Shinonome Tantei Ibun Roku – Taratsumi John
The stage is the Daybreak Detective Agency, located on a dark alley. Detective Waki, who takes care of everything, from finding missing people to ghost exterminations, is beloved by part-timer Rika. Hoshihiko follows Waki, who he says is attracted by a smell. The door of the Daybreak Detective Agency opens to a client… A mysterious story by Taratsumi John.
Loved the cover art but mixed feels for this paranormal detective story.
On one hand, The Annals of the Strange Tales of the Daybreak Detective has an interesting set-up. It follows Douchin Waki, a private detective going about his investigations that always involved ghosts. The detective agency is owned by Shinonome, an elderly ex-cop who took an orphaned Waki under his wing. The agency also employed a young college student, Rika, and later on, Hoshihiko, a ghost Waki encountered in the opening story.
The plot and the mysteries were intriguing. The manga has a melancholy atmosphere that is offset by bursts of humor frequently delivered by the genki Rika. The more serious parts relate to Waki’s past and Shinonome’s fragile health. These are the ones that grippped me the most.
However, I wasn’t a fan of the romance. Rika has a bad crush on Waki. He’s like an adoring puppy with the way he makes eyes at the man. Waki is attractive in his own worn out way. However, he’s such a heavy smoker I could practically smell the stink all the way here. I don’t find him appealing as a love interest.
The worst part is that the feelings were one-sided. Rika asked the older man to go out with him. Waki seemed to be just going with the flow so he agreed. He even upfront said he didn’t know how he feels about the younger man. The closing chapter rushed into making them a couple and giving happy endings all around but I remained unconvinced.
The romance could have been better developed but overall, this manga is enjoyable.