Sunday, February 28, 2010
Scanlation Get: Tantei Gakuen Q
This week's title is in one of my favorite genres, mystery. It is something I didn't realize I liked so much until a few years ago when I watched the Agatha Christie anime. I was then like hot damn, now that I think about it I really like mystery. When it comes to mystery and manga/anime it tends to be a lot of teen boys, closed room, and being trapped on islands. There is a lot of precedents for this, Yoshihiro Tatsumi (A Drifting Life) was doing a lot of mystery one-shots, in the 1950's, of this type before getting gekiga rolling. It can get a bit old but in short bursts I find this style of mystery wonderfully enjoyable. I could wax on more about Japan and mystery manga (I ran a mystery manga panel at Otakon and Anime Boston one year...) but I'll stop and talk about this week's title.
Titles like Conan, Kindaichi, even Murder She Wrote fall into an annoying mystery trap them selves. Who would want to meet these people? Wherever they show up people die! Poor Jessica Fletcher imagine all the death she must have seen her lifetime! With Tantei Gakuen Q being a detective class it gives them a legit reason to investigate a murder, often there isn't even a murder! Amazing! It might just be a set up for a class test or they might just be studying a closed room crime or such. They manage to mix up the different story arcs pretty well, which helps to keep it fresh.
This isn't a title that will win over new converts to the mystery genre but if you already like Kindaichi, Conan, or even Agatha Christie it's worth a look at. Two interesting tidbits: The first is when my friend was living in Japan a few years ago he said the anime adaptation of this was airing and that it was huge. It was everywhere and the middle school kids he was teaching were talking about it all the time. The second is that apparently Seimaru Amagi is the pen name of Yuya Aoki who wrote Get Backers. Uh, WTF?!...Brainsplosion!