Posts Tagged ‘Enigma’

Enigma 13

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by CXC Scans]

Looks like Kurisu’s just lost one of his key advantages: exclusive knowledge of the password. Whatever on Earth it is that “Q-510” means, Haiba now knows that it’s a password, courtesy of his new improved diary. Speaking of the improved diary, there’s an unclear point as to what exactly it does. In the last chapter, it was clearly Haiba’s hand making the modifications. However, here it seems that the picture is moving on its own. I’m assuming for now that it’s just Haiba’s hand modifying the picture, but better word choice there would have saved some confusion.

Even if Haiba does have the password now, it won’t help him in dealing with Kurisu, at least not directly. He comes up with quite a strategy to provoke Kurisu into pursuit, pretending his power-up allows him to communicate with the main group. It’s relatively common for a character to use a power-up to escape a dangerous situation. It’s considerably rarer for someone to receive a limited power-up and bluff his way to victory, as Haiba does here. Kurisu being a smart, cautious villain ensures the plan’s success, at least as far as keeping him in the picture for now. You know a bluff is good when the main character compliments himself on the plan.

Gloating is always allowed

Kurisu still controls the whole world of the picture, though not to godlike degrees, otherwise Haiba would just be dead. He can still turn a stick into a fully functional katana, though. It works for a mystery-series chase scene. Kurisu himself is actually much less scary than the picture world, which, in a perfectly rigid state, keeps Haiba from any kind of safe haven. Potential weapons can’t be moved, potential hiding places have doors stuck shut, and he’s still being chased by a guy a foot taller than him wielding a katana.

A very visible difference in height

Now locked inside of a supermarket, Haiba and Kurisu begin their game of cat-and-mouse. At least, they would have, had Haiba not immediately and loudly begged the future diary to evolve. That’s not the most savvy decision from someone who knows he’s outgunned.

Haiba’s pleas to his diary don’t seem to have been in vain. He foresaw Kurisu’s attack, and seems to have a counterattack plan involving a cell phone and the password written in blood on the wall. This should be good.

Final Flash: Bluffing is a main character’s best friend, something Sakaki Kenji fully comprehends.


Enigma 12

[scanlation by CXC Scans]

Kurisu just barely avoids the generic evil hostage-taker mold by actually having a legit use for Shigeru; she’s going to get out too, but it’ll be as bait for any traps Enigma has set up around the exit. Given the built-to-kill design of the password games thus far, it’s a legitimate possibility. Even if the current hostage situation blows over, the possibility of traps on the exit cannot be overlooked.

Haiba arrives in the other computer lab, and quickly discovers his powers of observation could use some work. Hiina, the actual smart one, quickly notices that Sudou is wearing a necktie in the drawing, something that is clearly absurd. A fairly obvious detail in hindsight, and it ties into another neat little use of Moto’s power. Another obvious villain flag for Kurisu; he isn’t actually in class 2-C, and seems to be mysteriously absent from the yearbooks. I do love how Hiina’s invisible hand keeps getting used to grab Moto by the jersey – great minor comedy.

Give this man a hand, folks!

Interesting tidbits result from Shigeru’s first attempt to enter a password. Most importantly, one can only make one try at a password. Presumably, that’s just to prevent brute-forcing your way out, but the entry instructions seem oddly specific, to the extent that there’s probably a hidden catch somewhere in them. One possibility is that each password only works for a specific person, which would make escaping really tricky.

Unfortunately, we’re stopped short of seeing Shigeru enter the password as the rescue squad arrives. It’s a little unclear as to exactly how Kurisu evades capture, considering there is exactly one exit, in the direction his pursuers are coming from. Maybe he got off on a higher floor, but that detail could have been made clearer.

In pursuit of the guy with the photograph-based power, Haiba enters the photography lab. Let’s be fair, he doesn’t actually know Kurisu’s power yet, but he is surely screwed. Let the nightmares commence.

More creepy grabbing hands

Now trapped in a flat world where Kurisu is, in his own words, “King,” Haiba’s power undergoes another evolution. Predicting the future while awake is a big step forward. This is still moving fast, but this series seems to be working well at a fast pace, so no complaints.

Final Flash: Our protagonist keeps on getting spiffier powers. Hopefully they stay limited, as it would be a shame to see him breeze through upcoming challenges.

Enigma 11

[scanlation by CXC Scans]

A USB-drive-based password seemed so simple when we first saw it. Too bad the computers don’t have power. This comes as more of a surprise in a manga than I expect it would in an anime; black and white color schemes make it difficult to tell when the lights are out.

Kurisu plays his game pretty smoothly. He splits up the party, then interrogates Sumio about his ability while pretending to have a regular conversation. He can’t be just an amateur, thrust unwittingly into the e-test and just trying to get out of the school alive. The theory of him being a deliberate plant seems a bit more plausible now.

