Chapter 107 takes an even darker turn with the introduction of Lab Zero, and one of its members, Yashiro. There are not too many details on them this chapter. What can be gleaned about Lab Zero is they are somehow connected to the existence of the werewolves, and that they try to establish human dominance over werewolves as a species. It is nice that they are not treated as a throwaway gag, but instead as a serious threat.
Inaba has never been one to lose sight of his morals, so having shady individuals on the right side of the law could make for some interesting character development in chapters to come. This idea has been done in media many, many times before, but I like the way it was handled here. These are characters who we laugh and cry with over many, many chapters, which makes the few darker chapters all the more meaningful.
It will be interesting to learn more about Lab Zero in future chapters as they are one of the few genuine threats the series has had to date. Often times, the villains in Cuticle Detective Inaba are played for laughs as happy-go-lucky fools. The Italian mafia and the Nora are competent villains when they need to be but they just as often bond with the protagonists as they do plot their evil schemes. Yuta in particular bonds more and more with the Italian mafia as the series continues.
This chapter Yuta does actually have some panel time, as he charges off after Inaba with Ogino right behind. Ogino does so under order by Ogata to pursue Yuta when he parts ways with the group near the beginning of the chapter. It is not entirely clear what the plan is as of this chapter for any of the characters. This scene is not given more than a few pages to develop, but it will be a plot point down for the chapter at the very least so It should be noted regardless. Inaba’s motivations for continuing talks with Nora are also unclear.
When Yashiro requests Inaba vacate the area, ending the talks, Inaba has zero motivation to continue negotiations with Nora. The single hostage, Lorenzo, has been rescued by Gabriella and Inaba has no way of being aware of what is actually going on at this point yet he chooses to continue a no hostage negotiation.
The decision results in Lab Zero shooting at Inaba which, in turn, leads to a compelling if brief exchange between Inaba and Yataro. Through the conversation it is confirmed that Somei’s fears about werewolves being little more than tools to humans may not be entirely groundless. As the chapter ends, Yuta and Ogino appear on the scene in order to presumably help in the fight with Lab Zero and Nora next chapter.
Chapter 107 is certainly a solid entry. It brings up some fascinating concepts for the series with potential to develop very soon. Cuticle Detective Inaba, as silly as the series often is, is mustering a lot of effort for what is presumably the series final arc. It is a shame the series did not develop darker plots until what is presumed to be near the end. There were compelling ideas explored in this chapter. It was nice seeing subtle character development for Inaba,something this series generally lacks. The chapter even still had time for uproariously funny moments, such as when Lorenzo sculpts the Don into a pillar during a fight with his saviour.