Author: Tanigawa Nagaru, Kohane Natsumi
Genre: Mystery, manga
Publication Date: February 2011 (US Release)
Version Read: English edition (US release)
Synopsis: When high school student Souji Kushiki, an academic achiever and talented athlete from a well-to-do family, returns home from summer vacation, he finds that his sisters Harumi, Youko and Saki have changed. Their strangely clingy behavior borders on the inappropriate and bizarre, yet Souji just brushes off their mysterious conduct at first.
However, when Souji arrives at school the next day, he learns that, during the summer, three students were murdered by an unknown culprit. Are the victims linked, and could Souji’s sisters have anything to do with the murders?
With the help of his cheery and spunky new girlfriend Yukako Sasai, straight-laced Souji is about to venture into a mysterious world that might just be the death of him.
☆: 5/5 – Tanigawa proves himself again with a fresh new story!
Review: To those who say that Tanigawa can only write scifi comedy, “Amnesia Labyrinth” slaps you in the face with a fresh new adult-themed mystery story that surprised me in its depth.
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I LOVE Tanigawa’s “Haruhi” series, and have read somewhere around half of the published novels and manga (not to mention am a loyal fan of the anime and movie), so I’m pretty familiar with his brief, slapstick-style writing. Just by looking at the cover, I thought that this might be another school life-themed comedy, and within the first few pages, yeah, it seems that the story might be going in that direction until the first murder. Not to mention the incest – “Haruhi” got dark in certain parts of the continuing story, but never THIS dark. I was really surprised, once more, with Tanigawa’s talent, proving that he’s not just a YA writer in Japan but he’s also flexible with other genres therein.
Apparently this is an original story for the manga, with no original source material (a novel, like the “Haruhi” series) to go from. I didn’t even know he was working on a new project until I spotted this in B&N yesterday. I can’t comment on the translation as I haven’t read the original (yet), but I trust Seven Seas enough since they’ve done a decent job on some of my other favourite titles (“Venus Versus Virus”, “Strawberry Panic!”) in the past. I can only hope that their track record holds on this one, or I’ll be quite pissed off. There’s nothing worse than a bad translation. Okay, maybe there is: a half-assed one.
I can’t wait until the next volume in this series, and I need to track down the original volumes to read and check. I can’t say I’m sold on Kohane’s illustrations (especially since the artist who illustrated “Gosick” did some gorgeous original character sketches that were included as bonuses in the translated version), but since the story really captured my sick little heart, I’m willing to forgive the art portion of this volume on merit.