There is exactly no way on earth that Shigeru doesn’t have some kind of power. Her not knowing about it means she’s likely to find out soon. In the meanwhile, Sumio will just have to protect her by… protecting her. That part is a little unclear. I doubt the dream diary as it now stands could be used to deliberately protect one person, as it’s been said before that Sumio can’t exactly use it at will.

That diary is .45 caliber

Never mind, it seems like there is a way to bring out the dream diary as needed. It’s just that that method is a bit painful for Sumio. Improvised mop weapons are always a winner.

The results of the prediction are interesting, though given Kurisu’s declaration that he was going to use Sumio’s diary power against him, there’s a notable probability that this reading is false somehow.

Just as planned

Yep, Kurisu had it all planned out, and altered the prediction to get Sumio out of the picture. Now it’s just him and designated hostage Shigeru, and he’s ready to make his break for it. His power, the unimaginatively named “Flat”, is another neat addition to the series’ repertoire. The power to enter and use the contents of flat surfaces can certainly be useful in more mundane settings, in a school building containing thousands of books with millions of pictures inside, it’s virtually story-breaking. Dinosaurs, anyone?

Final Flash: Kurisu is shaping up to be a good villain already. Now that he has a private password and a hostage, this arc can only get better.

Weekly Power Rankings: 11/14 – 11/20

November 27, 2010 Leave a comment
1 +5 Psyren 143 80.06%
2 +2 Beelzebub 85 78.08%
3 -2 Enigma 10 77.33%
4 -2 One Piece 604 77.33%
5 +3 Nurarihyon no Mago 131 76.35%
6 +1 Hayate no Gotoku! 297 74.85%
7 +2 The World God Only Knows 122 73.87%
8 +3 Bakuman 109 73.04%
9 +3 Fairy Tail 211 72.18%
10 +4 Defense Devil 74 68.95%
11 +2 Kekkaishi 329 66.50%
12 -9 Code:Breaker 65.30%
13 -3 History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 407 64.35%
14 -9 Gamaran 64.09%
15 +3 Mahou Sensei Negima! 309 60.43%
16 Toriko 118 59.80%
17 +2 Air Gear 295 56.25%
18 +4 Bleach 426 56.05%
19 -4 GE ~ Good Ending 60 55.40%
20 -3 Kimi no Iru Machi 113 53.29%
21 -1 Naruto 516 50.87%
22 +1 Kyoukai no Rin-ne 74 45.91%
23 -2 AR∀GO 45 42.24%
24 Zettai Karen Children 27.88%
25 Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 314 25.28%
26 MiXiM☆11 120 20.00%
27 SWOT 19 15.15%

Beamcast – November 22

November 22, 2010 1 comment

[download link – 184min, 77mb]

In this week’s huge double-show:

SWOT canceled
Fake Hunter x Hunter return information
37 manga publishers to launch North American manga portal
New Shueisha magazine: Saikyou Jump
Air Gear vol. 31 bundled with anime DVD
One Piece vol. 60 sells over 2 million in 4 days
Negima‘s Akamatsu plans free site for out-of-print manga
Dragon Ball SD spinoff manga
One Piece, Toriko 3D film trailers streamed; themes by Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra

Licensing announcements
VIZ: Tenjou Tenge (unedited, 2-in-1 omnibus)
Tokyopop: The Sacred Blacksmith

Non-shonen news
Starz making live-action adaptation of Noir
“Nonexistent youth” bill to be resubmitted
4Kids reports net loss of $9.8 million in 3Q 2010
Zac Efron not starring in Akira
Satoshi Kon’s last film resumes production

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

Which of these partially-scanlated series would you most like to see caught up?
1. Cage of Eden / GTO: Shonan 14 Days / Sket Dance (19%) (tie)
4. Yankee-kun to Megane-chan (18%)
5. Kuroko no Basket (13%)
6. Onidere (7%)
7. Hajimete no Aku (4%)

This week:
Which of these sidekick characters is your favorite?
Al (Fullmetal Alchemist), Don Patch (Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo), Furuichi (Beelzebub), Komatsu (Toriko), Koutarou (Mahou Sensei Negima!), Krillin (Dragon Ball), Shinpachi (Gintama), Zenkichi (Medaka Box)

