Posted by psgels on 30 January 2008 with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth

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…

One Response

  1. Hayama says:

    You should really check out loki and tactics, both of them are really fun anime.loki is better than tactics so see it first.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 09:02 PM)
    One-Punch Man’s pilot was almost adapted flawlessly. It straight up uses the manga panels as it’s main storyboard, but added just enough new touches to improve the action instead of ruining it. Now let’s see how they animate the mosquitos and all the lasers for the next episode.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:57 PM)
    And that’s why Madhouse is one of the few respectable studios left. I thought that they will be seriously diminished after Masao Maruyama took some of its key members and funded MAPPA, but One-Punch Man showed that they are still one of the best in the business.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:51 PM)
    @Kaiser The anime industry isn’t advanced enough in CG to make it look good, is all it is.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:51 PM)
    @K-off: Your not wrong, it certainly looks poor but some of the old gonzo animated stuff was far more woeful looking. Stellvia, which was done by xebec was another example of old anime cgi which was quite ugly to look at. Just as I prefer traditional effects in film I also prefer traditional animation techniques to cg.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:42 PM)
    Lately, the use of badly integrated cgi have been making my eyes sore,from the obviously cgi background characters in Asterisk to the overly fluid mech movements in Aldnoah. I still remember the shitty cgi piano hands in Kimi no Uso.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 12:04 AM)
    On the note of good balance between humor and drama- I think BoJack Horseman is an example of a show that executed that almost perfectly in both seasons. You are laughing one minute and amused by the hijinks and silliness and the next minute you are actually moved and shocked by the honest introspection. Too be honest BoJack is more a tragic character then a goofy one, and his struggles are deeper and more existential than they have any business being in a show with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    The changes in the setting actually made me more excited for season 3 then what I felt the past few weeks, since now the plot needs to move forward from the cliffhanger and hopefully this translates to more cohesion and refocusing on what mad the show great in the first place. I’m pretty sure S3 will also be a blend of episodic and arch story elements tho. Overall a few ups and downs but still a great show.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:52 PM)
    The finale also had some of the most overall arch story elements featured in the season. Earth joining the Galactic Federation is a big deal story-wise from now on. Also the use of a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (not the Nine Inch Nails one clearly) was a nice fitting yet surprising touch. The throwback to Mr. PB after the credits was a good idea, but felt flat in it’s actual execution.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:49 PM)
    I thought R&M had a pretty good finale. The episode achieved what was missing from most of season 2, and that was a balance of randomness and meaningful bits. What made Rick Potion #9 and the previous season’s finale and general tone great was a sense of humor that was combined with more sincere drama and character developments; a sort of sweet melancholy.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 09:51 PM)
    @K-off, not having too much trouble with the interface but I still cannot create categories.

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