Week 6: 詩的私的ジャック - JACK THE POETICAL PRIVATE (S&M Vol.4) [END]

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詩的私的ジャック - JACK THE POETICAL PRIVATE (S&M Vol.4) Home Thread

Week 6

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Start Date: July 23rd
Previous Part: Week 5

Reading:

Week Start Date Chapter Page Count
Week 6 July 23rd Chapter 11 + 12 38 + 16

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
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Proper Noun Readings

Previous Proper Nouns
Name Reading Notes Proof
犀川 創平 さいかわ そうへい Protagonist (Week 1)
西之園 萌絵 にしのその もえ Protagonist
西之園 恭輔 にしのその きょうすけ Moe’s dad
西之園 捷輔 にしのその しょうすけ Moe’s uncle
結城 稔 ゆうき みのる Rock star
結城 寛 ゆうき ひろし Minoru’s big brother
篠崎 敏治 しのざき としはる Student, Minoru’s friend
杉東 千佳 すぎとう ちか Teacher, Hiroshi’s wife
藤井 紀子 ふじい のりこ Teacher (made the log house)
前川 聡美 まえかわ さとみ Victim
三浦 みうら Cop
浜口 悦夫 はまぐち えつお Technician from T大
田中 たなか Other guy from T大
河原田 かわらだ Forensics
岡部 おかべ SF club member, same grade as Moe
鵜飼 うかい Young cop
相田 素子 あいだ もとこ Victim #2
諏訪野 すわの Moe’s butler (Week 2)
西之園 都馬 にしのその トーマ Moe’s dog :wink:
国枝 桃子 くにえだ ももこ Saikawa’s assistant professor
牧野 洋子 まきの ようこ Student, Moe’s friend
喜多 きた Saikawa’s friend
さい Chinese student
金子 かねこ Male student
内田 かおり うちだ かおり Highschool student
山本 やまもと SF club member (Week 3)
浦野 うらの SF club member
吉村 よしむら Police detective
相良 さがら Teacher
1 Like

I quite liked the book I have to say. I feel like there was a good mix of investigation/murders/character development. I didn’t see it coming at all that Hiroshi was the (main) murderer. I liked that Moe took the lead on the murder mystery solving for a good part of the book, but in the end it was still Saikawa solving it and lecturing everyone (another one for the Saikawa & Moe bingo!) At least for once he didn’t go “what, you haven’t figure it out yet??” like it should all be obvious. But I’d like to see Moe solve the murder one day.

6 Likes

Easily my least favorite of the series so far.

The timing for Minoru’s murder seems super tight. Like I said in a previous week the only reason to number the victims was if that order was wrong, and the only victims that could conceivably be swapped were Chika and Minoru, but… My idea was that Minoru had killed Chika and then Hiroshi killed Minoru when he got back, but I didn’t think Hiroshi had time to kill Minoru, undress him, carve the symbol into his stomach, move the cement blocks, open the grate, dump the corpse in, and move the cement blocks back. My impression was that “Hiroshi” came out of the experiment room really soon after he went in, so didn’t think that was really feasible, and it still seems extremely tight.

There was also the question/issue of what happened with the victims’ clothing. I don’t think I really buy this one. Yes, “the police are useless” is a staple of these kinds of stories, but they just overlook a clothing-sized pile of rags at the crime scene where they’re looking for missing clothes? What about the parts of clothing that aren’t made of cloth, like buttons, zippers, etc.? What happened to those?

