Kuroba You is a sadistic detective who enjoys nothing more than destroying his targets emotionally and psychologically through his deductive reasoning. Toiro Arata is a naive and slightly masochistic boy who gets duped by You into becoming his assistant, or slave. These two team up to become the "Black & White" detective, solving crimes and chasing after criminals.
Just personal scratch.
Advised, possible spoilers.
Opinion & Informal
The art was for the most part okay. Although the anatomy and proportions took on a more unique and unrealistic styled they checked out because they were consistent. This manga suffered a lot in the way it handled its art and panels to fill in space and add pages. The average page count for this manga was about 40-45 pages which is somewhat fairly long. I can understand that with due dates and whatnot that the author would have to take on shortcuts to get pages done but that still doesn't change the fact that the art was
only average. Much of the background and environment was dropped. Many of the panels were closeups as well to avoid having to draw too much detail or extras. Let me explain. For pretty much the entire length of the manga many of the panels were filled by being framed as closeups; most of the time closeups of a character's face and their dialogue. These were very extreme closeups. For example, a lot of dialogue from Kuroba was as a closeup of his very basic and emoji-level-detail face where his highlighted and undetailed hair would take up around 50% of the panel, his emoji-level-detail face around 20-30% of the panel, and the remaining 20 or so % of the panel just not drawn at all (no environment, no background, not even tones (damn, not even tones). So what ended up happening for a lot of the art were just closeups or convenient framing so that less work would have to be done. There were no environmental or panoramic showcases that were even done or worth bringing up. There were positives this manga had in its art though. It was able to add enough flair with the panel cuts and impact shots. While not impressive themselves, the use of panel-cutting art and layout shots were used enough to keep the broad visuals interesting. On top of that were the impact shots. The impact shots were nice early on but degraded as the manga progressed. Early on the impact shots were used frequently and showcased a lot of entire-character detail. However, later on much of those impact shots were reduced to what I was talking about earlier. Many of the later use of impact shots ended up being facial expression closeups; that is just simple closeups of any particular character with some special expression like a smug face, evil face, or angry face. The problem with this is that those closeups were most of the time closeups of Kuroba's emoji-level-detail face. One small gripe I had was that the mangaka failed to draw Nene's ring on her hand in all her appearances after she got the ring from Kuroba.
Panel progression: 4/10
The panel progression was a mess. The panel flow and layout were fine in the beginning of the manga but both of those points took a turn for the worst about a third through. About a third through the manga, the flow and clarity of the panels were just terrible. Dialogue just came out of nowhere and was disconnected. It was hard to tell who was saying what and things would just become confusing quickly. It's not a good thing to have to spend extra time or double-back on pages to figure out the flow of the conversation because dialogue is improperly associated and linked to characters. The general flow of the pages became choppy later on too. Supposedly important details or ideas seemed like they were supposed to be understood by the reader. I think the author made the mistake of thinking that the reader would know exactly what was going on in his/her head. Basically, things became confusing quite often because of how poorly the panel progression and layout were.
All one-dimensional and uninspiring. Kuroba didn't get his meaningful backstory until the very later half of the manga so up until then he seemed a bit bland. Toiro was a wimpy pushover the entire manga through and through. Toiro didn't develop one bit even after there were events that were supposed to have him so. The side detective, Usachii or whatever his nickname is, was boring as well. I don't see what the point was in having him exist in the first place. Neither of the characters: Kuroba, Toiro, Usachii, and Nene were able to make the manga's world interesting. They didn't seem like they had any greater purpose than to fit into their simple personalities. Nene didn't grow. She remained exactly the same as when she was first introduced. Usachii didn't grow. He remained as some sort of budget backup character that was meant to add more dialogue and dynamics to the interactions. Toiro had many opportunities to deviate from his introduced character: the death of his first love interest, the close call of his mother in danger, etc. Nothing. Nothing changed about Toiro. All of Toiro's personal resolves weren't backed up and remained as mere words. Kuroba definitely changed. He changed by becoming less and less interesting and cool as the manga went on. His aura of mystery and coolness faded quickly after the overall quality of the progression and art of the manga deteriorated as it went on. The character designs weren't memorable or interesting either.
The plot was for the most part dropped or twisted into some confusing and uninteresting direction. Major plot points that were introduced early on were either ignored or uninspiringly glazed over with a new convoluted plot point. The whole Amou's absence bit was developed into this stupid doppelganger, twin brothers thing that really never took off. The reasoning and foundation for much of the second half of the manga just wasn't there. The second half of the manga couldn't get me to keep turning pages. It was boring.
All of the mysteries were simple or stupidly complex. There was no "just right" ground. The early mysteries and cases were painfully simple and much of the surprises came up just because Kuroba said so. The important piece of information or case-changing evidence existed the moment Kuroba said they did. Surprises and plot-twists simply existed because Kuroba said so. Small details that a mystery should have so that the reader can investigate on their own were there in the form of grade-school level deduction and clues. There were no truly surprising twists in this manga. Even Kuroba's return at the end was cliche with the way the previous pages were setup. The later cases were way too confusing and complex. A lot of the dialogue couldn't back up or clearly explain what was going on just because of how stupid the way the cases were setup. It felt like the author didn't really know what he wanted to do with this manga. Nothing seemed to stick and new plot points were sort of just "added."
Questions that were supposed to be answered weren't exactly answered because those plot points were either dropped or just ignored so much that they became irrelevant lol. The conclusion didn't create new questions or any meaningful sort of resolution for the future. The conclusion was sort of just there. It didn't feel like their adventures will continue. It felt like a manga ended, not a story...just another unmemorable conclusion.
I won't remember this manga. I won't remember anything about it other than what I write here. It did nothing worth remembering or bringing up. This manga felt like a chuunibyou starter pack for gradeschoolers. The panel progression, art, and plot development weren't done decently. Things were confusing and the whole thing was just boring because the cases and resolutions to those cases were boring.