It’s time to look at a fairly short manga that I hadn’t heard of before. The Mythical Beast Investigator is a tough role in this series as you have to know a lot about monsters and constantly put yourself in harm’s way. There are some interesting parts of the premise but the series doesn’t last long enough to fully explore them. There is also one story that really ends up bringing the whole adventure down which was unfortunate. You can’t win them all though and at least this is a pretty unique story. It reminds me a bit of Monster Hunter if I had to pick the next closest thing.
The series is 2 volumes long and it’s an anthology. That’s always a risky format of course and I’m afraid that this series was unable to break the curse. Still, there are some solid stories in here. The first one felt like it was the longest story. Ferry ends up wandering to a village that is having a bit of a Wyvern issue. It’s odd because Wyverns do not typically attack humans, but the townspeople are saying that this is the case. Their story doesn’t add up, but Ferry has a job to do regardless. She aims to stop the threat but hopefully without using any violence. She doesn’t have to worry too much about being hurt because she has two bodyguards. First is Trow who’s a little bat thing that can’t really fight. He means well though. The other is the dark king Kushuna who is immensely powerful and basically can’t be stopped. With those two by her side Ferry is pretty fearless which makes sense.
It’s a solid story although some parts of it are pretty dark and don’t make a whole lot of sense. So the dragon always used to hang out with this one girl from the village. One day the village sold her out to another group as they figured maybe the dragon would do something. Unfortunately the dragon was waiting for them to do something so nobody made a move. Now the dragon has decided to murder the villagers to avenge his old friend. It’s great that the dragon is avenging his friend, but he should have helped her from the start. The girl was his friend so he should have made every effort to help her out. That would have made sense to me at least. You can’t just wait for someone else to help out. It’s really not the way that it’s done. The ending is pretty happy though and ends up making this a solid story. It was also the first moment where I realized that Kushuna was the best character.
He is primarily responsible for ensuring that we had a happy ending. He took matters into his own hands. Later on we learn a bit more about his origin story which has some similarities to the dragon’s plight so he was really trying to help. Throughout the series Kushuna is very quick to defend Ferry and threaten all those who would dare to hurt her. He’s vowed to follow her orders and help out whenever possible, but he does say that he can’t obey any order that would put her in danger. As a result whenever she tells him to stand down he won’t if a monster is present. The guy has a lot of style and charisma going for him. Being the strongest monster in the series doesn’t hurt either.
I feel a little bad for Trow because in comparison that guy really doesn’t get to do much. He simply isn’t as interesting as Kushuna and if you cut him out of the story nothing would change. The next story was a lot shorter. The towns folk were worried because one of the eggs that their chicken lay appeared to be a monster egg. It would be one of the most dangerous creatures in existence so Ferry shows up and takes the egg away. The twist is that the egg wasn’t actually dangerous, but fortunately since Ferry took it she was able to ensure that nobody hurt the monster. It was a fun little story.
Next up involved a mermaid who was upset that the men kept leaving. She had a good friendship with one guy in particular and she would always give him lots of gifts. The town would gossip about their friendship a lot though and so the guy came less and the mermaid got bitter. It’s a bit of an odd story and it’s going for more of a romance angle which doesn’t really work all that well. None of the guys would ever be able to stay for good and eventually they would get old while the mermaid is immortal. It’s a bit of an emotional tale, but it wasn’t as engaging as the last few. Next up would be the worst story though so I wouldn’t have minded if the mermaid one had been extended.
Ferry heads to a town where a large water horse had murdered a little girl. The girl’s father has vowed revenge and so he tells Ferry not to interfere since he wants to be the one to end things. Ferry and Kushuna still help out though since the Water Horse is immensely powerful and an old man is just not going to cut it in a fight against such a creature. Unfortunately the man also owned a dog who wanted to avenge the girl as well. It’s a pretty brutal fight and since both creatures are animals it’s not a fun one. In the end the animals both die and you’re left wondering why this story had to be included. You’re happy for the dog that he got to help avenge his owner but it’s a very mean spirited ending where nobody really got to win. In the end everyone lost everything and Ferry really did nothing to help out.
Next up was a quick story about a cat who went to visit an old man. He got startled and injured the cat a bit, but deep down he liked animals so he tried to make things right. Little did he know that the cat sued him so a bunch of them showed up to have a court session. Ferris showed up as well and told the man that he was pronounced innocent. I like to think that she helped plead his case, but it’s hard to tell. She may have just been there to have some laughs. It’s a nice enough story and I’m glad it worked out for the old man since it was an accident and he did his best to make up for it. The cats were right that you should never pick a cat up by its tail though. Same goes for any creature.
After that we got the origin story of Kushuna. It was a little bit on the convoluted side with the time skips and the fact that Ferry looks exactly like his old owner. Why do they have to have the same exact design? I think the manga was going for a reincarnation angle but at least if the clothes were different that would have helped. Essentially she convinces him that sitting alone on a throne all day is pretty boring so they should hang out. He agrees to accompany her and then does the same for the next version of her. It shows why they have such a strong bond since he has her to thank for his freedom from the castle. This was the longest story and goes all the way to the end of the series. It’s a solid way to end off since we had been waiting for his origin since the start. Kushuna’s eloquent way of speaking and protective nature made him a compelling character right away. If only Ferry was as good.
Ferry is more of a blank slate kind of character. She doesn’t have much of a personality and things just don’t seem to interest her all that much. It’s hard to even say how heroic she is. Ferry seems to be a very by the books kind of person who follows the law even if it’s not the right thing to do. I just don’t trust her much and she doesn’t do enough in the series to really change my impression of her. If not for Kushuna constantly stepping in she would have died pretty early on too. Being oblivious may be a charming character trait to some, but it’s not a very practical one when you’re dealing with dangerous monsters.
The artwork is pretty solid though. Even if Ferry looks way too much like her past self, the panels are clear and you can keep up with the action scenes pretty well. You get a nice sense of danger at times. The backgrounds have a good amount of detail and in general are more diverse than you would expect in most titles. A lot of effort was put into this part. While not all of the stories were my favorites, the writing is also good enough. All of the characters sound like they could be real people which is good.
Overall, Mythical Beast Investigator ends as soon as it begins. There really isn’t a lot of time to get enveloped into the world which works as a double edged blade. In general I always prefer for a series to go on as long as possible. Whether it’s good or bad, at least it gives time for some good moments to happen. Just look at Fairy Tail. I may not like the series, but at least it gave us a lot of good action scenes over the years. Maybe this title will continue some day. If you want to see some short stories about monsters then you may like this series. Otherwise I’d recommend reading Dragon Drive instead. It does a whole lot more to fully immerse you in the world of dragons and has a more engaging character cast. A lack of characters does end up hurting this one.