So, you’ve seen the movie Thor, and you hunger for more Norse Gods mischief, but you’re not looking for get buried in decades of superhero back log? Worry not my manga-mythology loving friend! There is a manga out there that does just that….it’s just not licensed.
Matantei Loki, or Mythical Detective Loki is about the Norse God Loki, who has been banished to Midgard (the human realm) by Odin, the King of the Gods. He is stripped of his powers, and is stuck in the form of a young boy. In order to redeem himself and regain access to Asgard, he must collect the evil aura from human hearts. To do this, he starts a detective agency with Yamino, his second son, and is joined by Mayura, a human girl with an insatiable hunger for mysteries. As he continues to his goal, other Norse gods appear, intent on either helping or hurting Loki.
The series was written by Sakura Kinoshita, the artist and co-writer for tactics. It originally ran in Square Enix’s monthly magazine Monthly Shonen Gangan from 1999-2003 where 7 volumes where compiled. The series then moved to MAG Garden where it was renamed Matantei Loki Ragnarok, and ran in Comic Blade for produce another 5 volumes. An anime was produced in 2003 and followed the first 7 volumes. In the US, the anime was licensed by ADV and was later rescued by Funimation. ADV also licensed the second half of the manga releasing just 2 volumes before the manga division imploded. Unlike tactics, Loki wasn’t rescued.
Mythical Detective Loki brings together all the thinks I love about manga; mysteries, the supernatural, mythology, and bishi-boys. Though as a boy, Loki is cute, his older form, which he is able to change into ocassionaly as the series progresses, is very hot, and he can grow wings. The series starts like a typical shonen detective with nice doses of comedy in between the solving of cases. But the story starts to get darker as the other gods come out of the woodwork, and the fact that Odin might not want Loki to return.
Ever since I first learned about it, I’ve been wishing it would be licensed, and seeing the anime only made my desire for the manga grow. There is an English version, that was published by Chuang Yi in Singapore, but time and distance have made these books expensive and scarce. Having a new edition much closer to home would be much more preferable. So, a manga company that wanted to cash in on the comic movie boom, and the lack of Norse mythology would do well to check this title out.