(Edit: I also thought the thing with Chika’s shoes was bad. Like, really? Saikawa mentions multiple times how the shoes were the only reason he solved it, but he didn’t have them at the time. He really jumped from “the concrete was stolen” to “there must have been shoes in the concrete because the culprit must have been Hiroshi who planned to dispose of the sneakers Chika typically wears but Chika must have gotten new shoes that day (because, y’know, people are always getting new shoes in the middle of the day while working on experiments) that couldn’t be disposed of and this is the only reason the concrete could have been stolen and that is the only thing that could have been hidden in the concrete” with no additional proof? Really feels like Saikawa just jumped to the solution and filled in the blanks with the evidence rather than deducing the solution from the clues/evidence available. For instance–what if the culprit was Toshiharu, the person the police followed was Hiroshi, the room really had been locked with the mechanism found in the concrete, and Toshiharu stole the D3h concrete just to make the police think Chika’s shoes were in there and Hiroshi was the culprit? Without finding the D3h, there was no way to rule out tell those scenarios apart. Heck, even if Toshiharu had left the crime scene, he still could’ve just dumped the shoes in the concrete to “frame” Hiroshi! The shoes seem like such a bizarre piece of evidence to base your case on since they could be easily “falsified,” and Saikawa didn’t even actually have the shoes at the time he “figured it out”.)

The motive was whack. I guess it’s supposed to be, but… near the end Toshiharu talks about how Hiroshi was a perfectionist, but I wish we had actually seen that aspect of his personality during the book. I think he had the least characterization of the entire cast–even Fujii and Sagara seemed better-developed. Chika killing Satomi also seemed super brushed aside. Like, they were strangers, right? You have to be mentally unhinged to murder a stranger over nothing, which seems completely disconnected from what we knew of Chika.

I didn’t like how Toshiharu knew lots of things but said nothing, although it ties into his character, so I can kind of understand it here more than other times it happens in detective stories (but I still don’t like it). I’m also surprised/impressed how the gay one is the only one to come out of this mess unscathed, since this book was written in 1997 and that’s usually not what happens.

The title of the book also ended up underwhelming (which I normally don’t care about so much, but 笑わない数学者 was used in a really cool way!)

There are some cool and fun ideas here, but it feels like the details filled in to support them were just really, really sloppy.

Glad to see Saikawa and Moe’s relationship progress, though. The conversation at the end about Moe’s “proposal” was cute and hilarious.

6 Likes

Finished! I’m a bit disappointed that I never really fully caught up… I know I still could have posted and engaged a bit more but between always being half a week behind and just being really busy the motivation was low.

I did enjoy this entry, but I have to say I liked the previous book a lot more. The murder mysteries themselves were equally as good, but I feel like in 笑わない there was a lot more intrigue outside of the murders themselves. [spoilers for 笑わない] I was just as excited to learn the truth of the statue illusion and to learn more about the professor himself as I was to learn the culprit and mechanism behind the crime. I also loved the planetarium setting of the previous book, and I loved how the location was so closely tied to the mystery and the narrative. [back to just spoilers for this book] In 詩的私的, there wasn’t much more suspense than the typical “who did it, how, and why”? Even the locked room portions weren’t all that compelling in their solutions, as they were all solved just by a character thinking for a while about what might be possible.

I did really enjoy the focus on Moe in this book. I think removing Saikawa for half the book was a great way to give Moe some time to shine as a character in her own right rather than just as a sidekick.

4 Likes

Yay :tada:
I must say I felt a bit bad for having pulled you into this, and then you fell behind at the start and couldn’t manage to catch up to us - I understand that this must be a pretty sad and lonely feeling :cold_sweat:

Yes, undoubtedly, the third book is my favorite so far.
And what I also noticed is that although I think the books are not too difficult to read (except for some shorter passages full of vocab I don’t know) I somehow don’t really engage with the stories that much :woman_shrugging: I don’t really know why. At the start it’s always interesting and thrilling to see what happens, and then there often is a “dry area” in the middle where they develop one theory after the other, each one being even more convoluted than the previous ones, then we get the final hypothesis by Saikawa, but it still turns out that it is even more complicated and convoluted than what even he imagined, and at that point my head is brimming with lots of details and the more I learn about the case, the more I lose interest somehow? Strange feeling, really.

3 Likes

:joy: not your fault at all. As I said I wasn’t outrageously outpaced-I started a week early and finished 3 days late. It doesn’t help that these last few months are the busiest I’ve had in years. I haven’t had any weekends to catch up either :sob:. Part of my lack of engagement might also have been in part due to the story not living up to the last one.

