Q.E.D. ~Shoumei Shuuryou~ is a detective fiction manga by Motohiro Katou. The main character Sou Touma encounters a variety of crimes ranging from murder to fraud. Sou often works in tandem with his friend and potential love interest Kana, with him supplying the brain while she acts as brawn.
The manga has a similar structure like Detective Conan and Kidaichi Shōnen no Jikenbo, where time flows forward for the characters (in book 3, Sou gives Kana a pearl necklace as a Christmas present. In book 9, the pair are invited to take part in a mystery game during Christmas) yet the background setting is stuck in time (e.g. Sou and Kana are still in the same grades).
The title comes from the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum. Sou will typically write the term down when he has solved the case just prior to his explanation. In addition, the manga incorporates many terms and ideas from history, mythology, biology, mathematics and physics.
The manga was first serialised in Magazine Great in 1997, and like many manga later collected into books or tankoubon. As of February 2008, 27 volumes have been released.
Generally, each volume will have two mysteries, both of which are solved at the end. At least one had a full length story that spanned the entire volume, but this was a flashback of Sou's time in the United States.
Sou Touma (燈馬 想 Tōma Sō?)
- The main character of the series, like similar boy detectives Shinichi Kudo and Hajime Kindaichi this 15-16 year old boy is a genius detective. Unlike the other two, however, Touma is not particularly interested in going out and finding wrongs to right. Rather, it is his erstwhile partner Kana who drags him into getting involved. An introvert, he seems to be well-known for his intelligence, but not particularly popular.
- Sou is introduced when Kana Mizuhara rescues him from an irate customer at a video arcade. He then assists Kana's father in unmasking a murderer. Following that, he and Kana are often seen together, though she denies they are going out.
- Sou's past is a mystery, and he appears to be a sort of Renaissance man in that he possesses a wide range of knowledge. What is known is that he graduated from the famous MIT in the United States and was planning on continuing his study in a graduate school, but then decided to drop out for unknown reasons and came to join Kana's high school. While highly intelligent, Sou is often seen being amused by such simple things as snowflakes, suggesting he did not have an ordinary childhood. During cases, he becomes even more quiet and it is sometimes hinted that he only solves cases for his own reasons (in addition to Kana's prompting).
- Sou is also often the unfortunate recipient of Kana's violent tendencies, as he is often bopped on the head for reasons ranging from asking an embarrassing question in public to accidentally looking up her shorts. Despite this, and despite complaining whenever Kana drags him somewhere against his will, he does show concern for her and often takes her along whenever he goes out of town. He also doesn't mind it when people call Kana his girlfriend.
- Besides being a genius, Sou is also quite wealthy and can speak in a number of languages including French. He is seen as having interest in archeology and biology. He has a younger sister named Yuu who is a genius with all languages; however she is so spacy that she often forgets what she's supposed to be doing.
Kana Mizuhara (水原 可奈 Mizuhara Kana?)
- The second main character of the series, Kana is a spirited, tomboyish girl who excels in virtually every sport she attempts. Brave, athletic and rather pretty, she has also been described as having a heart 'big enough to float a planet'. It is her willingness to help others than draws Sou into cases.
- She first encounters Sou when she rescues him from being attacked by a bully at a video arcade. She is warned by her close friend that Sou is mysterious (having apparently come to their high school after leaving MIT) and she should probably leave him be. Shortly thereafter, her friend learns her father was murdered, leading Kana to drag Sou along to support her. Her father, Detective Mizuhara, is the man in charge of the case and with Sou's help arrests the murderer.
- Since then, the two have been nearly inseparable, in that Kana drags Sou almost wherever she goes. She categorically denies that the two are dating, but there have been many hints in the manga that she is slowly developing feelings for him (on one occasion, when she learns both of them have no plans for Christmas she attempts to ask him if he'd like to spend it with her, but is interrupted). She later admits to a female sempai [upperclassman] who was interested in Sou that she is counfused about the relationship between herself and Sou because she think they are more than friends yet she still can't give a name the feeling she felt nor can she describe their relation. The fact that she knows so little about his past bothers her greatly, and she often tries to find out more about him (going so far as to secretly follow him after school). What little she learns often either impresses her or makes her unhappy at how much Sou's been through.
