「ぺてん師と空気男と美少年 その１」 (Petenshi to Kuuki Otoko to Bishounen Sono Ichi)
“The Swindler, the Vanishing Man, and the Pretty Boys (Part 1)”
Bishounen Tanteidan’s fourth episode shifts gears into a new mystery as the detectives stumble into an underground casino, Reasonable Doubt, operated by the student council president Fudatsuki. But as it turns out, this will be a mystery that couldn’t quite be solved as easily without the help of Mayumi and her mystic vision.
What I appreciated the most about this episode is how Mayumi ended up getting a more front-and-center role in discovering many crucial details about her first mystery as a Pretty Boy Detective. Although the guys pointed her in the right direction on using her vision to discover that the money Fudatsuki left behind was counterfeit promotional money that would make Usher curious, her ability to see invisible details came through in seeing that there were hidden details behind the yen that would eventually lead the boys down a deeper rabbit hole.
Not only was she able to discover the invitation was hidden in the folds of the 10,000 yen paper currency, but she also used her vision to find out Fudatsuki cheats through all of his games. It’ll be hard to gauge what will happen after she announced to the audience that Fudatsuki is cheating, but it is awesome that Mayumi ended up being a pivotal character that filled in the Pretty Boy Detective’s weak spot of having members that can merely observe their surroundings on the surface. Her interactions with Fudatsuki also allow her to blend in by landing her a chance to play a private game of Othello where she learns valuable info that he uses counterfeit money to court customers that would be less likely to call attention to the questionable nature of the student council president’s casino.
That definitely isn’t to say the other boys didn’t throw their weight around in this episode. Sosaku’s artistry made him the first person to notice that Fudatsuki’s yen was fake. Through his expertise, he automatically pointed out that it cost more money to make this fake currency and was able to divide the currency to reveal the invitation to the casino. While the other boys blended in and played casino games for the bulk of the episode, Nagahiro has attracted the most attention for winning a ton at Poker, giving him a chance to play against Fudatsuki on a grand stage for the opportunity to operate the casino.
As a side note, it is interesting to see that each casino game that the boys chose to play reflects on their personalities. Manabu would jump right into Blackjack, knowing how to tackle an otherwise advanced game with confidence despite looking like it’s his first time playing. Nagahiro’s choice of Poker plays into his orator skill considering that Poker is popular and approachable enough to reach a wider audience. Hyouta would resort to playing Roulette since it’s the easiest, hassle-free sociable casino game to choose, at least, compared to Sosaku’s approach to playing Slot Machines so that he can play a solo game. Finally, Michiru dives right into Baccarat, which is complex, esoteric, and much like cooking requires attention to detail. Mayumi’s basic knowledge of casino games makes her gravitate more to Fudatsuki’s suggestion of playing Othello than jumping right into high-risk casino games. They’re minor details, but I imagine the novels explore a little bit more of these nuances in greater detail.