Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Spiral: a manga review
By Kyo Shirodaira
Art by Eita Mizuno
Rated T for Teen
World-class detective Kiyotaka Narumi's last words prior to his sudden disappearance continue to haunt his younger brother, Ayumu. The cheeky 10th-grader becomes further embroiled in the mystery when he is mistaken for the prime suspect in a murder at his school. Led by Ayumu's sister-in-law, Kiyotaka's wife and fellow detective, Madoka, the investigation into the murder gives Ayumu a chance to clear his name. But in doing so, he not only uncovers ties to the Blade Children but also more questions than answers about who and what they are.
Whoa. Such a departure from the manga I've been reading. No fairies. No demons. No swords. Very refreshing. I had absolutely no problem keeping up with this mystery. Think Sherlock Holmes manga-fied. Well, if Sherlock Holmes was a teenage kid with spiky hair, a harsh detective sister, and a plucky blond schoolgirl sidekick.
At the end of volume one, we know a little. Enough to keep you reading on into volume two. We know Ayumu's brother has disappeared. We know his sister is a detective investigating mysterious murders about town, which seem to be connected somehow, and we know the Ayumu himself is quite the sleuth. We also know that there is some kind of "gang" or sorts known as the Blade Children that might be involved.
It's really a classic whodunit, and if you're a hesitant manga reader, it's a good place to start.