Acantha and her kind are monsters whose purpose and origins are completely unknown. What IS known is that they are destined to become dangerous in due time–becoming enemies of the planet (and its guardians) by default.

But, rather than follow the monster hunters or the guardians, the narrative focuses more on the lives of the different ghosts and monsters who change–for better or worse—as they attempt to uncover the mystery behind their existence and either heal or run from past mistakes.

Chapter Summaries:

Chapter 1

While Acantha and Krazzle were wandering around being jerks to each other, they run into an unformed ghost. Krazzle, being the kind-hearted catdragon he is, decides to guide them to a temple where the guardian of children, Bells/Raju, resides. The duo attempt to take the ghost back to…wherever they come from before it’s too late and they fully obtains a physical body–which in turn would trap them in this world forever. You see, ghosts are beings from, possibly, another dimension–according to Acantha–and are incompatible with the guardians that control the life and reincarnation cycles. Meaning that if a ghost is to die, they cease to exist. Because of both this and the compatibility issue, they assume, is why ghosts turn into horrible monsters as time goes on.

Acantha gets roped into this, being the only one with a sense of direction, and—after a few bumps caused by Acantha’s attitude and life choices—they eventually find their way to one of the guardian’s temples before being attacked by the shadow creatures called Cucos. They try to ward them off but are eventually cornered until Bells triumphantly falls in and chases these creatures out. She saves the ghost and leaves…making things kinda awkward for everyone, especially Acantha who seems to have a past with Bells because–surprise–she is one of the ghosts-turned-monsters and blames Bells for her being stuck in this strange world. Acantha and Krazzle part ways, as Acantha decides to visit someone and we wrap up chapter 1.

Gone Fishing 001: The Toy

We take a quick pause to read a short comic, much akin to a children’s story, that introduces the reader to the 6 different guardians as Bells asks each for help in her journey to return a lost toy to its rightful owner. After hitting several walls in her search, Bells finally finds out the owner of the toy has long since been gone. She is comforted by Syias and takes the toy with her to her temple.

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 starts off with Acantha living life on her own and we find out that the collar around her neck shocks her whenever she does something deemed aggressive–and because the question of “when is violence ever necessary” is such a morally-ambiguous concept, she can’t even hunt for food and is forced to steal from small human settlements scattered around the vast forest– thus perpetuating the cycle of conflict between humans and monsters. In one of these settlements, a human-adopted ghost called Gallo stops Acantha from stealing, something he deems to be a heroic act. We find out this self-righteous, cowardly “featherbutt” doesn’t fully understand the Ghost Struggle™, but has a kind heart regardless in allowing Acantha to take the food to a mutual friend of theirs—presumably another ghost—in exchange for finding a way to pay back the people she stole from.

As they venture out, they spot an odd fish…rabbit…clock…thing that wears an almost-identical collar to that of Acantha. In an attempt to get answers, she tries to grab him and all three are transported into a cold and empty world near a cold and empty town surrounded by festivities and bread. There, they find a tiny green man who speaks words of wisdom and acceptance as we find out the clashing concepts of Acantha and Gallo of how they see the world: Acantha has become very pessimistic whereas Gallo, seeing how he was raised in acceptance, cannot understand that mentality. Anyway, the little green guy gets eaten by some purple blob that popped out from the woods and everyone’s screaming and panicking and just having a very bad time. You know, typical Tuesday things.

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 opens with Acantha and Gallo (still rabbitfish-less) trying to escape the village that is slowly being surrounded by purple blobs. They hide in a house, accepting their new fate—or at least trying not to panic—and they realize the purple beings co-exist with the green people in their own weird way of a symbiotic life-cycle. There’s a pattern here. They attempt to communicate with said blobs and find out they’re pretty great hosts, actually, and are given outfits to fight against the oncoming cold. The duo finally finds the rabbitfish barely surviving a rising storm and chase after him.

Pop! The rabbit returns them to their world and disappears once more. Acantha, feeling frustrated at the lack of answers, takes the food into a cave where their mutual friend is supposed to live (the place is a mess by the way, not a very clean or a present friend–seeing how he is missing). Gallo promises Acantha he’ll try and find answers on the rabbitfish, even if it means not telling someone Acantha distrusts called Schnell.

