We all know that a lot of the booty of the golden age of explorations made it into museums. The British Museum in the C.M.B. story, which had custody of the recondite scientific curiosities and artefacts collected by explorer/adventurers and stored in a Wunderkammer, decided to study the dusty arcana in the 19th century. Three investigators dubbed the "Magi" were appointed to do the research, each given a ring embossed with the letters C.M.B.
Fast-forward to present-day Japan where Sakaki Shinra is the curator of a museum of oddities. He now has possession of the C.M.B. rings, indicating that he has been granted the status of guardian of knowledge like the Magi that preceded him.
Created by Motohiro Kato, creator of Q.E.D., C.M.B is about Teen Genius Shinra Sakaki solving cases mostly revolving on history, archeological work, and his relationship with his newfound classmates. Like his cousin Touma in Q.E.D, he is often accompanied with an Action Girl, Nanase Tatsuki, who helped him got into a normal school.
C.M.B. provides examples of:
- Action Girl:
- Achievement In Ignorance: Nanase managed to make a human-powered airplane fly with her strength, despite that it is not aerodynamically feasible for said airplane to fly. They crash immediately after Shinra point it out.
- Always Murder: Downplayed Trope. This manga is more about archaeological work than crime-solving work, but Shinra has seen his share of murder because of said archaeological works.
- Asshole Victim: Several times.
- Professor Said, the academic who insists on keeping any development off the Nazca Lines. The Peruvians are willing to listen to him at first, but it all goes downhill when he, a Spaniard, actually says, "The Nazca Lines are mine," to the Peruvians' faces. As if that's not insulting enough, he even invites Shinra to Peru to adjudicate the problem without consulting the locals first. Sure enough, no court in Peru would convict the murderer.
- Lasmin, the Woman Scorned character that Shinra encounters in Bali. She spreads rumors among the Balinese that Kutud, the girlfriend of a guy she wants to steal, is a Leyak, a Balinese evil spirit. When that doesn't work because people already know she's a bitch, she outright tries to murder Kutud. When that still doesn't work, she tries to leave town, only to be found by a local doctor. The doctor tries to persuade her to surrender, even providing her with food and lodging while she is hiding, but instead she tries to sleep with him while repeatedly telling him Kutud is a Leyak. The doctor is so affronted by her actions that he ends up pushing Lasmin off a cliff.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Shinra is fucking ruthless when you damage something he cares about.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mou. Her age and appearance of a grade-schooler helps.
- Catchphrase: Shinra has two: "Entrance beyond this point requires admission fee", and when said fee is paid, "Welcome to Wunderkammer."
- Cheerful Child: Shinra
- Cloudcuckoolander: Shinra
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: More like Crouching Twit Hidden Badass, but Nanase acts like an insufferable ojou in the early chapters although she can kick more ass than any Interpol Agent.
- Deliberately Cute Child: Mou. Her debut chapter has her being/acting cute and all to get Shinra's authentication on a Gutenberg Bible page.
- East Indies: Like his cousin, Shinra and Nanase went to Bali. And it's presented as a kind of traditional place with witch doctors. Which is not really far from Truth in Television, if you know where to go. Of course, the case have something to do with Leak, the local demon.
- Equivalent Exchange: Shinra only willing to help if you promised him something, since his service as C.M.B. Magi is highly regarded and accurate. Even Nanase found this kid a tough kid to crack, although promising him something mundane but interesting is quite fine.
- Friend to All Living Things: Shinra. He can call birds into his arms and catch rare sea creature. And call a whale to a beach.
- Has Three Daddies: All daddies are C.M.B. Magis, to boot.
- Half-Identical Twins: A case took Shinra to Hongkong and involves a pair of Dragon-Phoenix Twins (the most blessed twins in Chinese Culture)
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: Shinra never went to school, and it was Nanase's dad who got him into one.
- Improbable Age:
- Shinra is one, holder of not one, but all, C.M.B. rings and curator of a Mishmash Museum at the age of 14.
- Mou Sygal is another, antique black market broker that handles millions of dollar, yet looks even younger than Shinra.
- Let Them Die Happy: "The Quilt" has an old woman desperate for Shinra to find the meaning of a quilt a dear childhood friend she had grivously betrayed years ago before she dies. When Shinra finds out that it led to a message saying "Dear my beloved Mary, I really just cannot forgive you", the woman is already on her deathbed. Shinra chooses to omit the second half of the message when giving her closure.
- Like Brother and Sister: Shinra is like Tatsuki's little brother, yet everyone always ask if he's her boyfriend.
- MacGuffin: C.M.B. ring, with one you can get almost infinity funding for any research. Then it's hinted that this might be why the Magi choose Shinra as their successor, they don't want the ring falls into the wrong hands.
- Manchild: Nanase's grandfather can act like this and pretty much on the same wavelengths with Shinra, although when it comes to his school, he can be a Reasonable Authority Figure.
- Mishmash Museum: Well, Shinra is the curator
- Obfuscating Stupidity
Nanase: Because here I'm known as a good-natured student, you know.Shinra: Good-natured?
- Since Nanase took school in a very prestigious school, she bound to do this, while she's actually full blown Action Girl at heart.
- Mou can act very cute and ignorant to crime spree around her, yet she's most likely the Girl Behind the Man.
- Rags to Riches: Nanase's parents' backstory; his dad, a commoner, ended up with her mom, a heir of multinational company, whose dad only allowed if their daughter (Nanase) is get schooled at certain school.
- Ship Tease: While not as frequent as their counterparts in Q.E.D., Shinra and Tatsuki have had a few He Is Not My Boyfriend moments. Also, in chapter 44 Shinra exclaims "Not allowed!" when Tatsuki's grandpa jokingly suggests that Tatsuki take an accomplished young doctor as a fiance. Tatsuki initially blushes at this reaction before clonking Shinra on the head.
- Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Granted that Shinra's job does have him travel to other countries from time to time, the number of times Shinra & (especially) Nanase travel abroad can be quite excessive.
- Shown Their Work: Par with Q.E.D., this manga showcases Motohiro's work on various subjects.
- Teen Genius: Shinra. He's only 14. Not that shows, as he looks and acts like a grade schooler.School Chairman: He's very fluent in British English and has also mastered 5 other languages including Latin. His Maths, Physics, and Chemistry knowledge is at university level. History, Geography, and Biology are even higher than that.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Shinra, again.