Thursday, May 5, 2011


「はじめちゃんならどうする? あたしとはじめちゃんが同じような目にあったら・・・」
「うーん そーだなあ 俺だったら・・・ 考えるだろうな・・・」
『金田一少年の事件簿 悲恋湖伝説殺人事件』

"What would you do, Hajime? If you and me were in the same situation..."
"Hmmm, I would... I would probably think..."
"Think of what?"
"Think of a way to save the both of us!!"
"The Casefiles of Young Kindaichi The Tragic-Love-Lake Legend Murder Case

Does it mean I'm not cut out to be a detective, if I don't attract murder while traveling with the train/night bus/plane/boat? I mean, I'm pretty sure there are some equations like: 

A) IF: detective is in a closed circle situation AND: other people are present THEN the probability of someone dying nears 1.

B) IF: detective is in a moving closed circle situation AND: other people are present THEN the probability of someone dying nears 1 at a faster rate than A.

Or something like that. Imagine my disappointment when I flew to Japan, or when I took the boat to Busan without any incidents. In contrast, Kindaichi Hajime seems to have it quite easy. Going on a schooltrip? Someone dies. Going to the wedding of a friend? Someone dies. Work? Someone dies. Heck, he can't even go to school without someone dying. And we haven't even put Kindaichi in a moving object!

Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Yuurei Kyakusen Satsujin Jiken ("The Casefiles of Young Kindaichi: The Ghost Ship Murder Case") is the second original novel by Amagi Seimaru and actually quite OK. With Kindaichi and Miyuki on the last trip of a super-cheap cruise (accompanied by Inspector Kenmochi and his wife who happened to book the same cruise as a wedding anniversary trip), you can be quite sure something is going to happen. And indeed, commanding crew is disappearing from the ship one by one. It doesn't take long for Kindaichi and Kenmochi to discover the disappearances are foul play (well, blood on the wall *kinda* suggests foul play), but how the men disappear? Or should they believe the rumors that this ship is a ghost-ship?

Of course not. But a certain ship of the past does make a return in this story. In one of the earlier stories of the manga, the wrecked cruiseship the Orient was the event that served as the motive for a series of murders. This novel tells the whole story behind the Orient incident and is therefore interesting for people interested in the Kindaichi Shounen lore. It's not as big as in Conan, but it's there.

The story follows the ordinary Kindaichi Shounen formula, which was to be expected. This was the first novel however to feature a Challenge to the Reader by Amagi though, which was quite welcome (even though Kindaichi's catchphrase "The mysteries have been solved" has the same function within the story). And the main trick used in this novel is quite neat actually, as it's a trick that really makes use of its ship-setting, rather than a trick that can be used anywhere and just happened to be used on a ship. Yet I can't help but think that it's slightly unbelievable with the technology this day and age. I'm not too familiar with ships though.

And before I forget it, I LOVED the bookmark I got with the book. In Japan, you usually get a little bookmark with every book. Most often, the publisher inserts a piece of paper with their logo or something. Sometimes bookstores offer them when you buy a book. Bookmarks designed specifically for a certain book are not super-rar, bu certainly not common. What was so awesome about this bookmark is that it features a dramatis personae (including character portraits). Many novels still include a dramatis personae in the beginning of the book, but including it on the bookmark is so simple, yet so ingeneous. You don't have to flip through the pages everytime and it makes the bookmark actually useful! Well, besides that bookmarking function it also has naturally. Bookmarks <3

Original Japanese title(s): 天樹征丸、さとうふみや 『金田一少年の事件簿 幽霊船客殺人事件』


  1. I still find it almost impossible to muster any kind of enthusiasm for this series, but I'm curious to know if Amagi Seimaru still regurgitates the same tired old formula of his predecessor (like he did in The Forest of Cerberus and The Phantom of the Silver Screen) – or did he finally pump some of the quality plots of TGQ/DAQ into the stories?

  2. I haven't read the last one yet, but until now all the novels are mostly like the stories in the manga. Exceptions would be Shanghai Ningyou Densetsu Satsujin Jiken (available in English as The Shanghai River Demon's Curse) and the Deep Blue Massacre, but that's because those stories were initially written for the movies and afterwards rewritten for novelization.

    It's been a while since I last read it, but I think the best novel (and incidently the most TGQ-ish) of the series is the Computer Lodge Murder Case (available in English as Murder Online), which features an offline meeting of several detective novel fans.

    If you're looking for the bridge between TCQ and Kindaichi, I think the short stories are what you want, as Amagi breaks free from the formula of the longer stories there.