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Spiral Box Set
Spiral Box Set
Actors: Masumi Asano, Caitlin Glass, Daniel Katsuk, Kenichi Suzumura, Greg Ayres
Director: Shingo Kaneko
Genres: Television, Mystery & Suspense, Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2006     10hr 25min

One by one, the Blade Children emerge from the shadows, each bringing a unique set of challenges both physical and mental. Ultimately, corruption is uncovered at the highest levels and truth must be sought at all costs. Th...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Masumi Asano, Caitlin Glass, Daniel Katsuk, Kenichi Suzumura, Greg Ayres
Director: Shingo Kaneko
Creators: Chinatsu Houjou, Katsuhiko Koide, Kyou Shirodaira, Mitsuyasu Sakai, Tetsuo Tanaka
Genres: Television, Mystery & Suspense, Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Television, Mystery & Suspense, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod
Format: DVD - Color - Animated,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/17/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 10hr 25min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 6
SwapaDVD Credits: 6
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

One of my top 5
Pera | KY, USA | 04/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a wonderful anime! The characters are lovable, the plot will have you on the edge of your seat, and the mystery, action, puzzles, and drama will have you begging for more.

Ayumu Narumi's older brother Kiyotaka left suddenly one day two years ago and he is bound and determined find him. The only thing he has to go on, however, is a cryptic comment about something called the Blade Children.

Now, all Ayumu's wit and cunning are put to the test as he finds himself drawn time and again into the dangerous lives of the Blade Children, even as he continues to seek his brother. Can he, who has with no faith in his own self worth, truly be the hope and salvation the Blade Children need him to be?"
Unwind the Spiral
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 04/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"
So just who are the Blade Children, why are they cursed, and what does our hero have to do with all this?

Those questions lie at the heart of "Spiral," an intricate mystery series with solid animation, a compellingly dark mystery.... and no ending. Despite a distinct lack of answers at the finale, it is a solid anime, with well-drawn characters, amazing art and some nail-biting suspense during a few of these arcs.

Two years ago, Ayumu Narumi got a phone call from his older, genius brother Kiyotaka. He announced he was investigating the "Blade Children," and then vanished.

Much later, a girl named Sayoko falls from a balcony -- and Ayumu seems like the only possible suspect, even though the police inspector is his sister-in-law Madoka. But Ayumu has the same astounding analytical skills as his older brother, and he soon solves a pair of crimes connected to Sayoko -- her fall, and a locked-room murder -- only to find that they both involve the Blade Children.

Unfortunately, the Blade Children are getting interested in Ayumu -- first a "smart bomb" is planted in a piano concert, and then a weird boy lures Ayumu to an abandoned school, playing a deadly game with the young genius. And after a teacher is murdered, Ayumu is pulled into a deadly mind game with a precocious Blade Child. She sabotages his self-esteem, and then snares him into a deadly cat-and-mouse game.

But even as Ayumu outwits the Blade Children, he learns that another deadly faction is involved with the Blade Children -- the Hunters, who kill them and anyone they are allied with. Even worse, he has a new enemy among the Blade Children -- Kanone, a young man who believes that the Blade Children "must not live." And since Ayumu may be their only hope, he is now Kanone's enemy...

"Spiral" starts delving into the mystery of the Blade Children literally from the first scene, with Kiyotaka's parting words. Those expecting lots of action, slapstick and flashy superspecial powers will probably be bored by this smarter brand of anime: the confrontations usually end in nothing more spectacular then a scuffle, and the only special powers Ayumu has are his intellectual ones.

While the writers don't really reveal much, they do spin a web of clever, intellectual mysteries, with magic squares, explosive neckwear, bombs, mystery future killings, card tricks and an abandoned hotel rigged with explosives all throughout it. Some of these are pretty hard to figure out, despite their simplicity.

And when Ayumu isn't pondering mysteries, the episodes are peppered with comedy (in one scene, Hiyono keeps distracting Ayumu as he tries to get an arcade toy for her) and flashbacks that show the characters' pasts. And though we don't find out what the problem with the Blade Children is, the episodes are infused by a sense of ominous hopelessness, but you never quite pity them yet because of their casual brutality.

