「 屋根裏の美少年 その 2」 (Yaneura no Bishounen Sono Ni)
“The Pretty Boy in the Attic (Part 2)”
The second and final part of Bishounen Tanteidan’s art-themed mystery brings the invisible technology back into the fold when the detectives unveil that Ms. Towai’s students were assigned to help her with the painting of all of the students she abducted so that she could take the blame. But even with the peaceful resolution, there are many details to keep in mind as the next episode rolls in.
Mainly, it was Mayumi’s meeting with Lai that drew suspicion as to what his intentions will be in future installments. While the details he told her could have easily been summarized in a phone call, he leaves behind the contact lenses necessary to see the truth behind the painting. In exchange, he needed to hear her confirmation that the detectives weren’t friends she needs to be considerate about because if that’s the case, he’d be more than happy for her to jump ship to his cool group instead. The fact that it’s called the “Pretty Thugs Club” was pretty funny since it felt like a “Rowdy Ruff Boys” version of the Pretty Boy Detectives.
But in spite of her interest in dodging her responsibilities with the club, she finds herself being drawn back into their radar when Manabu deduces she went to Lai for clues as part of a “beautiful reconciliation”. Not sure if Mayumi would ever continue to question her allegiance as a detective, but with how much they place a lot of weight on her ideas and decisions, she easily comes back around. Especially when Manabu emphasizes that she shouldn’t hesitate to embellish each decision she makes as part of a larger, beautiful picture, transforming what might’ve seemed unproductive into figuring out how Lai’s contacts worked. Similarly, it’d be hard for her to turn her back when they made a grand gesture to reach out to her by remodeling the art room with a starry aesthetic with a ceiling designed for Mayumi to appreciate as she went in.
Towai’s appearance also calls into question the faith she has in natural expression. When Towai asked if they solved the other mystery as to why she personally painted people-less paintings, Sosaku claimed it was because she wanted to focus on the environments and paintings where people happened to be included as a motif. Instead of disturbing paintings that were seen as self-portraits, she wanted to express her faith by capturing the environment as a living, breathing entity without the need for humanity as a way to reflect oneself into the painting.
It might seem odd considering that most of the detectives were accurate by saying she wasn’t interested in drawing people, but it matches well with her not wanting to disturb images that capture humans from the perspective of the artists. Because natural scenery is still a living ecosystem, she felt that the life expressed by the people in these images hadn’t accurately captured the vibrance and life that these backgrounds had in their own rite. The logic behind it is unusual, but it makes sense to want to embrace and embellish qualities in art that might not have been perceived in the original work because of its construction. Where the people in these paintings might give viewers a sense that humans exist within the diabetics of the painting, perhaps it would breathe life into the scenery by focusing entirely on the territory, undisturbed and unperturbed.