3 Likes

I agree that I usually don’t „get“ the motives in S&M. I feel like the technical aspects are Mori‘s strong suit, not so much the thoughts and reasonings of the characters/culprits.
Chika killing a stranger is rather ???, but what I understand even less how this affects Hiroshi‘s life to such an extent that he has to kill three other people? What did his brother even do. If he wanted a „clean slate“, why not simply let his wife go to jail and never talk to her again? I really didn’t understand why he had to jeopardize his whole life. And he was glad he was caught in the end? Hmm. I guess Saikawa didn’t properly comprehend it either…

At least we got the case solved completely, whereas for 笑わない数学者, it was basically open to interpretation who is who. Makes for interesting speculation, of course, but left a feeling of incompletion for me.

Some fun statistics:
This book took me 14h19m40s (32.8pgs/h), whereas the previous volume took me 14h19m25s (33.6pgs/h). That’s a difference of only 15 seconds. :sweat_smile:

5 Likes

My reading/interpretation/understanding is that Hiroshi was a perfectionist to a twisted degree. He couldn’t just divorce and turn in Chika because then he’d have been married to a murderer. But if Chika was murdered as part of a mysterious serial killing, well, that’s tragic but it’s a random thing that happened to them that’s not either of their faults and he can just move on. For Minoru I don’t totally remember, but I think a combination of Minoru knowing about Chika’s connection to the first victim, suspecting infidelity between Chika and Minoru, and the fact that he could get a great alibi by killing Minoru ended up being enough to bring him to kill Minoru. (Toshiharu also knew, maybe Hiroshi knew Toshiharu loved him and wouldn’t turn on him so he got to live.) The second victim wasn’t planned but knew about Chika’s connection to the first victim and made herself available so he just decided to go for it, plus it helped establish the pattern. Moe, on the other hand, was completely unplanned and uninvolved in the incident. Hiroshi had already resolved to kill Chika and Minoru (and the second victim) a long time ago, but Moe was spur of the moment. I think the “perfectionism” comes into play on the other side here, since needing to kill an extra person shows his plan wasn’t proper. So that’s why he was “relieved” he was stopped. He was gonna kill her, cuz that’s what you do when some nosy girl is going to reveal you’re a serial killer, but he didn’t want to kill a random innocent person or “ruin” his plan.

Honestly I don’t think Hiroshi’s motive/psychology is that bad (for a murderer in a murder mystery) in itself, that part of his personality just didn’t feel clued at all.

5 Likes

I think I got that, but I still can’t comprehend it :sweat_smile: He‘s a perfectionist to such a degree that he can’t just break ties with his murderer wife, but it’s okay if he kills her and two other people and turns himself into a serial killer, every murder increasing the chance of getting caught and his life being in ruins, maybe even 死刑 levels of over.
I think I can relate to the part of why he was glad he was caught before he drove Moe off the pier. But during interrogation it sounded like he was glad he was caught for the murders as well which I didn’t quite understand. (That would mean that he had already foreseen that he would get caught?) Well, that‘s possibly a thought that criminals do have.

I guess I just can’t see anything „pure“ and „clean slate“ in becoming a serial killer yourself, when Hiroshi himself didn’t even have to do anything with the first murder. He could’ve just not gone through all the trouble, which in my mind is much more „perfect“ and „pure“ than what he ended up doing :sweat_smile: To instantly jump to murder seems quite extreme for someone who didn’t seem to have any sociopathic tendencies and who was a „simple“ perfectionist (I guess the police also touched on that aspect when they said they can’t believe he’s actually the killer and that he seems so normal).
But maybe I only think that way due to the fact that we didn’t really get to see the extent of his perfectionism during the novel.

2 Likes

why not simply let his wife go to jail and never talk to her again?

It was mentioned that the murder going public could negatively impact his career.

2 Likes