Flash Review – i tell c

The work of a detective can be stressful, effectively running a race against criminals who may strike at a moment’s notice, and some races don’t provide a trail to follow. Not for Risa Aioi, though, whose unique quirk of falling head over heels for hardened criminals allows her to catch details that even the most seasoned of detectives would pass over.

The Sympathy for the Devil:

Aioi is in the habit of falling in love for criminals. You steal a candy bar, she wants you to elope. It’s strange, but it goes a way toward humanizing the series’s criminals. It doesn’t go so far as plunging into systemic social issues which may inspire burglaries and such, but it does provide background on why they’re doing the things they’re doing and not just writing them off as bad guys that need to be dropped in the slammer.

The Last Minute Detective Work:

Some amazing detective work is done on the part of Aioi, who combs out details and traits that, on a surface level, mean nothing. The problem, though, is that all of this work is done right as they’re capturing a criminal, and the rest of the time is spent seemingly milling about with crossed arms and mouths stuffed with sugar.

The Mood Whiplash:

The series hits a dark point when one of the main characters, spoilers, dies, but immediately after it undergoes an identity shift where it’s three absurdities shy of becoming a gag manga. The concept of Aioi falling for dudes (and one woman) who break the law is strange, but by tying my disbelief to a balloon, I could roll with it. But when the manga decides to give a robber a one-story mohawk, it makes it difficult to take his plight seriously, and the gags it inserts have no cause being there.

The Verdict:

With its unique concept, I was all down for this manga, but sadly, the execution isn’t there, which is even sadder, because it was absolutely there for the first chapter, where it pulls a bait-and-switch on who the criminal is. However, this series played its best hand on the first round and struggled the rest of the game, and when it tried a new tactic of laughing at and insulting the other players, it got shanked and tossed in with the fishes.

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