Wednesday, August 5, 2009



"Maybe people by nature hold both an ugly and a beautiful side. Every man lives showing and hiding bits of both sides." "The Case Files of Young Kindaichi: Deep Blue Massacre"

Some things you read or watch because you know what to expect, especially with longer running series. So when I started with Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Satsuriku no Deep Blue ("The Case Files of Young Kindaichi: Deep Blue Massacre"), I was expecting several things. Gruesome murders. A motive rant made by the murderer. Possibly followed by a 'Shut Up Mokuba Hannibal' by Kindaichi. And token catchphrases like "nazo wa subete toketa" ("All the riddles are solved!") and "jicchan no na ni kakete" ("In the name of gramps!"). Because catchphrases are superspecialawesome. And of course, all these things were present in the book. Especially the gruesome murder was quite... gruesome with hearts being ripped out from chests. Nyeh.

The story starts with a terrorist hostage situation, with Kindaichi as one of the hostages and a leader/murderer calling himself King Shiisaa (it took me half the book to realize it was not meant as King Caesar, which in Japan contrary to the English-speaking world, is apparently actually pronounced in the right way). And stuff happens. Blah Blah Blah, Attack mode, Blah. Mediocre story, probably due it being originally meant as a movie set-up. And of course, everyone knows Morse code and everything is online. It felt more like a Kindaichi story by early writer Kanari instead of a novel written by the superior current writer-in-charge Amagi.

But still, as long as I am not robbed of my catchphrases and bloody murders, I tend to be fairly mild with my Brooklyn Rage towards mediocre Kindaichi stories compared to other mediocre detectives. Screw consistency, I have money. Or something like that. The offer of new Kindaichi material has been minimal these last few years (this year it's two Nintendo DS games and one story), but at least it's consistent. Of course, a new drama series based on the newer stories would be superspecialawesome and bound to attract a new audience of fans, if not only because Kindaichi drama always feature Johnny artists as protagonist Hajime and are always widely popular (then again, Johnny's are everywhere.)

On a side note, the book Yokai Attack! - The Japanese Monster Survival Guide makes a very interesting read on youkai, Japanese monsters/spirits and the like. Series like Umezu's Cat-Eyed Boy, Takahashi's Inu Yasha, Tezuka's Dororo and Mizuki's GeGeGe no Kitarou all feature loads of youkai, both by incorporating classic ones or by making new youkai based on classics. From well known traditional youkai like kappa, tengu and onibaba to more recent urban legend-like ones like Kuchisake Onna ("Slit-mouth woman") and Toilet no Hanako ("Hanako of the Toilet"), there all here in one handy guide. If in the least interested in monsters, mythology, Japan and horror (in all possible combinations of the above) this is a must-read. In America.


  1. Someone has been watching YuGiOh Abridged lately? xD

  2. Yes. Because marathoning this series on children's card games from the beginning once again is even more exciting than watching the paint-dry channel.

  3. I'm surprised that you are still (relatively) sane after doing that. But it does explain all the references. Right Ocean? (the ocean says Yes)