The Opera House Murders introduces Hajime Kindaichi, deceptively smart grandson of a famous detective and under-achieving best friend of straight-A student Miyuki Nanase. An isolated retreat for a drama club practice already darkened by the recent suicide of the former lead gets even more tragic when guest start dying in a similar manner to the play they’re rehearsing – The Phantom of the Opera.
This is a murder mystery with all the classical trimmings. Our cast and the setting is slowly established to start and then from the first strike on it’s a tense race to figure everything out and stop the killings. The various layers to the story and twists to the mystery are extremely well done and all integrated together flawlessly. And while there are pieces of the motive not revealed until the end there are clues and a good chunk of it all is solvable as you read. Add in a carefully developed dark and dangerous atmosphere and a smart adversary and it all comes together quite impressively. There is a fair bit of exposition towards the end, but it’s presented well and is needed to unravel all the cleverly connected elements of the solution.
The art is detailed, clean, and easy to follow. This is all extremely important for a mystery, where establishing clues, characters and even the geography of their surroundings can all be vital to having the plot unfold properly.
I’ve always loved a good mystery, and Kanari and Sato’s manga about a deceptively bright high school student descended from a famous detective is a wonderful collection of them. The Kindaichi Case Files is a fantastic series and The Opera House Murders gets us off to a great start.
6 replies on “Kindaichi Case Files Volume 1 Review”
You know, this sounds like Detective Conan/Case Closed series. It doesn’t sound quite so hammy, but is the mystery vibe more serious than DC or is it at that level?
From what little I recall of DC the general feel is similar but yeah these are more serious / darker. This series is a personal favorite of mine.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Looking forward to more of your reviews then…
Thanks. Ones for these early volumes I wrote a while back (before the blog) and am posting/tweaking here as I revisit the series (again). Later on I’ll hopefully continue writing up the ones I never reviewed.
LikeLiked by 1 person
[…] Like volume 1 (The Opera House Murders), this is a classically built murder mystery. Some key setup and all the players established up front and then the danger and tension hit hard and build rapidly. There are a lot of interlocking layers here to explain and the resolution spans most of the second half of the volume, but it’s all done very well. One of the main secrets is a classic twist that has been seen before. But everything comes together and is used in unique ways and combinations, making this a very interesting read. There are also some great little touches and instances of the author playing with preconceptions. Subtle clues are available and while the reader will never piece out every little detail the core mystery is solvable, which makes these stories particularly intriguing. […]
[…] a huge fan of the Kindaichi Case Files manga, so was quite interested in checking out this anime adaptation. A nice bonus for me is that this […]