Ranpo Kitan – Game of Laplace ~ Episode 1 [First Impressions]

Ranpo Kitan, is an anime based on the writings of the late Edogawa Ranpo a Japanese mystery writer. The episode begins with this girly boy, Kobayashi waking up in a classroom holding a murder weapon in front of his dead teachers body. Welp, that’s fun. I mean, it’s time to be the prime suspect. This kid, is totally chill about it too. Like, he doesn’t even care.
In fact it’s the most fun he’s had in his entire life. He figures the only way to prove his innocence is too find proof, not proof of his innocence. proof that will link to the true killer.

What a sight to wake up too...
What a sight to wake up too…

Then there is the genius Detective Akechi, who has special permission to not go to school for lending his knowledge to the government. Kobayashi wants to be be his assistant, but he’s not hiring. I am entirely prepared to hate this character for all the same reasons I never got behind L, I can’t stand people who think they’re…wait, this guy flat out admits that he’s only a detective because it’s a fun game?
He flat out admits that he’s not a good person, in fact, he’s proud of it? HOLY CRAP, I LOVE THIS GUY!

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The first half of this episode was a little slow and a little boring, however, by the time you see that both Kobayashi and Akechi have very twisted personalities it becomes far more interesting. I am really interested in both of these characters because of how abnormal both of them are. This is actually kind of funny, by the first episode.
Hashiba, the glasses wearing student council president, son of a large company. Who I was expecting to be my favorite character is actually my least favorite character.

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On top of that, making the murder victim a serial killer himself that made chairs out of his victims. That’s pretty interesting, disturbing as hell, but interesting to say the least. You can really see that Edogawa Ranpo got his influence from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when you look at Akechi and his tendency to crush up pain medicine and down it. Sherlock had severe drug habits as well.
The animation is fairly interesting, I have to say, the choice to grey out characters until they become important is an interesting artistic choice. It’s almost as if you’re seeing the world through Kobayashi’s eyes, until they become important to him or he really comes to notice them they are greyed out. As if he’s taking no time to notice them or anything about them.

There’s also the cop characters but they weren’t in this episode much so I really didn’t get too much of a feel for their characters, but i feel as if they’ll be important later on. So i’ll keep an eye on them.

This show definitely seems like it will be worth watching, if only to explore what kind of messed up personalities that the other characters have.

Possibility of Watching: Watching for sure

Possibility of blogging: That depends, I have a bad track history with blogging mystery shows. Also, there are a lot of series I’m interested in this season. I’ll have to see.  So MAYBE!

~Midnight

Sidekick’s First Impressions 

I…I don’t know about this one. The setup is definitely great, a full-fledged mystery series isn’t something we get to see in anime often. Watching Game of Laplace though, I think I know why. Unless the project is at the hands of a really good, versatile, talented director (and writer), anime really shouldn’t be the go-to medium for mystery stories like this.

It may be because I’ve seen one too many episodes of NBC’s Hannibal or something, but this first episode completely lacked any suspense or seriousness whatsoever. The characters were flat as hell – Kobayashi in particular was pretty bad. He felt no fear at all, nor was I convinced of his supposed ‘liberation’ from his ‘boring life’, it’s not just abnormal, as Midnight put it, but completely unbelievable. I can’t for the life of me understand his motivations, even when the episode literally hands it to me on a silver plate.  There’s a completely absence of any sort of chemistry between the characters as well – they just….exchange lines. None of the dialogue feels real, believable, and having a character like Hanabishi (?, the replacement homeroom teacher) in the series as well makes things even worse. The visuals are also immersion-breaking, the character designs totally do not fit the tone of the series, the colors are too bright and ruins the darker atmosphere of the series….heck, the entire aesthetic of the series – visual, and to a large extent, narrative – just clashes with the setup of the Human Chair mystery. None of it has any real impact whatsoever.

I don’t mean to bash this show that much – the first episode wasn’t awful. The setup is decent – the mystery elements are definitely worth watching. I just feel like the rest of the show is just at odds with the setup in how cutesy, shiny and filled with anime cliches the other parts of the episode are.

Possibility of Watching: I’ll give it 1 more episode for the Will Graham detective clone guy & the good mystery setup

Possibility of Blogging: Nah.

~Midnight

4 thoughts on “Ranpo Kitan – Game of Laplace ~ Episode 1 [First Impressions]

  1. Definitely looks interesting on the first look. Starting in the middle of an interesting case, focus on few “important” characters and the relation to C.A.D.
    Using the body of victims to make art.. reminds me of psycho pass.
    So for now this show presentates a nice way of focus/view on things and a honest genius detectiv.. I hope the case solution is going to be good as well.
    The only disturbing thing for me is: Kobayashi is 13 years old and he is going to be our MC for a murder/mystery show.. seriously?

  2. Dead bodies into art…reminds me of the new Hannibal Lecter, without the gourmet cannibalism. 🙂

    This episode is very loosely based on an early Ranpo short story, The Human Chair. I say loosely because the original doesn’t have any gruesome murders in it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Human_Chair

    1. Crap, I mentioned Hannibal in my impressions too (hadn’t read your comment at the time)! Kid detective guy is definitely a Will Graham clone – even has the aspirin and messy hair to go with it. All he needs are tons of dogs in his home.

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