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Cuticle Tantei Inaba – 01

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「偽造通貨印刷事件/因幡洋誘拐事件」 (Gizou Tsuuka Insatsu Jiken/Inaba Hiroshi Yuukai Jiken)
“The Counterfeit Currency Incident/The Inaba Hiroshi Kidnapping Incident”

Can it be? Is Cuticle Tantei Inaba signalling the advent of something (un)holy that will shake the very foundations of the anime world to finally, finally bring an end to the era of “cute girls doing cute things”? Probably not, but you can’t blame Zexcs for trying.

Cuticle is nothing if not fluffy, and its main attraction is the zany Inaba Hiroshi (Suwabe Junichi at his finest) running around to grace the screen with his presence while he and his associates solve “crimes” that contain all the substance of a helium balloon. It’s like watching a typical Will Ferrell or Adam Sandler movie – loud, exaggerated, crazy – except the main character’s constant screentime is wholly welcome, the side characters are actually kind of funny, and the runtime is twenty-three minutes instead of ninety-something minutes of the same thing over and over again.

The show is light and it knows it, opting to go for a straight comedic route instead of trying to mix in different elements. Even the subject of Hiroshi’s missing brother is treated with a light atmosphere that results in a couple of laughs. In this respect the premiere of Cuticle Tantei Inaba is reminiscent of the earlier episodes of Binbougami ga! (before it went sentimental and failed miserably), where every situation was milked for the maximum comedic effect. Characters were crazy enough to make the jokes work and the very essence that made the early episodes of Binbou work – pure, unbridled zaniness – are present in Cuticle in spades. Whether or not this series will attempt to “expand its horizons” by adding in clichéd parables and cringe-worthy “drama” is yet to be seen, but personally I’m hoping Cuticle will stay the light, fluffy piece it is since there’s nothing wrong with cute boys voiced by Suwabe Junichi running around doing cute things. It’s a formula that’s proven to work – why else would moe sell so well? And to point to a more relevant example, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou has proven that comedies don’t necessarily need a plot to work. The episodic nature worked quite well for the show and allowed it to explore its formula more successfully due to its “freestyle format” whilst Binbougami ga!’s attempts to expand its initial plot ended up with a sad case of identity crisis. Cuticle Tantei Inaba can swing either way, as the general plotline is more akin to Nichibros while the tone is closer to Binbou.

It’s somewhat unfortunate though, as I suspect the series will most likely fly under everyone’s radar. It caters to a highly niche audience that’s vastly different from the set of viewers most mainstream anime aim to please, and although lamenting about it is like beating a dead horse again and again, it still doesn’t change the fact Cuticle Tantei Inaba will get passed over since it doesn’t have lolis, big-breasted onee-sans, or jiggling boobs galore. The show certainly isn’t something amazing, nor is it avant-garde and out-of-the-box like Shin Sekai Yori. It’s very much a low-key, B-list affair, but at least the series is trying to build a show out of something other than cute little girls and hackneyed rom-coms in a season overflowing with cute little girls and hackneyed rom-coms.

Full-length images: 2, 3, 8, 10, 11, 17, 20, 22, 25.

 

ED Sequence

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ED: 「プリマ・ステラ」 (Purima Sutera) by 大川透 (Ookawa Tohru)

Preview

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January 7, 2013 at 2:22 am
39 comments »
  • January 7, 2013 at 2:37 ambaseone

    PUBLIC OPINION KICK!! hahaha this anime made me laugh so hard from start to finish

    • January 10, 2013 at 11:44 amKarmafan

      After watching the 1st episode I decided to pass on this series. Just watching this series will kill brain cells and make you stupid.

  • January 7, 2013 at 2:56 amYasuri

    Don Valentino has quite an exceptional singing voice if I do say so myself.

  • January 7, 2013 at 3:27 amZhinvu

    I’m looking forward to know what the deal is with Ogino’s daughter Azusa. Firstly because her baby picture on Ogino’s phone is so cute. And secondly, she can already use a chainsaw.

  • January 7, 2013 at 4:05 amGavrilo

    I really can’t help but feel skeptical about this… I mean, did I like the first episode? Pretty much, yeah. But comedies tend to start really well and go downhill from there, just like Binbougami ga which you mentioned (and, heck, it’s not even that bad compared to other series). Also, the dramatic elements, like the missing brother, just scream “We need angst in this!”. No, you don’t, just stick with the damn comedy if you can’t build up and execute the drama!

