OP: 「宝石の生まれるとき」 (Houseki no Umareru toki) by (Nagi Yanagi)
「ピンク・サファイアの正義」 (Pinku Safaia no Seigi)
“Pink Sapphire of Justice”
Tis the season of Alternate Universes. First there’s a cute loli version of Shield Hero, now we have a vaguely shounen-ai version of Fate/Zero? With every ‘Hero of Justice’ line I keep expecting EMIYA to pop up.
I don’t really have much to say about the OP or ED except wow they’re driving off to the sunset already a first ep, and I can’t stop thinking of Magneto (of X-Men fame) with all these CG gems hovering.
Anyway our current Hero of Justice this time is Nakata Seigia> (Uchida Yuuma), who saves our blonde jeweler Richard Ranashinha de Vulpian (Sakurai Takahiro) from a group of scary threatening dudes. (Try saying Richard’s name twice as fast, it’s a real tongue twister.) This requires a serious suspension of belief, because Tokyo, especially hipster neighbourhood of Naka-Meguro, is pretty safe even at 2am.
It’s definitely shounen-ai or at least, baiting the audience for a romance despite our token girl. How do we know this? Those wide-eye love at first sight expressions. The glowing scenery. The close up hand shot. The fantastic hair.
Despite the cliched setup, it’s not unwatchable. There’s a good bit of education in the history of jewels and conflicts it brings, and I like that the “mystery” (in the loosest, most generous sense of the word) plays out unexpectedly.
The pickpocketing grandma is a cool touch, you rarely see old people in anime depicted with ambiguous motives. Grandmas are either saint-like or absolute monsters. Actually, I think I would watch an entire anime series just on the pickpocketing grandma. At this point, she has more expression than our protagonist.
Can you sense my struggle? The bitter taste of disappointment colouring every word in this review? I wanted Housekishou Richard-shi to be good, a proper Sherlockian style mystery. I wanted it so much because it was unreasonably hyped to death over at Animate Shinjuku. The counter staff was like: “It’s a great series Iskendaris-san! You’ll like it!” complete with display after display of recommendations. And stupid me, I’m so weak to advertising.
There’s a really heavy-handed b-side plot about honesty, truth and being scammed but heck I feel scammed. (Do you hear me Animate Shinjuku? *shakes fist*) I’m barely invested in any of the characters except the grandmas. It feels disjointed and unimpressive, and I know I’m being harsh for what’s a first episode, but…..
And here’s the rub: If I came in watching this without any expectations, it would’ve been okay. Mid-tier watching after work that requires no braincells. Plus I like learning about weirdly specific things (indemnify forms for jewels ??), so an anime series specializing in rare gemstones sounded right up my alley.
I’m going to give this series 3 episodes and see if it’ll redeem itself. After all that hype must be for something right????
ED: 「Only For You」by (Da-iCE)