Saturday, July 20, 2013

Q.E.D. volume 7 review

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Q.E.D., vol. 7, by Katou Motohiro. Grade: B

(Sou explains the discovery of the mathematical constant e.)

Serial John Doe (Great Magazine, 2000). One of the math students that had attended MIT at the same time as Loki and Touma has decided that the only way to live on for eternity is to do something so great that everyone keeps repeating your name. In "John Doe's" case, though, he wants to step out of the shadows and take Touma's place in the light. To do this, he kills 3 other members of Touma's graduating class - all top scientists in their fields of math and physics - in such a way as to incorporate math symbols in the crime scene. Touma pieces things together to get Euler's equation e^pi*i = -1. After the first two deaths (representing PI and e), the CIA agent that had arrested Eva in volume 4 contacts Loki for help on the case. Loki takes Kana and Touma to Hong Kong to see the body of a Chinese scientist that had been killed with a lethal uranium injection. Back in Japan, the killer shoots Touma in the shoulder, but since there were no witnesses and no bullet found, both the police and Touma's classmates discredit the boy as a typical kid pulling a prank to get attention (thus undermining Touma's name). A little later, the killer attempts suicide by shooting himself in the mouth and having his body fall into the Niagara so it won't be found. Both of the last two attempts are botched and the killer sees this as proof from god that he should shoot Touma point-blank and take over his name and identity. (Note that Touma recovers immediately from the shoulder wound and is never shown wearing bandages.)

(John Doe in the shadows, and Sou in the light.)

Sou figures out where Doe is waiting for him near the Sumida river, but Kana and Loki arrive in time to save their friend, proving Touma's claim that you achieve immortality by making good friends. The police arrive and the killer is escorted away before he can tell Touma who he is.

LOTS of math history this time, with mentions of Leonhard Euler, John Napier and Gauss, plus demonstrations of the applications of pi, i and e. That's entertaining. But the idea that Touma is never going to learn the killer's name, since he's a witness in a murder case, is unrealistic.

(Initially, the girl had said that there were only 95 bills.)

Yuuutsuna Gogo (Gloomy Afternoon, Great Magazine, 2000). Every so often, we get a regular story, rather than a murder case. This is one of those times. Kana and Touma find themselves trapped in a flower shop with a cop unable to figure out who stole 50,000 yen ($500 USD) from the shop owner. The suspects include the owner, and three of his assistants. All of them could use the money, and all of the assistants had asked for a loan from their boss but had been rejected. Kana and the three assistants all have plans for the evening that are going to be ruined if the money isn't found. Eventually, Touma is forced to explain what happened, with the condition that the owner drop all charges and forgive the thief for the crime.

(All is forgiven in the end.)

How did the money disappear? Who stole it and why don't they come forward? Three people are lying or have something they want kept secret. What is the truth, and why does the shop owner so willingly cave in to Touma's demands in the end?

Again, no real science, but we do learn a little about exotic plants, especially the "Green Moon" Paphiopedilum.

Comments: The flower shop story is a bit weak, especially with everyone angrily yelling at each other and throwing accusations all over the place. Serial John Doe could have been written a bit tighter as well, but I did enjoy the math stuff. Recommended.

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