Mini-Reviews: Sherlock Bones, Alex + Ada, and Kurau
The Sci-Fi Intrigue of the Anime Kurau
Kurau is a young girl who goes to visit her scientist dad at work. He is studying an alien form of energy called the Rynax. Things go awry during her visit and Kurau is infused with the alien energy — two kinds, to be exact. One is awake and has taken over her body and identity. The other Rynax inside her lays dormant, and ten years later it emerges into its own body and looks similar to a young Kurau. Kurau, who is now working as a freelance agent, takes the young charge in and names her Christmas. Kurau has enhanced ability and she can do things like fly, walk through solid doors, and disintegrate objects instantly. On one of her freelance missions, she is sent to save an astronaut who lost control of his ship in space. After saving him, her actions alert the police force known as GPO (Global Police Organization). They decide to raid her apartment complex and her and Christmas end up going on the run. This mini-review covers episodes 1-4. I found the first episode slow, but the preceding episodes to ramp up in action and intrigue. Worthwhile anime to check out for those that like science fiction.
A New Take on Sherlock: Sherlock Bones by Yuma Ando
Takero Wajima goes to an animal shelter one day looking for a pet dog. What he doesn’t expect is to end up with a dog who is the reincarnation of Sherlock Holmes. The dog reveals to Takero that he is the reincarnation of his faithful sidekick Dr. Watson. Together they solve local mysteries. Their first case involves a classmate who commits suicide because of bullying. The student that participated in the bullying turns up dead. At first it is believed to be a suicide, but Sherlock, a.k.a. Sherdog, knows something foul is afoot. The concept of Sherlock Bones is fun, and the first mystery was fairly good. I found the juvenile potty humor and close ups of boobs and butts to be tiresome. It doesn’t fit well with the story, and when you have superior versions of mystery mangas like Case Closed and Young Miss Holmes there is no need to go lowbrow.
Android Dreams: Alex + Ada, Volumes 1 & 2 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
Alex was left by his longtime girlfriend, Claire. His grandmother decides to cheer him up by buying him his very own android companion, named Ada. Alex is conflicted and intrigued by the gift. Ada is programmed to do whatever she is told. Alex is bored by this and wanders into an online forum run by androids seeking more information on how to enhance her. There he learns that it is possible to awaken Ada’s sentient side, where she will think for herself and control her own actions. Alex decides to proceed and hires someone to hack into Ada’s programming. Once awakened, Ada wants to taste, touch, and feel everything. However, the government has passed a law against awakening androids and being found out could spell trouble for Ada and Alex. The graphic novel has shades of Her, the Spike Jonze movie about a man who has a relationship with his operating system. I hope that it goes beyond the cliche romance and explores deeper themes. Imagining a world with android companions doesn’t seem farfetched, and that’s what has got me hooked right now.