「 押絵と旅する美少年 その１」 (Oshie to Tabi Suru Bishounen Sono Ichi)
“The Pretty Boy Traveling with the Brocade Portrait (Part 1)”
This week’s Bishounen Tanteidan gives us a fresh start when the latest mystery revolves around Nagahiro’s unfortunate fiance, Kodaki Kawaike. The little girl with an unsettling aura makes it clear she has a bone to pick when she drops off a hagoita statue in the detectives’ club room, kickstarting a debate on how Kodaki could manage to pull it off.
Mayumi stole the show in this episode with how hilarious many of her interactions with the other boys have been, particularly with Michiru. Right from the get-go, she makes it clear that she gave everyone nicknames except for Nagahiro due to seniority, but had “Pedo Dude” in the wings just in case. There were some laughs to be had with Hyouta imagining a dog helping Kodaki push a cart to the clubroom (especially with the inventive speculation scene where the art style shifted into more traditional artwork) or mourning yet another lost chance to reunite with Rei and her thighs. But I had a great time with how personally Michiru took it that Mayumi still hadn’t even attempted to change her less-than-flattering nicknames.
On a similar note, after getting roped into carrying the hagoita, she had some humorous rapport with Michiru, who she begged to help her carry it, and then proceeded to save face as if she knew he’d do it. Of the Pretty Boy Detectives, I really enjoy the chemistry she has with Michiru mainly because she’s so blunt in calling him a delinquent, yet he’s also quick to call her out for being needlessly rude by mocking her behavior.
It’s also clear that Mayumi ended up getting saddled with most of the work this time around as she was more adamant to have the hagoita case resolved while the other guys were quick to jump to where they want their winter training camp to be. With how mum or cryptic they are about the unpleasantness of Kodaki, they are likely well-aware of Manabu rejecting her bid to join them. And with that in mind, it ended up being an uphill battle to gain a request to learn how to alter her voice for the case, especially with Nagahiro’s added stipulation of befriending Kodaki.
I suppose what makes the hagoita interesting as a whole is how it ties into the Pretty Boy Detective’s cases being benign mysteries that ultimately escalate into a high stakes free-for-all. In this case, the question of how Kodaki could create or transport a hagoita to the clubroom could easily escalate into making sure that one of the detectives could try to broker some kind of peace with Kodaki.
Considering how she wears her resentment on her sleeve, Nagahiro being concerned enough about her loneliness to get Mayumi to intervene could be what ends up changing her abrasive behavior. At the same time, Manabu seems to be adamant about not stirring the bee’s nest around her considering how he sees Kodaki as less of the Zashiki Warashi that Mayumi saw and more of a cold-blooded demon.