Monday, December 24, 2012

Turnabout Memories - Part 2

"I have to go over everything that's happened. I have to remember"

You could say that mystery-wise, this was a good year. I mean, I got the chance to write the introduction to the English translation of Edogawa Rampo's The Fiend with Twenty Faces (which means that my name actually appears next to Rampo's on sites like Amazon!). And I entered the Kyoto University Mystery Club, where writers like Ayatsuji Yukito, Abiko Takemaru, Norizuki Rintarou, Maya Yutaka, Ooyama Seichirou and Van Madoy originate from and which still is a wretched hive of scum and villainy a place where people with a healthy, and some with a unhealthy love for the genre gather. It is the first time I think in my life I have been able to just talk about detective fiction in real life with other people (as oppossed to over the internet), which is really fun. Ah, if only we had such clubs back home...

And this was also the year where definitely started to slack with my reviews. Sorry for that.


Anyway, like last year, A List Post. And with that, I mean a list of ten works with no comments on them whatsoever, leaving the reader to guess why I picked them and... a couple of random categories for works I wanted to mention.  

Best short story collection!
Misshitsu Shuushuuka (The Locked Room Collector) (Ooyama Seichirou)

He may be a very inactive writer, but Ooyama's short stories are great. In Misshitsu Shuushuuka, he manages to combine the locked room situation succesfully with pure logic-based detection, something you don't see often and certainly not as elegantly done as here.

Best logic seen in a novel!
Kotou Puzzle (The Island Puzzle) (Arisugawa Alice)
 Everything in a lengthy novel is solved through a lengthy, multi-stage deduction chain based on the state of one (!) single item. Queen would have been proud, and impressed.

Best turnabout!
Marutamachi Revoir (Van Madoy)

I saw the movie of the mother-of-all-turnabouts, Gyakuten Saiban, and I reviewed the crossover game, Professor Layton vs Gyakuten Saiban. Danganronpa also borrowed a lot from Gyakuten Saiban, but Marutamachi Revoir was just fun because I didn't know at the time that the story would feature that many turnabouts.Heck, it explicitly isn't about the truth in the Revoir novels, just about whether it seems plausible enough, creating an enormous space for people rebutting other people's claims (who in turn get rebutted too...).

Best story I read which I can't discuss in detail!
International Problem II was either the first or the second Guess the Criminal script we did at the Mystery Club this year, but it was definitely the most fun in my opinion. In a sense, Guess the Criminal scripts aren't as much stories as they are pure puzzles, but why complain if it is a splendidly constructed puzzle?

Most Interesting Game. Played in 2012 But Probably Older! 
Professor Layton vs Gyakuten Saiban (Level-5)

A hard one, even if I confine myself to only mystery games! Kamaitachi no Yoru 2, Danganronpa and Professor Layton vs Gyakuten Saiban are all three very strong contenders, as well as Detective Jinguuji Saburou - Yume no Owari ni (At the End of the Dream), which has been waiting for a proper review for half a year now. But force me to name only one title, and I would go with Professor Layton vs Gyakuten Saiban, for the insane theme of witch trial and the witty script. And it was actually released this year.

(And as for non-mystery games I want to mention: 428428428. Play it! And even though I'm not a big platforming Mario fan, I did enjoy Super Mario 3D Land and I am spending way too much time with Animal Crossing New Leaf too. And Suikoden was an awesome RPG too!)

Most Interesting Game I Didn't Play in 2012 But Only Saw A Playthrough Of!
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo - Hoshimitou - Kanashimi no Fukushuuki (The Case Files of Young Kindaichi - Stargazing Isle - The Sad Monsters of Revenge) (Hudson)

I should buy a SEGA Saturn maybe...

Novel featuring the best reason to decapitate someone!
Clock Tower Jou Satsujin Jiken (Clock Tower Castle Murder Case) (Kitayama Takekuni)

Sorry Jezebel, but you're not even close to what Kitayama came up with in Clock Tower Jou Satsujin Jiken.

And like last year, The Just-Ten-In-No-Particular-Order-No-Comments List:

This isn't the last post of this year, because there is another one scheduled for tomorrow, but I have no idea about after that. Guess we will all find out when the next (after tomorrow's post) one actually goes up!

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