Recently I’ve been reading this crazy messed up manga called dead tube which I was really enjoying until it introduced a story trope which I hate: Which one of us is the killer?
This story tends to take place on a place where everyone knows each other and nobody can escape. Often a ship in the ocean, a plane, a deserted island or a locked room/building. Then a lot of the people here tend to get murdered before people realize that the killer isn’t a guy in hiding, it’s someone that you know and is with the group. They then spend the whole time trying to work out each person it is.
Here’s the reason why I dislike it: it’s nearly always bullshit. I don’t have a problem with not really figuring out a mystery, what I want to see is that after the reveal there is enough evidence there that I could have reasonably figured out who it is. That “oh yeah” feeling should be there and it’s almost always disappointing.
As well as that there tends to be so many people there that you can’t keep track of everyone and you just give up!
Maybe I should stop generalising and instead talk about why the one in dead tube really sucked, there are definitely tropes like these which have been done well and interestingly, and please tell me any that you can think of which are also good! I just want to explain why this one sucked now.
First of all there were so many characters that you know you can’t keep track of them so you just give up. As well as that every single character is seen with the killer (someone dressed as a racoon) at every single moment (it feels like) so you’re given the impression that it’s some random guy you’ve completely forgotten about or something that’s just bullshit, which it is.
It’s later revealed that one of the characters is an identical twin (extreme bullshit) and then as well as that you could have noticed, no in fact you should have noticed because one twin has a mole on his face and the other doesn’t! Yeah why didn’t you notice that? You should have noticed it!
Like that’s horrible, really terrible writing, and as well as that most of the other mysteries that were left in its wake went completely unanswered.
The thing is to do this well you must have great events, great characters that make you actually want to pay attention to them, not waste your time (in dead tube you knew nothing mattered because characters seen with the killer blamed other characters seen by the killer so it was massively pointless and boring) and have a reveal that either makes you feel smart for figuring it out or happy because you could have figured it out with the evidence there.
The things that dead tube used were really specific that it was hard to notice, and even if you did notice it was very possible to come to a different conclusion since the persons raccoon suit could have changed very easily or they could have picked up a different weapon. It’s so vague and specific that it’s really annoying and terrible to watch.
I hate constantly reading a story going “is it this guy?” and constantly looking at these tiny minute details. I don’t mind it all the time, when it’s done well for example, but thees kinds of arcs aren’t things I generally want to watch/read.
What do you think of this story trope? Also can you recommend any other shows/manga that do this story well?