There are a few problems, though -- for one thing, the second half of the series seems much more dependent on big kabooms than simple mind games and murders. The mindwork is still there, but not as prominent. And... there's no ending. We never learn what the Blade Children are, where they came from, or why the Hunters hate them so.

Daniel Katsük does an excellent job with both Ayumu's laid-back, unemotional demeanor, and his inner turmoil. While it's hard to really be sympathetic to someone who has so many natural gifts, he makes it understandable that Ayumu would feel so inferior to his seemingly perfect brother. Caitlin Glass' Hiyono is rather annoying and hyperactive ("Thank you God, for blessing us with these awesome seats"), but Gwendolen Lau is excellent as the gutsy, vulnerable Madoka.

And the voicework for the Blade Children is pretty uniformly excellent -- John Burgmeier and Greg Ayres are excellent as the melancholy Eyes Rutherford and the devilish Kousuke. Laura Bailey is excellent as the gutsy runner Ryoko, and Monica Rial is solid as the girlish, ruthless Rio. I'm not sure if Kanone is supposed to have that brick-thick Southern accent, though.

"Spiral" winds into a mystery that it never really leaves, but the intricate storyline and suspense are definitely worth checking out. A nice series if you don't mind finding the end elsewhere."
A real disappointment
R. Murphy | 01/06/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Bad Points:
-During the whole series the watcher repeatedly hears the question "Who are the blade children?" At the end, we still are not given the answer to this. There are too many loose ends left at the end of the anime. Even if you wished to see the anime, and then read the ending in manga- you cannot! To my knowledge, the manga which this series is based off of is not available in English! I resorted to reading the Wikipedia page, which is much less fascinating than finding out the answers in story form.
-Some of the characters tend to be annoying, or one dimensional. The main character, Ayumu, I still felt cold towards at the end of the series. While some of the characters I can relate to and sympathize with, or at least understand, the main character (of all people!) seems undefined. The girl who follows him around everywhere also remains undefined, and worse yet, has a voice that makes me want to cut off my ears.
-The minor plot lines tend to get boring. I can stand 'Sherlock Holmes' but the mysteries in this series are too dull for me. They drag out, and seem to get in the way of the real storyline.

So by now I've given a bleak review, right? Than it's time for the good points, though they be few in my eyes.
-The artwork was beautiful and so was the music accompanying it. Who doesn't enjoy good art in an anime? The men and woman were all beautiful without being way over glamorous, and I love the scenes where piano playing is involved.
-The storyline doesn't seem to fall under the average overdone plots in anime. There are no giant robots, half-human half-demons, dirt-poor wandereres, etc. "Spiral" is more original than most anime out there, focusing on the genre of mystery.
-Some of the more important secondary characters seem to be well-formed, although Ayumu and his sidekick were not. I could really relate to them, and they seemed similar to characters I was writing about in my NaNoNovel. I was more concerned with where their futures where heading than the main character's. When Ayumu almost got stung by bees (which he is deathly allergic to) I honestly didn't care if he died or not. Not because I'm heartless folks, just because Ayumu didn't seem real enough to me.

As you can see, IMHO "Spiral" does not have much going for it. The lack of answers at the end pretty much sucked the beauty out of the series for me. Like an idiot I was taken in by all the pretty advertisements. If you are content with loose ends and cliff hangers, than this series if for you.

~D.N.M."
OK Anime but disappointing and confusing ending
Rich | CA | 07/24/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I got this collection a couple of weeks ago all I can really say about this series is that for the most part it seemed like the main character Ayumu was playing detective to much in each episode most of them either trying to help the Blade Children 'The Main Mystery Of The Series' or trade wits with the Blade children through out the story you try to see the real reason for the threat to the blade children and why Ayumu's older brother sought to understand the Blade Children mystery the series is decent but with a confusing and open ending that never answers any of the questions you wanted to know it never even answers the mystery of the blade children much the voice actors again are great from Funimation Films but I'm sad to say the series itself is sadly lacking any true greatness"