ディスコ探偵水曜日 — You are the Cause By Which I Die


Before fedoras were worn by the homo euphoros, they were worn by intelligent, righteous people. Investigative journalists, mafia members, private detectives. These members of society were seen as the new cowboys; they were ready to break the law to deliver their own justice, whether society wanted it or not. They were the knights of New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. It was up to these vigilantes to take up the policing role in places where the police couldn’t reach. These men might have given up their shining armor for dusty worn jackets, but they followed a code of chivalry now immortalized in the genre of hardboiled fiction. They are what we call “superheroes”, but they prefer the humbler name of “detectives”.

Disco Wednesdayyy is one of those guys. His job is to rescue kidnapped children all over the world. None of these cases are pretty. Human trafficking, sexual abuse — you name it, he saw it. His mind is all worn out and his latest job is to rescue a young girl named Kozue in Japan. But because there is no one to return to, he decides to take a break and take care of her in a small apartment in the outskirts. He is finally able to take off the knight helmet and breathe in some fresh countryside air. But sometimes, as he cooks an omelette for Kozue, he wonders when he will have to return to Los Angeles. That dirty, stinking office that looks like it’s from the set of the Maltese Falcon film except it’s real. Going back to a world where Black Mask stories (i.e. what Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is based on) are real life events is not as enticing as babysitting a cute girl who greets you good morning every day. This is the peace and silence he needs.

Until she gets possessed by her seventeen year old self from the future and asks him, “Did you know everything that happens in this world is born out of fate and free will?”

The first thing that comes to the mind of this 1920s-styled Philip Marlowe-inspired detective character from the gritty streets of Los Angeles is: Do wormholes exist?

They have to. Or else, this future girl is lying. But there is almost no reason to lie; the Kozue he knows would be able to fit in those clothes. She has spontaneously grown breasts and is a bit taller. This is not the Kozue he knows.

So where has his little darling gone to?

Nobody knows the exact science of a wormhole, but it functions like tunnels, right? It leads from one space to another. So is that how time travel works? But what about those grandfather paradoxes you see in pulp fiction? You can’t always go back to the same “past”, right? So do parallel worlds exist? Maybe he should step back a bit more and think about the bigger picture. First, what is the trigger for the wormhole? The trigger must be creating these parallel worlds. This teenage version of Kozue seems to suggest that there is something sexual going on. A trafficking, perhaps? So what if the trigger has to do with sex? Pedophilia. Human trafficking and pedophilia are always correlated. Judging from her reactions, it’s probably heterosexual sex. Penis into vagina. That sort of stuff. So it seems that sex somehow collapses the time-space continuum. Sex. Adam and Eve. When the first two humans fucked — i.e. Adam’s penis into Eve’s vagina — it must have caused this giant wormhole. Something like a Big Bang. Literally. Each thrust created a new “world” — a new time-space continuum. Time-space rifts. Each fuck is a rift in the universe. The real meaning of procreation. Creating new parallel worlds. That’s how the universe is created. Fucking. Thrusting. Sex. Adam and Eve are the first time-travelers. Or well, they are the Gods that created the universe as we know. One fuck, one universe.

He stops the train of thought. It’s no good. Not the logic, he means, that’s perfect — but that it has nothing to do with Kozue. He feels resolved. He is going to return the original Kozue to her body no matter what the cost.

Like every good hardboiled detective, he has a nose for clues. It doesn’t take too long for him to get into the groove. But it’s almost too perfect. It shouldn’t take too long, but it shouldn’t also be right after another. Who are placing these clues next each other like a trail? Why are these clues leading to another clues? Are these red herrings? He begins to doubt his detective skills. It feels like there are no rhyme and reason to the placement of these clues except to fool him. So does it work? He has no idea and this invites angst. But does he have a choice? Is this the mysterious fate we are all enchanted about?

Whatever it is, he has no time to think about all that stuff. All he can do is to look over the facts. Just facts. No bullshit, just facts. You use facts to extrapolate a new hypothesis. That’s how detectives, at least the ones he’s familiar with, roll.

The clues lead him to a mansion with a closed room murder. The original Kozue is there, but he also meets the Japanese detectives. All old-school Sherlock Holmes, Dupin, and Hercule Poirot types. They are professional sleuths who make headlines every time they solve an unsolvable case. They have intuition on what Edgar Allan Poe calls “ratiocination”, a method of detective work inspired by reading cards. It is less about the inferences one makes at the end of a detective short story or even the clues themselves but the information one can grab from these clues. In “Silver Blaze” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the clue that nails the mystery is the so-called curious incident of the dog at the night-time. Watson is confused why Holmes is so interested in a watchdog that didn’t bark — actually, the reason the watchdog didn’t bark is because it knew the culprit by face. This is how the Japanese detectives who stylize themselves after these old “great detectives” work. They also have silly names.

