REVIEW: Inspector Kurokouchi Vol. 3 (2012)

A Manga by Nagasaki, Takashi (Story), Kouno, Kouji (Art)

When we last left Seike and Kurokouchi, it seemed as if they were starting to put pieces together as to who may have been responsible for rampant police corruption, and even one of Japan’s most notorious cold cases. And with many conspiracies, once you start poking around and doing investigations, it seems as if it all comes pushing back. This volume is without a doubt, the most grizzly of all to date – with a couple of attempts on Kurokouci’s life, and dead cops piling up left and right it seems somebody may be paranoid as to what’s going on.

“The one black sheep of the Kanagawa Police Prefecture. On the surface, Kurokôchi is a corrupt policeman working at the second brigade of the prefecture, and thus responsible for investigating organized crimes and white-collar crimes. He uses the intel he gets to get bribes from practically all the local politicians and lives a luxurious life. However, behind this facade, Kurokôchi also seriously investigates cases whose perpretrators are normally beyond the scope of the law and works to bring some justice to them through guile, manipulations and stunts so crazy that he becomes unpredictable. Together with Seike, Kurokôchi slowly unveils the many conspiracies hidden within the National Police Agency.”

This volume is continuing the storyline in volume two, so there isn’t too much to say about what’s going on that hasn’t already been said (Review HERE). Kurokouchi is still in a bit over his head, but seems to have a plan on how to infiltrate the The Sakura Council – whether that be Seike, his Yakuza friend acquaintance, or himself – somebody will get in there and uncover the whole thing, whether they want to or not. Seike has renewed interest on the case, seeing that his own father was investigating the 300 Million yen Robbery in 1969 is starting to make him question his demise being a mere “accident”. Hopefully the son does not follow in his father’s footsteps, although it may be too late for that.

I will hand it to Takashi Nagasaki, as he seems to be a master of intense suspense even in the pages of a comic book. We see characters in situations that appear to be certain death at numerous times, and thankfully that isn’t the case too often. It gives the illusion of anything being possible and that literally nobody is safe. The way the conspiracy is unfolding is pretty crazy, and I am genuinely interested if this is based on any real life theories or if it’s all in the brain of Nagasaki.

Yet another great volume of this story, one that continues to be one of my favorite things I discovered in 2021. This is all of the comic that is currently available in English as of this minute, so here’s hoping I don’t have to wait too long for more. Better yet, maybe some Western interest in the story could lead to a smaller publisher officially licensing it? One can only hope! Stay tuned, as I may have found a way to watch the Japanese TV series based on this comic, and if so I will definitely do a write-up as well.

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