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Spiral

a.k.a. Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning

a.k.a. Spiral: Suiri no Kizuna

spiral-1
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Sony Music Entertainment
Format: 25 episodes
Dates: 10/1/2002 to 3/25/2003

Narumi Ayumu lives in the shadow of his older brother’s disappearance two years earlier. Now residing with his brother’s wife, police detective Narumi Madoka, Ayumu is constantly preoccupied by the last words his brother spoke: Blade Children. As a series of mysteries arise, Ayumu uses his formidable detective skills to solve the crimes. But it is always the larger mysteries that continue to loom over him. Who are the Blade Children? Why did his brother disappear?

summary by Madoka

 

Reviewed: 05/19/2003 by
Grade: 70% av-Kjeldoran

Highs: Bright, clean animation; Mitsuishi Kotono

Lows: Repetitive mysteries; asks more questions than it answers

As one of the few mystery anime out there, at first it seemed that Spiral would be nothing more than a Scooby Doo “Mystery of the Week” show. Thankfully, this anime finds its footing after the first few episodes. With a mix of comedy, drama and mystery, the story dives into an elaborate plot with a solid foundation to build the characters around. But, ultimately, the series fails to deliver, asking more questions than it answers.

With the vivid colors and slick character design, the animation itself is clean and appealing. The colors and detail of the eyes of the Blade Children in particular are striking. One definite asset for this show is the presence of the ever-amazing Mitsuishi Kotono voicing Narumi Madoka, flexing both her dramatic and comedic muscles in yet another flawless performance.

As for the mysteries, at first Ayumu encounters genuine brainteasers, but as the show progresses they all become similar and repetitive. The plot advances steadily until the end of the series when suddenly it seems to lose all of its momentum. With the amount of mysteries the plot presents, it’s not unreasonable to expect at least some of them to be resolved. By leaving most (if not all) of the story unresolved, this anime will have most viewers frustrated and unfulfilled.

The biggest mystery of Spiral is the story itself. It’s a shame that a good premise in a unique genre fails to live up to its full potential.

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