But the murdered person is a mystery writer. The setting is a typical mansion far away from society. The cops don’t know what to do and let the detectives figure the mystery out by themselves. All it needs is a dark and stormy night to create the perfect cliche storm.

One detective steps out from the rest and declares that he knows the answer. In theatrical fashion — as we all have seen in episodes of Detective Conan — he lays out the facts, his theories, and then points out who the murderer is.

The next morning, that detective is murdered.

Every detective that does the “you are the 犯人” moment and gets something wrong gets their eyes stabbed and dies.

Not to worry because later on, a detective from hell arises.

Detectives die and come back from the dead and die again. It is as if Disco is trapped in the eternal recurrence of some bad mystery fiction. A Dies Irae where Mercurius is a bad detective fiction writer if you’re into eroge.

But to be honest, he feels out of place. These detectives are trying to solve a closed room mystery. He is just a guy trying to save a young girl. What order of business does he have any place here? A hardboiled private dick shouldn’t be hanging around with the Sherlock Holmes types, right?

He remembers that he is in fact an American in Japan. He can speak Japanese fluently, but no one was going to think he was Japanese with his white guy kind of thinking.

Is he then in the wrong book, so to speak?

Does he actually belong to this 1000-paged Maijou Outarou book, ディスコ探偵水曜日?

It has his name and all, but everything seems wrong. Wrong genre. Wrong place. Wrong time. He is only there to save Kozue, not to solve some absurd case like every other traditional detective. This is a mystery book, not a hardboiled book.

Disco is in the wrong world altogether. He doesn’t belong to a book titled after him.

How can a titular character feel like he does not belong to his own book? It’s noticeable how much Disco has gone from this proactive character to just someone on the sideline, unsure what he is supposed to be.

It must be because Disco is questioning his job as a detective. What does being a detective actually entail?

For that, we have to jump in time and look into the history of detective fiction in the West and Japan.

When Poe wrote his tale of ratiocination for Graham’s Magazine in 1841, the straightforward ideas of justice were being tested by reality. Rich British citizens were aware that their police force was not enough. Criminals were beginning to get smarter, found ways to cover up their tracks, and looked for hidden exits to make better getaways. The upper and middle class feared their comfort and luxury were threatened.

In the history of literature, humans have always tried to understand the anarchy of chaos in easy, structured sentences. The sociological role of Western literature is usually: Something will change, but everything is going to be okay. A strangely liberal and conservative notion that is detached from reality but it has always been the case in media history. Thus, people looked into the world of fiction to understand how crime will be fixed. Detective fiction was that drug. Characters like Dupin were transformed into bandaids of society by the reading public. They were the Supermans of that time before the word “detective” was used. When Sherlock Holmes came to being in “A Study in Scarlet” in 1887, the sociological role of the traditional great detectives expanded and showed how sometimes smart, good citizens uninterested in human beings could take part in policing the country. They are the ultimate objective man — the scientist. Their doctoral gaze upon the crime scene treated it as nothing more but a game between law and outlaws.

Sherlock Holmes and his fictional friends existed as real people in the heads of these readers. They existed beside Scotland Yard. There must be policemen shaking hands with sleuths in every important case. It calmed many people down because everything was going to be solved. All of society’s problems, especially crime, were going to disappear. Life will continue as normal as long as these fictional characters work with the cops.

But Poe, a seer into the future, admitted in a letter to Philip Pendleton Cooke that these fictional adventures were not at all good writing:

“These tales of ratiocination owe most of their popularity to being something in a new key. I do not mean to say that they are not ingenious – but people think them more ingenious than they are – on account of their method and air of method. Where is the ingenuity in unraveling a web which you yourself … have woven for the express purpose of unraveling?”

And Poe was right. As the God of the world, Poe could spin the thread any way he wanted. He could put easy-to-collect items for the detective to follow. Doyle and others after him were doing this and their characters had no sense of free will. Humans following orders aren’t humans. It was a placebo at best in replicating the conditions of what good crime solving was. These characters were following their superior beings’ bidding like puppets. It’s unrealistic and delusional to imagine that these bandaids did exist in the threads of society.

