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Snapshots: Neuro

As an attempt to put a new spin on the mystery genre by mixing it with monster battles, Neuro (魔人探偵脳噛ネウロ) will be here to entertain us on Tuesdays at 25:29 JST on NTV.

Despite its long title Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, the debut manga by Matsui Yuusei managed to sell over a million volumes in its first 18 months, having started back in 2005. It’s gone on to become an audio drama, and recently even proper novels have started coming out, written by Higashiyama Akira, whose first work appears to carry the name Turd on the Run. Now Madhouse have taken it upon themselves to make the anime, and Koujina Hiroshi was picked as director, coming off another shounen project with Kiba.

We meet a cheerful high school girl in Katsuragi Yako, who lately has been getting famous for solving troublesome cases as a private detective, while she’s enjoying her favourite pastime – eating. Suddenly her phone beeps, and a strange mail tells her to get the hell back to the office, since a new mystery has come up. The sender is titular character Neuro himself, who appears to be a mystery devouring demon come to our world to satisfy his hunger for more complex enigmas. Since humans don’t particularly like nasty demons messing with their lives, he’s picked poor Yako to be his puppet in public, treating her in a less than gentle manner. The actual cases themselves seem a bit beside the point, as Neuro will swiftly solve them and move on to the show’s primary attraction – monster battle. It seems the perpetrators possess supernatural powers of various kinds, and once their crimes are revealed, they morph into battle form, only to be taken care of by Neuro.

The broadcast sports a fancy “High Vision” (HD) logo, but it doesn’t really save the show from looking a bit cheap. The art and animation is reminiscent of other popular shounen shows, however, so it might suffice. Strangely enough, the man in charge of music is Hasegawa Tomoki (Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei, NANA), who doesn’t seem to be paying too much attention here, because it’s completely forgettable. Usually I’d go straight into fanboy mode when Koyasu Takehito (Mu La Flaga in Gundam Seed) opens his mouth, but despite even getting to do multiple personality stuff with Neuro, the character is just too blah for me to care. Same with Ueda Kana (Hazumu in Kashimashi) as Yako, who mainly squeaks and munches on food. At least there’s potential, because these two actors are quite marvelous with better material.

I’m not sure what to make of Neuro yet. At first glance it looks like a shitty version of Detective Conan, where you take away the fairly intelligent and solvable cases and replace them with stupid monsters with bulging muscles, but the creator himself says it’s just simple entertainment in a detective outfit. Without knowing just how big a part the monster destruction will play, or how interesting Neuro’s fighting can become, it would be unfair to judge it so soon. Having said that, the first episode completely fails to impress, and I’m in no hurry to see how it unfolds, despite hinting of a bit of drama in Yako’s past. It also has to compete with another Tuesday detective show, Labyrinth.

Reminds me of: Detective Conan + monster of the week

October 3, 2007 at 7:13 am
  • October 3, 2007 at 7:45 ammewmew

    The “Detective Conan + monster of the week” description isn’t very appealing I must say… ^^;

  • October 3, 2007 at 7:56 amDavwon

    agree with you ^_^

  • October 3, 2007 at 8:30 amBlank

    Madhouse seems to have taken half of the first volume and the manga’s timeline and tossed it out the window. I have no clue where they’re going with this, especially since the preview for next week doesn’t look like it’s from the manga at all. This was probably the worse case of them all; I would have prefered if they just started at the beginning.

    Pretty “meh” first episode.

  • October 3, 2007 at 9:02 amHudson

    This is one of the stupidest animes of the season. Don’t blog it. You’ll just be wasting your time.

  • October 3, 2007 at 9:05 amChao

    I liked it actually… I was a bit overly critical when I first watched it sine it seemed to be deviating from the manga already, but after I knew that was going on and watched it again, I enjoyed it a lot more.

  • October 3, 2007 at 9:29 amLikkun

    The first episode just suffered from the fact it tried to do too much. It really seemed like it was trying to introduce every part of the Neuro series (as in all the small things you’ll see along the way) come the first episode. So it all seemed kind of stale and too quick. I didn’t think it was a horrible first episode but it probably tried to stretch the limit to try and impress people and ended up executing it a little sloppily.

  • October 3, 2007 at 10:27 amll

    this show is one big fail

  • October 3, 2007 at 10:28 amfrubam

    This is overly dissappointing :( As a fan of the manga, i was expecting a better review of this, but its not surprising, since they added some monster fighting BS. Though i guess ill save my judgement until after i actually watch the 1st ep :\

  • October 3, 2007 at 10:38 amSquirrelLuvsPnut

    Just because it’s of the mystery genere, doesn’t mean it’s like Detective Conan. You have to admit, the concept is original. Far original then any of the new series currently premireing. I’d keep an eye on it, at least for two or three more episodes. By the way, why didn’t this get a full review like all the other series?

