- Mangaka : Tsujimura, Nanako (Story); Akatsuki, Mikka (Art)
- Publisher : Seven Seas
- Genre : Drama, Mystery, Slice-of-life, Josei
- Published : March 2022
One of the best things about seinen and josei manga is the fact that they often feature stories about people who work in real-life professions. These stories can feel extremely relatable, such as in Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, or they can also give the readers an insight into a profession which we know so little about, such as in Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju. The latter concept is pretty much the core of the story for the manga that will be reviewed in this article, Housekishou Richard-shi no Nazo Kantei (The Case Files of Jeweler Richard). Let’s take a look at it.
Richard Ranasinghe De Vulpian is a dashing young British man who owns a jewelry store in Ginza. Nakata Seigi is a college student who saves Richard when he’s harassed by a group of drunkards. Knowing that he has a proper jeweler standing right in front of him, Seigi decides to ask Richard to appraise his late grandmother's pink sapphire ring.
This case ends up being the start of a little adventure that will unravel the heartbreaking past of Seigi's grandmother. Unbeknownst to them at the time, it’s also the beginning of Richard and Seigi's journey as they look into a wide variety of colorful gemstones, along with the wide variety of problems faced by their owners.
1. A Tale of Everyday Mystery
Mystery is one of the most popular manga genres ever. From mysterious closed-room murders to uncovering the sinister plans of secret organizations, there are all kinds of good stories that you can find in this genre.
However, what makes The Case Files of Jeweler Richard so appealing is the fact that it doesn't deal with those larger than life problems. Instead, it deals with everyday issues experienced by regular people: a grandchild who wishes to know the truth behind his grandma's prized sapphire ring, or a woman who wants to know the intention behind a man who gives her a blood-red ruby necklace.
Other people might see those issues as mundane things that don't warrant the cost of contacting an expert, but to the owner of each gemstone, it is something that has been weighing heavily on their mind for a long time. What Richard the Jeweler says can be something that will finally help them move forward with their life. This kind of story is intriguing and heartwarming in ways that those earth-ending mysteries never could be.
2. An Insight on Gemstones
As mentioned earlier, seinen and josei manga can often give insights into the worlds of various professions that we would've never found out about otherwise. For The Case Files of Jeweler Richard, you'll get an insight into the world of gemstones and what it's like to be a jeweler.
Reading this first volume will let you know about the difference between ruby and sapphire, why jewelers use carats instead of a universal measurement unit like grams, and you'll also learn the reason why being a polyglot is a huge advantage for a jeweler.
Most people don't even think that they want to know about these things, but once the information is laid out properly in front of you through a good story like this, it instantly becomes an interesting topic to pursue.
1. Slow Pace
One of the features of The Case Files of Jeweler Richard that might bother some people is its slow pace. This manga takes its time to walk the readers through every scene and conversation. That is why, despite being one full paperback manga, this first volume is only able to tell two different cases, while other similar manga might be able to fit three or four.
That being said, it is not a pacing issue at all. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is a feature, not a bug. The story is slow-paced by design. That is just the way the mangaka decided to tell their story. So if you prefer a fast-paced story, then unfortunately The Case Files of Jeweler Richard might not be the one for you.
Housekishou Richard-shi no Nazo Kantei (The Case Files of Jeweler Richard) presents a compelling story of mundane mystery while offering valuable insights into the colorful world of gemstones at the same time.
From the story, the topic, and the pacing, this first volume should be able to tell you whether this manga is your cup of tea or not. Because for those who like it, they can't wait to read the next volume, but for those who can't stand the concept nor the pacing, then this volume can be a boring read.
What about you? Have you read The Case Files of Jeweler Richard? If you have, what do you think about it? If you haven't, would you consider picking this one up for your next read? Let us know in the comment section below.