The series has become less episodic and more focused in the latest chapters, and this chapter is no exception. That isn’t to say Cuticle Detective Inaba wallows in melodrama, but it’s certainly more focused on reaching its conclusion. This chapter is rather easy to digest because of this shift in direction. No, Inaba and his friends would much rather continue to go about their silly gags, which thankfully lightens matters considerably. It’s this sense of self-awareness that’s part of Inaba‘s charm.
Cuticle Detective Inaba isn’t a manga to shy away from shattering the fourth wall, and while this chapter is light on such content, given the aforementioned concentration on propelling the plot forward, it still has a silly feel to it. While helping Kenmochi escape from a prison, Lorenzo reveals his face to the audience, again. This is a callback to an earlier chapter in which Inaba and company became upset with Lorenzo for taking off the bag he always wears on his head, saying it would make the audience believe that the series is soon coming to a close. The series is implying it is heading towards its conclusion. This in itself is a bit depressing, as Cuticle Detective Inaba has a lot working in its favour.
Apart from a biting sense of humour, Inaba has many memorable, loveable characters, Lorenzo himself being among them. The titular protagonist, Inaba, is among said characters, although his role in this chapter is more in the background. It seems that the Don, a talking goat mafia boss with a love for money, along with his gang, will be in the foreground next chapter. In more recent chapters these characters have been mostly shuffled into the background as the main focus was less on the Japanese police’s battle with the Italian mafia and more on Nora. Nora has always been a strange inclusion in a series such as Inaba.
They were introduced early on as a terrorist organization whose goal was to throw the legitimacy of the police force into question. While they play a role in this chapter’s plot, as they often have in the series of late, this chapter is mostly about the Italian mafia. As such they’re temporarily in the background too.
Nora’s primary role in the series has always been the most compelling part of it, as antagonists. Of late, they have been an excellent foil for the series from the Italian mafia as well as to Inaba and his friends. It appears that Somei, Nora’s leader as well as Inaba’s father, goal may be more complex than what is initially apparent as he seems to be concerned for the future of the werewolves too. The series seems to be setting him up as one of the biggest villains, which makes sense as the Valentino family is more comic relief than an actually threatening antagonist.
It should be interesting how characters bounce off each other moving forward. It feels like the series is playing with some while such as how morally grey the world can truly be and the importance of family be it biological or not. All while still managing to have time for Cuticle Detective Inaba’s trademark biting humour.