Book Review: In/Spectre Volume 3

In/Spectre Volume 3 cover

I hope that everyone is doing well, and did not get fooled by any fake articles yesterday.

Things are finally back to an amount of normalcy in which I can start fulfilling all requests on Patreon again, and even get to the titles that I have been meaning to cover, such as two that will be arriving in a few days, but I can at least still sit down and do something enjoyable.

Recently, I got a few books from Amazon, in order to tide me over until my preorders arrive, and start making progress on the aforementioned titles.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those books, which is called In/Spectre Volume 3 by Chashiba Katase.

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

Kotoko, Kuro, and Saki start talking about the recent events surrounding the mysterious apparition that they are trying to deal with, and try to come up with a way of dealing with her that might just work.

However, even though they have an idea of how to defeat the apparition, things might not go the way they want, as even they know that there may be people that want her to exist.

Sometimes, when I am away from a series for too long, there is a chance that my interest might wane for some reason.

Fortunately, after reading this volume, I am happy to say that I really enjoyed it.

Like the previous volumes, from the moment that I started reading the first few pages, I did not want to put it down for any reason, though I do have to satisfy the same needs as every other human being and there is a bit more noise here than usual.

One of the biggest problems with series is that they either start feeling like they are mundane or, in the case of long running series, like Detective Conan, it feels like they have become both dull and stale because the writer is not doing something interesting.

Yes, that is not the only problem with series as a whole, especially since much of it has to do with the reader growing used to the pace, but that is one reason that I do not particularly have much interest in very many series, or even feel like picking up more series until a few of them have run their course.

However, the way Chashiba is handling the manga is going fairly well so far, and I am quite impressed by what I am seeing.

Seriously, if this were not Chasiba's only work, as the creator of an adaptation or original manga, I would have considered reading his or her other works because I thought that I would not have encountered anybody else that is as good as Jun Mochizuki was in capturing my attention and maintaining it for the whole story.

Then again, I must remember the writers who created only one work that I thoroughly enjoyed, since I have read more works from Jun Mochizuki that I have from others in the manga industry, and keep a hold of myself, otherwise I would just become sorely disappointed because the writer ended up not being as talented as I thought they were.

Still, that does not mean that Chashiba should not be given credit for being able to keep things interesting when many adaptations fail to live up to the greatness of the original work, and I am willing to give Chashiba a lot of applause.

I also liked how this series gotten a much stronger mystery vibe in this volume than in the other ones.

From the very beginning, many people have been calling this a mystery series, as Kyo Shirodaira, the original author brought up in the commentary for the first volume, and it looks like this is becoming more of mystery in this volume, as there is not only a mystery of what the apparition, known as Steel Lady Nanase, is exactly but also the reason why she came into existence.

While the characters do have some kind of theory of how she came into existence and how to defeat her, I get the strong feeling that somebody will be trying to stop them because there are panels where I see a digital chatroom discussing events and rumors surrounding the apparition and somebody reacting to what is going on.

Now, I do try to refrain from jumping to conclusions because of the fact that Agatha Christie utilized red herrings so well in A Pocket Full of Rye that it was a good demonstration of why actions and such cannot be fully trusted, but that does not mean that I cannot make some guesses as to who I think might be responsible, and, at this point in time, I want to suspect that Nanase's only living relative is behind it, and, as far as I know that may be just be what Kyo wants me to believe, as this is supposedly a very faithful adaptation of the book Kyo Shirodaira wrote.

Of course, I am hoping that that suspect ends up being a red herring at this point because that would be rather boring, unless either Kyo Shirodaira or Chashiba Katase are one of those writers that can pull off a ending that is satisfying, even if it was predictable, and fans of mystery, detective, and/or crime fiction are people that good writers do not want to bore.

For now, I am just glad that things keep getting more mysterious, which gives me much more reason to keep following this series to the end, no matter whether it ends exactly like how the book ends or Chashiba decides to take things in a different direction, and I want to give him or her a lot of applause. Keep up the good work, Katase.

