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In/Spectre (jpn:虚構推理. lit:Kyokou Suiri or Invented Inference) is a manga based on a Japanese novel of the same name, written by Kyo Shirodaira and art by Chashiba Katase.
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At the young age of 11, Kotoko Iwanaga was abducted by youkai for two weeks and asked to become their "God of Wisdom," a mediator between the spirit and human worlds, to which the girl quickly agreed but at the cost of her right eye and left leg. Now, six years later, whenever youkai wish for their problems to be solved, they make their way to Kotoko for consultation.

Meanwhile, Kurou Sakuragawa, a 22-year-old university student, has just broken up with his girlfriend after he fled alone when the two encountered a kappa. Seeing this as her chance to become closer to him, Kotoko immediately makes her move, hoping to get married to Kurou one day. However, she quickly realizes there is something more to Kurou. With this knowledge, she asks for his help in solving the various issues presented by the supernatural, all the while wishing her newfound partner will eventually reciprocate her feelings.

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The first ten volumes are available in English through Kodansha comics.

An anime has been announced and began airing on January 11th, 2020.


This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Well, more like clan heads in the case of Kurou. The head of Sakuragawa family forced his family, including distant relatives, to be fed a combination of kudan and mermaid flesh. Most died and those that survived still had bad childhoods.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: Kurou tries to imply that he was a coward that left Saki behind when they encountered the Kappa when he first tells the story to Kotoko. Kotoko sees clearly through this and even comments on it, stating that in truth, the Kappa ran away from him.
  • Animal Motifs: Kurou gets compared to a goat by both Saki and Kotoko. Maybe naive and simple-minded, but his tenacity should not be underestimated.
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  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Kotoko always mentions that Kurou is her boyfriend even if he doesn't act like it, but by the end of volume 6, it is clear he does love her back.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: A sickly thin and nude Rikka is shown a handful of times in the manga. It’s not meant to be fanservice, instead showing her in relation to Steel Girder Nanase and the former’s powers.
  • Big Bad: Rikka, Kurou's older cousin.
  • The Blank: Steel Girder Nanase has no face. In part because the real Nanase had her head crushed by a girder, but also because Rikka depicts her as having no face in her paintings.
  • Blessed with Suck / Cursed with Awesome: Zigzags between the two for Kurou. Not only is he immortal in the sense he can regenerate, even from fatal wounds, and he's also able to predict the future, but only as he's dying. It's a trait that is shared by Rikka.
  • Broken Aesop: People that believe a lie are not dissuaded by the truth, but can be swayed to believe a different lie instead if it is interesting enough.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Kotoko speculates that some Yokai might have this origin. Steel Girder Nanase is functionally a tulpa. Enough people believed the legend of the ghostly idol that would attack people with a steel girder that she actually materialized. Rikka is the one propagating the legend. So it's safe to assume that this is actually the case.
  • Classy Cane: Kotoko uses one, given she's an amputee and wears a prosthetic leg.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Kotoko. Justified in that the Steel Girder Nanase case sees Saki Yumihara, Kurou's former fiance, dragged into it. And Rikka, Kurou's childhood crush, being the Big Bad behind Steel Girder Nanase.
  • Cool Big Sis: Rikka to Kurou, which is one of the reasons why he's attached to her.
  • Death Is Cheap: For Kurou and Rikka, the surviving Sakuragawa children.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Karin Nanase, a fallen gravure idol that was suspected of murdering her own father. Due to the pressure of all, when, by accident, some metal girders at a construction site start to fall on her, she just resigns herself to being crushed rather than instinctively protect herself even if that would have changed nothing.
    • To a lesser extent, Kurou and Rikka, given that's how their prophetic powers activate, but since they can regenerate even from mortal wounds...
  • Enfant Terrible: At the end of the Steel Girder Nanase case, Kurou wonders if Rikka was evil since they were children, even before she ate the Youkai meat, and he was just too infatuated to realize that.
  • Equivalent Exchange: The Youkai took Kotoko's left leg and right eye in exchange for becoming their goddess. As she recovers in the hospital, she notes she's pretty ok with the arrangement.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Kurou. While protecting Kotoko from a deranged youkai, he lets it bite his arm off without as much as batting an eye. Bonus points for the youkai dying from eating his flesh shortly after his arm completely regenerates.
  • Feel No Pain: Surviving eating mermaid and kudan flesh renders the Sakuragawa children insensitive to pain as they grow older. It’s why Kurou barely bats an eye at having his arm eaten off by a crazed yokai, or Rikka constantly slicing her throat open like its nothing. Kotoko actually points out this is also likely the reason why Kurou has problems expressing emotions or why he has to overthink how to act, like how to handle a knife, as he’d not only be immune to being cut by it, but also any injury would quickly heal.
  • Foreshadowing: It's not until late into the Steel Girder Nanase arc that it hits you that Rikka would not only be alive but also be an immortal with the ability to predict the future, given she's also a surviving child of the Sakuragawa clan, even if some clues were out there early on. It's more obvious on a second reading.
  • Genius Cripple: Kotoko, being the goddess of wisdom for the youkai.
  • Glass Eye: Kotoko uses one. You really don't notice it until she plucks it out for cleaning and you see her empty eye socket.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Rikka. Yes, she's the Big Bad, but she's not directly antagonistic towards Kotoko and Kurou, at least not at first, but the nature of what she's doing puts her in direct conflict with Kotoko. Losing to Kotoko in the Steel Girder Nanase case is what actually changes the dynamic.
