»

SnickerdoodleNinja's Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning Tv Review

Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning

Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning tv Review

It has been two years since Ayumu Narumi's brother, Kiyotaka Narumi, mysteriously disappeared.
Ayumu does not know the real reason behind his brother's disappearance; his only clue is the mysterious note his brother left him regarding what Kiyotaka refers to as the "Blade Children".

What is Kiyotaka thinking, and why is he leaving the matter of Blade Children to his younger brother?
What will Ayumu do once he knows what the Blade Children really are, and that he is their only hope?

Based on the synopsis by PrincessMeyrin023.

Story & Characters

Young Ayumu Narumi had been living peacefully with his elder brother Kiyotaka and his sister-in-law Madoka until the day that Kiyotaka vanished without a trace, leaving only the explanation that he was going to uncover the mystery of the Blade Children. Now, two years later, Ayumu finds himself more resolved than ever to find his brother while also facing the challenges set before him by the deadly Blade Children.
At first glance, Spiral seems like a fairly straight forward, episodic whodunit story. However, after the first couple of episodes, it becomes clear that this isn’t the case. Instead, the series follows Ayumu and Hiyono, his hyper, ever-faithful assistant with connections, as he must outwit the Blade Children who seem to be out to get him for reasons beyond his understanding. What starts as a seemingly isolated incident of attempted murder soon becomes a continuous flow of events, as each encounter leads to the next while all spiraling down to the conclusion.

While the life-threatening puzzles presented to Ayumu are certainly intense and intriguing- leading you to wonder how he can possibly escape the various trials- the show’s real hook for me is the character development. Through the puzzles and his encounters with the Blade Children, Ayumu must continually try to overcome his lack of faith in his own brilliant abilities brought on by his constant feelings of inferiority to his nearly-perfect older brother. However, the character depth doesn’t stop there. The antagonistic Blade Children are just as well developed, as each begins to question the murderous life-style they lead and contemplate whether or not they can fight fate to save their souls instead of their lives.

Character bonds are another absolutely vital aspect of Spiral. Though many characters are distant in the beginning, they begin to rely on and trust one another as stakes rise. In fact, many even begin to pick up each other’s habits, as evident by the fact that Ayumu unconsciously begins singing Hiyono’s nonsensical song at random moments. The reliance on other human beings brings the entire cast together, making each person that much stronger for it.

Of course, while Spiral is captivating and keeps you one the edge of your seat, it has one very significant flaw: its ending. As a mystery, its very premise is built upon several frequently repeated questions, yet it fails to adequately answer any of them. Though the character development is fulfilling, the failure to accomplish what it set out for is certainly disappointing for those who actually care about the mystery aspect and makes the happiness achieved feel somewhat superficial. Still, the story is exhilarating and nearly flawless for the first twenty three episodes, and the ending is probably not enough to ruin a watcher’s enjoyment.

Rating: 8

Art

While not spectacular, Spiral’s art will not disappoint. All of the characters are well designed and unique, with facial expressions and eyes that really contribute to communication.

Unfortunately, cities and backgrounds are not particularly eye-catching. However, they do serve their purpose in the show and are well enough drawn that they don’t distract from what’s important: the characters, their actions, and their expressions.

As a whole, Spiral’s art is lovely, even if not outstanding. While it may not shine next to more recent shows, Spiral has great art for its time and knows how to make the art contribute to the story.

Rating: 7

Sound

First things first, the opening: frightening. Not because Spiral is a mystery and therefore has an intense opening theme, but because the vocalist sounds far too cutesy and childish as she sings to the banging drums in the background. While this doesn’t sound particularly good in the first place, it becomes even more out of place among the maturity of the show, contradicting the lyrics that actually fit the character development.

The ending theme, on the other hand, fits much better. The lyrics still worked for the character dilemmas(well, the TV size one does, anyways), but this time goes for a more melodic, piano-accompanied song that better suits the series and fits with the piano theme that is repeatedly brought up in several episodes.

