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