Book Review: In/Spectre Volume 4

In/Spectre Volume 4 cover

I hope that everyone is having a good weekend, regardless of how you are spending it.

Things are still going pretty well, and I am still able to find some time to relax and do something enjoyable.

Recently, I decided to break down a bit and got a book from Amazon that I did not think that I would be able to afford for a while, as I had been meaning to get to it much earlier than now.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called In/Spectre Volume 4 by Chashiba Katase.

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

Rumors have been spreading of the death of police Sargent Terada's murder and the police are investigating their own for leads, but people are stilling claiming that these events were caused Steel Lady Nanase.

Unfortunately for Kotoko and the gang, that complicates their plans a bit, as the apparition will only grow stronger, as they must make plans to go against somebody that has not been seen for a month.

I kind of liked this volume.

From the moment that I started reading this book, I did not want to put it down for any reason, though I do have to satisfy the same needs as everyone else.

Back in the previous volume, Terada was last seen confront the apparition, and while fate his was revealed towards the end, and I was interested in finding out was who behind the whole thing, which made me want to get this volume as soon as possible, even though I have to wait for the volumes to be released.

Thankfully, part of what made this easy to get right back into the world of this series was how this volume started off by discussing the details of the case, and things did not get bogged down too much.

This series is only four volumes in and it really seems like Chashiba is able to put things together fairly well, especially according to Kyo Shirodaira, who claims in the commentary that the series would do just fine if he did not give feedback to Chashiba's editor, and I am getting even more impressed by what he or she is doing with the series, even though it is the first work attributed to Chashiba Katase for being able to keep things so interesting.

I also how a name was revealed for the person behind the creation of Steel Lady Nanase.

In my review of the previous volume, I was wondering who was behind the events occurring in the world of this series, and I guessed that the apparition's sister might be involved, as obvious as such a possibility is, which was why I did not want her to be the one ultimately responsible.

Fortunately, the apparition's sister was not the one that they were looking, but somebody that possibly knew nothing about Nanase, other than what was made available to the public.

Now, while mystery series tend to be wrapped up when the face behind everything is going on is revealed like it is here, but there are many ways to implement a mystery and misdirection is a fairly common element in series that focus heavily on a mystery, and I get the feeling that things are not over yet, because Steel Lady Nanase has not been dealt with and my experience with the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres makes me want to believe that there is somebody else who wants the apparition to exist.

After all, the suspect should not know all of the details about what the apparition's life was like when they were alive, and taking advantage of popular belief does not really tend to make a very good mystery.

Hopefully, this person is not the true culprit in these matters, because it had been established that Nanase died the previous year back in the previous volume and, in this volume, the culprit had been hospitalized for half a decade, so there would not be any way in which the culprit presented here would have a connection with Nanse, especially because she was not very well known in life.

Then again, I am not too sure how good Chashiba actually is, beyond what I have seen in the last three volumes, all I can do is sit back and see what is about to unfold, seeing as Kyo said that this was where things actually started to get good.

Please do not let this be the point where things slide, Chashiba, because things have been fairly impressive so far.

Another thing that I liked was how I was able to laugh a bit in this volume.

While, as per usual, this series does not have anything that unique, compared the many other manga and anime out there, it is still fairly nice to able to get a laugh out of the volume.

For a series, or any work of fiction, to be truly things need to remain interesting whether one is dealing with the moments that would normally be ordinary and mundane or it actually has something to do with the plot, and having humor be present in the work helps to make things appear to be much more interesting.

However, many writers, especially those that have garnered a big name, do not seem to realize how important it is to be able to incorporate this element into their work, even in the manga industry and anime industry, and makes me sad to see this because we, as the audience, need to be given more reason to follow the characters besides the actual plot.

Chashiba, on the other hand, seems to incorporate the comedic elements quite well to actually seem funny and add a bit of spice to the work that might be badly needed.

The funniest thing to be found in this volume was the omake at the end.

After Kuro and Kotoko talk a bit about the original novel, which I would have definitely want to check out if it ever became available where I live, Kotoko says that she will do an excorism that will also bestow a few benefits that seem to be nice, but towards the end, Kotoko slams Kuro's hand down on a marriage registration form that imprints his thumbprint, and Kuro starts chasing after Kotoko, once he realizes what happened.

There may have been one scene that was a bit funnier than this, but what really made me laugh about this omake was that Kotoko is more infatuated with Kuro than he is with her and the whole thing reminded me of the moment in Dragon Ball where Goku asked what a bride was exactly.

In that series, when Goku was fighting Chi Chi, Chi Chi gets on his case about not remembering the promise he made, which was to marry her, and Goku asks Krillin what a bride is, and Krillin has that it translates to his life being over.

Even though marriage does not technically mean that your life is over, unless you love the single life, it sure seemed like Kuro felt like his life was over, because he had technically been made to give his thumbprint without approval, and this reminder of an old classic was just plain brilliant.

Hopefully, things remain this funny for the duration of the series, because one does need a lot of humor to forget all of their disappointments in life.

Anyway, nice job, Chashiba.

The thing that I liked the most though was how the current enemy of the trio, Rikka, has the same capabilities as Kuro.

Now, people displaying the same kind of power in manga is not all that unusual, seeing as it does make an interesting match and who exactly is better expert.

However, Kuro powers are not omnipotent, as he can only choose futures that he can make happen on his own, while others are out of reach, and that aspect alone makes want to see just the two wielders of the power, as well find out how this person survived the same kind of ordeal that Kuro did, when he was said to be the only survivors.

If there was nothing like this in the series and Steel Lady Nanase just came up through a bunch of rumors, things would feel awfully boring, as this series is supposed to have supernatural elements, as well as mystery elements.

I am not too sure about you guys, but I want to go and get the next volume right now, in order to see how these two clash, but, unfortunately for me, a product page on Amazon says that the next volume will not arrive until July, so I guess I will just have to sit back and see what happens.

For now, I can only give Chashiba a bit of praise for making sure that things remain interesting. Nice job.

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

Because my attention was captured quickly and held for the duration of most of the book, the culprit was not who I thought it would be, which ended up making things more mysterious, and that I was able to get a laugh, as well as the fact that there is a hint of a clash between people able to control the future, this book was fairly decent.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, nothing really bothered me too much.

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

Considering that there was 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, but at the point in the series, it would be better to read the previous volumes first.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or buying the reviewed title from Amazon via the link above, so that I can continue to find more worthwhile reads for you guys, and doing whatever you do when you find something that impresses you.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.