The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Spiral aka Spiral ~ Suiri no Kizuna aka Spiral ~ Lines of Reasoning
Genre: Drama
Company: Aniplex/SME Visual Works/Sotsu Agency/ TV Tokyo
Format: 25 episodes
Dates: 1 Oct 2002 – 25 Mar 2003

Synopsis: Much like his older brother, Narumi Ayumi is a genius of logic. Little can get past Ayumi’s investigative mind, and he can easily unravel the toughest of puzzles. Being a laid back person, however, Ayumi rarely uses his true abilities. It is only when he finds his life at risk in a conspiracy involving the mysterious “Blade Children” that he puts his mind to the ultimate test.

The Highlights
Characters: Clichéd and static.
Plot: Slow to unveil its unimpressive self.
Ending: What?!

I’m sure you’ve seen a show – whether it is live action or animated – that starts out with an entertaining premise and remains fun for its run. The show’s sheer momentum serves as a safety net that patches up anything that happens to go awry. However, sometimes a safety net is not enough. Imagine that, at the last minute, everything that can go wrong does, and all you can do is shake your head in disbelief at the massacre. Spiral is such a production. It starts out with a good premise, remains entertaining for its run and then falls into a deep, deep pit in the final episode.

A cross between a Sherlock Holmes mystery and a massive conspiracy story staged in a high school, Spiral is good at generating intrigue. Its various puzzles range from interesting to downright clever. The interesting, albeit clichéd, characters complement the mind-games with their various idiosyncrasies. I would have been perfectly content with the anime if I had watched it with the same mindset as a Saturday morning cartoon; however, I tend to expect much, much more from the shows I watch.

Looking past the solid animation, quirky music, and interesting puzzles, there really isn’t much else. The show has a layer of intrigue followed by a layer of gloss and voila! That’s all. The characters are interesting but completely static. Once you know their personalities, their actions become forever predictable.

The biggest fault of all, however, is the ending. I’ll try not to spoil much, but all the questions raised about the Blade Children, the protagonist’s enigmatic brother, the underlying conspiracy as a whole, forget about them. When it comes to the really interesting questions, the show gives scant “answers” that sound more like cheap sound-bites served as a reconciliation prize. After going through twenty-five episodes expecting a tangible conclusion, I hit a brick wall that is undeniably an end but minus the sense of closure.

The small of pool of bishounen and cute girls is sure to draw a small crowd, but I simply cannot recommend joining this one. Spiral may be entertaining, but as soon as you smack that solid wall, you realize that the show really isn’t worth your time.

The Rating: 5

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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