“The Bones that Slumber in Summer”

「夏に眠る骨」 (Natsu ni Nemuru Honea)

The Death of Yuriko’s Grandmother:

How many skeletons are there in the Hokkaido countryside? A hell of a lot, if Sakurako-san is anything to go by. As expected, we’ve got another episodic mystery this week, with a few more hints to Sakurako’s backstory thrown in to keep things interesting. At this rate, it seems like we’ll peel back the mystery of her life with each passing episode until it’s time to reveal the truth. Sooner rather than later, I hope.

For now, Yuriko is brought back into the fold and her grandmother is the centerpiece. At first, I thought this episode was going to break the routine when the bones were found in the first few minutes. Time wasn’t wasted on setting up the mystery; just like that like we’d already fulfilled the Weekly Bones Quota. That irritating inner world sequence pops up again, breaking the tension, before Sakurako goes in on the corpse to reveal some details. First, the person had died last Fall; second, it appears the death was caused directly from the impact of the fall, but from the injury to the neck. It’s a painful way to go, but if all is to believed – which seems the case here, as Sakurako’s words are being presented as gospel truth – then the victim didn’t suffer for too long.

After that, I thought the mystery was over, but then I remembered that cafe scene of Yuriko in the opening, and when I realised it was happening this week, I pieced together the rest of the story. Turns out her grandmother was the victim, and she’d been missing all this time. What follows is Yuriko telling the story of her grandma looking after her grandpa (who suffered with dementia, yet they didn’t even know it). She regrets all of what happened and blames herself for the tragedy, but it all comes together at the end when a bittersweet ending is revealed. I had no idea where Sakurako was going with her deductions, but after looking over the paintings by Yuriko’s grandpa, it all seemed to come full circle. Yuriko was overcome with emotion, and for a moment I was taken aback at how well composed the final sequence was. The various shots of the fields, the surprise on Yuriko’s face, and then the image of her grandmother turning back one last time, which was a poignant moment to end on, and the most visually impressive of the series thus far.

Oh So Convenient:

Once again, the mystery is wrapped up within its own episode, which leaves little to the imagination. It’s fun to watch, but there isn’t much else I can add… other than share a few concerns. First off, Sakurako’s assumptions are always being presented as fact, which is starting to irk me; she’s far too perfect as she is right now (expect for the fact that she touched her face with the same gloves she used to touch the skeleton – ew…), so hopefully as we delve further into her deceased younger brother we will learn more about her character until she actually feels like a real person. At this point she’s just spouting out words – she always knows what’s happening before it’s happening, and Shoutarou plays the straight man. It’s funny, and I’m enjoying it, but I’d rather we dig beneath the dirt and reveal what’s going on in the minds of these characters.

Another point worth bringing up is how co-incidental this all feels. I understand that they’re bringing the already-introduced characters into the mix, but Yuriko being part of the mystery after last week’s horrible events just felt forced and far too convenient. At this rate the teacher and other recurring male student are bound to get their own episode as well; if that’s the case, I can’t say I’m thrilled at the prospect. So far everything just seems to be falling into place far too easily – I want something (or someone) to bulldoze in and send everything into uncontrollable chaos. As I mentioned before, hopefully this will come once we learn more about Sakurako’s past, as well as how she and Shoutarou first met, but as right now Sakurako-san is becoming too comfortable in its own routine for my liking.

Overview – What’s Next?:

While this was my least favourite episode so far, it was also the best looking. It doesn’t make up for the bad habits that are forming, but I’m still liking this one a lot. I’m mostly just waiting for the past to become relevant in the present, but I suspect we’ll have a few more episodic mysteries in the coming weeks. Hopefully they’ll reveal more about the characters along the way and provide us with something to chew on rather than presenting a mystery and wrapping it up before we have time to appreciate the hints and clues along the way.

Full-length images: 31.


  1. I do believe that at first sakuruko thought that grandma was killed, also this is one of the few anime where the detective isn’t welcome to stay around in the crime scene. as for people related to main cast being the bones, 6 degrees of separation.

  2. Why were some people complaining about Sakurako finding bones when most other mystery-detective series are much more worse than that? Just how many times Conan (an elementary school student) or Kindaichi (a high school student) met murder cases wherever they go? I was thinking that those kind of conveniences (borrowing Stilts quote: convinience to get into the problem, in this case non-proffesional detectives finding dead body/bones) should be expected when you’re going to dive into the genre, am I wrong here?

    To be fair, yes, Sakurako deduction’s power may be too strong and accurate for now and it lessen whatever mystery impact that should come. However, so far it was balanced by adding other things. In ep 2 we get immediate conflict and tension related to finding of the dead body, and this time we get an interesting attempt to portray a much more tranquil side of a skeleton finding case. I don’t think we could get complex multilayered mystery until Sakurako departs from episodic format, so I think we should expect harder mysteries once we got into longer arcs. This is still ep 3, afterall.