  • Has a Type: Kurou is attracted to tall classy women slightly older than him, so the fact that he's dating Kotoko is a shock for Saki. Later, Saki admits that dating against the type might be the best for Kurou, as he has grown a lot more as a result. Since his preference for this type comes from his crush on Rikka, there's definitely a case to be made for breaking away from it.
  • Healing Factor: Kurou, thanks to the mermaid flesh.
  • Humanoid Abomination: How the Youkai see Kurou as. They sense him as a mix of human, mermaid and kudan, having eaten the flesh of such youkai as a child. Kotoko remarks that Kurou and herself are not entirely human following their history with youkai as children.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Rikka. The reason she was in the hospital is that she wanted the doctors to see if they could find a way to reverse the effects of the Kudan and Mermaid flesh on her body. Upon failure, she moves on to creating Steel Girder Nanase as a prototype before attempting to create a God that would do it for her.
  • Ill Girl: Rikka, who is constantly in the hospital, and the reason why Kurou always goes to the hospital. Kotoko to a lesser degree as she has to go to regular check-ups due to her missing eye and amputated leg.
  • Kissing Cousins: Kurou and Rikka, sorta. Kurou was clearly attracted to Rikka, but it never went past platonic. Instead, he develops a type complex, much to Saki’s chagrin once she figures this out.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The anime trailer spoils within the first 15 seconds that Kurou is immortal.
  • Lean and Mean: Rikka, who is shown as sickly thin.
  • Likes Older Women: Kurou had a crush on his much older cousin Rikka. It's lampshaded that older ladies are his type.
  • Monster of the Week: The manga takes this approach, for a while, following the Steel Girder Nanase case, which took 6 volumes, as a sort of Breather Episode dynamic.
  • Older Than They Look: Kotoko, who, by the time the story starts in earnest, is already 19 and in college and yet is mistaken for a middle schooler. Kurou to a lesser degree.
  • Proper Lady:
    • Kotoko, about 95% of the time. She comes from a wealthy family, wears fancy, almost doll-like dresses, uses a fancy cane... but every now and then she's almost vulgar when she's talking to or about Kurou regarding their relationship, or rather, where she wishes their relationship would go. This is Played for Laughs.
    • Rikka, who always had a dignified aura about her, even while sick in the hospital. Even if she's the Big Bad.
  • Prosthetic Limb Reveal: While the reader already knows she's an amputee, Saki did not know, so she's quite surprised when Kotoko's leg falls off as she fights Steel Girder Nanase.
  • Puppy Love: Though it was one-sided between young Kurou and Rikka.
  • Quantum Mechanics Can Do Anything: How the prophetic powers of the kudan, and those that have eaten kudan flesh, works: as they die, they see possible futures as if branches on a tree and they choose one, and the prophecy is basically declaring which branch they chose. Kurou and Rikka, due to being immortal, have a watered down version of this, so the ability to choose possible futures is limited on how probable they actually are in the first place.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Detective Terada, Saki's superior, is the first fatal victim of Steel Girder Nanase.
  • Sherlock Scan: Played With. While Kotoko has really good deductive skills, she tries to pass it off as a true Sherlock scan. What most people don't know is that she also relies on the youkai to feed her information.
  • Skewed Priorities: almost every male that encounters or even passes on the tale of Steel Girder Nanase mentions her huge breasts - often before they mention her holding a steel girder in a single hand... or her habit of swatting people with said girder.
    • Even Kotoko mentions Nanase's large breasts, to which Saki exasperatedly asks if that's really important right now, since Nanase is currently about to attack them. Then again, Kotoko has something of a complex surrounding breasts. Particularly how small and underdeveloped hers are.
  • Stress Vomit: Saki cannot eat meat or think too much of her ex-boyfriend, Kurou, following their encounter with the Kappa AND from Saki realizing that Kurou is not entirely human, just as the Kappa said. Dwelling too much on it, will result on her vomiting or dry-heaving. Although she gets better as the Steel Girder Nanase arc progresses.
  • Technical Pacifist: Kotoko tries to resort to non-violent measures first, preferring dialogue to be the first option, and even quotes Tsuyoshi Inukai, Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. Kurou quickly points out that all three were assassinated.
  • The Reveal:
    • Kurou. He wasn't actually the one that fled when Kurou and Saki encountered a kappa; instead, it was the kappa that fled in fear from Kurou after calling him a monster. Later on, we get the reveal that he's immortal, and the reason he's immortal is because he was fed mermaid and kudan flesh as a child, by the head of the clan.
    • Rikka. She's alive. She has the same powerset as Kurou. She's also the Big Bad.
  • Vengeful Ghost:
    • Steel Girder Nanase. In reality, the real Karin Nanase was simply Driven to Suicide. Rikka created an urban legend around her, painting her as a vengeful ghost, that everyone bought into and materialized from there.
    • Yukie, the ghost a woman killed by her husband is a more straight-up example.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Both Kotoko and Kurou due to their relationship with Youkai during their childhood. Saki to a lesser degree, much to her chagrin.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Rikka and Kotoko, sorta. At the very least, they were friendly during the time Rikka lived at Kotoko's parents' place.
  • You're Not My Type: Kurou to Kotoko, after Kotoko offers to be his girlfriend following his breakup with Saki. By the time the story starts in earnest, they're dating, but he still points out she's still not his type, though mostly to annoy her. It's also because his crush on Rikka still hangs over him.
  • Youkai: Being a story that revolve around them, plenty of them appear; nekomatas, kappas and tanukis just being three of them.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Kotoko, to complement her fancy doll-like clothes.

Alternative Title(s): Kyokou Suiri, Invented Inference

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