Most of these “great” detectives are not so great after all because their “greatness” is mouthing intelligent words from their Author. They all share the same structure — a formula — and would collapse if they tried anything too different from the norm.

In fact, the world of mysteries almost crumbled when Agatha Christie popularized plot twists in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. It plays on the reader’s expectations so much it annoys the readers. This is too much like the chaos of reality — tone it down a bit, will you? Make it easy and straightforward. Detective finds clues, solves mystery in theatrical fashion, ta-daa.

But now that plot twists are an integral part of the mystery, detective fiction has become an outdated genre. The invention of cellphones has destroyed detective fiction altogether as well; characters who mysteriously disappeared could be tracked by a phone call. Nothing is more apparent about the death of detective fiction than the existence of Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose. A book set in the medieval ages, Holmes and Watson expies tried to uncover the truth behind a series of murders in a monastery. It showed that good detective fiction could only be set in the past, not the present.

But we still see this style of formulaic storytelling pop up today. Form may have changed and the progress of technology may let writers explore other forms of storytelling, but a formula is still a formula. They may not be as cold and objective as Poe’s Dupin and Doyle’s Holmes, but they behave like them.

The CSI franchise, for example, never involves actual mysteries. There may be the illusion that there are forensics involved, but the way the clues are revealed follows the same formula. These clues magically pops out of nowhere and, through their “forensics”, lead the investigators to the real criminal. I remember my criminal forensics teacher at high school saying, “This show’s forensics is all about the tits, no clues.” And it is true because you get to see more cleavage than what the clues are. Complicated DNA tests are finished in a day, so there is always time to see some titties.

Shows like NUMB3RS try to make the detective more eccentric. Charlie Eppes is a college mathematics professor who is able to help his brother Don Eppes and the FBI figure out murders and kidnappings. Again, the methodology of ratiocination gets a cosmetic change: Charlie is doing Dupin’s work but with numbers. NUMB3RS consultant Alice Silverberg has even said that the mathematics might not be right. She has heard from a producer that “getting the math right and getting it to fit with the plot are not priorities of the NUMB3RS team.” In the end, the mathematics is a gimmick.

So there is nothing rewarding about these works except for the wow factor. People looking for more will just end up disappointed. These detectives or investigators are nothing more than walking puppets with no free will. Their fates are imposed by their creators. Not at all like reality.

But this is not to say these fake great detectives in today’s shows have it easy. These shows can sometimes “break” the flow and throw a curveball to the detective.

A show that does this frequently is the medical mystery House MD. The erratic titular character and his team of doctors try to diagnose patients with unknown diseases based on symptoms. House is a true Sherlock Holmes pastiche, complete with his drug addiction to vicodin. The show takes pleasure in showing his antics and rudeness to people around him. He comes to the office only because he finds solving these medical mysteries quite pleasurable.

But the twist is he is not good at it. In fact, the fact that House actually fails to diagnose the patient many times in an episode is the drama. House and his team have to actually suffer through trials and tribulations in order to get to the truth. There is no ratiocination. Only hard work and perseverance can let them arrive at the truth.

This difference from the rest is important. While the creators and writers may be planting the clues down for House and the team, these characters have the freedom to fail and succeed. They can interpret the clues by themselves. Of course, they don’t have complete control of themselves because they are still following a set path. But they can exercise a bit of control to swerve themselves to the direction they want.

We viewers can feel that difference too. We find our emotions wrenched whenever the investigators get blocked by obstacles or have no idea where to proceed next. House might be Holmes in the 21st century, but he isn’t as cold as Dupin. He is vulnerable. His vicodin addiction makes him a very sympathetic character because when he feels stressed, all he can do is swallow bottles of the drug. This is so much like the reality we are accustomed to. Flaws are not what we imagine supermen like detectives to have. But House has a crippling addiction and we may see ourselves in him, much like how human beings connect and relate to each other.

Writers also realize that their shows can achieve pathos if they make criminals more sympathetic and human. Their crimes are beginning to be less of murders than just petty crimes we do every day. Shows begin to talk about the injustice of the legal system. Focus on the criminal isn’t something unusual. The tradition goes back to the past: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky in 1866, Native Son by Richard Wright in 1940, and countless others. Even in American television at 1968, Columbo tracks the perpetrators’ every move as they dodge every question by the titular detective.

But all of these “innovations” in storytelling come too little, too late. American TV networks prefer bigger, fully realized shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad. It is telling that the end of this storytelling style is near when the original CSI, the granddaddy of these TV-era forensic science mysteries, has ended last year.