    What actually bother me (besides of the ‘mahou shoujo scene’) is that the execution of emotional bursts tend to be executed sloppipy. This may be related to limited time, but I think creative direction could help to bridge the emotional transition rather than having people shout (ep 2)/cry (this ep) out of nowhere.

    1. Technically Conan is also a high school student currently with the body of a elementary school student (though he does attend elementary school to play the part of a elementary school student) and usually the bodies are found while accompanying Mori Kogoro, a private detective and father of the main love interest, Ran. That being said, the convenience of Mori being at the scene of the murder is something that is commented on in the show, with the main police detective Inspector Megure unamusedly commenting “This guy again?”. There are a not insignificant number where his presence is intentional, either on the part of the eventual victim or in some cases the murderer. But usually happening upon a case is par for the course in detective mysteries.

      1. The convenience of founding the bodies is also commented unamusedly by the police in this episode. Moreover, this time it’s actually found by some other person, which is also played for comedic effect when they are running after they hear Sakurako’s nonsensical mumbling.

        In fact, the only time they found a dead body personally is at ep 2, and it’s also found after following a series of events. I don’t think a skull from many years ago from ep 1 counts.

        I do know about Conan’s situation, however the number of cases that kid founds without Kogoro Mouri’s influence alone will outpass whatever number of cases this series will have. Kindaichi is probably even worse, especially since if we discount the fact that he’s a grandkid of a famous detective he’s pretty much just a normal person.

        At least Sakurako is a bone maniac, so it’s actually more plausible for her to meet dead bodies since she is actively searching for them.

    2. My problem that it just feels too coincidental. It feels less natural, like the author is forcing the already introduced characters into the story. I liked the second episode most of all because it focused on a family that were introduced in that episode and it felt more spur-of-the-moment, as opposed to each character getting their designated episode.

      As for Sakurako’s deductions, because she’s too perfect it removes all the mystery from the viewer. A good mystery (in my opinion) brings audience into the fold and allows them to deduce for themselves – that’s why Rokka no Yuusha resonated with so many people; every week people were keen to give their point of view and analysis. I understand that can’t happen as much with weekly mysteries, but watching Sakurako work her magic could become tiring after a while.

      1. That’s true, but if it’s well-written then you shouldn’t be able to notice it as much or have it detract from your viewing experience. Sakurako-san isn’t quite there for me.

      2. It is convenience whenever they find a bone or human corpse, as in most others detective series. Don’t forget Shoutarou did mentioned that whenever he’s with Sakurako-san, somehow, they always end up finding human remains back in the episode 1.

        Also, for this series, the story is more then just a standard mystery anime. Rather then just standard mystery on solving who dunnit, why dunnit and how dunnit kind of stuff. It also focus on human emotions and relationship between Shoutarou and Sakurako-san.

        I will respect those who keep finding fault and something that irk about this series as not everyone is the same. But for me, this series really enjoyable and it’s kinda wasted if you keep watching it with that mindset.

  3. I’d like to see Sakurako err once in a while, only for her to get things right due to something Shoutaro observed or said…
    As for the convenietn coincidences, the police detective even lampshaded our main characters AGAIN finding dead body. Works for me, as Sakurako has the habit of looking for animal bones, which tends to occassionally discover more than she expected. Furthermore, it is good to see natural or accidental death which is way more common in Japan than crime.

      1. It doesn’t even need to be a mistake. A clue might come across as ambiguous, then Shoutarou would notice something that Sakurako missed, or provide some useful insight that would tell the viewers that he is indeed leveling up, and earn a bit more respect from her as well.

        Magnus Tancred
      2. Why does she have to err? I understand if you were trying to pick at her personality -she admittedly has her own faults- but what is the point of trying to disparage her skills of deduction? Sakurako is a brilliant osteologist and has the smarts and confidence to dissect the mystery surrounding her beloved bones- give the girl some credit. A bit OP, but no one is going to say “Oh, Sherlock Holmes. Zee man needs to be less good at his deductions so that I can be “invested in his character”. Seriously?

        I do agree that the mystery is a bit stale. Great drama, probably would’ve done better as a live action adaptation. Shoutarou is tad boring as a main protagonist who might as well be relegated to being an invisible narrator. It definitely would’ve been more interesting if he was actually dead and Sakurako was speaking to air.

    1. I’m fine with this. She’s not without flaws as a human (show expresses this). She’s a genius at her trade with expert knowledge passed down to her by her uncle (So it’s fine if she’s really, really good at this. Somebody has to solve the mysteries). I’m of the feeling she also hasn’t expressed the solutions to the mysteries in a dogmatic fashion, but merely her opinions based on the evidence presented.

  4. So, the mysteries might be a bit stale….but I think the human factor in all this is being handled really well. I think if we (metaphorically speaking) were going to sort this and the other mystery show of this season (The Prefect Insider) into two categories, then I think Sakurako-san would be best described as ‘Compassionate’. And I really like that.

    And, completely unrelated, but I found it so funny when Sakurako’s response to Shoutarou freaking out and calling the police was ‘I think your left lung is bigger than normal.” It’s a good comeback.


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