Pretty Boy Detective Club: How to Get Started With the Light Novels, Manga & Anime

There's a reason that people are drawn to mystery fiction. Rather than watch heroes beat problems with their fists or use magic to end conflicts, there's something romantic about using intellect to crack puzzles and uncover secrets. As such, who better to take on the job of unraveling the riddles of the world than a group of beautiful young men?

Pretty Boy Detective Club mixes grace and style with beguiling conundrums to create what it would look like if Ouran High School Host Club was about super sleuths. For those seeking a mystery series with an extra dash of class that solves more than just murders, here's a guide to enjoying Pretty Boy Detective Club in all its forms.

The Plot of Pretty Boy Detective Club

Dojima is approached by Manabu in Pretty Boy Detective star episode

Mayumi Dojima is an unassuming middle school student with a penchant for stargazing. As a child, she was inspired when she saw a radiant star shining in the night during a family vacation. Unable to find the star again and on the verge of giving up her dreams, she is approached by Manabu Sotoin, an eccentric boy who brings her to an unofficial detective agency run out of her school's art room known as the Pretty Boy Detective Club.

Led by Manabu, the club consists of four other stunning young men: student president Nagahiro Sakiguchi, delinquent gourmand Michiru Fukuroi, track star Hyota Ashikaga and corporate heir Sosaku Yubiwa. Together, they help Mayumi embark on a quest to recover her star and discover herself. Ultimately, Mayumi decides to masquerade as a young man herself to join them as they take on more cases and pursue all things beautiful and mysterious.

Where to Read the Pretty Boy Detective Club Light Novels

Pretty Boy Detectives cluster for the light novel

Pretty Boy Detective Club began as a series of light novels from the writer of the Monogatari series NisiOisiN. Originally intended to be a group of characters within his Bōkyaku Tantei ("The Forgetful Detective") novels, their creator liked the concept so much that he decided to give them a series of their own. The first volume was published in 2015, kicking off the now 12-book-long series.

The novels began receiving English localizations in 2020 from Kodansha USA's publishing imprint Vertical. The first three translated volumes are currently available physically through booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Books A Million and Kinokuniya. Digital copies are also being sold for Kindle, Nook and the Google Play Store. In addition to the main series, NisiOisiN wrote two short crossover stories between Pretty Boy Detective Club and the Monogatari series, both of which were published in the Mazemonogatari anthology.

Where to Read the Pretty Boy Detective Club Manga

Pretty Boy Detectives pose for manga

Beginning on April 28, 2016, Kodansha's now discontinued Aria, a monthly shoujo and josei magazine, began publication of a manga adaptation of Pretty Boy Detective Club, which at the time consisted of only three novels. Illustrated by Suzuka Oda, who also drew for a manga adaptation of Psychic Detective Yakumo, the manga features distinctively original character designs. While the Japanese tankobon collects the series into five volumes, the English combines the first four into two double-sized omnibuses.

The English version of Volume 5 is slated for release on January 11, 2022. Print versions of the manga are sold through retailers like Amazon, Right Stuf and Walmart, each of which also sells the light novels. In addition to standard eReader stores, eBooks of the manga are available through Book Walker, Apple Books and Izneo.

Where to Watch the Pretty Boy Detective Club Anime

All the Pretty Boy Detectives on a couch

Announced via an insert in the tenth volume of the light novels, fans learned of an upcoming anime adaptation in November 2019. Starting its broadcast in April 2021, the series was directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and Hajime Ootani, both of whom also directed the anime versions of the Monogatari series. Among others, it stars Maaya Sakamoto as Mayumi, who interestingly enough voiced Haruhi Fujioka in Ouran High School Host Club.

Over the course of 12 episodes, the show covers the storylines from Volumes 1-4 and Volume 6 of the novels. Currently, the anime is a Funimation streaming exclusive, which simulcast the series during its run. Funimation has also produced a complete dub that Premium members can stream at their leisure.

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