  • October 3, 2007 at 10:40 amMarik

    You seem less than enthusiastic about it (understatement of the year) but for my tastes it seems just about right. The guy in the blue who I’m assuming to be Neuro, looks cool, and I’m not one to particularly care about voice actors or directors. That’s just me I guess. I’ll defiantly give it a lookie if I can find it, (which I doubt I will, but one can hope) even though most people are saying it isn’t good. I’m the type of person who’ll watch it even if it’s bad, I’m a very patient person, very patient, very…*stares at you until you get the idea*

  • October 3, 2007 at 10:41 amBatman

    What on earth does Tuesdays at 25:29 JST mean?

    24 hour time ends at 23:59, there is nothing beyond that, and Japan does not run on a 26 hour per day time scale.

    The closest thing it could be is Wednesday morning at 1:29AM.

  • October 3, 2007 at 10:59 amsento

    First episodes always seem unsure what series may go. That’s why I prefer to watch few episodes than giving the first episode a full opinion of the show.

  • October 3, 2007 at 11:18 amIori

    Neuro is so much unlike the typical detective or shounen lead… He’s the main reason I’m loving this show along Ueda’s moe-moe~ voice for Yako. Check out more episodes and you’ll understand it’s greatness.

  • October 3, 2007 at 12:24 pmzetsuie

    hey batman heres a quote from the fall 2007 preveiw page
    -Technical Note: All times are given in a 24-hour, relative-day format where times are extended to show which day they belong to. For instance, Friday morning at 1:30AM would become Thursday at 25:30 to show that the episode aired late Thursday night.-

    although am I the only one who finds it odd that theres so much anime premiering between 12:00 and 2:00 in the morning i mean I know its probably a normal thing but why at such a late time i mean i cant imagine a lot of people stay up to watch it

  • October 3, 2007 at 12:47 pmAnon

    @Hudson: Shouldn’t you be playing on the freeway instead of terrorize this blog site.

  • October 3, 2007 at 1:07 pmRembr

    This show wasn’t what I expected.
    It’s not bad, mind you, but I was hoping for a dark series, and this definitely isn’t it. At least the first episode definitely isn’t. I’m gonna pass on this until I’m ready for a monster of the week/comedy or if it starts turning dark.

  • October 3, 2007 at 2:11 pmAnonymous

    It’s a shame they started out at this point of the manga. Honestly, the chef chapters were kind of boring and made of drugs and steroids abuse. Anime would have been better had they just started from the beginning.

  • October 3, 2007 at 5:18 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    ALUCARD?!?!?!?! yike’s!

  • October 3, 2007 at 6:17 pmblaho

    lol it’s like scooby doo!

  • October 3, 2007 at 7:14 pmzetsuie

    g…g…gg….ggho..typical shonen anime
    well what did you expect me to say

  • October 3, 2007 at 8:44 pmMeth

    I read its manga and it was quite good. Most of the monster battle in the manga end almost as soon as it was began, so it wasn’t the main attraction nor the mystery cases. The truly interesting aspect of the show(for me) is Neuro himself and his rival, Phantom Thief X. Those ‘battle form’ tend to imaginary more than real as it represent the ugly and true side of human, another main attraction.

  • October 4, 2007 at 1:21 amv1cious

    the chef arc isn’t really reprsetative of the rest of the manga. Neuro’s personality is what makes it so great. i hope this is played upon more in the next episode.

  • October 4, 2007 at 9:08 amA2D

    I loved the manga, it made me laugh. I’m expecting them to follow the manga in the beginning, but it seems they won’t. buhuu buhuu U__U

  • February 27, 2008 at 11:34 pmMello

    Your review is really disappointing and isn’t pleasing at all.
    It’s all pessimism at the most.
    It’s actually a great anime and the story and plot unravels as it progresses.
    The art and style is neat and takes adjusting to.
    At first I was repelled by it but I managed to check it out and I’m really impressed with this Neuro character.He’s really unique and has a great Seiyuu.
    The OP by Nightmare is also a real treat and the ED is nice too.
    The art also gets better in certain episodes as well.
    So,before you act like a n00b and say,”HOMG!!ITZ LIK ENY SHOUNEN ANIMEH!!” I suggest you REALLY check this series out.
    It didn’t manage to sell over a million volumes in its first 18 months for nothing.

  • April 15, 2008 at 9:10 pmemi

    Well, I liked it. It’s getting back on track with new episodes, and Neuro is goddamn awesome.