Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning (スパイラル〜推理の絆 Spiral: Suiri no Kizuna?) is a fifteen-volume shōnen mystery manga series written by Kyou Shirodaira and illustrated by Eita Mizuno. It was published by Enix and then Square Enix in Monthly Shōnen Gangan from February 2000 to October 2005 and collected in 15 bound volumes. The series focuses on Ayumu Narumi and his efforts to solve the mystery of the Blade Children, cursed geniuses with cat-like eyes lacking a seventh rib bone. A prequel series by Shirodaira and Mizuno, called Spiral: Alive, was published in Gangan Wing and Monthly Shōnen Gangan from April 2004 to June 2008 and collected in five bound volumes.
Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning was originally licensed for an English language release in North America by Tokyopop, however the company dropped the series. Yen Press acquired the license for Northern American release, and published the first volume in October 2007.
The series was adapted as a twenty-five episode television anime series broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 1, 2002 until March 25, 2003. The anime is licensed in Region 1 by FUNimation, who released it on DVD and broadcast it on the FUNimation Channel programming block on CoLours TV in 2006. The series was also adapted as four light novels and a series of CD dramas.
Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning
Two years ago, Ayumu Narumi's older brother Kiyotaka, a famous detective and pianist, disappears without a trace. Ayumu's only clue as to his brother's whereabouts is the phrase "Blade Children," the only words Ayumu could make out in Kiyotaka's final phone call. Now in high school, Ayumu becomes involved in solving in a series of murders and other incidents, all related to the Blade Children. Together with his school's journalist, Hiyono Yuizaki, and the unwilling assistance of his sister-in-law, Madoka, Ayumu tries to figure out who the Blade Children are and what are their goals.
The Blade Children are the central mystery of the series, known only as cursed children that few know about and are being pursued by so-called Hunters. They are distinguished by their cat-like eyes and by missing the seventh right rib bone. As Ayumu investigates them, he meets Blade Children Kousuke Asazuki, Rio Takeuchi, Eyes Rutherford, Ryoko Takamachi, and Kanone Hilbert, and is tested in various ways by them. Those who meet him eventually conclude, some more reluctantly than others, that Ayumu does have what it takes to "save" the Blade Children, as they say Kiyotaka claims.
The anime series, which adapts the story through the sixth volume of the manga, compares the Blade Children to cuckoo birds, having been deposited in human "nests" to be raised, and suggesting that cuckoos go violently crazy toward the end of their lives. The manga continues the story, depicting Ayumu's discoveries about the origin of the Blade Children, their relationship with Kiyotaka, and why his older brother thinks Ayumu might be their savior.
Some thirty years ago, a man called Yaiba Mizushiro was born with one rib missing from his right ribcage. Like Kiyotaka, he excelled at everything he chose to put his mind to. When he turned twenty-three, Yaiba started his own secret society, which swiftly grew powerful enough to manipulate world events. Citing boredom, Yaiba initiated the "Blade Children Project": using in vitro techniques and his DNA, he created eighty children, and had a rib removed from each of them at birth as a mark of their relationship to Yaiba. These Blade Children were cursed in the same way Yaiba was: they would grow up as geniuses in their own right, but one day their blood would awaken murderously and take over their self-will, becoming avatars of Yaiba. Yaiba's organization split into three parties over the Blade Children Project:
- The Savers supported Yaiba's goals and desire to create more Blade Children. With Yaiba's death, they sought to protect the fact the future had not been determined yet.
- The Watchers were neutral, wanting to observe the first batch of Children and gather results first.
- The Hunters were against Yaiba, and tried multiple times to assassinate him, but repeatedly failed. After Yaiba's death, they worked to eliminate the Blade Children because of their potentially dangerous natures.
When Yaiba was thirty-six, a Japanese man came out of nowhere and easily killed him: Kiyotaka Narumi, Yaiba's counterpart—if Yaiba had been a destroyer, Kiyotaka was a creator. Yaiba had intended to remake the world literally in his own image; with his death, the Blade Children project was halted. Kiyotaka had his hands full trying to stop the Hunters from killing the Blade Children, while trying to check the Savers at the same time.
Just as Kiyotaka and Yaiba were linked, Ayumu eventually meets his own counterpart: Hizumi Mizushiro, Yaiba's younger brother, and the one who will awaken the blood of the remaining Blade Children. As Ayumu comes to know and becomes friends with Hizumi, he comes to accept his own powers are as strong as Kiyotaka's and his role as the savior of the Blade Children, leading to a final confrontation that resolves things once and for all.
