Sometimes the mainstream adult cannot be blamed for dismissing anime as a "children's thing" - there are just too many titles delving on the amazingly young participating in outrageous or impossibly epic activities, leaving little sensibility for the mature to ponder upon. (Not to say that is entirely a bad thing, since some of them are still entertaining and insightful from certain angles) Any series that features protagonists in school would therefore have difficulty gaining an adult's attention, but Spiral looks set with the right gear to overcome this.
Watching this slightly after I recovered my anime fever (yeap, you read it right - recovered the fever, not from), I was initially lacking any confidence in what this series with a Flash-based opening had to offer. The entry scenes present basic art and animation of low frame rate - a quality that would plague later incidents that involve a high degree of motion. Building up slowly at the start, it deceptively makes protagonist Narumi Ayumu's life look boring and perplexing as to what the main theme is. Well, do not be deceived; watch on and by the end of the episode you will be gripped tightly by the incident at school and just what intellectual feats this boy can achieve to solve mysteries.
You will want to watch each subsequent episode. Just so to see what new mysteries abound and how our detective hero goes about to bring them to light via his eagle-eye observations and use of inference to link things and ideas together. His famous quote, "The melody of logic will always play out the truth." has such a strong rhythm with my own means of thinking has lead me to use that as my personal signature line. Shelock Holmes fans can now be treated to an anime variant of Cluedo.
All these intriguing riddle and problem solving activities unfortunately reaches an effective "ceasefire" when Ayumu and the Blade Children, whom he had been engaging in the battle of wits, are forced to deal with the larger story that includes the dark organisation that originated the Blade Children. This second half of the series runs tired at best, as though the studio ran out of ideas to keep things witty. It also falls into the trap of introducing the afore-mentioned actioned scenes there are not animated enough; resulting in people with spastic movements.
At the end, the J.C. Staff makes off like the original manga author, and failed to deliver a satisfactory ending by leaving things unresolved, unconcluded. A great pity, for what could have been an excellent series ends up being just good. Don't get me wrong - this title isn't a waste of time - the first half is more than worth watching, and thinking for.
Overall rating 7/10
Witful detective play; engaging dialogue
lowly animated; deflated second half; unresolved ending