But nah, he totally tells Schnell since he’s some ominous grinning shark-thing that seems to have answers—which he does! The rabbit is called Lheur and he’s “someone’s pet”. Acantha, however, overhears this, feels betrayed for a good reason and bails—before either Schnell or Gallo realize—to find the answers herself. Schnell catches wind of this and comments on how Acantha was doomed, not because Bells failed her, but rather because he allowed it to happen.

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 is a flashback of how Acantha spent her first days in this odd world. How Schnell, the first of the ghosts, found her and told her the big news: she’s dead. All ghosts are dead. And she should appreciate this second life to do whatever she wants. They road trip together as he begins to explain how the world works and finally dumps her in some Ghost House where other ghost kids live (This being Hessa and Ramus, the latter being the mutual friend Gallo and Acantha seem to share). They take her in and begin to hint of a darker aspect behind their apparent happy-but-humble lifestyle as they are keeping a secret from her. It’s during Acantha’s first outing as a thief that she learns the answer from Ramus: having gained a body isn’t the end-game of their monster selves, they’ll continue to change and, from what they gathered, is impacted by negative thoughts. She instead finds comfort in this, saying it’s all about what they do with their second chance and making the best of it–which Ramus disagrees with, but encourages anyway as the good friend he is. This establishes their relationship as Acantha is the optimist of the two (what happened??) and Ramus disagrees but keeps his comments to himself; both partner up to solve their origin and try to change the fate of the ghosts. We also get hints of Bells having a larger role behind this as we find out through this chapter Schnell calls her “mother”. 

Gone Fishing 002: Gift Day

In this short, we see an ordinary day in the lives of the ghost kids as they celebrate a gift exchange amongst each other and try to include Schnell. This short shows us how Schnell is both physically and emotionally distant toward all the ghosts despite them seeing him as a kind of parental figure. 

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 is back to the present, a human city outside of the forest and near the ocean. It’s a thriving city with lots of buildings and an abundance of humans, in contrast to previous locations where houses are few and far in between. There, we find a tourist who hears the voice of a statue warn him about an incoming attack. Lo and behold, a giant monster is attacking the city and the guardian of children, Bells, is seemingly fighting against him (while Schnell watches from the distance, making petty comments and all). Turns out, the large monster is none other than Ramus gone vicious and is trying to destroy the guardian. The fight ends when the second guardian of the dead, Syias, mortally wounding Ramus and leaving him on the brink of death. Bells argues with Syias about his methods, but leaves defeated to let her co-guardian finish his job. After she and Schnell have left, Syias feels a hint of guilt right until Ramus catches a second wind and, presumably, smashes Syias. With the winner of the fight still being undetermined, we end the scene.

We catch up with Acantha inside a food cart, stuffed with food, and dreaming of how she and Ramus began to grow apart as time went on: Ramus shutting out everyone around him and Acantha trying to help him but, unfortunately, failing to reach and understand him. She wakes and is forced to flee back into ‘familiar territory’ (this being an area where full-grown monsters—or traces of them—lurk.) Revealing that that is the ‘bad path’ hinted back in chapter 4. Acantha is near her first home, and decides to return there in search of Ramus.

Meanwhile, Bells returns to her temple, attempting to stay distracted from the event and failing greatly. When Schnell confronts her about her cowardice, he demands her to rethink her strategy as it’s clearly not helping ghosts. She thinks back and comments how Acantha has a good chance of proving Schnell wrong that ghosts can’t be ‘saved’ seeing how she has both the collar and helped a random ghost back in the events of the first chapter without expecting anything in return. Schnell takes offense to this but lets her be, saying if it motivates her to change her strategy then it’s better than nothing.

Back to Acantha, who recollects how her relationship with Ramus spiraled into an unhealthy disaster, she returns to the remains of their first home and finds signs someone had been lurking recently. Thinking it’s Ramus, she calls out to him but instead draws the attention of Hessa and Bavel who are not too far (and having been the ones responsible for Acantha’s clue). Hessa hurries over to Acantha, signaling back, as she instead turns around and makes a run for it, fearing confrontation. They continue to run before Acantha trips and runs into Bells. Terrified for her life, Acantha tries now to avoid Bells who in exchange helps her flee from Hessa. Now safe, Acantha finds out Bells is now trying to befriend her…….she ties the guardian’s head to a tree in response, and leaves. Hessa meanwhile shows concern for Acantha, saying it sounded like she was in trouble and had no motivation to confront her about their past. They reassure Bavel that they are alright with the sequence of events that happened because ‘it’s just how things are’.

