The Case Files of Jeweler Richard (manga) Vol 1 Review

The Case Files of Jeweler Richard anime is a favourite show of mine and I’ve been craving more ever since watching the finale. Since there’s been no news of a second season, I was thrilled to learn that both the manga adaptation and original light novels, by Nanako Tujimura, have been licensed in English. Now at least, I’ll be able to read the rest of the story and find out what happens to Seigi and Richard.

The manga version of The Case Files of Jeweler Richard is created by Mika Akatsuki and features lovely art that really brings Richard and Seigi to life. I’m excited to dive into their ongoing adventures, as they solve jewelry related mysteries together and have an epic bromance while doing it!

Synopsis:

Seigi has never been someone who could walk away when he sees a person in trouble, so when he sees a blonde foreigner getting harassed by a bunch of drunks, he steps in to help.

The man he rescued turns out to be a jeweler by the name of Richard and Seigi decides to have him look at a ring he’s kept as a keepsake from his grandmother. Seigi’s certain that his grandmother was never in a position to afford a fancy ring like the one she passed down to him, and he’s hoping that Richard will be able help him get to the bottom of how it came to be in her possession. It turns out that the ring in question has quite the history, and Richards investigation helps Seigi to make peace with a part of his family’s past. Afterwards, Richard decides he wants to continue their association and offers Seigi a job at his new office in Japan.

As part of his business, Richard sources gemstones, sells jewelry and provides appraisal services for a varied clientele. Occasionally, the pair will be faced with curious cases brought to them by clients who are working through some form of personal crisis and are looking for answers. It’s up to Richard and Seigi to help them sort it all out and leave satisfied, meaning there’s never a dull moment for this jeweler and his stalwart assistant!

Review:

The Case Files of Jeweler Richard manga captures a lot of what I loved about the anime. The story revolves around Seigi and Richard as they are faced with a series of gemstone related mysteries by clients who are struggling with something in their personal lives. While the pair don’t act like detectives in the sense that they’re out there tracking down clues, through their work, whatever is truly troubling their customers will invariably be revealed. Whether it’s the true origins of a ring Seigi received from his grandmother, or the real motives of a young woman using a fake name who asks Richard to evaluate a brooch she received as a gift from her fiancé, the stories that bring these people to Richard’s shop are always moving and dramatic.

As a fan of gemstones, particularly gemstone jewelry, I also get a kick from reading all the information the series includes about different kinds of stones, treatment processes and the way jewels are valued. I find this kind of stuff fascinating and it’s well integrated into the story, so it never comes across like you’re receiving an academic lecture on minerology. I’ve learned a number of interesting little tidbits from this series and look forward to learning more as I continue with the manga.

The main draw of The Case Files of Jeweler Richard, as far as I’m concerned, is the relationship between Richard and Seigi. As they work together, the different cases they handle and the people they meet allow Richard and Seigi to learn more about each other and deepen their bond. They’re confronted with different aspects of human nature and are forced to grow from these encounters. Throughout it all, they support each other and learn from one another, eventually becoming very important to each other. Based on what I’ve seen in the anime, this relationship deepens over the course of their acquaintance to the point that they seem like they are more than friends, but it never actually becomes a romance either.

That’s right, this is, unfortunately, not a BL manga.

I do feel that Seigi and Richard’s relationship has some not-particularly-subtle romantic undertones. For example, in both the manga and the anime, Seigi frequently makes comments about how pretty he thinks Richard is, to the point that it makes Richard uncomfortable and he has to say something about it.

Yep. Just totally normal stuff to say to your platonic friend/boss!

Based on my knowledge from the anime, there are also some things that happen later in the series that feel like much more blatant romantic gestures, but this all never actually goes anywhere, at least not in the anime. I’ve heard that the subtext is more overt in the novels, and that Seigi even goes so far as to question the exact nature of his feelings for Richard; but again, as far as I know, this never goes anywhere.

There is, of course, still plenty to enjoy about their interactions, regardless of whether or not they are just very good friends or secretly in love. Richard is mature and refined, but a bit stiff and reserved, while Seigi is earnest and kind-hearted, but can be a bit careless. They play off of each other well, occasionally teasing each other but ultimately respecting the other’s good qualities. It’s really cute to see how important they wind up becoming to each other. But, that kind of just makes it all the more frustrating to me that the story never makes the romantic subtext plain old text.

Well, the novels are still ongoing, so I guess there’s always hope…

Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy mystery story or some intriguing tales of human drama, The Case Files of Jeweler Richard is a great pick for your next manga read. If you happen to be a fan of boys love manga, however, be prepared to be disappointed with the lack of clear romantic developments between the main characters.

Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.

For more information on this manga, visit Seven Seas Entertainment’s website.

What did you think of the manga? If you’re a fan of the anime or light novels, be sure to let me know how you think the different versions compare.


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9 thoughts on “The Case Files of Jeweler Richard (manga) Vol 1 Review

Add yours

  1. “but again, as far as I know, this never goes anywhere”

    well, I won’t spoil anything but just because they don’t officially have the title of “boyfriends” yet doesn’t mean no progress has been made between them

    Liked by 1 person

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