OP: 「キミだけのボクでいるから」 (kimi dake no boku de iru kara) by GACKT
「D坂蜃気楼」 (D Zaka Shinkirō)
“Mirage on D. Hill”
I’m not sure how many of us were anticipating Trickster this season, but after this episode, the potential for something good is certainly here.
Unless you dislike learning about series beforehand, Trickster is an anime original based off the works of Edogawa Ranpo, specifically The Fiend with Twenty Faces and The Boys Detective Club (as if the names in show didn’t give it away). Jig likened it to a Japanese Hardy Boys and that certainly is an apt comparison. We have the eccentric smart(ass) Hanasaki Kensuke who not only has a knack for fights, but gets a runner’s high and just so happens to think he’s also Inspector Gadget. Conveniently he’s part of the Boys Detective Club, whose only other member currently seems to be the pajama loving, hacking prodigy shut-in loli Nori Makoto. While Nori provides the guides, our wannabe Sherlock Holmes does the actual legwork, even if that takes him from the beaten path and gets him into trouble. The premise is a perfect fit for any teenage mystery story.
On the other side of the coin we have resident
pervert master detective Akechi Kogorou, head of the Akechi Investigation Firm, proud owner of a spiffy car, and boss to photographic memory assistant Inoue Ryou. Akechi seems to be the choice hire for local police commissioner Nakamura Nao, who uses Akechi to do the dirty work while she reaps the rewards. Together they are tackling the Fiend with Twenty Faces, an elusive figure whose objectives are concealed and identity unknown. Somehow Kensuke is linked to Akechi through Nori (who supposedly serves as a guardian of sorts for Kensuke), with Nori also providing her flat chested talents to Akechi.
What apparently will merge both parts together (if not a love for loli shut ins) is Kobayashi Yoshio, the albino boy who cannot die. He’s got a thing for death, apparently slices and/or kills everything close by that even remotely threatens him, and (most importantly) has no conscious control over his ability. All of that simply fires Kensuke’s curiosity, who looks to be taking the lead in this story’s main premise: finding a way for Yoshio to die.
For me, Trickster seems like a weird mashup of UN-GO and Bungou Stray Dogs, with bits liberally taken from Ghost in the Shell, Kiznaiver, GOSICK, and the like. The premise is fairly common and the characters potentially hit or miss (particularly the angsty, brooding Yoshio), but there is a glimmer of something here. Part of Trickster‘s success will depend both on the strength of its central mystery plot (particularly how the Twenty Faced Fiend, Yoshio, and Akechi are all related) and the character development, as the main duo Kensuke and Yoshio will likely split people who consider them interesting or aggravating, depending on personal tastes (not to mention their explicit yaoi potential). All the more to Trickster’s benefit that it’s a confirmed two cour show, giving a gracious amount of time for slow, methodical development and suspenseful buildup towards its climax, whatever that may be. If Trickster can pull it off and not run right off the rails, we could be looking at a dark horse right here. Considering the flopping of some anime originals of late, that would be no small feat to laugh at.
Had to double check to see if Shaft was not animating this considering the number of bloody head tilts featured. Must be an attempt to boost Trickster’s eccentricity stats.
Really liking the near-future setting Trickster is using, it’s like Ghost in the Shell with a dash of supernatural. I do hope the futuristic technology comes to play, especially with the hints of corporate intrigue being thrown about.
Who knew Hedwig was actually a robot for the overseeing of subordinates by loli superiors. The more you know.
Hopefully the identity of the Twenty Faced Fiend wasn’t just revealed, because that would ruin a good chunk of the mystery.