Another nice thing was how there were quite a few things to laugh about.

The funniest thing to be found, however, were, instead of anything in the actual content, which is just more of the usual things found in anime and manga, was the commentary from Kyo Shirodaira.

In the creative field, people think that a creator will be biased about their own work, whether it is annoying positive or highly critical, and that makes it so that people do not really want to hear about what the creator thought of their own work, which is why I do not plan to review any of the books I have written myself, but that bias not always remain with them, much like how people will not always enjoy a show that they considered a favorite in the past.

In this volume, Kyo revealed that it had been quite a while since he penned the original novel back in 2011, and said that he got all haughty by criticizing the dialogue of the work, and thinking that Chashiba did not know how to write, only to realize that he put those same exact lines in his original work.

I am not too sure about you guys, but it is quite funny when a writer does not realize that he or she is criticizing their own work because they forget that no piece of writing out there is perfect, and I can get a rather vague image of a writer feeling guilty for making such mistakes.

This is why I can overlook a few issues here and there. After all, readers only want to read a great story. They do not expect to get something that would garner a perfect score with grammar professors and so-called experts, and if the story is great, the fans will ignore the more minor flaws that can be found, whereas a terrible read will make it difficult to overlook any issues.

Thank you, Kyo, for making your commentary one of the highlights of this volume, even if you were not meaning to make it seem so funny.

The thing that I liked the most is how this volume discussed how things become truth.

In our society, we have many different beliefs out there, such as human beings being responsible for changes in weather, when humans and the things we make only make up a small amount of matter in the universe, compared to stars, planets, and the various other heavenly bodies, or that one religion is God's actual church while the others are part of the, if not the, Great and Abominable church, and we all believe that our particular stance is the truth, without considering any other possibilities, such as activity of the sun or other heavenly bodies and their effects on our planet or that all churches on our planet today may be the Great and Abominable church supposedly mentioned in the bible.

Likewise, in this volume, Kotoko says that many monsters came into existence because people thought that they were real and even gave those creations a name and eventually theorizes that a wiki dedicated to the apparition did not come about because of all the sightings, but the sightings started happening because of the wiki and that people thought that she did indeed exist.

While this is not the first series that I encountered where supernatural events were suspected of having human origins, since Ghost Hunt also had cases where humans caused supernatural events, I am surprised to see a series that talks about how lies become accepted as truth and is using it to explain the events happening now.

After all, even though there is truth out there, the truths that we believe to be true are actually lies, or, as I brought up in my review of The Hound of the Baskervilles, misconceptions from not carefully reading every word of the actual text.

This leads into an interesting discussion that has no concrete answer, much like the question of what is a miracle, and makes things a tiny bit more interesting because it seems like the psychology behind human beings might play a role in this series, though I do not think that this work as philosophical and people think that Attack on Titan is, when it only has a few questions that only create some sort of mystery for the series, instead of making people think.

I am not sure about you guys, but this just makes me want to pick up the next volume right now, even if it will not be available until May, according to the product page on Amazon, and alone warrants some major applause.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could stand out its own.

Because my attention was captured quickly and held throughout the duration of the book, the series is starting to feel more like a mystery series, the original author's commentary made me laugh more than the content, and how the current theory presented talks about how likes become truth, this book was a fairly interesting read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from one thing that did not ruin my enjoyment too much and things too minor to talk about, there was nothing that really bothered me.

As a result, I will have to say that there was nothing worth mentioning.

Considering that this series is still going strong, with more to like than hate, this was definitely worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of mystery, Kyo Shirodaira, and In/Spectre.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, as it has been able to impress me quite a bit, and might series a good introduction to the mystery genre, at least ones that cannot be considered either crime or detective fiction as well.

Feel free to share review and let everyone know what you liked or hated about this book, especially if I have mentioned something that you liked or you disagree with me.

Also, if you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon, so that I can continue finding worthwhile reads, and possibly cover a series you enjoy.

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