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TRICKSTER: Edogawa Ranpo “Shounen Tanteidan” yori – 01

OP Sequence

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.

Junior Detectives

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.

First Impression

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.

Random Tidbits

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.

Those necklace chips seen on everyone are quite interesting as they hint at a greater relationship between our detectives than immediately noticeable. Even Nao has one.

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.

 

Preview

October 3, 2016 at 9:28 pm
10 comments »
  • October 3, 2016 at 10:24 pmzztop

    Character designs are by shojo mangaka duo Peach-Pit, creators of Rozen Maiden and Shugo Chara.
    Gackt will also be voicing the 20-Faced Fiend.

  • October 3, 2016 at 10:32 pmrs456

    Seems like this is ruled out from my to watch list. Will see how episode 2 goes before I decide.

  • October 4, 2016 at 12:42 amJayDrink

    This seems like it’ll be a fun ride!

    Kind of sad how so many people are already calling Trickster shit (over at MAL), but at least there’s the satisfaction of knowing that we’re getting two cours regardless of people’s complaints.

    RIP doggie.. :(

    • October 4, 2016 at 1:22 amrs456

      Never said that. It just didn’t interest me just yet. Maybe from ep 2 or 3 ? Several anime now a days get better from the 2nd or 3rd episode. I don’t know if they just suck at writing an introduction episode or they want to try to give an exposure to the series which they are not doing properly.

    • October 4, 2016 at 3:24 pmPancakes

      To be fair I can see where the hate is coming from, even if it’s a bit premature. As mentioned both Kensuke and Yoshio are divisive by design due to their personalities, it will take some time to see if the show can change those initial perceptions. Then of course is the main plot here which as shown is nothing particularly special (so far). It will take a while to see what tricks Trickster has up its sleeve.

      @rs456
      3 episodes may not be enough to get a good idea on Trickster’s overall strength, 2 cour shows typically find their stride around the midpoint (episode 10-12), at least from my experience. Personally I’m expecting a couple of SoL-esque arcs initially for character building purposes.

      • October 4, 2016 at 11:03 pmrs456

        Forget about the whole story gist. I just meant an episode where it draws in the audience with an introduction to the series which is usually the 1st episode but nowadays it has also become common in the 2nd episode or 2 & 3 episode. Without that introduction it is really hard to follow.

  • October 4, 2016 at 1:13 amInahoYureki

  • October 4, 2016 at 7:59 pmsealouse

    The only problem I had with it was the attempts at comedy between the commissioner and Akechi. Especially right after someone’s artificial leg gets sliced off, which wasn’t exactly clear what happened there. Anyways I hope they tone that down a bit.

  • October 5, 2016 at 11:24 amBlue

    I really was not expecting much, but color me pleasantly surprised. Maybe because I just came off the back of Bloodivoires, which I found underwhelming. I may be in the minority here, but I actually like the two mains personalities. They make a good contrast that I can see being fun later on.

  • October 7, 2016 at 9:03 pmMiyuki

    It was okay. Nothing particularly special or interesting but not bad either.
    I’ll give it a few more episodes.