asks them for advice on her situation, which is exactly the same as Midori's aunt's. Horrified, Ryuusuke runs away.
Days later, Midori tells Ryuusuke that after he ran away, Midori was forced to listen to the woman talk about her problems nonstop. When she and her mother tried to give the woman advice, she wouldn't listen. Angry, Midori yelled at the woman to just have the baby. But, the next day, the woman came back to Midori's house looking for more advice about her situation. The day after that, the woman came back again looking for more advice, but only caused Midori's father to yell at her to go away or he'd call the police. The woman, desperate, takes a potted plant and hits it against her stomach, causing a miscarriage. Ryuusuke tells Midori to not feel bad, as the woman had problems anyway.
While walking home, Ryuusuke runs into the woman again. She asks him if her dead baby will ever forgive her for what she's done. Ryuusuke tells her, after much hesitation, that her baby will forgive her and runs home to get his map. After an evening of hunting for the Intersection Bishounen, Ryuusuke comes home to find the woman in his bedroom. She spends the whole night asking Ryuusuke for advice. Over the next several nights, the woman keeps coming back, asking for advice about her relationship with the married man. Frustrated, Ryuusuke tells the woman that she needs to stop focusing on her problems so much and she needs to find something to do. This angers the woman and she leaves, telling him that she won't come back.
However, the woman comes back the next night, telling Ryuusuke that in her desperation, she kidnapped and killed her boyfriend's son. Ryuusuke is shocked, but he has no idea what to do. The woman keeps coming back, asking for advice on getting a tattoo. One night, a news report comes on the television about a dead body of a child being found. Ryuusuke realizes that the body is of the child the woman murdered and he and his parents inform the police. The woman, however, seems to have gone missing.
Sometime later, Ryuusuke and Midori are walking home from school when they find a heavily tattooed woman standing at an intersection. It turns out to be the advice-seeking woman. She tells them that while playing intersection fortune telling, a handsome young man told her that in order to stop having small problems, she needs to find bigger ones. Now that she's covered in tattoos and on the run from the police, she has some big problems,but comes to the conclusion that she must find a bigger problem to get rid of the current ones. The next day, the two kids learn that the woman set herself on fire and is in the hospital in critical condition. That night, Ryuusuke hears a knocking at his bedroom window. Terrified, he looks outside, only to find just darkness.
Chapter 3: Shadow
Japanese title: 影 (Kage)
Ryuusuke is being ostracized in school since many people believe he caused Reishi to kill herself. While looking for the Intersection Bishounen one day he runs into his friend Teshima. Teshima notices how skinny he's gotten and under a barrage of questions Ryuusuke ends up revealing the whole story of Midori's aunt to the present day. Teshima decides to go help him look for the Intersection Bishounen.
While outside, Teshima suggests they split up despite Ryuusuke protesting. He runs into the bloody living corpse of Reishi, who screams for Ryuusuke (who she believes is the Intersection Bishounen). A traumatized Teshima runs back to Ryuusuke's place and tells him everything, and begins to question Ryuusuke whether he's unconsciously materializing as the Intersection Bishounen. However, since the Intersection Bishounen is tall and wears black shirts, plus has earrings, which Ryuusuke doesn't have, he drops the matter.
Rumors begin to spread at school he is the Intersection Bishounen, which causes girls to flee to him in a madstruck state of love and boys to despise him. He begins to notice weird things such as his ears getting pierced over night and being chased by lovestruck girls. Even Midori is starting to feel hopeless. He flees to the police station after getting chased by an angry lovestruck mob, but the police is just as suspicious about him so keep a watch on him.
Ryuusuke returns home to see a black jacket similar to what the Intersection Bishounen and begins to wonder whether he really is the Bishounen. He grabs a knife and is about to cut his throat when he hears a voice urging him to do it. He gives chase outside and finds out it's Teshima, who has been spreading the rumors and planting the fake earrings and jackets.
Teshima explains that Reishi has been terrorizing him for days now, constantly calling for Ryuusuke and the Intersection Bishounen. Desperate, Teshima planted all the fake evidence in hopes that Ryuusuke would kill himself. Reishi appears and continues to moan for her Bishounen, but Ryuusuke ends up convincing her that he's not the Bishounen and to go rest in peace, to which she does.
