When I first read the description of NisiOisin’s Zaregoto:
It’s the vacation of a lifetime, a trip to a remote island filled with geniuses – and murder.
On Wet Crow’s Feather Island, a tiny speck in the Sea of Japan, lives Akagami Iria, the exiled daughter of a powerful family. Born into great wealth, she was a princess of the highest pedigree – until she was cut off by the leader of the Akagami Foundation. For the last five years, she’s lived on Feather Island with her maids. But she hasn’t been alone. She has invited the best minds Japan has to offer to come and stay with her.
And so 19-year-old college student Ii-chan and his best friend, computer genius Kunagisa Tomo, find themselves as Iria’s guests at her elaborate mansion. Surrounded by fascinating women – a chef, a fortune-teller, a scholar, and an artist, not to mention his own friend Tomo – Ii-chan is feeling a little overmatched intellectually. But the sudden discovery of a grisly murder sends the island into shock. Ii-chan discovers that he does possess a bit of genius: the ability to discover what is real and what is fake… who is who they claim to be – and who is a killer.
But then I got hooked on NisiOisin’s Bakemonogatari with it’s odd characters and their odd monologues, and grew hungry for more.
Well, if you’re looking for a hit of that Bakemonogatari magic, this is a good place to look. Once again you have your nebbish narrator surrounded by weird women with the ability to spin words into webs of fascination. NisiOisin actually manages to make his characters’ supposed genius at least credible (even if they do take a bit long to seize on the post hoc).
And, hey, it’s a pretty decent mystery. Even better: there’s a twist to the solution that even eludes the main character, delivered with the sort of punch fans of Bakemonogatari are accustomed to.
The only bad thing is that Del Rey doesn’t seem to plan to bring the second volume of the series out until June of next year. Give them encouragement. Go buy it.