Mystery. Have it ever piqued your curiosity?



  • I know how the title sucks so plz, just don't tell me it sucks.

    Anyways, it was pointed out to me once

    Also I see you are requesting every mystery novel lol.

    While I knew mystery ain't the most popular genre here, I didn't know how unpopular it is either.
    We have 21 mystery titles suggested (from horror/mystery to low-stake mystery mixed showcasing occupations or mixed with genres)

    As someone who likes mystery, especially the Japanese mystery which got so many different and unique subgenre you won't be able to see in the west, I am curious about the reasons behind lack of interest in mystery.

    I may rant/rave/ramble later on (in this thread) about various unique mystery subgenre you won't exactly expect to see outside Japan.
    But for now, I am more interested to hear about why you either like or dislike mystery genre
    and let's see both top 3 and bottom 3 mystery titles in suggestion list (while we are at):

    1- Hyouka/Koten-bu Series (25 votes)
    2- Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou/Kusuriya no Hitorigoto (The Pharmacist's Monologue) (20 votes)
    3- Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru (19 votes)

    I see some pattern here, usually low-stake mystery with occupation as focus or mixed with another genre like romance or drama. (Ofc, anime do help)

    For the least voted:

    1- Bokurano - Alternative (LN) (0 votes)
    2- Kemuri Ka Tsuchi Ka Kuimono (Smoke, Soil, or Food) (2 votes)
    3- Babylon (3 votes)

    It seems that dark works usually do dwell in the bottom of the list.


  • Premium Member

    Each genre seems to have its unique problems and pitfalls. A mystery needs to be solvable without being obvious, there needs to be a logical consistency to it (more so than other stories). Some people might feel cheated from the reveal. As for the JNC crowd, I do not think they would like dark and "thinking" books. Something mystery has a bit of a reputation of being. Even something like the Monogatari series or Spice and Wolf have something else to engage the audience.


  • Premium Member

    I'd suggest more mystery / horror, but those genre are one of those things where I don't want to know virtually anything going in. So it's tough to make a post on one if I don't know anything about them and I don't want to know anything about them.

    A lot of the horror / death game LN are left unfinished or it's confusing as to whether they are finished as well. So it's tough to recommend those as well. There's a few competitive death game series I've been looking at for ages from this author, but haven't pulled the trigger on many. The author 土橋真二郎 , has titles like Colloseum, Execution Tarrot (bought two volumes), Outside the Door, Fake of the Dead, Escape from Paradise Island, and OP Ticket Game.

    Drama, space opera, horror, mystery (+ death game) are probably the genre I want the most. A lot of Isekai / reincarnation things have some fun hooks though that pull me in, so those I like too.

    Overall though, I definitely am feeling the Isekai burnout, but then again, I haven't read the full backlog of horror + mystery series here, so I don't have a full right to complain there either (I think I've only fully read two of the volumes, Ao Oni 1 and Occultic;Nine 1). Maybe this October I'll take the month off from catch-up and keeping up with ongoing stuff to just support horror / mystery.

    Edit: Isn't Sakurako-san above the other #3 mystery?

    https://forums.j-novel.club/topic/1119/sakurako-san-no-ashimoto-ni-wa-shitai-ga-umatteiru



  • Some people might feel cheated from the reveal. As for the JNC crowd, I do not think they would like dark and "thinking" books. Something mystery has a bit of a reputation of being.

    1. If they feel cheated by reveal then it's bad mystery, that's what Shin Honkaku movement argued against. New detective work lost their fair play element and they had to fix that.

    2. There are multiple new mystery subgenre that ain't exactly like that tho.
      Works that are about more than just the mystery tho

    • Honobu Yonezawa is considered a leading figure among Japan's younger generation of mystery writers. (especially for his blending of the whodunit with tales of youth, like Hyoka and you can find it even outside his work like Seitokai Tantei Kirika).

    • and lately there is this occupational mystery trend where we have low-stakes mysteries to guide more interest to these jobs like Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou (There was one for konbini clerk and barista)

    • Also, I think I argued against using Monogatari as mystery example since the mystery didn't start till later (and won't use Spice and Wolf as mystery example either)
      If we are gonna stick to NisiOisiN, then let's talk about Zaregoto or Forgetful Detective series.
      Both are 2 different types of mysteries but share the fact that while whodunit mystery seems like what moves the plot along and the center, it's not the real star of the show but the characters like Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou (+ all philosophy and psychological interjects NisiOisiN loves to instill sometimes)



  • @terrence
    Well, I didn't make this thread to argue against isekai or this feeling like the market is flooded by fantasy that I feel like there is nothing but that in Japan.
    I am more interested why some people may avoid a genre as vast as mystery where there are both dark stuff and light-hearted mystery that has both low-stakes mysteries without much death and romance like "Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou" or mixed with teen drama like Koten-bu Series and Seitokai Tantei Kirika.
    I am always curious about why people may just ignore any huge genre
    And there are horror or mystery Isekais too like Re:Zero.

