There are a lot of points I’d like to talk about this show, but the very first thing I want to say is that, this isn’t something just any ‘crime story fans’ would like to watch.
And I’m saying this not because the show’s mediocre, since I think it’s brilliant, but because it is a rather disturbing piece that must be viewed with a certain degree of detachment to make sure you keep yourself sane.
In short, we all have to watch it with caution.
So let’s get this started.
I love coffee. And I find it cool seeing Akechi-sempai, the show’s resident detective genius, loving the drink as well. It’s a minor detail. But the method on how the drink is weaved to actually matter in resolving cases is amazing. But I won’t spoil so see it for yourself!
This anime has a dark theme.
But its mild, random sense of humor makes the dark stuff look so casual that it made me question my own reaction. When I should be horrified, I felt amazed, when it’s time for drama I find myself looking at characters in indifference.
To make things even worse, I actually appreciated the art and meticulous details by how the killings were carried out. Now this is kind of scary because it seemed like I’m going pscyho watching all the murders and bloodshed committed per episode.
Rampo Kitan is definitely not your ordinary detective story where one investigator finds clues and eventually catches the culprit.
Here, the emphasis wasn’t just about the due process and wit on how cases are solved just like how it is in the popular anime, Detective Conan.
In this series, the complexities of the human psyche is unveiled, showing what humans are capable of when put under pressure too much to handle and when the idealism they live with is challenged and proved wrong.
It’s also worth mentioning the great way on how current societal issues like
- juvenile crimes
- mental problems
- child abuse
- work slavery
- medical malpractice
- school bullying
- family and peer pressure
are shown with so much creativity and sense.
Another good point is the reality of how smart criminals can use the due process of law to their advantage. If they’re aware of the law, they can carry out well-planned crimes that wouldn’t get them in jail.
And the moment one idealistic individual realizes how the law can’t protect people at all times, they break down….possibly even change. For the worse.
Creativity for me doesn’t have any qualifications.
If it’s appealing, beautiful and unique, I call it creative. This 11-episode mystery and crime anime brilliantly displayed a significant amount of art in a disturbing, twisted way.
Murders were carefully planned out and symbolism were excellently used specifically the following:
- The puppet figures – for the gullible public whose emotions, and eventually actions are easily swayed with the words and examples of a charismatic leader/ idealist.
- Blank character faces – for people who the main characters don’t pay much attention and those random individuals you encounter every day.
- Butterfly – for freedom of of choice, soul and identity searching. The story also made it an important symbolism for starting change from a personal perspective.
- Skeleton head / the name Twenty Faces – for the continued cause and effect scenario fueled by one crime and one equal counter action. It’s seen as the ultimate formula that could dicatate the outcome of who lives and dies.
While the crimes committed were technically horrible, there’s some beauty to the bizarre way on how they’re committed.
Planned, detailed, unique.
But ultimately not perfect.
When does friendship end? Is it when the involved parties decide to part ways in pursuit of different advocacies? Or is it when one feels something a little bit more towards the other?
The relationship between Akechi and Namikoshi (another genius character) had me asking those questions.
They were friends because they understood each other. But along the lines of friendship came the rather inevitable outcome of having to deal with the growing desire to do something more to please the other and keep their relationship intact.
My fangirl tendencies aside, I could honestly say that Namikoshi has somehow developed a romantic attachment to Akechi. And the feeling’s mutual. But while Akechi sought for the welfare of his dear friend, Namikoshi desired to prove himself more worthy of the affection. He didn’t need to, but he did it anyway.
This desire bred fear of losing something, someone, the same feeling that led to his apparent success and demise.
I love this anime, and in a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, I’m giving it an 8. However, I wouldn’t be suggesting this to preteens, and definitely not to kids.
It’s a concise and beautiful crime/mystery series with an excellent touch of psychology in a twisted, freaky way. It’s my cup of tea and if you’re one with me in this viewing preference, cheers!
To those who plan on watching, enjoy yourselves! And a word of caution, don’t get too attached.