    • January 7, 2013 at 9:37 amFidelCashflow

      i dunno, while i am someone who dropped binbougami ga due to the drama elements there are plenty of these shows that start off with high octane comedy and transition into drama quite nicely (say, chu2koi or sakurasou). that said, the show did seem to lose some steam towards the end there… but those 1st 15 minutes are fueling my optimism.

  • January 7, 2013 at 4:16 amMuizz D

    1st episode already made me laugh so hard! xD

  • January 7, 2013 at 4:24 ammomerathe

    I thought this was hilarious but a few other people, whose opinions I normally agree with, hated it. I’ll definitely keep watching it though.

  • January 7, 2013 at 5:11 amstarss

    Yeah I wasn’t impressed at all. The mystery angle is pretty much non-existent because of the 11-minute runtime for each story, the villain is exposed early and is a clear joke, and because the comedy is pushed forward. The only audience this series looks remotely made for are girls with a fetish for youngish-looking keets with wolf ears and a hair fetish. The show is named after HIM!? His partner or even the boy is straighter than him!

  • January 7, 2013 at 5:13 amstarss

    Oh and also, I don’t know where you’re getting that Binbougami Ga! was bad.

  • January 7, 2013 at 5:38 amshadowalker

    I think it’s safe to say the main focus of this show will be comedy.Not sure if I’ll continue to watch this, but I agree with BakaMochi, this anime season is seriously lacking in terms of diversity.

  • January 7, 2013 at 5:49 amnaixil

    yay Suwabe Junichi!!

    though seriously, the resident bad-ass goat stole the show with his enka-style ED song. go Don Valentino~ XD

  • January 7, 2013 at 6:10 ambelatkuro

    I found the episode to be funny but not that much. Something about the delivery of the jokes seems off.
    Irino Miyu is a great tsukkomi with Tadakuni in Nichibros but here it seems flat. There’s some sort of forced delivery that I can’t explain.
    And I’m not used to Suwabe Junichi playing a comedy role but it’s probably because he’s always doing rugged roles like that guy in Zetsuen or Aomine in Kuroko no Basket. It’s a change of pace though, but it also seems like it’s a forced delivery.
    The art when they go full-chibi seems familiar and it’s cute. I’m sticking to it as I need some crazy shows to watch as well. Really hope it just sticks to comedy as I get Yondemasu Azazel-san vibes here. Also, ZEXCS.

    And it looks like it was a correct decision to drop Binbougami.
    inb4 downvotes

  • January 7, 2013 at 7:26 amKioku from Negotiations

    I tried to enjoy it. I seriously did. there was just something about it that had my mind screaming rejection though. We’re talking Excel Saga levels of rejection.
    Forced humor… We’ll go with that. Forced humor and it just didn’t work (for me).

  • January 7, 2013 at 8:28 amHighway

    Yeah, this show wasn’t for me either. I think I made it 10 minutes before giving up under the sheer weight of the relentless onslaught of unfunny attempts at jokes, zaniness, and wacky hijinks.

    I liked Binbougami, but this was reminiscent of the parts of that show I liked least: The total war, battle between main characters always escalating, always ending in destruction. But this wasn’t even that good.

  • January 7, 2013 at 9:58 amZannafar

    Roy Mustang the singing goat…
    I just can’t get over that.

    btw. Is it just me or does Yuuta totally look like a character from another series?
    I just can’t figure out who though.

    • January 7, 2013 at 10:38 amiLveElephants

      Perhaps Narumi Ayumu from Spiral ~Suiri no Kizuna~?

      • January 7, 2013 at 11:31 amMelina

        The one that is similar to Narumi Ayumu from Spiral ~Suiri no Kizuna~ is Kei, not Yuuta.

        Some people are saying Yuuta is similar to Pico from Boku no Pico.

      • January 7, 2013 at 12:10 pmZannafar

        Nah, it’s probably some obscure manga I’m thinking of.

  • January 7, 2013 at 10:33 amShadow74

    I’m surprised at the comments on Binbougami. I acknowledge that no anime that appeals to all, I knew that some people did not like Binbougami, but for me it new hear these comments. I laughed from start to finish with all episodes, the drama did not feel so bad, not perfect but not illogical. I think it’s the same with Kokoro conect, I liked some of the characters, the concept of the story, but I do not like the drama, the end, and I can not classify it as one of my favorites.
    Tantei Inaba is great as a comedy, but it’s hard to digest the yaoi, hair fetish and transvestite guy, but I think it’s something that you let go when the series showcases the best in chapters to come, still has two or three chapters to pass the test . Should be see it progressing.

