Remote

Remote Manga Cover 1

(Story: Seimaru Amagi/ Art: Tetsuya Koshiba – Tokyopop)

Kurumi Ayaki is all set to retire from the police force. She is about to get married and wants to start concentrating on family. However due to financial problems she ends up revoking her notice, but instead of her old position as a traffic warden she is given a job the police chief describes as a ‘baby-sitting job’
Kurumi is sent to work for Inspector Kozaburo Himuro, her new boss is the best there is, but due to unknown circumstances he has shut himself off from the world and is devoid of emotions, oh and he never leaves his basement.
Because he never leaves his basement Kurumi is assigned the task of being his eyes and ears on the street keeping in contact with him via mobile phone. However due to his lack of emotion his assistants tend not to stick around for longer than a month.
Obligingly Kurumi takes the job, it starts out as a struggle but as she gets to know Himuro and learns of his past she is determined to see the job through and fix him.

Apart from the uniqueness of the work situation this is your typical detective story with a hint of a love story. I’d say its target audience is an older male’s; it is described as an action, mystery and has panty shots a plenty. That’s not to say the female audience won’t enjoy it, I thoroughly enjoyed it thanks to the investigations, relationships and unique situation of the main characters.
Some of the volumes are marked as ‘explicit content’ and I must say I did find some of the scenes rather disturbing, for those scenes I tended not to spend too much time on them, the story and mystery that is Himuro kept me going. He really does start off as emotionless, putting Kurumi in dangerous situations without batting an eyelid. It’s for his character I needed to continue and reading to find out why he was like that and if he would change.
As for Kurumi she is quite stupid even for a manga heroine, but she does learn and it’s her kindness and determination that stop her character from being completely annoying.
Her supposed fiancé on the other hand is more of a joke than anything, he is constantly trying to get Kurumi into bed, one begs to ask the question why is she with him?
In terms of character development Kurumi and Himuro are done very nicely, the other characters don’t fair so well, Kurumi’s Fiancé starts off as a shallow perv and by the end he is still a shallow perv, but then this doesn’t really hinder the story as such as he is more of a side character than anything. His main purpose seems to be to show us how much better Himuro is and to provide us with laughs.

The art in the manga really isn’t that eye catching, but as its story doesn’t rely on beautiful bishonen drawing it’s readers in this isn’t too much of a problem. By the end of the volume 10 the art has progressed nicely, but it is still not on par with many other manga’s out there.

Story – 7/10 – There is a continuing back story regarding Himuro’s past and his relationship with Kurumi, which is extremely interesting, but as you’d expect with a detective drama the story is mainly comprised of a new investigation every manga or 2.
Characters – 9/10 – Whilst the rest of the cast weren’t developed so well, I thought Kurumi and Himuro were progressed well enough for this to deserve such a high rating. Himuro in particular changed immensely.
Art – 4/10 – Whilst it’s far from being the worst art I have seen, it’s also far from being the best. The art does get better as it goes on, but still nowhere good enough for it to be on par with the likes of other mangas I have reviewed. It does have a certain kind of appeal though.

Remote was toned down and made into a PG friendly Japanese Drama in 2002 starring Koichi Domoto as Himuro and Kyoko Fukada as Kurumi.

If you like this see also – Kindaichi Case Files/ Tantei Gakuen Q (written by the same author)