Story and art by Mochi
Cuticle Detcetive Inaba somehow manages to keep the double takes coming this chapter, despite involving negotiations with a terrorist organization, all the while revealing Somei’s motivations for forming Nora. Inaba has revealed himself, on more than one occasion, to be focused and level-headed when the series allows him to be. Somei’s speech does not feel undercut for the most part although when Lorenzo, sporting a fancy dress, is revealed to be the hostage it does undercut some of the tension Somei’s speech had.
This in itself is a bit of a shame as Somei actually has a compelling motivations: Somei desires simply for the werewolves, Inaba included, to be given the same rights as human beings, as they themselves are harmless, and are capable of intelligent thought and speech. Somei presents the dilemma that, despite proving Nora’s methods of going about equality have been highly unethical. he endangers innocent people more and more as the series moves along, which could ultimately prove to be his undoing.
What makes Somei a compelling antagonist is that he is well aware of how events will likely play out for his own future. He simply just hopes to bring peace for his children and future werewolves, well aware of the evil he is doing. Despite how crazy Cuticle Detective Inaba can often be, the manga is ultimately simple and focused with its themes and messages. It’s okay to be different, even bizarre at times, so long as one remains true to oneself. Yes, in the end this is a bizarre parody manga, but it is nice that Cuticle Detective Inaba is rather progressive given its content.
Despite how heavy some of this may sound, Mochi is operating on full cylinders when it comes to comedy. While not as uproariously funny as many previous chapters, this chapter still manages to infuse itself with some really good deadpan moments. The greatest amongst them is Lorenzo insisting he himself is the damsel in distress, all while being surrounded by plush goats on a couch in a full splash page. This scene itself is quickly followed up with a tea party Lorenzo has with Inaba. Another minor nitpick is that while this chapter does feature an intense action scene with Gabriella the paneling for it was more than a little plain. That being said, it was one of the most intense actions scenes Inaba had had.
Chapter 106 was a solid chapter for Cuticle Detective Inaba. Somei was certainly the highlight and gave the series some much required depth that it feels like it is missing at times. The comedy was in top form as usual. While there were a few minor quibbles to be had with this chapter, especially with how the speech felt undercut at the end, chapter 106 was an entertaining read nonetheless. It really is a shame that Cuticle Detective Inaba is heading towards its conclusion because the series remains a highlight in my day each time I sit down to read it.