  • January 7, 2013 at 11:24 amEmD

    I was really looking forward to this…and I didn’t really enjoy it.

    The few gags that made me laugh…they made me laugh HARD. However, everything in between was painfully boring and unfunny.

    I’ll give it another couple of episodes, but it’s looking to be my first drop of the season.

    and I was so looking forward to Inaba…

  • January 7, 2013 at 11:40 amCr

    The majority of anime today is regurgitated (the main character has big tits, let’s make an anime aboutit). It makes me want to puke my guts out how the only anime I can even stomach anymore get’s pushed into a corner because it isn’t a carbon copy of all the others. I really like Cuticle, but I can see it is going to be ignored by the anime snobs who drool over the same stupid crap.

    • January 7, 2013 at 11:41 amCr

      Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I’m sorry.

    • January 7, 2013 at 10:10 pmshadowalker

      I don’t think the fact ‘this isn’t a carbon copy of others’ is the reason that most people weren’t interested in this.

      • January 8, 2013 at 11:12 amCr

        Maybe not, but given that a brainless tit fest like Maoyuu Maou Yuusha has already been given a rave review here it makes me wonder what kind of tropes the fans are really looking out for. I’m coming off as really bitchy, but I’m sick of the same types of anime getting put on a pedastal time after time.

      • January 8, 2013 at 3:46 pmshadowalker

        Maoyuu Maou Yuusha isn’t brainless it’s actually pretty decent and don’t blame the show for your inability to see past Maou’s tits, personally I didn’t even take a particular note of it until I read the comments at RC.

      • January 9, 2013 at 10:48 amCr

        Okay, calling Maoyuu Maou Yuusha a brainless titfest was going a bit too far. But I do believe that if the lead characters of Cuticle were all female and they had more jokes about boobs, miraculously everyone would like it a bit more. It is just my personal belief that some viewers are very shallow in this regard. Maybe I’m grasping at starws for why everytime I have an anime I like, everyone else ignores it, whereas the animes I think are retarded everyone else adores them. I do not want to make a habit of insulting people, so just consider this an off balance rant if you will.

  • January 7, 2013 at 12:34 pmBoozerX

    10 minutes and out.
    Horribly forced unfunny humor.

  • January 7, 2013 at 2:31 pmDvalinn

    Personally, I didn’t think this was all that funny. It was certainly nothing compared to, say, Nichibros, which managed to make me laugh out loud the very first episode. This? A slight chuckle, at the most. I think I’ll keep looking for a better show, really (the season’s only just started, after all).

    I fully agree with you on Binbougami-ga! though. I’ve seen so many comedies crash and burn because of their insistence to cram drama in it somewhere, and that show was a prime example. Either do it right, or don’t do it at all.

  • January 7, 2013 at 2:37 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    When I first read about it, I thought it was going to a more serious, detective-style anime that was darker, grittier, etc.

    I start it up and all I could think throughout was, “WTFLOL?!?!?!” XD

    • January 7, 2013 at 4:49 pmstarss

      You should’ve been alerted once you saw the chibi midget goat in the background.

  • January 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm5OClockTea

    Somehow refreshing to see this slap-stick sort of humour again. It has been many years.

    This will be my show to relax with for the season. Sometimes you need an hour of brainlessness a week.

  • January 7, 2013 at 5:53 pmKairoru

    Fabulous start. I bet most of us are laughing so hard while watching this episode. xD

  • January 7, 2013 at 6:27 pmJames

    LOLOLOL IT WUZ SO RANDOM THEREFORE IT IS FUNNY LOLOLOL!!111!!1!!!!!1

  • January 7, 2013 at 8:00 pmrochichan

    Omg… I needed a show like this. So many running gags and laughs, and I love when Irino Miyu plays the straight man. <3
    Hoping to see more of this show~~

  • January 9, 2013 at 3:03 pmMagoiichi

    This reminds me of a mix between Bobobo and Arakawa Under The Bridge, I stopped watching Bobobo, but I loved Arakawa.

    And this first episode had me laughing throughout the whole thing.I’ll be watching.

  • January 9, 2013 at 11:13 pmTheUnluckyRookie

    First impression of Valentino: The goat version of The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy

  • January 9, 2013 at 11:33 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    no it’s not. but i’ll watch a few mo

  • January 10, 2013 at 10:39 amunderbeds

    This was suprisingly funny! I love it!