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Review: Multiple Personality Detective Psycho
I should note that due to my horror movie fixation, my expectations are low when it comes to multiples in fiction, compared to that of others. I'm so used to seeing mindless serial killers on the screen that to me, whether or not they are single or multi becomes less relevant that whether or not the movie makes any sense at all.
However I will, in my reviews indicate my thoughts on the issues pertaining to multiplicity in the story, alongside a more generic review, which will discuss things like plot, and character development. I have a more thought out review somewhere, and I'm having trouble with the format insofar as plot spoilers, but this will do for now.
This is a really bizarre Manga that I've got the scanlations for. We read it a while back when we saw the title, and went WTF at it.
Synopsis: Yousuke Kobayashi, a police officer, receives a morbid package at his job. It's his girlfriend, courtesy of a local serial killer. Seeking revenge, he shoots and kills the murderer. He goes to jail for the murder, except that he now claims to be Amiyama Kazuhiko, and furthermore claims that Yousuke Kobayashi is dead. Amiyama gets recruited into a private investigation agency, to solve serial murders, perpetrated by a bizarre cast of murderers who are all connected to his past. Another in-system character is Shinji Nishizono, your classic murderer type, who is often one step ahead of the P.I. agency, Amiyama, and the killers. I'm sure you know the type, slick and sadistic. As the story progresses, it becomes apparent that they aren't alone, and that nothing is what it seems.
Issues: There are the obvious psycho-killer stereotypes in place, which are somewhat mitigated by information that is revealed later. Here's a hint, Shinji has a lot in common with the other killers.
The series takes a lot of time questioning all assumptions as to what makes a person real. You will see instances where a member of a multi system will take precedence over a single in their own body.
Explaining the mechanics of this group requires giving away major plot elements.
Review: Despite these shortcomings, as a story, it could be interesting, except that it drags on. The gore is impressive, and at points it successfully convinced my jaw to drop. The art style is unusual, with hair that sometimes looks like a vector drawing. It has some interesting plot twists, but it takes too long for it to happen. The love-interest takes on a bizarre twist, and although I liked how it was initially handled, it eventually got really annoying.
Do NOT read further if you don't want major plot points spoiled!
Plot(spoiler-heavy): Shinji is actually what would be called the original. Yousuke, Amiyama, and everyone except Shinji are actually what is referred to as "personality programs" which were installed in Shinji's mind as part of an experiment. In fact, many of them are his previous victims, making them, literally, interjects. I'm not clear on whether or not he is also a personality program.
They, and the serial killers are part of an effort to revive a musician, cult leader, and terrorist, Lucy Monostone. Seen as an angel and saint by some, his followers have genetically engineered people with what are supposed to be generated fragments of his soul. As such, all of Lucy's so-called children have incredibly violent tendencies. They are often serial killers and terrorists. The better ones are more creative, and twisted.
In a Darwinistic move, many of these pieces seem to be pit against each other. Only the strong will survive and the perfect parts will unite, and Lucy Monostone will be reborn. However, if they thought it would be easy, they were wrong.
Issues: Well there is the immediate issue: both established multiples are murderers. The fact that they are engineered that way, in order to recreate a person who was able to cause crowds of people to go into a murderous frenzy at will, is going to be lost on a lot of people.
They are also technically parts of Lucy Monostone, and many of them are programs as well, but the series makes an effort to establish that each is still their own person as well. Not all of Lucy's children are multiple, and yet, they cannot remain comfortable in their singularity as an indicator of legitimacy.
For example, the "real" Amiyama decides that since he is the original, he is the perfect Amiyama, and wants to unite with Shinji Teburo. He attempts to do so, only to discover that Shinji Teburo prefers the program that resides in Nishizono's body, over him.
Later Teburo is questioned by another member of the project as to why he would want to complete his directives, as this will mean his death, for the sake of Lucy Monostone. Although Amiyama #2 is transferred into his body, he comes to the conclusion that he must protect Amiyama, and keep him intact and separate.
Despite all of that, it's not going to improve anyone's outlook on multiplicity. It does a much better job of questioning people's preconceived notions about what it means to be a person, which is something to recommend it for, however.
Review (spoiler-heavy): It's a clusterfuck manga, that could be interesting if it didn't drag on forever, even after the death of Shinji Nishizono, and the collapse of the organization. It handles some interesting topics, and some of it's handling is actually better than the title would lead you to believe. However, I have to warn you, it is S-L-O-W! Once you realize that all the killers are going to be parts of this experiment, the actual cases become far less interesting, except as excuses for classy gore. BTW, apparently, according to this series, all serial murder worth note seems to be related somehow to Lucy Monostone. That got annoying. It would have been nice if the writer threw a curve ball once in a while in the series.
If anyone wants more information about the series, I can look over my copy of the scanlation.