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Book Review: Bloody Monday Volume 9

February 19, 2013

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It has been a while, has it not? Last month, I was doing a lot of catching up and even reviewed Weston Kincade's sequel to A Life of Death. Unfortunately, I have not really gotten any new books after the Haruhi Suzumiya novel, since I chose to get a card game instead.

Anyway, in my review of Detective Conan (Case Closed) episode 29 (Japanese count), I made mention of some books I was expecting to arrive this month. Recently, I received three of the four books that I had ordered and the fourth is on its way. Today, I will be reviewing one of those books, which is called Bloody Monday Volume 9 by Ryou Ryumon.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

The terrorist have successfully gained access to prison where their leader is being held, thinking that everything has gone according to plan. Suspecting that Falcon, who wants to get Anko the antivirus as soon as possible, attacked them, J agrees to meet Fujimaru, thinking they have the upper hand. However, what they do not know is that the attack on the prison failed and that Third-I plans to capture them all together.

I enjoyed this book. I found it funny that the new chief of Third-I did not suspect that a spy was close to him, instead thinking it was the people who supposedly failed to capture the terrorist before Bloody-X got out. This definitely shows how stupid it is when people who do not know a thing, such as those that are hurting their legitimate customers, under the guise of stopping piracy, try to deal with things in which they lack experience with. I may not know a whole lot about computer security, because I only took one computer security class during my college days. However, there are two things I have learned while working on my computer degree, one of which applies to the entertainment industry. No matter one does, it only keeps the honest honest. However, considering that this is not the entertainment industry that we are looking, there are different measures that are taken to weed out the honest from the dishonest, such as interrogation. That leads into the second thing about computer security that I have learned, which applies a bit more to this book, is that threats from the outside are less dangerous than threats from the inside. That is why businesses, and most likely government agencies, have security policies in place. Of course, that does not mean that they will not fall victim to social engineering techniques, such as phishing. With a chief that does not understand those facts about computer security, which also apply to other areas in our society, I can certainly understand the reason for everyone to go behind his back. I certainly would go behind the back of such a person. Another thing that I liked was that things did not go exactly as how Fujimaru expected. Now, he is not some genius at say games like chess, as far as I know, which relies on predicting what the other person would do, but it does kind of get boring when things go exactly as he planned. Because of the fact that Kano confronted Hosho, who was revealed to be a spy, in volume 5, Fujimaru expected him to go beserk and had Otoya watch him. However, it was Otoya who lost his composure. Even today, I was kind of surprised that J was Otoya's brother. I would have expected them to be half-brothers, through the revelation, but what I am curious about, and do not know if season 3 answers, since there are no translations of chapters after chapter 25 of season 3, as of today, according to Mangahelpers, and I do not remember if seasons 1 or 2 answered, is why J's watch, which he gives Otoya, features the name Masamune Kujo, who is the Prime Minister of Justice, according to the character list located at the front of the volume. He is supposed to be Otoya's grandfather and J said that the watch was from his mother, who is supposedly Kaname Kujo. I would expect that something like that to come from a spouse, not from somebody who is the grandfather of one's kids. There was some action, but the thing that really held my attention was how intense the events of the volume were. I also liked how liked how the glossary of terms did not explain terms that were to crop up, as well as those presented already. For quite a while, I have been complaining that doing can confuse readers and it looks like the mistake has been corrected. The fact that the tension held my attention and that the cast recognized that the new chief was incompetent, as well as the fact that I am curious as to why the name of Otoya's grandfather was on J's watch and the glossary of terms did not seem to introduce things early, certainly made this enjoyable.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues with it. First, now that we know that the new chief of Third-I is incompetent, I just do not see how a guy like him could be placed in Third-I. Then again, bureaucracy is seemingly being added in every facet of people's lives in the US, and those people have no idea how things work. I may not want to be given medication right and left, making my body more dependent on drugs, but I certainly do not go telling doctors what they can and cannot do like governments tend to do, nor do I not tell those that choose not to get insurance because they can cover their own health care to get insurance. In this case, I would have thought that people being considered to become the chief of an intelligence agency to have thorough background checks to make sure they are fit for the job, like basic computer security knowledge, which applies to more than computers anyway. On the other hand, considering that mankind created government, the government is just as flawed as we are. I also noticed that there were quite a few typos and wrong words used. Now, I am prone to such things as well, as most of you should know, but this is coming from professional translators, who supposedly have editors and proofreaders trying to minimize the amount errors present. Unfortunately, I am having a bit of trouble finding the exact instances, in order to say what exactly they were. I had other things to complain about too, but because I either was not looking hard enough or still lack a lot of knowledge about the computer world, I have to let them go, since I may have complain about something that does indeed exist and say that it is practically impossible. Outside of those things, and my usual complaints of things that Kodansha continually omits from all the titles I follow, except for Negima!, I cannot really think of anything else that really bugs me. The fact that I thought I saw some issues in the contents, as well as the fact that a guy that was apparently too incompetent to head an intelligence agency was put in charged, did not really make this look like Kodansha's best work.

Despite the issues, the fact that the glossary of terms does not mix new and already mentioned terms and that there was quite a bit of tension made this worth reading. I recommend this to those that are interested in computers, technology, and fiction that deals with terrorism.

What are your thoughts on Bloody Monday Volume 9? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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