None of these problems exist in the world of Japanese detective fiction. Countless mystery writers have been adapted into live-action drama and TV shows. To many Japanese fans, mysteries are more like games that may have some neat character interaction. We could look at how many writers mimicked Doyle’s and Christie’s writing, but it would be profitable for us to look at the more “unique” Japanese trends: the 日常の謎 (everyday life’s mysteries) and mysteries commenting on itself.

日常の謎 is the most well-known of Japanese mystery subgenres to most Westerners because Kyoto Animation has adapted a series called the 古典部 — KyoAni decided to go for a catchier name, 氷菓. It is less about the mysteries (one of the mysteries in the show is “who closed the door to the classroom”) but the character interactions. These mysteries are used to show how different the characters think and why they express so much wonder and awe at life’s many mysteries. ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 and 文学少女 are more ambitious. They use classical Japanese literature — an enigma to the modern Japanese public — as the basis of their mysteries. These series would later spawn a new subgenre what I would like to call, “occupation mysteries”. If you ever want to read a book about a barista solving mysteries, try 珈琲店タレーランの事件簿. These works try to promote interest in random fields by making them mysterious. It works as effectively as you imagine.

But they remind detective fiction what its sociological purpose is and have updated its message: your banal life is actually quite interesting and mysterious. The Japanese public, shocked by セカイ系’s thesis that humans have no medium (i.e. society) to communicate to the world, needs some reassurance in their life. They can’t look toward religion or cults since the 1995 sarin gas attacks, but they can let books teach them they are interesting people with meaningful lives.

Persona 4 is the most recent and perfect expression of that trend. Set in the middle of Nowheretown in Japan, the series shows a disturbed countryside town where random murders happen. It is up to these high schoolers to go into television sets in shopping malls to save the day. Long gone were their boring days studying 源氏物語, hello saving Japan. These kids take on the same policing role as the traditional detectives and, as anyone who played this game knows, follows the same formulaic style as most detective fiction. Characters face their darkest secrets and its contribution to the genre is to know oneself means to be a detective. You and me can be the detective and reach out to the truth.

Your life is interesting if you know how to look at it in a different way — the detective’s way. This applies to works not at all related to 日常の謎 too: 響け!ユーフォニアム’s message of “I want to be someone special”, Aria’s “love the world around you and you will love yourself”, and countless other shows labeled as slice-of-life can be seen in this perspective. We nowadays call these shows 癒し系. You don’t heal something unless it is damaged.

Meta-mysteries, on the other hand, are like their own genre and they can be vastly different from one another. This is where the more acclaimed award-winning writers thrive: writers like Nisioisin could write 戯言シリーズ, a series that first followed mystery trends but experimented with the logic of mystery settings until he reached a deadend with the genre, and Mori Hiroshi, the writer of すべてがFになる which he claims is the 理系 version of Christie’s And Then There Were None, can make up their own rules as they go. They sometimes share the same award, the Mephisto award, and are part of a movement that recalls the glory days of traditional detective fiction. These 新本格 mystery writers play on well-worn mystery techniques and revitalize the dead genre with something new and crazy. One of these writers is Maijou Outarou (
舞城 王太郎), the writer of ディスコ探偵水曜日.

No one knows who Maijou is or whether he is Japanese. When his novel, Asura Girl, won the prestigious Mishima Award, he was a no-show. No one has seen his face. From his novels, you can probably guess that he had lived in America. His usage of English is impeccable as seen in his debut novel, Smoke, Soil or Sacrifice, where the protagonist could swear as much as a character from The Wire. He has even translated an American short story collection. Maijou could even be a woman for all we know because Asura Girl and Bitch Magnet are first-person narratives told from a teenage girl.

Nevertheless, the writer is as prolific as Nisio and is beginning to make his footprint on anime with his scripts for the Animation Expo shorts, 龍の歯医者 and ハンマーヘッド — the former  becoming a TV anime series this spring.

Most of Maijou’s stories feature a hardboiled detective who has seen some shit and sometimes a young girl to protect. Tons of bad things happen — family abuse, grotesque murders, human atrocities — but Maijou always finds a way to resolve everything in a happy way. Sometimes, it feels like watching a grimdark Cronenberg film with a happy Disney film ending. Maijou is an odd one for sure.

But in the context of this fledgling movement, he is not just an odd one but a black sheep.

