Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Yen Press
  • MSRP: 10.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 978-0-7595-2341-8
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Spiral: the Bonds of Reasoning

Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     November 23, 2007
Release Date: October 30, 2007


Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning Vol.#01
© Yen Press


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kyo Shirodaira / Eita Mizuno
Translated by:Christine Schilling
Adapted by:

What They Say
World-class detective Kiyotaka Narumi's last words prior to his sudden disappearance continue to haunt his younger brother, Ayumu. The cheeky tenth-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. Following the story are several omake pages, along with some limited translation notes. In a somewhat unusual move, there are no advertisements for other Yen Press titles included - every page in the book is devoted to Spiral.

The Review
Just who are the Blade Children?

Packaging:

The cover features a reworking of the original Japanese artwork, with a full-length shot of Ayumu and Hiyono against an abstract background. The overall layout is very well balanced. The only complaint I have is that the font they use for the title is a little difficult to read on the spine. Overall print quality is very good, with clean lines and dark blacks. No color pages are included.

Art:

Mizuno's art is clean and dramatic, but somewhat simplistic at times. Facial proportions are sometimes slightly off, and she relies primarily on full-face closeups. That isn't to say the art is in any way bad, but having seen her later art, it does improve in technique and polish as the series progresses. Panel layouts are simple, but her few explorations into more dynamic arrangements work nicely.

Text/SFX:

All sound effects are translated with subtitles, but the translations are a direct Japanese translation, with the English equivalent in parenthesis next to the first occurrence on that page. It's an interesting style decision, but it works surprisingly well. The translation itself seems accurate and flows smoothly.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Two years ago genius detective and world-class pianist Kiyotaka Narumi vanished after telling his brother that he was going to investigate the mysteries of the Blade Children. Ayumu is now in tenth grade, and determined to surpass his brother in every way, even though his every attempt seems to fall short. An ill-timed nap puts him in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he finds himself accused of murder when a girl falls - or is pushed - to her death from a landing at school.

Luckily, or not, the detective in charge of the investigation is Ayumu's sister-in-law Madoka, who is as determined as Ayumu is to find out who the Blade Children are and what they had to do with Kiyotaka's disappearance. Ayumu becomes even more determined to clear his name when he discovers that the murder at school is somehow linked to the Blade Children as well.

Ayumu finds an unexpected ally in Hiyono, the president of the school's newspaper club. They eventually solve the murder but get no answers to the larger questions, and another dead body to boot. They do, however, find out that the owner of the Shinoseiju Manor was going to assist one of these supposed Blade Children, and when they arrive to ask some questions, they find Detective Madoka and a locked-room murder waiting for them. Can Ayumu figure out who the murderer is and how it was accomplished before Madoka can?

Comments
Spiral is a series that has been highly anticipated by quite a few people for quite a few years, and finally getting to read it in English is a real treat. Fans of the anime will find the story familiar, but with a promise of answers to some of the questions that the anime left wide-open. People new to the series should find a lot to love as well, especially fans of mysteries, although the story certainly isn't something that everybody is going to love. There's a nice balance between the shorter mysteries and hints at the larger overarching plot that makes this volume satisfying - but also leaves the reader wanting to know what happens next. I'm hooked hard, and can't wait to see what twists this series takes as the mystery of the Blade Children unfolds.

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