Voice acting, like the ending theme, was well-done. And while the Japanese voices are good, I actually feel that the English voices overall better portray the characters and their personal quirks. Although one character has a somewhat annoying accent without any real reason to even have an accent, voice actors such as Greg Ayres, Monica Rial, and the lesser known Daniel Katsuk each do a great job as their characters, accurately conveying the emotional distress that often occurs.

Background music is yet another well-done area of sound, as scores that- though frequently repeated-change tempo and intensity as needed. While thoughtful moments are accompanied by slower, more melancholy tunes, moments of danger and suspense are at a quicker pace and heighten the level of emotion.

Rating: 7

Presentation

Simply put, Spiral is as much fun as a barrel of monkeys with an ending that makes about as much sense as one. Truly, though, Spiral manages to provide new, interesting challenges to its characters in each episode that leave you wanting more while still having interludes in which characters just go about their daily lives. In fact, Spiral manages to show the character’s day to day lives without a single episode of filler not only by showing the emotions faced every single day, but also by sprinkling in well-placed moments of humor that remind the viewer that while things might be going south the characters are still just teenagers who want normal lives.

Whether you are interested in Spiral for its character development or its mystery, you will enjoy it. Mystery seekers will probably feel disappointment at the lackluster conclusion, but even the ending can only somewhat tarnish the excitement at watching the clever puzzles and character interaction. So if you’re looking for a show that is fun, exciting, and deep, Spiral is probably right for you. All good things must come to an end, however, and Spiral’s ending is like running straight into a brick wall-one that I would gladly run into again and again for the joy of the first twenty-three episodes.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

7.67 (good)

Reviewed by SnickerdoodleNinja, Jul 07, 2011

Comments

  1. CyanideBlizzard Retired Moderator Jul 07, 2011

    I've been tempted to to track down Spiral for several years now, but didn't due to my lack of knowledge and the amount of bishounen in it. However, after reading this review I more than plan on picking up the series.

    The one thing that does concern me is the ending though. For myself, I generally don't expect too much from anime endings, since they usually come out of left field and sometimes offer little to no proper closure, but sometimes a bad enough one can really change the flow of the series. However, since you didn't feel that way I'm going to jump in with both feet and see how it goes. I'm in the mood for a great detective series with good character development and it sounds like Spiral will fit that bill almost to a T.

    Fantastic job coming to the anime side of things, Snicker. You did a good job keeping things to the point, yet offering plenty of detail. Well written, as always and great job!

  2. angelxxuan Jul 07, 2011

    I remember watching spiral awhile back, and I have to admit it was a decent anime, it's true the graphics aren't as glamorous as you see in some, but my attention didn't once drift to that, the character development and plot was far more entertaining. nice review doodle you did a good one and you did justice to the anime well done :)

  3. Aiira Jul 07, 2011

    Spiral was and is still one of my favourite animes to date. The only thing that I didn't like was Ayumu living on his brother's shadow. He had his own potential and he didn't use it properly, but it changed a bit when Yuizaki came into the picture.

    The anime wasn't as it's best, but was good enough to keep you on your toes and give you sleepless nights.

    The ending was was great though.

    A great review Snicker! If I could I would watch the anime again.

  4. MisaSasekage Moderator Jul 10, 2011

    I own the box set^^ I must say for an older series, it was pretty good in my opinion and I liked the plot, even though the character design wasn't all that great, that never crossed my mind or bothered me while I was watching. It was a nice mystery series to watch on a quiet night when I just wanted to chill out. It's was kinda sad to see Ayumu continually put himself and his own intelligence down just because of how great his brother was. Though I agree that the conclusion could have been better. Nice review yet again Snicker-chan^^

  5. Bernouli Retired Moderator Jul 10, 2011

    I've always wanted to watch spiral, but I am lazy and will get my door knocked down and taken to jail. D:

    *does it anyway* Me gusta. : |

  6. z827 Jul 21, 2011

    I've never watched it unfortunately T_T

    But the way you talk about the ending makes me hestitant in trying it out. I've tried some Anime and Visual Novels with great plotline but messed up endings that gave me a bad aftertaste for a week.
    Mmm... Still , I'm wondering what kind of mystery is it. Is it the "dark" types or the "action-packed mind games" type?

page 1 of 1 6 total items

Only members can post replies, please register.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read more.