- Kana is a popular student, and she is often seen in a leadership role. She practices judo and kendo, the former skill often coming in handy when attempting to defend herself or Sou and apprehending suspects. She is also apparently infamous for her violent tendencies, showing no mercy to anyone who dares suggest there is something more to her and Sou than friendship.
Detective Mizuhara (水原 警部?)
- Kana's father. A gruff, unshaven police detective, he is introduced when he turns out to be the chief investigator of the murder of Kana's friend's father. Upon returning home and noticing Sou's shoes, he is initially outraged that a boy was not only visiting, but was in his precious daughter's room unsupervised.
- Despite the circumstances of the meeting Sou proved be highly intelligent and managed to impress the Detective with his wide range of knowledge. After Sou unmasked the murderer, the detective developed a healthy respect for his abilities. Since then, he seems to trust Sou a great deal as he often allows Kana to accompany him on trips and occasionally includes him in family events (such as baseball games). He is evidently no longer surprised to see Sou and Kana together most of the time.
Loki (ロキ Roki?)
- Real name Sid Green (シド・グリーン Sido Gurīn?). An old friend of Sou from MIT, Loki is like Sou, a highly intelligent (though sometimes crude) individual. He and Sou are like brothers, him often teasing the younger boy. In his first appearance, he and Eva visit Kana and Sou's high school in search of him, getting into a confrontation with school staff eventually defused by Sou's arrival. He, Sou and Kana have since met on many cases where his generally emotional personality acts as a counterpoint to Sou's colder, more logical one. Loki was one of the people Kana contacted for help when Sou went missing in the USA during the Annie Craner murders.
- He is nicknamed after Loki, the god of mischief from North mythology. Like his namesake, he enjoys riddles, pranks and games. While he and Kana get along fine, she objects to his smoking habit. In his first appearance, he also reveals he is sometimes frustrated that Sou can solve his riddles so easily.
Eva Sukta (エバ・スクタ?)
- Loki's partner and love interest. A dark-skinned Asian girl, she, Loki and Sou were friends at MIT. However when Sou and Loki were in direct competition Eva stole and destroyed Sou's thesis. Years later, Sou revealed he knew about it, but said nothing because he knew she did it because she loved Loki. While Loki was initially outraged, Sou calmed him and said he'd long since forgiven her. She makes occasionally appearances in the manga in a supporting role, most often assisting Loki.
- Sou's younger sister, Yuu is highly intelligent in her own right. She is a polyglot. She first appeared attempting to visit her big brother, but somehow got lost. Since then, she makes occasional visits but rather than help out her brilliant brother in solving cases she provides insight and backstory to Sou. She and Kana get along well together and Yuu shares some of Sou's history with her, including the story of Annie Craner.
- When Sou shortly after goes missing in the USA during the Annie Craner-related murders, she accompanies Kana in search of him. She later acts as a messenger for her and Sou's parents, passing an invitation to Kana to meet them.
- Unlike many younger sister characters in manga and anime, she never refers to Sou as Onii-san (literally Big Brother) or any of the common variants Onii-chan or Onii-sama. Instead she merely refers to him by his given name, suggesting she does not see a need to be overly respectful to him.
Sou and Yuu's parents
- Sou and Yuu's parents are evidently very wealthy and often travel. They have not made a full appearance in the manga thus far (only being seen from the neck down). In their brief appearance they proved to be rather flighty, going so far as to suddenly organise a trip to another country simply to settle an argument on where the world's largest Buddha statue was. This was despite the fact they had sent Kana an invitation to meet with them. They left Yuu to pass on a letter, where they apologised for not meeting her and asking her to continue to look after Sou.
Annie Craner (アニー・クレイナー?)
- A young lawyer Sou befriended during his time in America, she was an important part of his life. She was shot after winning a difficult, emotionally charged case. Sou was a witness, and the event still haunted him when a killer began stalking and eliminating people involved in the case.
- It was hinted that Sou had a crush on her, and her shooting affected him badly. It had been Sou who encouraged her to see the case through to the end, and so her fate filled him with guilt.
