April 17, 2011
Kyo Shirodaira / Eita Mizuno – Yen Press – 2008 – 15 volumes
This volume was a little bit of a drag at the beginning, since Narumi mopes around a lot and wallows in self-pity. A lot of the fun in this series is watching Narumi one-upping everyone in increasingly elaborate ways, so to see him wandering around dejectedly, with people giving him pep talks and others speculating on his mood after his “loss” elsewhere makes for slow reading.
But the story makes up for it in the second half of the volume, when a lengthy exchange is done between Narumi and the Blade Children, Hiyono for an incriminating tape. There are elaborate traps laid on both sides of the lines during this race, and I loved seeing the intricacies play out. Hiyono has nothing but confidence in Narumi, thankfully Narumi seems to believe in himself again, and this time around, the Blade Children are scared, though they believe they’ve planned for every eventuality.
I have to admit, as much as I love the logic puzzles that this series engages in, they are getting increasingly hilarious. Narumi planned on an enemy shoving Hiyono into a train and putting her out of commission for the duration of the race? He knew exactly how the boy was going to gain access to the mailbox, and when? The gasoline or whatever at the end? It gets pretty funny when one character pulls out their show-stopping diversion, only to have Narumi claim he planned for it and reveal an elaborate method he uses to circumvent it, to which the Blade Children respond with whatever they have in place to stop that since it was all in the plan… you know how it goes. But I love it. It’s a new spin on a fast-paced action scene, and again, I’m a big fan of Kyo Shirodaira’s writing. The man knows how to plan, although it’s less obvious in a story like this, when everything comes one right after the other.
I do like it well enough, especially when I’m reading it, and I think Case Closed is the only similar series I’m reading right now. I like these little action-packed mystery-type stories. I just got three more volumes of this in the mail too, so that should tide me over for some time.