Spiral: Alive is centered on a girl, Imari Sekiguchi, who falls in love with Shirou Sawamura, a boy who wants to become a detective. However, before Imari can confess to him, he unexpectedly quits school to pursue Kiyotaka Narumi. Imari learns that he also is dating Yukine Amanae, a beautiful girl at their school, and both Shirou and Yukine are unaware that Yukine is actually a reluctant murderer. Meanwhile, Toru Saiki, a member of the Police Department's First Investigations Department, investigates the mysterious murders connected with Amanae and is unwilling to bring in Kiyotaka, believing that Tokyo's greatest detective is more demonic than divine. Imari, Shirou, and Saiki become involved in events that are mysteriously connected to the Blade Children. Several characters from the original series return, including Kiyotaka, Kousuke, Ryoko, Kanone, and Madoka.
The series reveals that of the eighty original Blade Children watched by the Hunters, Savers, and Watchers, thirteen have been completely erased from their lists of Blade Children. The one responsible for this had been a neutral party who committed suicide after accomplishing this. The only information about the thirteen missing Blade Children is contained in the Mikanagi File, named after Professor Isabel Mikanagi, who was responsible for their disappearance. With Professor Mikanagi's death, the file was entrusted to her associates, Yukine's parents. After their deaths as the result of a Hunter's actions, Yukine survived and currently holds in her memory the only record of the Mikanagi File.
- Ayumu Narumi (鳴海歩 Narumi Ayumu?)
- The protagonist of Spiral, Ayumu is very intelligent, but is very introverted and has a lot of self-doubt. He fears that he cannot surpass his own perfect older brother and doubts himself to the point where he no longer believes he can do anything anymore without acting like his brother. He is a talented pianist like Kiyotaka, an excellent cook, and cares a lot for his sister-in-law Madoka.He had an affection toward Madoka, but stopped when Kiyotaka married Madoka. Ayumu is also the supposed only hope for the Blade Children and their survival. Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese), Daniel Katsük (English)
- Hiyono Yuizaki (結崎ひよの Yuizaki Hiyono?)
- The infamous school journalist, Hiyono is the bubbly and energetic sidekick of Ayumu, always stuck to his side. Very clever and a quick-thinker, her confidence borders dangerously on overconfidence. She is extroverted and is Ayumu's polar opposite, serving as one of the series' few comic-relief characters. Her skill with computers are as amazing as her hacking abilities and she has access to over one hundred resources. She blackmails Wataya often, and is very fond of Ayumu's cooking. Hiyono is also one of the few who whole-heartedly believe in Ayumu; she also has a great deal of faith and loyalty in him that carries on for the whole series. She attends Tsukiomi High School alongside with Ayumu Narumi. Voiced by: Masumi Asano (Japanese), Caitlin Glass (English)
- Eyes Rutherford (アイズ·ラザフォード?)
- The 17 years old world-class pianist, and he is second only to Kiyotaka Narumi, Ayumu Narumi's older brother.He is one of the blade children, Eyes is a quarter English and debuted in the musical world at the age of 14. He cares a great deal about the Blade Children and would do anything for them to survive at all costs. He is exceedingly loyal to Kiyotaka's words and seems to believe in Ayumu the most out of all the Blade Children. Eyes knows much more than the other Blade Children do, holding secrets he keeps to himself. Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese), John Burgmeier (English)
- Kanone Hilbert (カノン·ヒルベルト?)
- A Blade Child with a dual personality. He could be cute and friendly or manipulative and insane. He was very close to Eyes. He would cry for Eyes when Eyes could not when they were young, but their friendship fell apart as they grew older and developed vastly different opinions on the fate of the Blade Children. Kanone will go as far as he can to kill the people who give the Blade Children false hope, to prove to Eyes and the Blade Children they have no hope. Kanone is even willing to work with the Hunters to prove to the Blade Children that they have no hope. He does not believe that the Blade Children can be saved from their fates. Later on in the manga he regains his sanity and believes that Ayumu can save the blade children from a horrible fate. Just when he finally believes they can all be saved Hizumi kills him, he tells Ayumu to use his death as an opportunity. He also is an expert in fighting, he taught all the introduced Blade Children how to fight. Voiced by: Kenji Nojima (Japanese), Christopher Bevins (English)
- Hizumi Mizushiro (ミズシロ 火澄 Mizushiro Hizumi?)
