February 5, 2011
Kyo Shirodaira / Eia Mizuno – Yen Press – 2008 – 15 volumes
Ooh, second volume moves from being more Case Closed-esque (with Ayumu wandering into crime scenes and solving difficult problems like locked room crimes) to being about Ayumu and the “Blade Children” playing mind games with him. Either way, I love the little problems that Ayumu conquers again and again.
The plot deepens, as I was hoping it would. There’s not a whole lot of new information on just what the “Blade Children” are, but two of them begin playing an active role in the plot here, and neither are very nice people. They also are both targeting Ayumu, making him solve life-threatening puzzles while dangling information about his missing brother in front of him.
Ayumu’s “assistant” Hiyono continues to play a part. Normally I dislike characters like her (she’s a bit clingy and comes off as a little empty-headed), but she’s awesome. She continues to be a mysterious source of important information for Ayumu, and while she plays at being empty-headed, she really knows what’s what. She’s an interesting person to keep around, and I also like that, so far, there has been no overt and awkward romance between she and Ayumu. She also brings some much-needed levity to the story. Not too much, but she does brighten things up.
I can’t get over the crazy traps the Blade Children are setting up for Ayumu, though. That was the biggest draw for me. A room full of bees that unleash based on the results of a card game? A bomb under his seat that’s set up to give narrative with a talking turtle? This is some crazy stuff, and watching Ayumu work his way through the solutions has been pretty fun so far. Honestly, the Blade Children stuff isn’t striking me as terribly interesting so far, but if they continue to make elaborate plays at Ayumu’s life, I will be satisfied.
It’s not yet knock-your-socks-off amazing, but this is only volume two, and I think it might get there eventually. I have one more volume here, but it looks like I’ll probably soon be picking up the rest.