    Not like there ain't companies that push out mostly Horror, Scifi, and Mystery but they don't take suggestions lol. (we already bugging Vertical about Zaregoto #3 so let's hope that works out lol. Wonder how to bug Haikasoru too lol)

    Edit: Isn't Sakurako-san above the other #3 mystery?

    https://forums.j-novel.club/topic/1119/sakurako-san-no-ashimoto-ni-wa-shitai-ga-umatteiru

    Ah, it wasn't tagged as mystery so didn't notice it (I'll edit it out)

    Edit: BTW, most of mystery suggestions are not LNs BTW
    Well, my suggestions depend on either author's fame or I just watched/read an adaptation.
    I'll try and look into the author you mentioned since I like some titles there and suggest one or two then


  • Premium Member

    Well, I requested Bokurano - Alternative, so it probably doesn't come to a surprise that I'm quite fond of mystery - both dark as well as more light-hearted takes on the genre.
    If I had to specify just one aspect of why I like mystery, it would be that I find it really enjoyable to speculate on or even solve the mystery alongside the characters in the story. Speculating can even be fun in non-fair mysteries; one might not be able to arrive at the correct conclusion, but (if the story is any good) the detours and red herrings will still be entertaining.



  • @jaquobus said in Mystery. Have it ever piqued your curiosity?:

    Speculating can even be fun in non-fair mysteries; one might not be able to arrive at the correct conclusion, but (if the story is any good) the detours and red herrings will still be entertaining.

    Non-fair mystery is when they don't give you all clues, that doesn't sound fun to me tho.
    Like I enjoy all detours and red herrings and try and remove the extra parts to see the truth like in Zaregoto #2 (whose author, NisiOisiN belongs to Shin Honkaku movement along with Yukito Ayatsuji (Another), Alice Arisugawa, Soji Shimada, etc)

    Like I don't wanna my closed room culprit to be a ghost without having any clues about paranormal activities.


  • Premium Member

    @bloodygaikotsu said in Mystery. Have it ever piqued your curiosity?:

    Also, I think I argued against using Monogatari as mystery example since the mystery didn't start as later (and won't use Spice and Wolf as mystery example either)

    I will argue to use Monogatari as an example of mystery.

    Bakemonogatari gives the characters and us the tools to solve future mysteries when Meme Oshino is gone. Throughout the five mysteries introduces or reinforces a core rule or tool we will be using to solve later mysteries. Aberrations are a byproduct of a characters emotional and mental state and "you can only save yourself." Each story in the series has its own self contain story and adds to the over arching mysteries as well.


  • Premium Member

    @bloodygaikotsu Well, I still think that it can be fun, especially when there is also a character in the story who also tries to solve the mystery without having access to all clues. I'd say most Sherlock Holmes stories are a prime example of this. While you won't get the satisfaction of solving the mystery before it is revealed, you can still solve parts of it; and try to be at least better than Dr. Watson.



  • @drone205
    Well, let's set mystery definition first; Mystery fiction is a genre of literature whose stories focus on a puzzling crime, situation, or circumstance that needs to be solved.
    If we can agree on this, let's go on.


    if we follow the pattern you suggested, we can use any series with mystery as subplot as an example.

    1. I like to think the keyword here is "focus."
      Monogatari didn't give us puzzles but in Neko Shiro(about the tiger), Otori(Snake and charm issue), Otori/Owari/Oni(What's Ougi and Darkness?), Koyomi(self-included), Owari(Sodachi but if we are gonna count this one, we gotta count all kind of drama works that is about looking into your past life and see where u went wrong)

    2. While Bakemonogatari worked on occult detective format, it didn't have an actual puzzle, Oshino always knew the answer.
      & (Aberrations are a byproduct of a characters emotional and mental state and "you can only save yourself.") ain't ironclad rule.

    Each story in the series has its own self contain story and adds to the over arching mysteries as well.