If traditional mysteries and 日常の謎 are bandaids to society, hardboiled fiction is vodka. This is because, contrary to popular belief, hardboiled fiction has little to do with detective fiction. Except for the name. Detectives in that genre are successors to cowboys of the Wild West who in turn are the successors to knights of the medieval age.

Nothing makes that point clearer than Raymond Chandler’s fascination with knights. He has read Le Morte D’Arthur, the first popular retelling of the Arthurian legend, countless times and dreams that he will one day change the world of detective fiction altogether. He sees himself as a knight, ready to revolutionize the detective world by making it into a “literary” genre.

The beginning of his debut novel, The Big Sleep, shows this by introducing his protagonist Philip Marlowe in a certain way:

“The main hallway of the Sternwood place was two stories high. Over the entrance doors, which would have let in a troop of Indian elephants, there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn’t have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair. The knight had pushed the vizor of his helmet back to be sociable, and he was fiddling with the knots on the ropes that tied the lady to the tree and not getting anywhere. I stood there and thought that if I lived in the house, I would sooner or later have to climb up there and help him. He didn’t seem to be really trying.”

Marlowe seems to know more about knighthood than actual knights themselves, but he is also willing to break the law and even morals to get the facts. At one point, a woman threatens him. When he gets the upper hand, she says a man wouldn’t dare to punch a woman. Marlowe begs to differ.

Marlowe best quipped about the role of knights (and detectives) in Los Angeles:

“I looked down at the chessboard. The move with the knight was wrong. I put it back where I had moved it from. Knights had no meaning in this game. It wasn’t a game for knights.”

Los Angeles is a wild, dirty place in the hardboiled world. It isn’t the peaceful countryside town that saw a year of strange murders; everything bad happens in LA. Drugs, corruption, rape. You can’t trust anyone. Especially women. They’re out there for gain. This is similar to, if not worser than, reality. The police were underfunded and parents began to tell children to never talk to strangers. America was undergoing a cruel transition from the rural life to urban chaos. Everyone felt like an immigrant to this strange landscape. So all you can do is trust your guts that you do have some power to control your fate. And the facts. Just facts.

Else, you can’t survive.

This genre is still gaining traction in American media. With shows like The Wire and Empire, the audience is exposed to the “just facts” and “trust your guts” mentality of detectives and criminals. In Japan, this has surfaced in a completely different genre: samurai dramas. In books like 燃えよ剣!, samurais are not always the noble knights we are accustomed to; they sometimes are hot-tempered and don’t mind giving the middle finger to the 武士道 and Confucian structures as long as they can stick with their own moral beliefs.

But the mindset behind the hardboiled fiction can inspire a deluded sense of moral righteousness and superiority. Nothing in history has shown how any member of society can benefit from vigilantes thinking they are Batman. It is no surprise that superheroes and hardboiled detectives are linked (for example, the original Batman comics are published in Detective Comics issues).

Alan Moore’s Watchmen sees superheroes as they should be: they are fascists taking a stab at what they think is the wrong. Ordinary people can wear a mask and call themselves superheroes, the same way high schoolers can be detectives. Their notion of justice has become an elitist way of trampling down the people below them. They cannot believe their postmodernist existence — all they do is question their beliefs and whether there is causality in all of this madness. 

People end up becoming versions of Rorschach, a man who fetishizes justice into fascism. Informed only by conspiracies and paranoia, he is the only one who figures something is wrong through his belief in his guts and just the facts. Everyone else thinks he is insane, but he is “right”. So should we trust people like him? Can we then let these people be detectives, much less superheroes? We can’t see them being the bandaids of society, right?

So what then defines a detective/superhero? Is there no sociological role to their place in history? Or rather, are they more fucked up than any criminal would ever be because of their sadomasochistic pleasure in delivering justice?

Disco Wednesdayyy faces this problem everyday. He is a hardboiled detective, an alien being on Japanese soil. His mind is completely fucked up. He is no knight in shining armor. He is probably a psychopathic pervert who delights in sadomasochism. Not like these men and women with deerstalkers and all. They’re there to solve cases.

His meaning in life is to be a rupture of society, it seems.

He could partake in this eternal recurrence of bad detective fiction and dive into a never-ending series of escapism and magical mysteries. Reality would disappear because the truth doesn’t matter; it’s all about replacing the truth with love. He can relive this dream forever and ever. It sounds nice. If this is set in an island off the coast of Japan, he could hear the cries of seagulls comforting him that the next mystery is always around the corner. He can get trapped in a closed world out of reality. In a book that never ends. That is the “magic” of fiction. It’s unreal and it all makes sense because it is orderly. Everyone has motivations, therefore we can love one another. He is envious of her, she wants the money. Understand the “why” then you can love the world. Rejecting reality and rewriting the complex history of human beings through an endless stream of formulaic mysteries sound like a better choice for everyone. So take off that knight helmet and read mysteries of accepting love forever. It’s better that way. People will love you for that.