Finally, the chapter ends in an empty modern guardian temple where Syias is taking shelter. He crashes onto the floor and covers an injury given to him by Ramus’ last attempt.

Gone Fishing 003: The Tourist

This short centers around the young tourist who could hear the voice of the Deputized Guardian in Adaluxen. How he begins to explore and learn with the reader what the average day is like for humans. He is then found out to be a “ghost sympathizer” and through a series of mockings from the Deputized Guardian, now nicknamed Ada, he is almost convinced to attempt to become “the voice” and speak on behalf of the guardians for others to hear.

Before he can give an answer, however, the guardian of the skies, Ciante, flies above them and lands where the conflict with Ramus and Syias took place. After having an exchange with Syias, he flies away and Midah is left to contemplate and realize things are taking a drastic turn.

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 tells us two stories: the first one is Acantha’s constant attempts at getting Bells to leave her alone. Going so far as making petty insults and off-handed comments, that seem to have little effect on the guardian’s self esteem, to downright blaming her for her predicament and situation. Ridden with guilt from what happened to Ramus, she confessed to Acantha she knows his location and motions to her the terrible truth that she saw Syias finish off the job. Frustrated, Acantha walks away to mourn in private.

The other story follows Hessa and Bavels mere hours after their introduction in chapter 5. Hessa continues to push their optimistic nature and making remarks about Bavel’s cleaning habits, whom the latter considers rather uncalled for. It isn’t until they find out Gallo has stopped by to visit them that Hessa finds out through him, and in private, about Ramus’ fate. To prevent any negative reactions from Bavel, they agree to keep it a secret from her. This slowly chips at them as Bavel, who has overheard, angrily acts out. Unable to fully communicate or say what she’s thinking as she’s constantly shut down by Hessa, Bavel decides to take matters into her own hands and runs away to find a guardian and demand answers. Hessa and Gallo find out about this in the middle of the night and go out to find her.

As Acantha is mourning and ashamed she can’t bring herself to cry about this, she is attacked by Dehra, the guardian of the forest, and is forced to run away to an abandoned temple and fight the guardian, being easily overwhelmed. Before she is taken out, Bells comes in to save her but she is also broken down, this time verbally, by Dehra’s harsh words, calling her a traitor. Acantha, who had obtained an odd star in chapter 3, finds out it’s a translator and overhears their conversation. Choosing to fight and stand up for Bells.

Meanwhile, Gallo and Hessa find Bavel about to be attacked by Fanud, the guardian of the earth, and they rush in to save her. As expected, they stand no match for a being made out of pure stone and can only stand helpless as Fanud readies to squish them as if they were ants. Bavel, in a desperate final attempt, speaks in Anshais–the language of the guardians–which prompts Fanud to stop her attack in surprise and engages in a conversation. She reveals to the trio that Syias has given them orders to find and kill any ghost, even if they were currently allied with Schnell–an act that would usually grant them immunity due to a treaty Schnell had made with the guardians years prior. This, however, is null and void. She tells Bavel she has no interest in helping guardians but will let the 3 alone for now as she appreciates Bavel’s manners more than violence. She leaves and the trio agree to hide in Gallo’s human town for the time being. Hessa finally confesses to Bavel about what happened with Ramus and apologizes for keeping it to herself once Bavel confronts her about it.

Finally, Acantha and Bells manage to trick Dehra and defeat him. Exhausted from Dehra’s ramblings, she turns off the translator–missing the crucial news that Syias has ordered guardians to kill all ghosts. She tells Bells to free Dehra if he is of no threat and she has no plans on killing him. After obliging and watching Dehra wander off, Bells sits next to Acantha, ashamed at the fact she is looked down upon by the other guardians. Acantha reassures her that if she is scolded because she has tried to help those who wouldn’t normally get help, then she should have nothing to be ashamed of. Bells hugs Acantha who yells in response, but isn’t exactly rejecting her either.

Chapter 6 ends with Acantha telling Bells she is now planning on going to Adaluxen. Not for revenge, but to ensure that Ramus’ remains are unreachable by humans, hoping to give him a proper burial. 

