Sekai no Hatede Matteite (1) Tenshi no Kizuato


I’m not writing the review in chronological order because there are many flashbacks in this novel. Also, since this is a "mystery" and the plot is quite well written. If you plan to read the novel, I suggest don’t read my review. I try to hide as much spoilers as I can but it’s sometimes hard.

Kurozawa Touichirou (黒澤統一郎) is the owner of a small detective agency in the heart of Shibuya. He is tall, charismatic, and handsome (in a manly way) and once used to be a policeman but he was forced to give up his career owing to an incident two years ago. One day, he got a visit from a young client – a middle school boy Hamurou Sou (葉室å¥?). The request was to find his twin brother Hamurou Ritsu (葉室律), who went missing three years ago. Kurozawa hesitated because his client was below the age of 15 and technically he should not receive the request. However, he could not leave Sou alone. He then consulted his best friend and former partner Kaiya Yukihito (櫂矢雪人). Unlike Kurozawa, Kaiya is the cool, elegant and smart type who is excellent at shooting. The two met when they were still in training at the police academy. Kaiya entered the academy after graduating from university but Kurozawa joined after quitting university halfway. Since Kurozawa had to take care of his sister, he did not live in the police dormitory. Their father died while Kurozawa was still at university. That’s why he quit to join the police. His mother ran away with her lover when Kurozawa was still in elementary school and he would not forgive his mother. One time, when Kaiya’s mission did not go well, Kurozawa invited him to have a drink with him. Kaiya did not like Kurozawa because he was like a rival to him but somehow, Kurozawa managed to persuade Kaiya to his house. There, he met Kurozawa’s sister, Mioko 澪å­?. She was then 16, with long hair and she seemed to be a nice and obedient girl. However, as Kaiya got to know her more, he realized that there was a time when she rebelled and went out late with friends and did not come home or would not do housework. However, one day she witnessed an accident and that changed her point of view. When she thought there was no other person in this world except her brother whom she could call "family", she became more obedient – stayed at home and prepared the meal for her brother. Since then, Kaiya would visit the Kurozawas and he would also bring cake for Mioko and for four years, the three of them had some lovely moments together.

Unfortunately, two years ago, a burglar broke into the Kurozawa apartment. Kurozawa was out at work and only Mioko was there. Mioko struggled and got murdered in the process. When Kurozawa came home, he found Mioko lying in the apartment and he caught a glimpse of the burglar. So he chased the burglar and during the chase, he was smashed with a glass and some fragments entered his eye. Although he did not go blind, his sight in one eye became extremely terrible and he was no longer fit for frontline police duty. However, his sister’s case was not solved because he knew that they did not arrest everyone responsible for her murder. He became a detective in hope to arrest the masterminds who sent out these burglars to rip off females who either lived alone in the apartment or were left alone most of the time (as in Mioko’s case). Soon after Mioko’s death, Kurozawa spiraled out of control from agony and Kaiya tried to stop him once – by offering his own body to Kurozawa. However, that was the first and only time the two got ever so close to each other. In the next two years, both sealed that night’s memory in the darkest corner of their minds and remained as ordinary friends.

The story of the Hamurou brothers took place two years after Mioko’s death. Sou told Kurozawa that his brother ran away with an artist by the name Mizuta Tohru æ°´ç”°é€?. Actually, he still managed to keep contact with Ritsu all these years but he wanted to meet with Ritsu face-to-face and he wished Kurozawa could help him. Kaiya of course was not in favor of Kurozawa helping the Hamurou brothers as it would be unlikely he would get any benefit out of helping. However, when he found out that this Tohru was at the scene of a robbery at a convenient store earlier, he also wanted to find this Tohru and the young boy because they could be potential suspects in the robbery case. Thus, the search for Ritsu began. They knew Ritsu was in town because Tohru had been selling paitings under the name Shouko ショウコ. They realized this fact when the storeowner accidentally placed a painting which Mizuta said should not be sold – the painting of a young boy with two scratches at the back – wounds that resembled the marks left by wings torn from an angel. Ritsu had similar wounds because he fell down the hill and injured his back when he was younger. Near the gallery, there was a museum and currently there was a limited-time exhibition of Shousho (å?Œæ™¶) a kind of stone). Kurozawa had an idea. Since Ritsu liked stones, he would definitely be interested in the exhibition. That was the last day of the exhibition and he thought Ritsu would show up. Ritsu did and they managed to catch Ritsu, along with Tohru – the artist. Actually, Tohru was not the robber, he was just a passerby and he even drew a picture of the real robber for Kaiya. With the picture, Kaiya managed to arrest the real robber later. Sou asked Ritsu to go home with him because his mother was very worried about Ritsu but Ritsu said he could not go home. He wanted to stay with Tohru and tour around the country, seeing places he never saw. Tohru though reassured Kurozawa and Kaiya that he would let Ritsu go home soon.

