Each case in this manga is a stand alone mystery, and we are still very early in the series. So while reading in order will be better to understand the recurring characters, it’s not necessary to enjoy the individual stories.
Hajime Kindaichi travels to a remote villa during winter break as an intern for a reality tv show, Shock TV. When a supposed prank turns into an actual murder he must team with an old acquaintance from the police force to not only stop the killer, but to do it faster than a new superintendent with something to prove.
Like the previous volumes we get set up and meet key characters upfront and then descend into a tense race against time after the first body hits. One of the things I like most about this series is how it finds unique ways to put little twists on established mystery elements while still retaining a classic feel. Leaving Miyuki home for this one and having a cop on Kindaichi’s side for a change shakes up the dynamic a little and makes things interesting. There are also some nice turns the mystery takes during the volume including a wonderfully clever double twist. The characters were strong here and seeing Akechi try to solve the mystery in parallel was interesting.
These stories do require some level of suspension of disbelief, and a key element to this one strains it quite a bit for some readers. Personally I didn’t find it much more implausible than some of the things in the first two, but be aware that while things are kept in the realm of reality and proceed logically drama does take precedence when needed. As usual there are clues throughout and while some story details will be beyond deduction the core of the mystery is solvable.
A fair amount of this story hinges on the visuals and the art does a great job conveying atmosphere, tension and all the relevant information.
I really enjoyed Death TV and Kindaichi’s adventures are clearly just getting started.