Gone Fishing 004: Monster King

Another short story, this one takes place early on when the ghosts and monsters first arrived yet follows the perspective of a human king who attempts to use monsters as weapons during a war. It’s told as a legend, with its biases and all, but somewhat shows a different side of Schnell who, back then, had tried to warn and find a way to help both parties at the behest of the king’s deceased wife, Efrasia, who had temporarily become a Familiar Guardian in a desperate attempt to try and help her mad husband. 

The story ends with a conversation between Efrasia and Schnell, who at the time had no name, as they both resent the outcome of the scenario. Efrasia finally dies and enters the life cycle, leaving Schnell to contemplate and suffer this truth alone.

Chapter 7

An injured Syias wanders into some tunnels just outside of Adaluxen; finding, breaking, and killing a Cuco to make sure they do not find a way into the city. We cut to a surviving cuco and others reporting to Schnell, telling him about the treaty between guardians and the ghosts under his watch being dismissed–and he mcfreakin loses it. Angrily demanding to know where Bells is.

We cut to Bells who is overwhelmingly joyful and befriending Acantha bit by bit. When they finally arrive at Adaluxen, it’s revealed she isn’t comfortable being in the presence of humans, so both are forced to sneak in to try and find either Krazzle, who was going to perform at the festival, or any clue as to where Ramus’ remains may be. With a very small lead, Acantha and Bells are separated when the latter finds Schnell wandering through the city in disguise as well, choosing to talk to him and abandoning Acantha without a word. Now alone, Acantha tries to find Krazzle and maintain her composure. She runs into Midah who agrees to help her after seeing through her disguise–although we have to admit, their meeting is rather awkward.

We cut to Bells who meets up with her son, who mentions how thoughtful she is to drop Acantha at a moment’s notice to attend to his demands. He then urges to know about the treaty which Bells confesses she hasn’t told Acantha and has only made things worse by fighting Dehra. They both sit and try to think of a plan to get things back to normativity. 

Acantha and Midah finally run into Krazzle. It’s a heartwarming scene before it’s rudely interrupted by guards who suspect Acantha to be a criminal–only it’s worse, she’s a ghost. They apprehend her thanks to the captain of the monster hunter Adaluxen chapter, Zoeh. But everyone is shocked when Bells, after finishing her conversation with Schnell, appears to protect and save Acantha from an execution. They are brought over to the headquarters of the hunters where Acantha learns she too can hear the voice of the city, and manages to stand up for herself in a makeshift and shoddy trial. Bells, again, shows her support for the 6-eyed monster and they manage to convince the city to let Acantha remain in the city for the weekend–with the excuse they were only there to watch the Catdragon play his music.

Once agreed, Bells is now forced to do what she hates to do in human settlements: and that is to be worshipped and celebrated. Acantha and Krazzle take the opportunity to leave the hustle as Krazzle breaks the news to Acantha: he’s heard the monster who attacked the city has vanished, and there are zero traces where his remains could even be. Although shaken by this for a moment, Acantha makes a connection about this turn of events and asks to stay a little longer in the city; now determined to find more information at something that normally would seem like a dead end.

That night, Bells and Acantha share a moment where Acantha confesses she wants to open up to Bells but can’t quite trust her yet–still bitter at being abandoned during the day. Bells apologizes and Acantha accepts, especially after seeing Bells save her life twice in one day. To further prove her good intentions, Bells offers to remove the cuffs Acantha has had on her arms since the beginning of the story, and we end with the little monster child sharing a tender moment with Krazzle, him also promising to protect her no matter what. 

Gone Fishing 005: The Good Ghosts

On the fifth short comic, we follow the perspective of Hessa who cannot get used to the human settlement they now find themselves in. Bavel remains hidden, saying humans are simply too loud. Gallo, surprised and unwilling to empathize with their struggle, continues to parade his friend around to try and show them how good the people are, doing his best to remain unaware that the treatment toward him is different than towards Hessa. This prompts Hessa to reconsider their choices and ask themselves if it’s right for them to hide while Acantha could be out there being hunted down.

Hessa, tired of thinking back of all the family members’ she’s lost in an attempt to keep the peace and save themselves, chooses to leave the town to find Acantha–Bavel agreeing and joining. Gallo continues to push back against this in his own desperate attempt to keep the two ghosts safe, but eventually has to come to terms that staying hidden in the town had not been kind to him either. He agrees to escort the two ghosts and urge them again to hide once Acantha has been found. 

The chapter ends with them reaching the beach at night and running into 2 wandering young monsters. 

Chapter 8

In progress…