Bribery! It is more than just the lubricant that makes bureaucracy function.
As it was eloquently stated in Freakonomics the study of incentives and how to influence people’s decisions is a fascinating science. Everything we do is determined by which decision will give us the greatest overall payoff. And in that spirit, I pledge that every round we win will present our readers with a more fabulous Aniblog Tourney post. By making it to round three you have unlocked the previously untold story of the formation of the Reverse Thieves Detective Agency complete with original artwork. Just imagine what wonders await you if we can make it even farther.
Reverse Thieves: Case File #000
A Woman named Hisui. A Detective named Narutaki. A Dance named Danger.
It is a mater of public record that the Reverse Thieves anime blog began in July of 2007 with a post about MangaPods (an idea that thankfully never really went anywhere). But if you had told anyone a year before the first post that the world’s cleverest detective and the underworld’s sliest thief would work together they would have laughed in your face. But in 2012 you could not imagine a world where that was not the case. The question is how did these two seemingly incompatible forces of nature come together. Today we learn the secret history of one of the greatest duos in the anime blogosphere since Kamina and Simon teamed up to write that blog together. (I hear something happened to Kamina so that he had to stop writing.)
Anyone with a familiarly of hidden knowledge will know that the seventh son of a seventh son will be a great magi with powers that define a generation. But what very few people know, even those that devote themselves to the arcane arts, is that the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter is just as powerful (if not more so). Therefore when Septuplets were born to a family of thieves already infamous for their prodigious output of female clan members the last daughter born to the bunch is sure to be special.
Hisui and her sisters traveled the world taking whatever caught their fancy. They passed themselves off as a single phantom thief known only as “Seven Nights”. No priceless treasure went undervalued for long, no fool was in possession of their fortune for long, and no safe truly lived up to its name when the gang came to town. But even in this infamous cordonazo of thievery Hisui stood out as a force to be reckoned with. She was able to assume any identity, circumvent any security system, and take what ever was most valuable. They were a seemingly unstoppable team.
If Hisui was was born a genius, then Narutaki is proof that you can make yourself a genius out of a sheer force of will. He had no great linage behind him or prophesied birth. Not even a murdered set of parents to artificially set him on the path of the detective. He was merely consumed by a burning need for justice. A family of mystery fiction aficionados birthed someone who wanted to solve mysteries more than just read about them. And so Narutaki immersed himself in the sciences. If there is an investigation technique, he knows why you use it and most improbably when it can give you a false positive. If there is a poison, Nartaki knows how to detect it and then counter it. A mere glance at a person or a scene reveals a detailed history to his eyes.
Narutaki was not one to just sit back and study theory. As soon as he was able he apprenticed under some of the greatest detectives in the world. He would solve several cases alongside each of his mentors. Each time he would take away a bit of his teacher’s greatest strengths incorporating it into his own style and making it his own. Sort of like the Jeet Kune Do of detective arts. Narutaki was soon in high demand as a consultant to agencies around the world. While they could not publicly admit to working with a sleuth so young it did not stop them from using his services on the sly.
For a time Hisui and Narutaki were aware of each other. The world’s greatest detective and the worlds most infamous thief. Neither of them had the misfortune of being in the same area at the same time but they knew a confrontation was coming. Eventually Narutaki would be hired to protect something that Hisui and her sisters wished to steal. It would be the classic battle of the unstoppable spear clashing with the unbreakable shield.
But just like clash of the Teumessian fox and Laelaps, the confrontation was never to be. The setup was perfect. Magdalena von Westfalen was set to unveil her greatest prize that she and her current lover had uncovered during a recent trip to the Caribbean, the lost fortune of Blackbeard. But before she could even announce the date of the unveiling she received a letter that Seven Nights had set her sights on this lost treasure. Magdalena von Westfalen immediately summoned the undefeated detective Narutaki to protect her priceless artifacts. But unbeknownst to everyone another party had taken interest in the proceedings.
The Seven Nights were honorable phantom thieves. They stole only from the rich and saw dirtying their hands with bloodshed on any caper as an indication of a lack of skill. Therefore Hisui and her sisters never harmed anyone during their crimes. But the criminal know as the Skeleton Key had no such reputation. While the Skeleton Key was quite fond of saying that his name came from the fact that he could open any lock, it was more than likely he gained his name from the countless bodies he left in his wake over the years. Unfortunately, this foul beast has become aware of Blackbeard’s treasure and had a hideous plan to kill two bird with one stone.
The night in which would have been one of the greatest battles of all time was instead just a bloodbath. The one thing that could distract Narutaki from his guard duties was murder and what called him away were seven murders. An anonymous tip had informed the detective that he could find the bodies of seven girls in a nearby mansion undergoing renovations. Narutaki left his top officers in charge of guarding the treasure and went to investigate the call. The brutality of the crime scene was as enough to effect even the hardest shamus. But one of the girls still clung to life. But that was all a mere distraction albeit a psychopathic one. At the same, the Skeleton Key used the chaos of the nearby crime to make off with the treasure. In the process, two officers lost their lives in the line of duty.
The Skeleton Key was no ordinary fiend. You could not be as brutal as he was and not be the world’s greatest expert at escaping. Otherwise he would have been put down long ago. He disappeared without a trace after his atrocity. But he made a foolish miscalculation. While he had won a victory against two previously undefeated foes, they were still alive. And they would not rest until he was brought to justice. When Hisui awoke she begged Narutaki to let her join in the manhunt. She would renounce her life of crime and take a menial position in his employ to help take down this monster.
Narutaki would have no part of such a deal. Detective work does not favor those who casually give away their trust. But after several cases Hisui proved an invaluable partner even if she was not a welcome partner at first. The two detectives oddly complemented each other. Narutaki’s detective work was clean and methodical but strictly by the book. Hisui’s work was sloppier but her unconventional style opened unseen clues. And she was not afraid to get her hands a bit dirty. They gained the name the Reverse Thieves by the fact that while they solved many cases one of them was never quite the proper detective. But they were sill an unstoppable crime fighting team.
Several years later the opportunity to confront the Skeleton Key would come again. It would be without a doubt one of the Reverse Thieves’ greatest challenges. They would eventually stop the Skeleton Key and in the process discover and foil a mad scheme beyond their imaginations. But that is a tale for another time.