Or he can put back on his knight helmet and save Kozue.

Is he the right person to save her? God knows, but he is the only one who knows about the scale of this mystery. This mystery seems to transcend genres, space, time, and even the cosmos — but it has its own logic. Just facts. It doesn’t matter if it is some conspiracy theory; saving Kozue is priority number one. No one is going to take the lead, so he has to.

He has to accept that he is a hardboiled detective. The two words, “hardboiled” and “detective”, have positive and negative connotations in history. That’s okay. He is going beyond good and evil, morality and amorality, love and hate. He’s not a hero in any sense of the word, but he is also not an antihero. He is merely a hardboiled detective. His job is to save children around the world.

It doesn’t matter if the history behind the detective is fucked up. Or whether being hardboiled is cynical and depressing. All of that have nothing to do with the facts. Just facts. All he needs are just the facts. That’s what detectives do: using facts to extrapolate theories that explain the nature of the crime. Just accept that you’re fucked up as a fact and move on to create a better future.

Disco is hardboiled too because he gets beaten up and comes back up as if nothing has happened to him. He has to persevere against the whole world if the world is against him.

If he has to fight against the flow of time, then so be it.

If he has to fight against extra dimensions, then so be it.

If he has to fight against his fate, then so be it.

There is an order and logic to all this nonsense. He has to find the answer. Because of Kozue. She’s somewhere lost in the universe crying. Disco is going to save her. That’s his only objective. It’s his job as a detective. A detective is a detective because they believe that every event is caused by fate and free will. Detectives make causality happen. They are the embodiment of ratiocination. Disco probably realizes he is the pasts and futures of all of detective fiction characters. He can look behind him and sees Dupin, Holmes, and Poirot investigating. Then, he can look into the future and see novels that use the elements of mystery to educate readers about a social issue (Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River), legal dramas that questioned the importance of truth in court (Legal High and Ace Attorney), and science fiction tales that look further into the ontology of the world inside people (永遠の森).

Disco Wednesdayyy is in that special position of intertextuality where time isn’t linear: it is the heartbeat of every writer writing to one another. Dorothy Sayers is writing to John Dickson Carr who is writing to Patricia Highsmith who is writing to Edogawa Ranpo who is writing to Mickey Spillane who is writing to G.K. Chesterton who is writing to Ryuunosuke Akutagawa who is writing to Ruth Rendell who is writing to Dashiel Hammett who is writing to Erle Stanley Gardner who is writing to… There is no end to this evolution — a theory not of progress but of cultural transmutation — of detective fiction. Every interpretation is reinterpretation. Every commentary is meta-commentary. Up close, the world of ディスコ探偵水曜日 looks like an infinite regress and worth trembling in fear about. But look at it as a big picture and you see something beautiful instead.

And this is how Disco will protect Kozue’s future. He isn’t sure if it is actually working at times, but the system seems to work. And it’s his job as a detective anyway. Detectives solve, not ditch their fedoras for the sake of love. She may not like it — even hate him for this — but it’s his duty. The never-ending goal to preserve the high standards of being a detective. He can’t take a break. He knows he isn’t a good father character to her, but it’s his identity. He is a 新本格ミステリー detective. A revival of the traditional detective in a postmodernist hardboiled era.

Disco may not be a knight in shining armor, but he is the only hero Kozue has.

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ディスコ探偵水曜日 — You are the Cause By Which I Die

6 thoughts on “ディスコ探偵水曜日 — You are the Cause By Which I Die

  1. Seelie says:

    I was quite confused sometimes by fuzzy transitions between hero’s thoughts and author’s thoughts and by the overall structure. Maybe my subpar reading skill in the second language is to blame.
    But still, this was interesting and informative read, thank you.

    Like

    1. I’m mimicking the book’s structure and crazy information overload. Elements of the books that would be impossible to reveal here without spoiling are used as “metaphors” in this post to draw insane connections. In particular, ratiocination’s “real identity” is a big concept in Disco. I’m surprised there are people who enjoyed the post without reading the book without going “huh, is this even fucking real”. I suppose that’s how it is with my writings.

      Like

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