For those who enjoy a good riddle, Paradox Blue is a must-read!
Paradox Blue is a manga authored by Nakanishi Tatsurou and drawn by Nini. Living up to its “mystery” genre, Paradox Blue tries to incorporate the reader, asking the reader to actively solve each paradox contained in every chapter before the solution is revealed. The manga revolves around the idea of mysterious beings called “Angels” who descend to earth and present humankind a challenge in the form of a riddle. If humanity can solve the puzzle within 24 hours, the land is blessed with a miracle, for example, the revival of a withered harvest. On the other hand, if time runs out, the Angel will mete out a terrible punishment – bringing destruction and death to the entire city.
The manga follows the adventures of five schoolchildren as they try to solve each Angel’s paradox. As the story progresses, the blessings for each paradox grow ever smaller, while the risks remain the same. And the sheer amount of Angels that this group meets suggests that there might be something special about one of its members…
Personally, I love the manga for its interactivity – it pauses for a page and asks the readers if they have solved the riddle before revealing the answer to each paradox. “Hints” in the form of feathers are also included, denoting important scenes that will help solve the paradox. Should the reader fail to solve the paradox, they’re directed to turn to a page where their failure results in the Angel’s punishment.
Overall, the storyline has a very videogame-like feel, with endings drawn for “failures”, gems that bequeath special power-ups, and an opening scene that asks if the reader would like to “retry”- however, make your choices wisely – there’s only 17 remaining retries!
Although Paradox Blue is still in-progress and seems to be on hiatus at the moment, I highly recommend Paradox Blue to anyone who appreciates a good mystery manga.