When you think shonen, what comes to mind? Young protagonist. Spiky hair. Loud. Fighter. Training to be the best. A female love interest?
Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro doesn’t have any of that. Well, it has bits of certain parts but not how you expect.
Neuro Nōgami is a powerful demon who feeds on mysteries. After solving all Demon World’s mysteries, he goes to Earth, a blue and green KFC full of mysteries waiting to be found, solved, and consumed. It’s basically, Supernatural Detective Conan but funnier and had an ending we’ll live long enough to read.
Neuro, wanting to keep a low profile, offers a high school girl, Yako Katsuragi, an offer to solve her father’s murder in exchange of being the “leader” of his detective agency. Their relationship is the cornerstone of the series. Completely messed up but eventually the two develop a mutual respect for each other. Let me say, Yako is one of my favorite female shonen characters. She’s not there to be a love interest or sex symbol. She’s her own funny, developed character who could’ve easily been a boy if the mangaka desired. This is as much her story as Neuro’s.
Neuro himself gets development too in expectant and surprising ways. There’s a small but great reveal about his character that caught me off guard—an interesting way to give later villains in the story a chance to beat the demon.
Characters range from horrifying to goofball. You’ll be laughing one chapter, frightened for their lives the next. Neuro doesn’t pull many punches, lulling you into thinking is all about the comedy then BLAM! No spoilers, this is ride you have to get on yourself to enjoy.
Only bad thing I can say is the final arc isn’t as good as the others but no way is it garbage. And, the final chapters wrap up the series nicely. It’s a satisfying ending, and we all know those can be hard to pull off.
I haven’t even touched on the crazy villains. But, as usual, I don’t like diving too deep for fear of spoilers. I will say this, overall, I love Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro more than Assassination Classroom (both created by Yūsei Matsui), but they are very different series.
Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro is out there. Horror, comedy, mystery, action, it’s a shame its not as popular as Assassination Classroom. This is one weird series for all the right reasons. Highly recommended!
Side note: I’m still surprised by some of the turns this manga took! Both dramatic and comically. This is a memorable series, pure and simple. The volume and chapter covers alone are worth checking it out.