    If we are gonna talk about overarching theme, I'll agree but if we are gonna talk about the mystery then I believe Nise, Hana, Koi, (while Hana had one scene with Ougi but it was kinda unrelated to anything, red herring, maybe. You can read too much into it and give it a meaning tho), Koyomi (majority of it were self-included mysteries meant to discuss Koyomi character than the overarching mystery) didn't have anything to add.

    2nd season and final season do have mystery elements and it's stronger in final season, but first season lacked (probably 'cuz it was planned back then.)
    Anyway, with the mystery ending in Owari, Off-season just like First season doesn't really have strong mystery elements but for its last volume.



  • @jaquobus
    Well, as long as they don't go too crazy with it, many of these non-fair works ended trying to be more original or better the previous works, they just get worse.


  • Premium Member

    @bloodygaikotsu said in Mystery. Have it ever piqued your curiosity?:

    Well, let's set mystery definition first; Mystery fiction is a genre of literature whose stories focus on a puzzling crime, situation, or circumstance that needs to be solved.
    If we can agree on this, let's go on.

    We can aslo say myster is in context of the monogatari series is

    a person or thing whose identity or nature is puzzling or unknown.

    Learning the identity and nature of an aberration is a key part of the mystery in Monogatari series and to learn that we need to know the nature of the character experiencing the aberration. And "there is no puzzle in Bajemonogatari?" Sure Oshino knew how to solve each issue but that does not mean there is no puzzle. Just because you give a rubix cube to someone else to solve does not make the rubix cube any less a puzzle. That person is also giving you advice to solve rubix cubes without him as well. When we get to Kanbarus story, we already have all the tools and core rules in our kit to solve her mystery. After telling Araragi everything it was very obvious how so solve her trouble way before Oshino was part if the story.

    Also earlier by the definition you use for mystery stories, Spice and Wolf would easily fit in that definition.


  • Premium Member

    Getting a bit off topic, but Visual Novel related.

    Are 999 and Ever17 fair mysteries?

    On the subject of Uchikoshi "mysteries", Never7 has one of the most useless final plot twist lines ever in the Izumi Curé route, though I love it for basically being a big middle finger to the fans trying to work within the context of the story.

    https://youtu.be/DR7XSgGv_nU

    Major spoilers for Never 7:

    9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors has a similar aspect with its final image that just spits in the face of the plot, and what you've learned about a certain smaller mystery, and I love it (of course, it turns out to be a red herring in a future game, but still). =P

    What about Virtue's Last Reward that purposely breaks Knox's rules? Maybe it's not a fair mystery, but it felt like Uchikoshi was basically using it to poke fun at the tried and true mystery structure.

    As you can tell, I like when structures are broken, when creators aren't afraid to be unconventional. To me, that's true "art" to break the establishment of the art of literature itself purposely. Even if your attempt falls flat on its face, at least you tried to be different and go against establishment. I respect that as much as I respect staying within the bounds of Knox style mystery rules.

    BTW, there's a manga for Ever 17. I have no clue if the do the story any justice with it, it's only two volumes long, so probably no.


  • Premium Member

    Personaly it's not so much the mystery in itself that i found interresting because most of the time it’s either kind of obvious, kind of an asspull or we're not given all enough info to resolve it. What i found interesting is more the atmospher that a lot of thoose book have, and if there some surnatural mix in it's even better
    like HakuMari or Echo.
    But if the mystery part is well think and give the same info to the reader and characters it can also be really cool. I'm probably bias on that one since it's one of the first book i read but "Ten little nigger" is great in that cathegory.


  • Premium Member

    ^ They changed the name of that Agatha Christie work to And Then There Were None (for obvious reasons). I don't recall if they changed the song to injuns (Ten Little Indians was another alternative title for the work) or the more modern PC "10 Little Soldiers". The song apparently has British blackface origins. The novel itself doesn't really have anything to do with racism or anything afaik, so don't let its original title shy you away. The song is literally just inserted because its about characters dying one by one to unfortunate circumstances.

    That title was a big influence on Japanese mystery lit it seems. 999's author Kotaro Uchikoshi was heavily influenced by it, as was the older The Decagon House Murders more explicitly referencing (Decagon is from the author of Another).


  • Premium Member

    I don't dislike mystery, and I'm certainly not inherently opposed to reading a mystery novel should one be licensed (as long as it's not also horror, because I generally dislike horror).

