OP: 「カワルミライ」 (Kawaru Mirai) by ちょうちょ (Choucho)
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「彼女について知っている二、三の事柄」 (Kanojo ni Tsuite Shitteiru Ni, San no Kotogara)
“Two, Three Things You Should Know About Her”
J.C. Staff’s latest adaptation kicks off with an hour-long special, providing ample time to introduce the premise and characters, and wrap up the first case so that we have a better idea of what this series entails. As I described in the Summer 2011 Preview, transfer student Fujishima Narumi (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) gets introduced to self-proclaimed NEET detective Alice (Ogura Yui) by his classmate Shinozaki Ayaka (Kayano Ai), and winds up helping her and other fellow NEETS Tetsu (Matsukaze Masaya), “Shousa” (Miyata Kouki), Hiro (Sakurai Takahiro), and “Yondaime” (Ono Daisuke) solve cases together. He initially stumbles on a request they’re working on, involving a senior, Kimura Miku (Ise Mariya), who appears to be a schoolgirl prostitute. However, after Alice preaches to Narumi about how a NEET detective is different, searching the world for the truth and acting as messengers of the dead, we soon find out that Miku’s actually searching her missing friend Sakuma Shouko (Sakura Harumi, Yuri in Angel Beats), and is accompanied by Shouko’s boyfriend, Teraoka Satoshi (Okitsu Kazuyuki). Before Alice can consider the case closed, they have to find Shouko.
It all sounds straightforward enough, but the portrayal of the darker side of urban society helps distinguish Alice’s efforts from that of a mere shut-in trying to kill time. The ambiance contrasts heavily with J.C. Staff’s other adaptation that only dealt with goofy requests, Ookami-san, whereas the more serious subject matter is pretty engrossing once they get closer to solving the case. Over the course of the episode, I actually became increasing more interested in the outcome of the truth behind Shouko’s disappearance than the characters themselves, which was surprising considering that this is the very first episode. That was largely attributed to how the story kept dropping clues along the way to keep me speculating, something that I felt GOSICK lacked in its own mysteries. It’s always more fun when I have a better idea of what might be going on, regardless of whether or not I’m correct in the end. The twists along the way made it even better, like when Miku revealed that there’s an uglier side to the Shouko whom she absolutely adored, brought about by the expectations of her highly successful parents.
In a lot of ways, Kamimemo is reminiscent of Shigofumi, which is a good sign since I was hoping for something similar. Thus far, the mystery aspect has shown a fair bit of promise with its unsettling developments, but that doesn’t mean the characters themselves are particularly dull. I compared Alice and Narumi to Victorique and Kazuya in the preview, and still feel it’s valid given how Alice prides herself on her intelligence but is really weak physically. She also maintains a superior air most of the time, yet quickly regresses to a little girl and starts tearing up when some really trivial things happen, such as when her chopsticks didn’t break cleanly and the when ear on her teddy bear came off. Narumi on the other hand just gets caught up in her pace and is too nice to refuse even though he’ll complain, much like when Ayaka had him join her gardening club in exchange for joining his computer club, which they’re were both sole members of. The two of them have an interesting character dynamic, and one I’m not entirely tired of seeing just yet. Mixing it up is ramen store owner Min (Nabatame Hitomi), who helps inject a lot of the lighthearted moments.
I wouldn’t say I’m completely sold on this series from the first episode alone, but I am left with a more positive impression than its manga counterpart. I still would’ve liked to hear the drama CD cast, though I can’t really say the relatively green one that replaced it is all that bad. In fact, I find myself more and more interested in hearing how Ogura Yui plays Alice in various situations. (She sure loves her Dr. Pepper, i.e. Dokupe.) In any case, I definitely plan to keep watching, especially with the catchy opening theme by Nico Nico singer Choucho.
* Note: I’m covering this first episode for Prooof. Assuming the show interests him, he’ll be picking it up from episode two onwards, which won’t be airing until July 15th on Tokyo MX. AT-X is taking a break next week, so Tokyo MX will be the first station to air Kamimemo going forward.
ED: 「Colorado Bulldog」 by MR. BIG
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