The reason why Tohru could say that was because he had brain cancer and he had only a few months left. However, the fact that Sou employed a detective to find Ritsu was discovered by his mother who got angry and insisted to have Ritsu brought back home RIGHT THEN. Kaiya also thought it would not be good for Ritsu to have to witness death at such a young age. So, Kurozawa laid out a trap to catch Ritsu and Tohru. They went to the house where Ritsu and Tohru were and the mother begged Ritsu to go home. Ritsu said he would on condition they would not do anything to Tohru (like arrest him for bringing an underage boy with him) or he would kill himself right there. However, when Ritsu said "Mr. Detective (探å?µã?•ã‚“)", Kurozawa knew this wasn’t Ritsu who was in front of him. It was the twin brother Sou, who helped Ritsu and Tohru to escape. Ritsu loved Tohru very much. After Tohru lost his wife (who died while giving birth to her child – Shouko – who also died a few days later), Tohru no longer had any reason to live. In fact, he hated the fact that he was the only one left in this world. Then, he met Ritsu and Sou. The twins’ father admired Tohru’s artistic skills and invited him to stay at the Hamurou’s household. That’s how Ritsu learned about drawing from Tohru. Ritsu was always the mature child – obedient and good at school work. On the other hand, Sou was the mischievious one. Sou envied Ritsu because everyone praised Ritsu but Ritsu also envied Sou because he knew that everyone really preferred the sociable and cute Sou to the plain Ritsu who tried to act nice. He was tired of playing "nice boy" and the only one who truly appreciated him was Tohru. That’s why he ran away with Tohru because in front of Tohru, he felt the most natural and comfortable. In the end, Tohru died and Ritsu returned home and as a reward for his hard work, Kurozawa got a painting by the artist "Shouko". While he was alive, a well-known director already demonstrated interests for Shouko’s paintings and his death pushed the value up. However, Kurozawa had no intention of selling that picture. Instead, he let it hang on the wall that did not quite match the beauty of the objects in the painting.


6 responses »

  1. Hi Nanya,

    I’ve had this item on my Amazon wishlist for sometime. I love Yukifuna’s artwork! I just went to the BK1 website that you mentioned in another post elsewhere. Just wondering how’s the shipping packaging like? Amazon’s packaging is solid so books don’t get damaged easily but the shipping costs are atrocious for small orders. BK1’s EMS costs look reasonable but because I don’t know how much the books would weigh after packaging, it could even be more expensive than Amazon. I don’t want the books to get damaged either if the packaging is too flimsy.

  2. Hi AsiaServ,

    Actually I think the BK1 packaging is better than Amazon packaging for me. Somehow when I ordered magazine from Amazon, they don’t have bubble plastic inside to protect the magazines… just the plastic bag. However, BK1 has both bubble plastic and plastic bag. Even or the SAL service, I’m very satisfied. I never had any trouble with them, not even once.

  3. Thanks Nanya,

    That sounds great. Will try ordering from them then. I’ve had a book from slightly damaged before and that was because some very heavy item crushed the box, and you’re right, because it didn’t come with bubble wrap, the book wasn’t protected. What I do like about tho is that they afix the books to the box so they don’t move around in transit. Amazon US is terrible for that. I’ve ever had books from Amazon US being thrown about in the box until the damage was quite considerable and and to be returned. 🙄

    I’m feeling very poor tho because I recently ordered the whole Gray Zone series, Esu series, and Flesh & Blood. T____T I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to read all of them since my japanese is so poor. I’ve finished 3 Flesh & Blood books but I think I only understood 60%-70% of it lol. I wish I had the Chinese translations to help but they don’t sell it here, not to mention my Chinese isn’t very good either haha. Stuff with less technical terms is so much easier for the brain!

  4. Gray Zone… is that related to Borderline 😕 I would read that one day when I powerup with my language skills as her plot is very complicated and difficult to understand (or so I heard). Flesh & Blood, I think you can get the Chinese translations from the Internet. I got the Japanese novel but I read along with some Chinese translation. 😛

  5. Hi~
    Just come to check out the latest review so that I can consider what else I can buy when I go to Japan next month.
    This “Sekai no hadete matteite” is definitely one of my faviourite. I really want to read the vol.2… But I can’t find any news of the day or month of publish yet…>_

  6. Welcome Helen,
    It’s a pity there is not yet a schedule for the sequel but I swear this should at least have 3-4 novels so let’s all just wait. I noticed you already started reading Shitsuji no Tokken ^0^ I wonder if you like that novel. Actually (you’ll probably notice too), there is a new yakuza work from Aida sensei and it’s got good reviews. I already ordered it and hopefully should arrive two weeks later. You may want to check that out? And also all works by Yakou Hana… they’re pretty grim and mysterious and tragic …

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