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Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning Volume 1

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Cover artwork for Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning by Kyo Shirodaira, Eita Mizuno

Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning Volume 1

© Kyo Shirodaira, Eita Mizuno/SQUARE ENIX

The Bottom Line

Ayumu is bright, gifted and bored. But beneath his cool exterior, he's tormented by the memory of his older brother who disappeared from sight two years ago, leaving only word that he was pursuing "the Blade Children."

Unlike your typical shonen manga hero, Ayumu doesn't have magic powers, a huge sword or demons at his side – he saves the day by the power of his intellect. With its complex CSI-esque mysteries tied together by the Blade Children plot thread, Spiral offers an entertaining, albeit sometimes overly wordy story that will leave you intrigued enough to pick up Volume 2.

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Pros

  • A satisfying detective mystery with a smart teen sleuth who doesn't always have the answers
  • Clean, well-executed art that allows the story to shine through
  • An entertaining mix of drama, comedy and suspense
  • Overarching "Blade Children" mystery provides framework for future intrigue
  • Strong and interesting female characters keep hero from getting too cocky

Cons

  • Art and character designs are unexceptional, look like almost every other shonen manga out there
  • Can be somewhat word-heavy; at times, it's a dense read
  • Girl reporter Hiyono can be a little too cutesy-wootsy at times

Description

  • Original Title: Supairaru: Suiri no Kizuna (Japan)
  • Author: Kyo Shirodaira
    Artist: Eita Mizuno
  • Publishers:
  • ISBN: 978-0-7595-2341-8
  • Cover Price: $10.99 US / $13.99 CANADA / £5.99 UK
  • Age Rating: T – Teens Age 13+ for mild violence
    More about content ratings.
  • Manga Genres:
  • US Publication Date: October 2007
    Japan Publication Date: 2000
  • Book Description: 192 pages, black and white illustrations

Guide Review - Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning Volume 1

Like many gifted children, 10th grader Ayumu Narumi is smart, confident... and bored. School doesn't offer many challenges, and he knows that he's smarter than most adults. But Ayumu is haunted by the one adult he could never surpass: His older brother, Kiyotaka.

Besides being an outstanding student, musician, and athlete, Kiyotaka become one of the best detectives in the police force. But two years ago, Kiyotaka called home to say he was "going to follow the mystery of the Blade Children." He hasn't been heard from since. It seemed that the mystery of Kiyotaka's disappearance would never be solved but lately, several mysterious murders have been occurring around town and whispers of "The Blade Children" swirl around these incidents. From this set-up, Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning takes readers on a murder mystery ride worthy of an episode of CSI.

The art is nicely done, but it isn't especially original. With his school uniform and spiky hair, Ayumu looks like almost every shonen manga hero out there today. But what makes Spiral different is that Ayumu doesn't rely upon magic powers, huge swords or demons to save the day – he uses his intellect and guts.

The mysteries that Ayumu must solve aren't simple ones either. What makes Spiral so entertaining is that the murders are genuinely perplexing, unlike your garden variety "so easy even Scooby-Doo could solve it with his eyes closed" mysteries. This makes it even more satisfying when Ayumu, school reporter Hiyono and detective Madoka finally unravel the tangled webs of deception.

However, with this complexity comes one of Spiral's shortcomings: It can be pretty wordy. Fortunately, Shirodaira and Mizuno offer enough comic relief to keep this first volume entertaining as well as intriguing; at least intriguing enough to tempt readers back for Volume 2.

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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