- He only appears in the manga; and is the 'younger brother' of the father of the Blade Children. Hizumi is the complete opposite of Ayumu in many ways. He is sinister and manipulative, though he and Ayumu got along very well upon their initial meeting. Supposedly he is a very dangerous adversary for Ayumu. He has a personality similar to that of Kanone. He is energetic and has an innocent nature about him. He always smiles and is usually well-liked by people unrelated to the Blade Children, but that is actually a cover-up for his true personality; he is a desperate and lonely child who knows only despair.
Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning was serialized by Enix in Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine from February 2000 to October 2005, and collected in 15 tankōbon. The manga was licensed in North America in 2005 by Tokyopop, with the first volume initially scheduled for release October 2005. The series was never published and Tokyopop dropped the license. The license was later acquired by Yen Press in 2007. Yen Press released the first volume in October 2007, and as of August 2008 plans to release the remaining volumes quarterly, with the final volume in April 2011.
|Release date||ISBN||Release date||ISBN|
|1||February 22, 2000||ISBN 978-4-7575-0175-1||October 17, 2007||ISBN 978-0-7595-2341-8|
|2||July 22, 2000||ISBN 978-4-7575-0271-0||January 9, 2008||ISBN 978-0-7595-2407-1|
|3||December 20, 2000||ISBN 978-4-7575-0370-0||April 22, 2008||ISBN 978-0-7595-2637-2|
|4||June 22, 2001||ISBN 978-4-7575-0468-4||July 15, 2008||ISBN 978-0-7595-2834-5|
|5||October 22, 2001||ISBN 978-4-7575-0557-5||October 28, 2008||ISBN 978-0-7595-2835-2|
|6||April 22, 2002||ISBN 978-4-7575-0678-7||January 6, 2009||ISBN 978-0-7595-2913-7|
|7||September 21, 2002||ISBN 978-4-7575-0790-6||April 30, 2009||ISBN 978-0-7595-2914-4|
|8||January 22, 2003||ISBN 978-4-7575-0854-5||July 2009||ISBN 978-0-7595-2915-1|
|9||July 22, 2003||ISBN 978-4-7575-0982-5||October 2009||ISBN 978-0-7595-2916-8|
|10||December 22, 2003||ISBN 978-4-7575-1099-9||January 2010||ISBN 978-0-7595-2917-5|
|11||April 22, 2004||ISBN 978-4-7575-1186-6||April 2010||ISBN 978-0-7595-2918-2|
|12||August 21, 2004||ISBN 978-4-7575-1252-8||July 2010||ISBN 978-0-7595-2919-9|
|13||April 22, 2005||ISBN 978-4-7575-1366-2||October 2010||ISBN 978-0-7595-2920-5|
|14||September 22, 2005||ISBN 978-4-7575-1521-5||January 2011||ISBN 978-0-7595-2921-2|
|15||January 21, 2006||ISBN 978-4-7575-1605-2||April 2011||ISBN 978-0-7595-2922-9|
Spiral: Alive, a prequel and spin off of the original series, also written by Shirodaira and illustrated by Mizuno, began publishing in the April 2004 issue of Gangan Wing. In 2006, the series moved to Monthly Shōnen Gangan, where it ended in June 2008. It has been collected in five bound volumes.
|1||April 22, 2004||ISBN 978-4-7575-0674-9|
|2||February 22, 2007||ISBN 978-4-7575-1948-0|
|3||September 22, 2007||ISBN 978-4-7575-2114-8|
|4||February 22, 2008||ISBN 978-4-7575-2221-3|
|5||August 22, 2008||ISBN 978-4-7575-2355-5|
Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning was adapted as a 25-episode television anime series by TV Tokyo with production by J.C.Staff. It adapts the first six volumes of the manga, with a different ending. It was directed by Shingo Kaneko with music by Akira Mitake and character designs by Yumi Nakayama. The series was broadcast from October 1, 2002 to March 25, 2003, and released on nine DVDs between December 18, 2002 and August 27, 2003.
The opening theme was "Kibouhou" ("Cape of Hope") by Strawberry Jam, and the ending theme was "Kokuteru" ("Cocktail") by Hysteric Blue. There was also an insert song, "Twinkle My Heart" by Mitake Akira, which is sung by the character Hiyono Yuizaki. Piano music used during the series includes Jeux d’eau by Maurice Ravel (episode 3), Liebestraume No. 3 by Franz Liszt (played in concert by Eyes Rutherford in episode 13), Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude by Liszt (episode 21; in the manga, this is a significant piece of music for Eyes and Kanone Hilbert), and Arabesque No. 1 by Claude Debussy (episode 25). A soundtrack album was released March 19, 2003.
