Sunday, March 31, 2013

QED, vol. 31 review

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Q.E.D. is not necessarily the kind of manga I would normally pick up. However, it caught my eye back when I was still using Manga Fox, and I'd read it when new chapters were scanned to see if the artwork had improved yet. I still don't like the art, since it looks too sketchy and incomplete. However, Book Off recently had a 20% discount on manga marked at 105 yen, and I was hoping to get the last couple volumes to see how the series ended. Turns out that #31 and #32 aren't where the end happens, but it was cheap so I bought them anyway.

Q.E.D., vol. 31, by Katou Motohiro. Grade: B
The artwork still hasn't gotten much better, but the stories aren't that bad. Sou Touma is a young genius that graduated from MIT as a teenager before returning to Japan. He's a brilliant problem solver but has few social skills. Kana Mizuhara is the typical manga female - a martial artist tomboy whose father is an overworked detective on the Tokyo police force. Kana drags Sou into her father's cases, and he invariably solves them within a few minutes. The story then is generally told from Kana's viewpoint as she interviews the suspects and presents her theories to Sou before he makes the big denouement. Often, he'll offer a clue to the reader to let them solve the case before the end of the chapter. There's little point to my doing a big write-up of the entire case from beginning to end, and I won't spoil the endings for anyone reading the fan scanillations. Instead, I'll just do a short summary of each case.

There are two main cases in volume 31. First, Loki, an American friend of Touma's, comes to Japan to get Touma's help in clearing the name of a fellow MIT researcher. The researcher has developed a new type of highly efficient jet engine, but all his research notes have been stolen and no one else can replicate his results. The company that hired him is investigating him for fraud, while he claims that the company president is the one that had the notes stolen in order to take the patents for the engine himself.

Case 2 starts out with a pair of mountain climbers getting stranded on a peak in a heavy storm. One of the two dies of exhaustion, coupled with being engulfed in an avalanche, and his final words were overheard by a rescue volunteer - "kill Komada for me", to which the partner said "ok". Three years later, Komada is climbing with 3 friends and he stumbles off a cliff by himself. The volunteer's son says "so the curse came true", causing the police to investigate whether this was an accident or murder.

If you like solve-it-yourself detective stories, Q.E.D. isn't bad. Kana plays Watson to Touma's Holmes, and the bad guy almost always gets caught. Recommended.

No comments: