30 Nov 2007
Admittedly this review is in a bit late, but that's what you get when you rely on Amazon's online rental service (stock more volumes damn you *shakes fist*)
It's a shame too, because Spiral is a damn good series, and I would have liked to have told you about it sooner.
Ayumu Narumi has much to live up to. His brother, a genius at anything he attempted, mysteriously disappeared when helping the police look for "the Blade Children". Now the mystery has returned to haunt Ayumu. Will he overcome his self-doubt?
This series is an intriguing mix of Saturday morning kids TV and creepy noir a'la Death Note. Each episode a murder is committed, and Ayumu must deduce (along with decidedly dippy companion, School paper editor Hiyono Yuizaki) how the apparantly bizarre murders could have been undertaken. The answer is almost always incredibly complex and clever, and much like Death Note's Light Yagami, Ayumi is one step ahead of his enemies.
And his enemies are clever indeed. The Blade Children begin to show themselves during this first volume, manipulating events, disposing of any that stand in their way and putting Ayumi through the ringer.
The series is well animated and the designs suit the screen well, but the best aspect of the series is its pacing. Each mystery fits snugly into the 20-odd minutes runtime, and the common thread binding it all together is both strong and intriguing. The dub also has some merit, not least a one liner I'll share with you here:
"There's been a murder in the Manor of Death!"
"Should have seen that coming..."
In short, I'd recommend this to armchair detectives looking for a light fix of cerebral excercise.