Okay, now I know for sure: this show’s crazy!
I’m not sure what it is that the creators have taken, but I wonder where I could get some. I now finally understand how the director (Hiroshi Watanabe) could have produced series that are so incredibly different in overall quality. The guy is just incredibly dependant on the source-material that he has to adapt, and somehow manages to increase the most defining feature of said source-material. Shining Tears X Wind was rumoured to be the “worst RPG ever”, so of course you’d get a very crappy anime. The Law of Ueki, on the other hand, came from a very creative manga, and that worked just perfect with the strange sense of humour of Hiroshi Watanabe. And now Suteki Tantei Labyrinth has been adopted from a manga that according to Usagijen already was quite bizarre, and the result is… well… this.
The fact remains that nearly every of Hiroshi watanabe’s works left some kind of lasting impression on me, whether good or bad. I still cringe at how horribly cheese the twelfth episode of Shining Tears X Wind was. I still consider The Law of Ueki to be the single best shounen-fighting series out there. The final parts of Star Ocean Ex bombarded me with its horrible deus ex machinas, and it was exactly that series that made me realize how bad these are for the overall storytelling, and Suteki Tantei Labyrinth is currently fighting along with Power Puff Z for the title of “weirdest storytelling”. In the same way, I’m getting rather curious to check out his works on Tactics and Matantei Loki Ragnarok. The guy should try to animate some ideas of his own, though. I mean, he definitely has enough creativity to pull it off; he was the one who proposed the concept for Jigoku Shoujo, after all.
Anyway, about the episode… it really was one of the weirdest yet. The show may be heading further and further away from the “detective”-part in the title, but in exchange for that it has turned into a(n unintentionally) hilarious anime that just screams “don’t take me seriously”. Basically, Seiran’s brother seems to have made it to the new school-headmaster, and for that, he organizes a running-event. Mayuki, being by far the slowest person in the class, obviously doesn’t like this.
Hold on, though, it gets much weirder. When Mayuki is all alone, Hatsumi comes from out of nowhere, carrying a huge backpack full of meat and vegetables, in an attempt to replenish Mayuki’s energy (…yeah). She then falls into some kind of trap-door (yes, in the middle of a street), and both she and Mayuki end up in some kind of underground building, probably from before most of the buildings got destroyed. After a small conversation with his good and bad angel (am I the only one who was disturbed by the fact that these angels were wearing dresses?), he decides to cheat and take a shortcut.
Unfortunately, the plans of cheating are short-lived when the two of them get lost. Incidentally, he suddenly seems to have become much better at running… In any case, now we get to the really strange part… they run into a strange man who is trying to get rid of some rocks in one of the corridors. After they try to help him a bit (to no avail, by the way), he points them to a door, that’s supposed to be the exit. Behind that door, is an alligator.
Yes, don’t ask me where the heck that alligator came from. I have no freaking idea myself. After a hilarious chase, Mayuki uses the meat that Hatsumi was carrying (gee, what an incredible coincidence :P), to lure the beast away, and clear the rocks in the process. It then seems that the strange man was after a time-capsule, in which a demo-tape of his early days as a rock-band guitarist was kept. Unfortunately, the band went nowhere, and they broke up, and this demo-tape was the only thing that remained of their works. It seems that he was just being nostalgic.
The story isn’t over with just that, though. The rocks were not only blocking that time-capsule, but also some kind of underground water. Oh, and Maru ran off on his own when he smelled food. Hako uses this chance to secretly attack Hatsumi for no apparent reason, and Seiran, who also came from nowhere, tries to stop her, but fails. In the end, everyone flees from the water. For some reason, in the aftermath we see water come from the top of a huge building, which would be physically rather impossible. But then again, this is at least better than the murder on top of the radio-tower…
The episode ends with a very strange twist: The owner of the previously mentioned alligator is Shien, and he seems to have called her “Catherine”. Incidentally, it hasn’t eaten the meat from Mayuki at all, and strangely enough, the two of them end up hugging each other… Really, looking back, this series has so many bad storytelling-errors, but I’m really beginning to think that this was intentional…