Sou and Kana
One of the major draws of the manga is the growing relationship between Sou and Kana. While for the first few books there is not much sign of anything other than friendship (Kana apparently being the first friend Sou has made since entering the school), in the 3rd book Kana imagines being given a pearl necklace by Sou. She laughs it off as absurd, but is surprised when he really does give her a necklace as a present. In the same book, she mistakenly believes Loki and Eva came to Japan to bring Sou back to the United States. She makes a mad dash for Narita airport, hoping to stop him. When she encounters Sou, she immediately bops him on the head and demands to know what he is doing there. When an understandably irate Sou replies that he was there to see them off, Kana is visibly relieved.
As the series progresses, it becomes clear that Kana does enjoy being around Sou (something that does not go unnoticed by her schoolmates). Her juniors in kendo, for example, believe Sou is Kana's boyfriend after meeting him and seeing how they act around each other. Their closeness is apparently well-known; after Kana sprains her wrist after a suspicious event in kendo one of her teammates informs Sou, who immediately rushes to the nurse's office. This show of concern prompts teasing from Kana's senior and friends. In volume 19, Kana somehow is sent back in time and encounters a counterpart of Sou from the year 1927. After assisting him with a case, she is asked to stay with him. Kana hesitates, tempted by the offer, but sadly turns him down and admits there is already someone waiting for her.
While for the most part, it appears as though it is a one-sided affair (due to Sou being rather introverted), there have been occasions where he shows she is important to him. Following the above event in Kana's kendo class, Sou tracks down the culprit. He later admits that while he would normally not bother, he had a good reason for solving the case and finding the one responsible. It is implied that he was not willing to allow someone who hurt Kana get away. On another occasion, in volume 8 of the manga, Sou displays hints of jealousy when another student attempts to get close to Kana.
In another case, Kana is attacked by someone wielding a baseball bat. While she quickly disarms him, he then pulls out a knife. When Sou arrives looking for her and sees the knife-wielding suspect, he quickly rushes towards them and attempts to pursue him even though he is nowhere near as athletic as Kana. Kana stops him and tells him it isn't like him to rush into things like that, prompting him to embarrassingly admit he agrees it isn't like him. Kana realises he ran towards them despite the danger because he was worried about her.
Comparisons to similar manga
Script error Q.E.D. is sometimes compared to manga in the crime genre (most notably Detective Conan and Kindaichi Case Files, as well as Detective School Q). While all these manga star a young boy detective of above average intelligence, Q.E.D. differs in a number of ways.
1. Lack of bloodshed
- While most of Conan, Kindaichi and Q's cases involve murders (which are at times quite gruesome), Q.E.D. features a variety of crimes, such as theft, stalking and vandalism. In addition, those murders that Sou and Kana do investigate are often less graphic than ones shown in similar manga (for example, many of the murders in Conan or Kindaichi's manga involve dismemberment).
- While Sou is highly intelligent and a more than capable detective, he and Kana are for the most part equal partners. On many occasions, Kana has been crucial to solving a case. For example, in their very first case together, she disguises herself as (among other things) a delivery girl, a reporter and a secretary. In addition, unlike Conan and Kindaichi, whose romantic partners were childhood friends (who were already depicted as loving their counterparts when their respective manga begin albeit in secret), Sou and Kana's relationship can be seen growing from their first meeting when they were simple acquaintances until recent stories where their relationship has visibly become much closer.
- Like Ran Mouri from Detective Conan and Miyuki Nanase from Kindaichi's Case Files, Kana is popular, intelligent and skilled in a number of things. Unlike Conan and Kindaichi, however, Sou is depicted as a typical nice guy. Where Conan (as Shinichi) is smug and somewhat arrogant about his ability and Kindaichi fairly lethargic until sufficiently roused to action, Sou tries to play down his ability and never acts as though he is superior to others.
Like his two contemporaries, Sou does occasionally offend people, but this is more out of obliviousness than pride or overconfidence. His first meeting with Kana was the result of this, as he quite innocently made observations that enraged a local bully. His association with Kana has made him more understanding and caring, while Kana has learnt to be more patient and thoughtful.