Posted by psgels on 13 August 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Spiral is a battle of wits. It’s set up in such a way that the lead character (Narimi Ayumu), who is a highly gifted teenager, has to face a number of opponents who rather than simply shooting him to death attempt to bring him down by creating all sorts of puzzle situations for him to overcome. Not really the most believable of all premises, but it does work.

Because I have to admit, these mind games are well created. They’re creative and not as ridiculously elaborate and far-fetched like you’d see in shows as Death Note or Code Geass. The creators really did well in keeping a balance between believability and ingenuity, and that’s where the fun comes from: the situations in this series are so created that a lot of them can be figured out by the audience as well. The characters make well use of their surroundings, and also carefully try to analyze the persons they’re dealing with and predict what kind of moves they might make.

The mind games and the psychology in this series is what makes it worth watching, and that’s a good thing because apart from that there really isn’t anything notable for this series. Spiral basically is a series that’s really good at one thing… but fails to stand out in any other way. The lead characters are serviceable: the creators are good at analyzing them, but they could have been fleshed out much more. The villains however are a real joke: we learn absolutely nothing about them: they’re just a bunch of paper bags with no motivation whatsoever.

But the biggest problem with this series it the fact that it leaves so many questions open. And sure, I’m not often concerned with this and I usually don’t mind if a series leaves a bunch of plot-holes open at the end. But Spiral takes this to a completely different level when it fails to answer just about every major question it asks throughout the series. Seriously, this series just stops at one point and nothing whatsoever has been solved. My guess would be that this is another series adapted from a manga that never got its second season due to unpopularity. Such a shame!

Anyway, whether or not you’ll like this series is simple: if all you want is a battle of wits, then this series isn’t going to disappoint you. Especially the first half of this show has everything that makes for a bunch of very interesting mind games. If you’re interested in something else though, then you’d better stay away, because this series sure as heck doesn’t have it.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 7/10

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Bruno Guilbert says:

    Well, i have to go and defend this series.

    After all the manga surpasses death note (that’s the most similar series i can think of) easy, its really a shame that only the first 6 volumes (it has 15 in total) of the manga were animated, and then they throwed a shit ending to it.
    About the plot holes; avoiding spoilers i can say that the complexity of the plot and the psychology of the chars, even the drama are elevated so high that it was impossible to show on only 25 episodes.
    The last 4 chapters of the manga weren’t translated to english yet, so i don’t know how it ends, and i’m obligated to admit that it can go from shit to epic.

    Well, if you aren’t going to read the manga and want some answers fell free to ask me, here or by e-mail.

    Cya

  2. Avatar Azura says:

    Interesting review. Will have to check this anime out!

  3. Avatar VSky says:

    I agree. While the first half of the Spiral anime is good, overall the manga does a much better job. I prefer the characters in the manga, with the exception of Hiyono, I like her anime counterpart more.
    I would definately encourage you to give the manga a try if you want to know the plotholes – and meet the elusive Kiyotaka. I found the ending quite different and in my opinion, it worked well – although I almost wished for a happier turn of events for a certain character. Pity the anime didnt get a second season – its where all the fun would have truly begun.

  4. Avatar Chris says:

    Manga’s ending is depressing, cool show though I enjoyed it

  5. Avatar Bane says:

    As you have guessed already, and as others have said, this is based on a manga but has an anime-original ending which ignores half the plot, thus being a bit of a waste.

    The Record of Fallen Vampire is another series written by the same author (but different mangaka) and focuses on multi-layered perceptions of truth about events that transpired over a thousand years ago (in the manga timeline). So it has a similar mystery aspect to Spiral, but IMHO it’s a much more interesting story, so I recommend you check it out. It’s not been completely brought over yet but it’s on an active English release schedule (Viz has released five of nine volumes so far).

  6. I’m going to be repeating what others have said before me, but the manga absolutely blows the anime adaptation out of the water. This is particularly clear with the characterization of the villains; like you said, they’re pretty shallow in the anime, but in the manga they get a lot more depth, to the point where they honestly are probably more life-like than some of the “good” guys are. If you even liked the anime a teeny bit, you’d probably love the manga.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

8 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – 10-11

Contrary to last episode’s ending scene of Gray and Hephaestion charging into each other, it winds up being something very reminiscent of the that entire banquet of kings episode from Fate/zero. Although fewer in participants, less epic and far shorter than its predecessor, it’s filled with substantial dialogue between these two warriors about their own […]

Vinland Saga – 10 [Ragnarok]

This was a pretty insightful week for Vinland Saga. As we get a deeper look into Askeladd’s character, Thorkell goes on the move and Thorfinn continues to question his place in the band. Lets dive in! Starting off, like always, the productions. This week was, to use a dirty word, pretty damn cinematic. Vinland continues […]

Fire Force – 9/10 [Spreading Malice/Promise]

Fire Force is an anime that shows more than it tells.  For that reason, I’ve saved up two episodes to have something more to talk about than a simple recap.  Let’s go!

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 24 [Rehabilitation Training]

Welcome all to another subdued week of Kimetsu no Yaiba everyone. This week is rather quiet comparatively, as we focus in on a few specific characters. Exploring Shinobu’s motivations, Tanjiro’s effect on others and Yaiba’s breathing techniques. So without further ado, let’s dive in. Starting off, Zenitsu is really losing a lot of the good-will […]

DanMachi2 – Episodes 9/10 (Berbera/Argonaut)

DanMachi, you’re making this hard. Overall, this season has been incredibly disjointed…the latest episode (10) is a perfect example of that.  It’s like half the animation team is working on one fight, while the interns get the other (and debatably more important one!)  In the same episode!

Dr.STONE – 11 [Clear World]

Ladies and Gentleman who actually read these posts, this is an important week for Dr.STONE. As this week we meet Kaseki, perhaps the greatest old man of the season. Dr.STONE doesn’t stop there though. Introducing us to the wonders of glassmaking and giving us another heartfelt moment of technological progress. Enough of that though, in […]

Mononoke – 6 [Faceless Monster Part 1] – Throwback Thursday

And so begins another arc of Mononoke, though this one is shaping up to be my favorite so far. This week we get the introduction of a new spirit and a commentary of personal perception, wrapped in a fast paced episode. There is plenty to talk about, so let’s just dive in. Starting off, the […]

Mix – 21-22 [If…/Affection for His Sister]

It is well and truly baseball season on Mix, as one game leads straight into another in this doubleheader. I often refer to multi-episode posts that way, but this is the first to live up to the name. Meisei’s fluke of a win against Kaiou West paves the way for a pitcher’s duel in their […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 23 [Hashira Meeting]

This week Kimetsu no Yaiba picks up right where we left off last time. As Nezuko confronts her demonic side, Tanjiro doesn’t know when to quit while he is ahead and our two favorite boys return. Enough of that though, onto the episode itself. This week was much better than last week, and I think […]

Latest Reviews

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – II Lost Butterfly Anime Review – 91/100

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically […]

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]