Thursday, July 12, 2012

Manga review Psychometrer Eiji by Masashi Asaki &Tadashi Agi

Okay I know the title is really long! Psychometrer Eiji (サイコメトラーEIJI Saikometorā Eiji?) is a mystery manga and live-action series created by Masashi Asaki and Tadashi Agi, that started in 1996. The manga series is composed of 25 tankōbon and was serialized by Kodansha. Okay first off, I must make it clear that I haven't read the whole manga. I have only read until chapter 118 (whichever volume that is). My review will be based on the story until that point.

Asuma Eiji is a normal high school student, with a reputation for being violent and involved in gangs. But he has the psychometry ability, which is discovered by Shima Ryoko, a police investigator when his little sister Emi gets involved in a serial murder case. And so, Shima uses her charm to get the boy to help her, and Eiji obliges, getting more and more involved in the murders, his powers proving to be quite powerful.(from wikipedia)

Psychometry is the ability to touch a person or object and see memories or visions of things seen by that person or object. This is not the dictonary definition but what I gathered from the manga. In the manga, it is used in this sense. I do not know whether such an ability really exists or is fictional but I gues sit can be found out easily, if you want, using google search.

First, I was really intrigued by the psychometry ability. I found it gave a unique twist to the manga. The manga is really dark and probably labelled as A for the excessive blood, gore and violence. Almost all the murders are serial murders. The format is like, a single mystery is taken and solved for 5-10 chapters, where more information and clues are revealed in each chapter.

Eiji is an interesting character. He is both reckless as well as careful and protective of his younger sister. Shima Ryoko is a good-looking, hard-working, sincere and honest police detective who believes is psychology to solve mysteries. Although it sounds like solving mysteries would be a cake walk with psychometry, it is not so. Eiji doesn't see everything when he touches an object, just some really vague and unrelated images and never the murderer's face. Shima and Eiji then use their brains and other clues along with techniques like profiling to solve the case. So, this is essentially a mystery whodunit type manga, not thriller, though there are plenty of thriller elements.

One thing is that except one, all the serial killers are psychopaths, which seemed really shallow. I mean even for a psychopath, they are really over the top. Most of the times, when the murder consciously chooses targets, it is always women or girls. This was really weird because all murders had really different methods, motives and personalities. Some cases (especially one particular one about red mushrooms) didn't have very reasonable or acceptable explanations, relying too much on pshychology mumbo-jumbo to convince the reader.

The technique of psychological profiling by Shima was very interesting and logical and I liked techniques like these in the manga.

Overall, the manga was good though it lacked consistent logic at points and was a bit predictable with respect to all the killers being psychopaths. It is also really dark and the corpses of the killed people are always shown. I didn't feel it was all that gory or bloody, though definitely ugly. One more warning- this manga is kind of disturbing, psychologically speaking especially if the chapters are read in constant succession.


Mysteries keep you on the edge
Interesting abilities and techniques make the manga unique
Characters are good and there is development

Too dark and some explanations/people make no sense at all

NOTE- images do not belong to me

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