The series is licensed in Region 1 by FUNimation, which has released it on six DVDs and as a box set. FUNimation also aired the series, in dubbed format, in the FUNimation Channel programming block on CoLours TV from June 19, 2006 until August 22, 2006.
|#||Title||Original airdate||U.S. airdate|
|1||Spiral of Destiny
"Unmei no Rasen" (運命の螺旋)
|October 1, 2002||June 19, 2006|
|2||Manor of Death
"Shi no Seijukan" (死の聖樹館)
|October 8, 2002||June 20, 2006|
"Norowareta Kodomotachi" (呪われた子供たち)
|October 15, 2002||June 21, 2006|
|4||The Happiness of Those Who Believe
"Shinjirumono no Kōfuku" (信じる者の幸福)
|October 22, 2002||June 22, 2006|
"Kiri no Shikei dai" (霧の死刑台)
|October 29, 2002||June 23, 2006|
|6||Blind Spot in the Web
"Houi Ami no Hokaku" (包囲網の死角)
|November 5, 2002||June 26, 2006|
|7||The Choice of the Nonbeliever
"Shinjinumono no Sentaku" (信じぬ者の選択)
|November 12, 2002||June 27, 2006|
|8||Day of the Defeated
"Haisho Bakari no hi" (敗者ばかりの日)
|November 19, 2002||June 28, 2006|
|9||All Things That Are Possible to You
"Kimi ni Dekiru Arayurukoto" (きみにできるあらゆること)
|November 26, 2002||June 29, 2006|
|10||Only One Wise Action
"Tatta Hitotsu no Saeta Yari Kata" (たった一つの冴えたやり方)
|December 3, 2002||June 30, 2006|
"Guddonaito Suītohātsu" (グッドナイトスイートハーツ)
|December 10, 2002||July 3, 2006|
"Kawaita Hitomi" (乾いた瞳)
|December 17, 2002||July 4, 2006|
"Overture -Jokyoku-" (Overture 〜序曲〜)
|December 24, 2002||July 5, 2006|
"Amaki Kaori Kagerou ni Nite" (甘き香り陽炎に似て !)
|January 7, 2003||July 25, 2006|
|15||Like a Swan
"Raiku a Suwan" (ライク·ア·スワン)
|January 14, 2003||July 26, 2006|
"Marekanezaru Hōmonsho" (まねかれざる訪問者)
|January 21, 2003||July 27, 2006|
|17||The Watcher in the Darkness
"Kurayami no Sukyanaa" (暗闇のスキャナー)
|January 28, 2003||July 28, 2006|
|18||The Lamenting Angel
"Nageki no Tenshi" (嘆きの天使)
|February 4, 2003||July 31, 2006|
|19||Mirror of the Heart
"Kokoro no Kagami" (心の鏡)
|February 11, 2003||August 1, 2006|
"Sasayaku Kage" (ささやく影)
|February 18, 2003||August 2, 2006|
|21||The Sound of a Breaking Heart
"Kokoro no Kudakeru Oto" (心の砕ける音)
|February 25, 2003||August 3, 2006|
"Kamen no Kokuhaku" (仮面の告白)
|March 4, 2003||August 4, 2006|
"Yamanai Ame" (止まない雨)
|March 11, 2003||August 18, 2006|
|24||The Man in the High Castle
"Takai Shiru no Otoko" (高い城の男)
|March 18, 2003||August 21, 2006|
|25||The Sound of an Iris Freezing and Melting
"Ayame no Ite Toku Oto" (アヤメの凍て解く音)
|March 25, 2003||August 22, 2006|
|20px||This section requires expansion.|
- "作家名別出版物一覧「ま」" (in Japanese). Square Enix. Retrieved April 11, 2010.
- "New Tokyopop Manga". Anime News Network. April 28, 2005. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- "Tokyopop Still Has Spiral". Anime News Network. June 8, 2005. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- "Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning". Yen Press. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
- "Shirodaira, Mizuno's Spiral Alive Mystery Manga to End (Updated)". Anime News Network. April 17, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
- "スパイラル 〜推理の絆〜 /SPIRAL-net/" (in Japanese). Sony Entertainment. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- "The Official Spiral Anime Website from FUNimation". FUNimation Productions. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- "スパイラル 〜推理の絆〜 /SPIRAL-net/" (in Japanese). Sony Entertainment. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- "スパイラル ～推理の絆～" (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Archived from the original on June 8, 2004. Retrieved April 11, 2010.
- Broestl, Sean (June 3, 2005). "Review: Spiral: DVD 1: The Melody of Logic". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
- Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Spiral at Yen Press
- Spiral at Funimation
- Spiral at Aniplex (Japanese)