Publisher: Vertical Comics
Story And Art: Tetsuya Tsutsui
In a world full of injustices, the “paperboy” is here to tip the scales in favor of those who have been used and abused. After going viral online, the special cyber crimes department of the Tokyo police force discovers a masked vigilante going by the name “paperboy”, who has started posting videos online which give a warning about the next crime he is going to commit. Although he is not killing anyone, his crimes range from kidnapping, both physical and sexual assault, and arson, making him a dangerous person to society and a top priority for the police department to capture.
Prophecy is a classic tale of cops vs. robbers, and tells an interesting tale of cat and mouse between the well equipped cyber crimes department and the intelligent cyber criminal. Paperboy is able to leave false trails whenever he commits a crime, and outsmarts the police more than once. He is a competent hacker that is able to get into the most secure networks, and leaves behind no trace on how he is able to do it.
Although the story sounds a little too good to be true (A mastermind able to outsmart the entire police department and cyber crimes division, all while remaining entirely invisible) the way it is set up is all too real. He is able to outsmart the police with well thought out plans, so as the police catches up to him he is already one step ahead. His hacking skills aren’t as impressive as they first seem, and his crimes never get out of hand. They seem like real things a person could do if they were a little crazy enough to go through with it.
One of my favorite things about the story in the first volume was how real everything felt. The crimes were not too extreme that they felt like an amateur couldn’t pull them off, the motives behind the “paperboy” were real and heart wrenching, and it showcases the abuse that happens to people on a daily. One man is working in a place where he is unwanted and abused because of it, a poor girl is raped and people online think it was her own fault for “being too easy”. It showcases the harassment that occurs in real life, and its almost sad to watch at times. I loved this aspect of the story because it helped make the story feel more real, and that lead me to sympathizing with the antagonist as he tries to right the wrongs of society.
The closest thing I have read to prophecy would probably be Death Note, which had a similar plot of a criminal outsmarting the detectives trying to catch him as he committed his crimes. If you have read Death Note and enjoyed it (or watched the anime), then I have a strong feeling that Prophecy might turn out to be something just as great. There are only two more volumes after this one, so it is hard to tell whether the story will be fleshed out in the end or not, but from what this first volume shows I have a lot of hope for it.
Reccomendation: Read It