The always-hungry Yako Katsuragi is a super famous high school-aged detective who cracks the hardest of cases with ease – at least, that’s what the general populace thinks! Behind the scenes, Yako is helped by Neuro – a maniacal being from the demon world who is looking for new mysteries to devour. Alongside local detectives and a helpful sidekick, Yako and Neuro will solve the unique and the bizarre cases that plague the city; but will Yako ever discover the truth behind her father’s supposed "suicide"?
Extra story: Rikon Choutei (volume 23).
Warning, this review contains no major spoilers, but does explain the basic premise of the series. If you are yet to read this manga, the following review may affect your reading experience. Having grown tired of solving Hell’s petty riddles, the very bored demon Neuro, connaisseur of mysteries and conundrums, travels to Earth in search of the ultimate enigma to satisfy his brain. Elsewhere in Japan, 16 year old high-school student Yako Katsuragi witnesses the murder of her father and sinks in a deep depression. The police are stumped because the incident is a perfect locked room and their investigation is going nowhere. Attracted by the scent of mystery, Neuro offers his help to the girl but the demon’s aid carries a high price. Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro (MTNN) is a supernatural shounen series that revolves around Neuro and Yako solving some of the most bizzare murders I have ever read. While being promoted as a detective manga, you are never given enough details and time to evaluate the case and draw your own (sane) conclusion. Instead you are expected to just sit back, relax and witness how the various cases are solved, and I’m perfectly fine with that. You will also be frequently presented with some unexpected twists that are bound to let your WTF-o-meter skyrocket a bunch of times. This manga is crazy and explaining any of it to you will make me sound like a raving lunatic. Neuro is the all powerful deus ex machina with a sharp wit and pockets full of demonic gadgets. He’s the one solving most cases and punishing the criminals afterwards. Very sadistic in nature and surprisingly oblivious to the human behaviour, he will torment everyone around him for personal gains and satisfaction. Unfortunately because Neuro is declared indestructible from the start, the moments where he is placed in dangerous situations lose their tension significantly. Yako starts out as a plain human being with no special qualities except her bottomless stomach. She always ends up on the pointy end of whatever sharp object(s) Neuro is throwing towards her. The sadistic/masochistic chemistry between Neuro and Yako is a delight to watch and is one of the highlights in this manga. The secondary characters also get abundant screen time and contribute plenty throughout the story. It's also welcoming seeing every character get some development in the end. MTNN is a shounen meaning there are stereotypes that you’ve seen elsewhere, but they are never blatantly shoved into your face and flow organically within the narration. The story occasionally gets very dark with disturbing themes and imagery but is never off-putting. Humour is cleverly utilised throughout the series and will satisfy readers fond of randomness and running gags and those of us who like their whimsy pitch black. The first few cases are somewhat episodic because they serve to establish the world and introduce the supporting cast and villains. Overall the narrative structure varies between crime solving, action battles and the occasional lighter chapter to give some breathing room between story arcs. On the technical side of things, the panels are drawn in a rather uniquely crude style that will either make or break your desire to read this work of fiction. Everything has a certain twisted feel to it that enriches the bizarre tone of the manga. You will not find any traditional fan service here but graphical violence is frequent and the series often throws nods towards BDSM, albeit mostly in a comical sense. If you’re tired of the typical shounen formula and/or are looking for something different, I can wholeheartedly recommend MTNN to you. It's a mix of splendid artwork, great humor and a bizzarely fascinating story that offer a torrent of interesting ideas to entertain both your eyes and brains. There is also an episodic anime adaptation which strays from the source material significantly. Watch it only as a supplement after you’ve read the manga because it spoils the plot, and not in a very good way.
Ah, Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro -- From intense fight scenes to mind-blowing plot twists to random gags; this series has it all. At first glance, the manga has a rather cliche story: A demon from hell forces a school girl to help him solve mysteries in cases that would send Scooby Doo and the gang running. However, once you get into the series, it becomes so much more than that as new villians, new arcs, and believable character development begin to rear their glorious heads. I highly recommend this series to anyone who's tired of reading the same shonen series over and over again and are looking for a breath of fresh air. ~~~Slight Not-plot-related spoiler alert~~~ For those of you who get into this series hoping to see Yako and the titular Neuro fall in love and share heartwarming kisses and babies, you're wasting your time. While the characters do grow an "affection" for each other, it is like that of close friends, not lovers.
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