Chapter 4: Night of Screams
Japanese title: 絶叫の夜 (Zekkyou no yoru)
Lovestruck girls continue to mob outside of his house, hoping to get a glimpse of the Intersection Bishounen. However his angry and saddened mother proclaims that he's run away from home. Ryuusuke has taken off to an abandoned shed where he is kept company and fed by Midori who visits every so often, saddened still about what has happened to Ryuusuke. On one occasion she screams at him in a fit of anger wondering whether he really loves her or not.
To her surprise, Ryuusuke says he does love her but his situation is complicated, and he explains about Midori's aunt and hopes that she can be his girlfriend. A hesitant Midori decides to think about it, and on the way home she runs into the Intersection Bishounen, and asks the figure whether she should forgive Ryuusuke. The Bishounen bluntly tells her not to and hate him for the rest of her life.
The next day a clearly changed Midori brings Ryuusuke his lunch, which to his shock is a dead rat. She blurts out that she met the Intersection Bishounen and that she will hate Ryuusuke forever, and that her cousin is dead because of him. She storms off in a rage, and a scared Ryuusuke gives chase but loses her.
Unfortunately he runs into his rabid and mad lovestruck fans once again, who are noticeably thinner. He temporarily convinces them that they should return to normal, but the fans suddenly hear the Intersection Bishounen and give chase, with Ryuusuke on their tails. By the time he gets there he realizes that the mad lovestruck fans have killed themselves in a mass suicide.
With the whole city in an uproar, a smug Midori tells him that the authorities are all looking for Ryuusuke, believing that he is the Intersection Bishounen. She threatens to call the cops on him every time she meets him and continues to yell at him. One day he decides enough is enough and that he's going to turn himself in. A stunned Midori stumbles out and he gives chase, only to find her with her throat cut in a suicide attempt. Before she dies she mutters that the Bishounen told her to hate him but she didn't need to.
A saddened Ryuusuke walks the desolate streets, and stumbles into a man who is looking to get his fortune told. It turns out that he man was the one who impregnated both Midori's aunt and the woman that had tormented them before (see Chpt 2) as two mistresses. Midori's aunt's first son ran off, who would've been about Ryuusuke's age now. Shocked by this, Ryuusuke leaves.
A couple of drunk men are stumbling back home when they hear a couple of frantic boys running away. They learn that the dead girls are still calling out to the Bishounen and dimisses it as fantasy as first, but are shocked to see the actual ghosts of the girls, with the Bishounen in the middle. Ryuusuke suddenly appears and the men can only watch as he runs into the crowd to confront the Bishounen but is torn to pieces by the ghosts.
Afterwards the townspeople have been careful to not leave their homes at night and can still hear the voices of all the dead girls, and rumors begin to buzz about the White Clothed Pretty Boy who brings good fortune to those who ask.
Chapter 5: White Clothed Pretty Boy
An outsider pays a visit to the town, curious about the whole fortune telling thing and the mass suicide incident. He notices that the majority of the residents seem to be doing fortune telling, and even he is approached about the grief-stricken father of one of the deceased girls in the mass suicide. The outsider gets a terrifying glimpse of what happens every night in the town, with the ghosts of the deceased girls all racing through the streets, trying to please the Intersection Bishounen and terrorizing their families.
The outsider, who is clearly tired of life and looking to commit suicide, decides to participate in the fortune telling game and asks a boy dressed in all white what's the best way to be happy and also how to commit suicide. The suspicious looking boy tells him to answer 100 questions to be happy and the fog will be gone. With nothing to lose, he decides that he might as well help other people before he dies.
While answering questions, he meets two other people, Miki Komaki and Mitsuru Ota, who have also met the white clothed pretty boy (as they dub) and they have already answered over 100 questions. Miki had been struggling with one sided love, while Mitsuru had been depressed for being alone, but after hearing what the white clothed pretty boy had to say, they became happy. They decide to team up and answer more questions.
One night, the three of them are walking in the streets. They notice that it appears the aura has gotten more tense, and Mitsuru notes that the ghosts of the girls will soon come out to ask their fortunes. They run into one ghost girl who asks for the love of her life to be fulfilled, and Mitsuru firmly tells her that the Intersection Bishounen is evil and that she should stay away from him. In anguish, the ghost cuts her own head off.
They suddenly see the white clothed pretty boy walking from ghost to ghost, telling them that love will be fulfilled. He stares at the Intersection Bishounen, surrounded by the ghosts of the girls, and they soon all disappear. The outsider finishes his questions and notes that all though it's still foggy the town has gotten a lot more quiet.