Friday, September 2, 2016

Any Old Port In A Storm

グッと飲んでパッとやってtry try try
たまにゃはずして feel so good (feel so good)
万が一 金田一 迷宮入りする前に

Gulp down some drinks and go wild / try try try
You gotta let go sometimes / feel so good (feel so good)
Just in case Kindaichi can't solve the case
"That's Guts!" (Ulfuls)

Hey, Detective Conan and Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R ("The Young Kindaichi Case Files R") are released around the same day again! Though looking at the preview, it appears this was just luck, as the release dates will be off one month again the next time.

Last time I wrote a review of Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R, I said I wasn't sure whether I'd do a single review of volume 10, because usually stories in this series are longer than one volume. So I was quite surprised to find out that Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R 10 consisted mostly out of shorter stories featuring the young high school detective Kindaichi Hajime, grandson of Kindaichi Kousuke. The volume starts with the final chapter of The Case Files of Sommelier Akechi Kengo, which started in the previous volume. Hajime and childhood friend Miyuki are hired as part timers for a private wine drinking party held at a fancy restaurant, because the usual staff all got sick. While Hajime is washing dishes in the back, waitress Miyuki is surprised by the arrival of Superintendent Akechi. The sommelier of the restaurant is also sick, so he asked his old friend Akechi to fill in his position at the party, because Akechi holds a Wine Expert license of the Japan Sommelier Association. The wines are part of a private collection, and the owner has invited business friends over. Near the end of the night however, one man dies because of a poisoned glass of wine. But how could he have been poisoned? Everyone drank from the same wine bottles, and it was Akechi himself who poured all the glasses.

This is the second time Superintendent Akechi's starred in his own story in the R series. It's a short one, but the story has an interesting theme once you realize that the writer of the manga, Amagi Seimaru, is also the writer of the manga Kami no Shizuku ("Drops of God"), a series about wine that actually influenced interest in wine and sales of wine in Japan. Amagi Seimaru is only one of the many, many pen names Kobayashi Shin (a former comic editor) uses by the way, and he writes Kami no Shizuku under the name Agi Tadashi.

The story makes good use of knowledge about wine, and while I usually dislike mystery stories that hinge on the use of trivia, the hinting is actually done well enough so people who don't know anything about wine can still solve it. It can even be a bit too obvious, because this story features the 'let's compare all the Xs and pick the odd one out', a device very often used in this series. Usually, it's just one element of the complete problem solving, but because this is a short story, it kinda stands out. Overall though, this is a decent story.

Sommelier Akechi Kengo's Case Book is followed by The Black Ghost Hotel Murder Case, which is not a very long story either. Hayami Reika, the popular idol, is shooting her new film The Black Ghost Hotel, and they need some part-timers, so she thought this was the perfect opportunity to get Hajime over to her place (little did she know that Miyuki was also reading Hajime's chat apps). Both Hajime and Miyuki gladly take the jobs and make their way to an old hotel in Hakone, where the film is being shot. The hotel is the perfect shooting location for the film, because it has its own rumors of a dark figure haunting the hallways. But by now, employers everywhere really should learn to not hire Hajime and Miyuki, because it always ends with murder. The first shoot, of a scene of the lead actress playing the piano, goes horribly wrong when there's a power failure, followed by a chandelier falling on top of the actress. And this wasn't the ghost's only victim...


Usually, a Kindaichi Shounen story is about twelve chapters long. This one was six chapters long. It felt as a very concentrated Kindachi Shounen story because of that, as it did have all the usual tropes you expect from the series. From a 'spooky backstory', to multiple murders which kinda seem impossible and red herrings. Though, to be perfectly honest, the ghost story about the dark figure haunting the hotel was absolutely useless. Gather all the panels in which the ghost is mentioned and you might have one whole page. Perhaps. It's basically not present. I did like the rest of the story though. The chandelier murder is pretty neat, though I do think it needed one extra hint to really make this a good story. I guessed what was going on, but to be really fair to the reader, the story really did need one extra hint to have all the necessary steps included within the story, especially as it's also related to the second murder (which was okay, but not particularly well-hinted at).

Hmmm, now I think about it, this volume did not have any real impossible crimes. The chandelier can be seen as one, but it is not presented as such, which is the same for the sommelier story. It's pretty rare for this series to not feature impossible crimes! 

The volume ends with the first chapters of a new story, but I did not read them, as I want to read the whole story in one go, when the next volume is released (assuming it ends in the coming volume).

Overall, Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R 10 is a decent volume, but nothing particularly outstanding. I already mentioned in my previous review of the series, but despite having the same amount of pages, there happens a lot less in this series compared to Detective Conan, because of the way it's paneled. To be honest, this volume feels only like half a Detective Conan volume in terms of content, but it's amusing enough.

Original Japanese title(s): 天樹征丸(原)、さとうふみや(画) 『金田一少年の事件簿R』第10巻


  1. have u noticed that lately gosho has been adding detectives from tv dramas and light novels instead of normal novel in his detective encyclopedia?

    does this mean he has less time to read ?

    1. Isn't that partly *because* there are more detectives in TV drama (whom are still often adaptations) and light novels nowadays? I mean, there were no light novels 20 years ago when the series started...

    2. yeah but there are many popular authors he didn't mention like paul halter, nikaido reito, van gullick or clayton rawson so I figured maybe it's because he lacked the time to read all these novels and instead chose to watch tv series...

    3. He can only write about one detective once every three months or so, so it's also possible names like those just aren't high on the priority list. I mean, it took him until volume 74(!) or so to write about Ayukawa's Inspector Onitsura.

  2. Hmmm. There must have been at least three chandelier-related murders in the Kindaichi oeuvre, with two occurring in manga format. I enjoy both Conan and Kindaichi, and while I think Conan is delectably compressed, I think I have a slight preference for the puzzle to be played out at a longer pace.

    1. Do you read the Akechi spinoff? I kinda ignored it, because the other spinoffs (the holiday and Takatoo ones) weren't that interesting, but now I see it's finished...

  3. there's something I wanted to ask for a long time

    is Satou Fumiya a woman ?

    because on several sites it says so, but in the manga the way they draw themselves look like a male