    That said, I don't really think prose, or anything like film/anime/TV show is the best medium for mystery stories. If part of the fun of mystery is trying to figure out said mystery, then these sorts of "scripted" media limit that experience. At worst, you have the author intentionally hiding important information until the reveal ("unfair mysteries"), and even in cases where the unraveling of the mystery is done well, there's still the fact that the audience is railroaded as far as the actual process of figuring out said mystery, only being able to gather clues the way the protagonist does.

    That's why, if you ask me, the ideal media for mystery stories are video games (or other interactive media). Good mystery video games give you the feel of being the detective, having to figure out where the clues are and how to get them on top of trying to put it all together. If I really wanted a mystery experience, I would probably rather get one such game than pick up a mystery novel or TV show.

    As for novels/TV shows/scripted mystery, because of the limitations I mentioned, I find that to be best when melded with other genres, so in many ways I'm more interested in a drama/romance/fantasy/etc. with mystery elements rather than mystery itself.


  • Premium Member

    ^ What about choose your own adventure mysteries. Those are a little more tactile.

    I'm not sure how mysterious this one is, but it may be up your alley.

    "A Simple Survey"

    https://forums.j-novel.club/post/29302


  • Premium Member

    @terrence said in Mystery. Have it ever piqued your curiosity?:

    ^ What about choose your own adventure mysteries. Those are a little more tactile.

    I'm not sure how mysterious this one is, but it may be up your alley.

    "A Simple Survey"

    https://forums.j-novel.club/post/29302

    ...actually, that looks really interesting; thanks for pointing it out to me!

    I like CYOA books in general, and CYOA mysteries do give a greater degree of interactivity so yeah, those would definitely be of interest to me.



  • @drone205 said in Mystery. Have it ever piqued your curiosity?:

    And "there is no puzzle in Bajemonogatari?" Sure Oshino knew how to solve each issue but that does not mean there is no puzzle. Just because you give a rubix cube to someone else to solve does not make the rubix cube any less a puzzle.

    I said it didn't give us puzzles.
    If you are reading are classic mystery novel and the mystery was solved in the first 40 pages, would you really be satisfied?

    Like if you applied your sense on any other series, everything can and will be mystery fiction as long as they hide any kind of information for later reveal in name of suspense. (Granted that suspense is pretty tied to mystery but not synonyms)

    Like we can have romance as subplot in teen drama and we won't call it romance series or drama in fantasy adventure series and won't really call it drama series.
    There are priorities in labeling depending on the focus on their elements.
    Like in Baka to test, they withheld some info about backstory and older relationship of the characters and gave us some hints then revealed it completely later on, would we call the series mystery?

    Without withholding some sort of information for later reveal, they won't be able to create hooks for the reader but if it's the hooks are the center then it's more natural to call them mystery works but if they are just in the background, it's not the main thing, it's there but that is not what they focus on then shouldn't we attribute them to their focused genre?



  • @terrence said in Mystery. Have it ever piqued your curiosity?:

    As you can tell, I like when structures are broken, when creators aren't afraid to be unconventional. To me, that's true "art" to break the establishment of the art of literature itself purposely. Even if your attempt falls flat on its face, at least you tried to be different and go against establishment. I respect that as much as I respect staying within the bounds of Knox style mystery rules.

    Haven't played them to say anything but let's talk in general for a bit.
    Knox rules ain't really what fair play is about, if anything Zaregoto is all about fair play but it broke or borderline broke them.

    I don't wanna sound annoying or some kind of weird cult so I'll combine my reply to you and @Raitoiro together as I'll say a little about Shin Honkaku.

    Shin Honkaku writers loved their detective mystery and hated that there are many mysteries that started to conceal information just to win the puzzle game.
    They knew that mystery is kinda dying and doomed like that. (Sales around the world were lower than golden age, after all)
    So they decided to ruin what all detective mystery are about but still play fair.
    Like one of the rules is "All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course," however Yukito Ayatsuji wrote "Another".

    Old detective were those super smart guys that can figure something from little observations, that's invalid in their works.
    It's pretty funny that @Raitoiro mentions this particular novel, it's one of their favorite mystery novels. Even one of first novels associated with movement is inspired by it, "The Decagon House Murders," (as @Terrence mentioned) and Zaregoto #1 is also influenced by "And Then There Were None."

    & let's say the younger members, especially, ain't what we call conventional like Otaro Maijo, we have suggestion here whose solution keeps getting changed due to time travel.

    Well, if you want to know about them and how their rules work and how they write against usual mystery novels, Kastel has a whole article on them

    Playing fair = the reveal has to make sense at the end when you look back at the story.