Remote Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 1-59182-740-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Remote Vol. #01

By Megan Lavey     June 04, 2004
Release Date: June 01, 2004

Remote Vol.#01

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Story by: Seimaru Amagi
Art by: Tetsuya Koshiba
Translated by:Haruko Furukawa
Adapted by:

What They Say
A serial murderer is on the loose, someone who dresses up as a clown...a killer clown.

Officer Kurumi Ayaki reporting. Due to financial woes, I've had to put my early retirement lans on hold. The force has given me a special assignment. Something the chief described as a "baby-sitting job."

Insprector Himuro: A young genius, devoid of emotions - and my new boss. He's in charge of the Unsolved Crimes Division in a secret police annex known only as "The Crypt." I'll be acting as his eyes and ears on the street as we tackle the most horrific of crimes. The DOA's are piling up, and I'm in over my head. And that bloody clown is laughing at us...

The Review
This is a very attractive cover. Featuring the matte finish that is becoming popular on TOKYOPOP's newer titles, the front of the book features Kurumi in plain clothes (the outfit from when she first goes to meet Himuro), set against a wall of monitors that show the various murder scenes and locations of the first book. The logo is behind her head, which brings us to our logo check!

It's a simple logo that fits in with the style of the cover. Remote is flanked by two dots, which made me wonder at first if they are suppose to be there. The spine has dashes surrounding Remote while the inside color pages have nothing. It is done with a translucent white type that has a blinds effect going through it. It's very nice and subtle, allowig your eye to be drawn to Kurumi.

The spine is done up as an opened cell phone, which is appropriate to the series. It's pretty cute. The back has files spread over a table with the summary typed out as one of the files. Very, very innovative and attractive. The combination of the exterior presentation and the summary made this go immediately into my purchase pile even though I've never heard of this series before. That is what good packaging is suppose to do.

The art style is pretty average and gets the job done. Kurumi looks like the cute, perky woman that she's suppose to be and Himuro looks as angsty as he's suppose to be. Kurumi's finance, Shingo, looks like the dork that I believe him to be. There's plenty to serve both sexes here. While the ladies can drool over Himuro, the guys can appreciate the panty shots from Kurumi (that increase as you hit the end of the book) and the one scene where you get to see her completely naked. With those shots and some of the language in the book, I'm surprised that the title wasn't shrink-wrapped. Another real nice addition is eight color pages at the beginning of the book, introducing a prologue to the series, the original series title page and a nice chapter index page with Kurumi featured.

The SFX is untranslated here and there are no honorifics. To be honest, they really weren't needed and I didn't miss them. The language does get rough here, to those who are squeamish about such - especially the last page of the book. I didn't mind it. With stories that feature cops, you're going to get more of the "f-word" and other four-letter words here. Other than that, it was a clean read with no noticeable glitches.

This volume kicks off a new series in a very under-represented (and somewhat under appreciated) genre of manga that surrounds cops and mysteries. With the Kindaichi Case Files and the forthcoming Detective Conan centering around detectives that are still in school, this series is definitely aimed at adults. The entire book revolves around characters that are in their early 20s and makes for a refreshing change to the mystery genre we've been presented with so far.

Poor Officer Kurumi Ayaki. The traffic cop is looking forward to her wedding - and early retirement - when her fiance, Shingo, reveals that they don't have enough money to get married on. He begs her to retain her job, which she reluctantly does. But, when she heads back to work, her old job is filled and she is reassigned to Inspector Himuro, the mysterious man in charge of the Unsolved Crimes Division.

Kurumi is immediately sucked into her first case - a killer clown that is conducting several serial murders. Kurumi even accidentally witnessed the murderer exiting one of the crime scenes before she was reassigned. But while she's trying to get used to her new job, she's also trying to figure out the mysteries behind her new boss. Meanwhile, Shingo keeps trying to get the virginal Kurumi in the sack, even though they originally agreed to wait until their wedding. But, his romantic attempts are thwarted as Kurumi keeps getting deeper and deeper into the mystery and has to deal with the knowledge that she's just one step behind the killer in trying to save lives.

The hard part about writing reviews for mysteries is that you don't want to give away too much of the plot. That makes the mystery no fun. Unlike how Kindaichi is being handed, the ongoing mystery is left at a cliffhanger and will be picked up in volume two.

I was surprised by how much I liked this series. I came into it expecting Kurumi to be a bit more like Lt. Eve Dallas from the popular "In Death" novel series by J.D. Robb. Instead, she is an experienced traffic cop that's suddenly thrown into a new world. She's dealing with this on top of a whirlwind romance that is culminating in marriage and the pressures that accompany it. Kurumi is funny, smart, and understandably very scared at times. She does cry too much and tends to give up a bit easy, but given the circumstances, it's hard not to fault her. She's somewhat dense and very romantic - the complete opposite of Himuro.

Himuro is more of your typical angsty male, and you can tell that the series is eventually gearing toward a pairoff of some sort between him and Kurumi. The only one that stands in that way - besides Himuro's obvious problems that are revealed in the book - is Kurumi's fiance, Shingo. Shingo...seems to be too dense for his own good. I honestly think his head is permanently lodged in his pants. As Hanae points out at one point, she feels that Kurumi will be good to help Himuro. I think Himuro and this job will be good to help Kurumi see Shingo for the potential deadbeat that he is - I hope.

The mystery itself is a deeply complex one and it's extremely hard to figure out who the murderer is. You're not going to do so right away and you're not even going to find out before the end of the book. Just when you think that you've hit upon the right person, you find out that you're wrong. So far, it revolves around how clever Himuro can be and there's some pretty complex stuff in here. The plot is woven around these scenes where Himuro pushes Kurumi to what she feels are her limits. Then, she discovers that she can actually go beyond them.

Remote is a series that showcases an excellent genre that isn't represented a lot - mysteries involving adult characters aimed at adults. The mystery, to this point, is excellent and the characters (with the exception of Shingo) are very likeable. The good mystery combined with the ongoing characterization is what pulls this book together and I found myself hating that there'll be another two months before I can get my hands on the second volume. Very recommended.


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