This Week in Manga
0:17:14 – Soul Eater 80
0:22:19 – Donten Prism Solar Car 3
0:25:19 – Kure-nai 35-36
0:29:27 – One Piece 604
0:37:40 – Naruto 516-517
0:46:59 – Bleach 426-427
0:52:09 – Bakuman 109-110
0:58:19 – Beelzebub 84-86
1:06:29 – Fairy Tail 211-212
1:10:55 – Hayate no Gotoku! 296-297
1:16:50 – Kekkaishi 328
1:21:15 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 406-407
1:31:42 – AR∀GO 43-45
1:38:17 – Toriko 117-118
1:43:24 – Gamaran 70-71
1:46:38 – The World God Only Knows 121-122
1:55:52 – Defense Devil 72-73
1:57:59 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 308-309
2:05:01 – Nurarihyon no Mago 130-132
2:16:03 – Zettai Karen Children 237-238
2:24:15 – GE ~ Good Ending 59
2:27:59 – Kimi no Iru Machi 112-113
2:34:06 – Enigma 9-10
2:42:07 – SWOT 16-17
2:47:07 – Moon Walker LTD.
2:51:36 – Kintoki
2:56:20 – Gate 7 – 1 (new series!)
2:58:04 – Air Gear 294-295
2:59:26 – Code:Breaker 111
3:00:39 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 314-315

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

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Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Enigma 10

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by CXC Scans]

The group’s back together again, which makes the absence of the mascot guy all the more conspicuous. It is fairly weird that he left the infirmary, given the obvious danger of going out alone.

Using narrative boxes to skip an exposition scene is perfectly acceptable by itself, and thankfully we don’t miss Hiina and Shigeru’s reactions to the truth about the shadow. Those facial expressions are a nice transition out of the first narrative. The second narrative, which is just Haiba speculating about stuff, is less necessary.

Haiba holding onto all three passwords seems like a bad move. It’s understandable given his de facto leader status, but still, leaving all the passwords with Mr. Trusting makes the odds of them getting stolen pretty darn high.

It’s time for the reveal, set to an appropriately ominous tone. When the mask comes off, it’s quickly clear why he was wearing it for as long as he was. Turns out Mizusawa is in fact Kurisu Ryou, the guy with the creepy smile from the first password photo. He’s a flirtatious bishonen, too; I did not see that coming.

The comedy surrounding Mizusawa/Kurisu would be much funnier if this wasn’t a mystery series. Seriously, it’s hard to enjoy a character being extravagant when you know there’s going to be a serious catch somewhere in his story. That said, if this manga does get into a lighter arc or intermezzo after the e-test, scenes like this may well be worth it.

The rivalry over the harem begins

Ryou’s explanation of how Enigma was supposedly mistaken seems extremely fishy. Although it is conceptually possible for someone to avoid revealing themselves simply out of nervousness, in a head-games/mystery series like this one, that’s very unlikely to be the actual reason. On the other hand, Kurisu floating the theory that his mistaken identity was a deliberate choice by Enigma meant to create group conflict, given how little we know about Enigma, does at least raise reasonable doubt.

What uncertainty is raised, though, is not nearly enough to quell said infighting. Takemaru vocally challenging Kurisu is a fairly obvious development, given that he operates on the opposite side of the trust spectrum as Haiba. More interestingly, Haiba sticking up for Kurisu leads to actual punches thrown. The tension between those two was there from the beginning, and to have it reappear here leaves a lot of ways for this plot to play out.

Going bad cop on the good cop

While Takemaru may have left the group, Hiina and Moto following him once again precludes the possibility of the party being picked off one by one. This series seems to be actively avoiding that particular cliché, so far to great effect.

No points for figuring out that Ryou had some sort of ulterior motive. However, rather than something to do with the larger Enigma/shadow plot, it’s just the selfish desire to escape at the expense of the group. Of the available options, that was one of the better choices.

Final Flash: Ryou’s proper introduction, while not itself a fantastic scene, does provide a good starting point for the next mini-arc.

Weekly Power Rankings: 11/7 – 11/13

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment
1 +1 Enigma 9 78.45%
2 +1 One Piece 603 78.45%
3 +1 Code:Breaker 112 78.45%
4 -3 Beelzebub 84 77.82%
5 +4 Gamaran 72 77.52%
6 +4 Psyren 142 75.82%
7 +1 Hayate no Gotoku! 296 74.22%
8 -3 Nurarihyon no Mago 130 74.13%
9 +4 The World God Only Knows 121 73.04%
10 -3 History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 406 72.76%
11 Bakuman 108 68.94%
12 Fairy Tail 210 68.03%
13 +3 Kekkaishi 328 64.95%
14 +1 Defense Devil 73 64.09%
15 +3 GE ~ Good Ending 59 59.42%
16 -10 Toriko 59.23%
17 Kimi no Iru Machi 112 58.76%
18 +2 Mahou Sensei Negima! 308 57.90%
19 +2 Air Gear 294 56.83%
20 +2 Naruto 515 50.07%
21 -2 AR∀GO 44 46.79%
22 +3 Bleach 425 45.97%
23 Kyoukai no Rin-ne 73 45.15%
24 Zettai Karen Children 238 36.70%
25 +1 Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 313 22.63%
26 +1 MiXiM☆11 119 21.55%
27 +1 SWOT 18 14.24%

Removed: Gintama