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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Spiral - Vol. 1: What are the Blade Children?

Spiral - Vol. 1: What are the Blade Children?

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Shingo Kaneko

The thrilling mystery anime series SPIRAL follows the adventures of Ayumu Narumi as he investigates the disappearance of his older brother Kiyotaka. When his search leads him to a shadowy organization known as the Blade Children, Narumi becomes implicated … see full wiki

Director: Shingo Kaneko
Release Date: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Spiral - Vol. 1: What are the Blade Children?

Clue over the edge and anime style

  • Jul 18, 2006
Rating:
+3
Pros: Not your typical anime

Cons: I’m already a little bored.

The Bottom Line: If you're feeling like an anime change-up, this might do ya.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Way back when I was still in school and actually not being lazy and going to anime club (I mean, all I had to do was basically go across the street to watch anime I didn’t have – and I couldn’t even manage that), we started a little anime called Spiral. I was intrigued. Mystery was apparently the name of the game, and solving them was the aim of the main character, Ayumu Narumi. Of course, I stopped going so I never got to see all of it, and then I noticed my partner in anime crime (ok, scratch the crime part because that doesn’t make much sense), Ulfson, was reviewing it. I figured I should get back into the game.

Ayumu Narumi has an older brother, Kiyotaka, an extremely bright and talented man. However, two years ago Kiyotaka disappeared in his search for the secrets of the Blade Children. Just what are they? What makes you think you’ll find out anytime soon?

Episode 1: A young student falls from a third story landing – the fence fell with her and if she hadn’t hit that truck, she would have smashed on pavement. Ouch. All signs seem to point to Ayumu, but he’s not one to be trifled with. He seeks out the clues to find the answer and gets his first introduction to the bizarre world of the Blade Children.

Episode 2: An woman is found dead in the personal library of Shiranagatani Raizou, leaving behind a strange symbol and several possibilities. Did she die from falling and hitting her head on a chair, or are the four people in the house suspects in a murder? Once again Ayumu, this time with bouncy, aspiring journalist Hiyono Yuizaki in tow.

Episode 3: Meet Eyes Rutherford (yeah I know, no comment), a young, utterly talented pianist who challenges Ayumu to play. However, Ayumu doesn’t like playing too much – his brother was proficient at it, and so he feels he is merely copying him. But tickling the ivories isn’t the only challenge Ayumu faces in the recital hall – someone has planted a bomb there and only Ayumu can disarm it, with Hiyono’s help of course.

Episode 4: Another murder has been committed – but there’s no time for that now. Ayumu has once again been challenged, this time by a new stranger, Asazuki. With Hiyono along for the ride, Ayumu has to use his wiles to escape a sticky situation.

Episode 5: Ayumu gets a tip from a fellow teacher – meet with him and find out everything there is to know about the Blade Children. Awesome…until the man winds up dead. Surprise surprise. And guess who it’s going to take to figure out the crime?

It isn’t often that I come across an anime of this sort. I think the majority of the things I watch include a lot more action. There are several that make you think, but this one is basically all brains. Puzzles, challenges, Mr. Mustard in the kitchen with the wrench – er no, wait. Anyway, when the second episode came up I found myself thinking, “We’re not going to be trying to solve murders or attempted murders this entire anime are we?” But when the fourth episode came around, because there was more of a direct mind game involved (though another attempted murder was included), I eased a little. I am interested in seeing where this goes, though the volume name is a little misleading in a way because you don’t find out squat about what the Blade Children are. All you really know is that they either want Ayumu or want to kill him, and that they have major issues in general.

It’s a little up in the air as to which version I prefer, Japanese or English. I don’t have any major problems with the English version – even Hiyono, who I was concerned would be ridiculously annoying – was fine. To add to that note, I was glad to discover that she’s actually pretty cute and provides a lot of comic relief with her goofy antics. Ayumu does seem to need someone like that around. But it is all going to be up to you, viewer, as to which you like better as I recommend trying them both out.

I like the music so far. Initially the opening song can make your eardrums bleed – the way it starts off is just “Yikes,” but strangely enough, after a while it rubs off on you and I’ve started to enjoy it. I still don’t like the very beginning, but the rest I can handle. I’m not going to rush out and slap it onto my MP3 player though. The ending song is a lot softer and can mellow you out after a tense episode. I tend to watch these at night before I go to bed, so it’s nice to have that. In the episodes it goes very well with the action – Hiyono’s theme is totally cute, the little tinkering of bells during thoughtful times is nice and tends to add to the mysterious ambiance, and I really like that we have a few piano players in the series, since I thoroughly enjoy good piano.

The animation is good, and though sometimes it seems just a little flat in some areas, there’s really nothing to complain about. In fact, I like some of the little things they’ve put in, such as Ayumu’s earrings, the iris use, and even some of the more goofy things that you might find in most anime, such as over-emphasized looks (Wataya’s face when Madoka punches him or Hiyono super-excited).

I’m pleased, and interested in seeing where this goes. Now that I’m stuck in the mystery of the Blade Children, I might as well find out what they are too.

Episodes in Volume 1:
1. Spiral of Destiny
2. Manor of Death
3. Cursed Children
4. The Happiness of Those Who Believe
5. Misty Gallows

NT

Future Volumes:
Spiral - Volume 2: Disarming Fate
Spiral - Volume 3: Shooting Fallen Stars
Spiral - Volume 4: Sharpening Wit
Spiral - Volume 5: The Melody of Logic
Spiral - Volume 6: The Notes of Truth

Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD

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