Posted by psgels on 26 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


Suteki Tantei Labyrinth is one of these series where there’s one thing you absolutely mustn’t do: take it seriously. Once in a while, a series appears that doesn’t really care about making sense. Still, even though Suteki Tantei Labyrinth may not have the most exciting plot, it does deliver quality entertainment.

I think the best way to understand this is to look at the two most prominent staff-members for this series: Hiroshi Watanabe for the direction, and Natsuko Takahashi for the series composition. Natsuko Takahashi is basically a very experienced and talented scriptwriter, who worked on many different series like Jigoku Shoujo, Moyashimon, Full Metal Alchemist, Gankutsuou, Popolocrois, and those are just the best among her repertoire. She made sure that each character in this series has a motivation, and is well-fleshed out. There are no loose ends left behind, and the screenplay itself is quite impressive.

Then there’s Hiroshi Watanabe, who is in my opinion the strangest director out there. He directed epics as the Law of Ueki, Orphen and was the one who proposed the concept for Jigoku Shoujo, and yet he is also the mastermind behind flops as the final parts of Star Ocean Ex, and the abominable Shining Tears X Wind. This guy really has a strange idea of what is good, and that strangeness is exactly what makes this series so enjoyable.

Enjoyable, but far-fetched. The first half of the series basically consists out of random mysteries that our main character has to solve. They range from enjoyable to absolutely ridiculous. One particular villain goes through the trouble of spiking the body of his victim on the tip of a huge radio-mast, and the extreme focuses on tea become rather jarring after a while. Thankfully, the second half removes any traces of murder-mysteries, and instead it starts developing the characters and turns into a really entertaining family-drama, full of cheesy plot-twists that just have to entertain.

This series is basically what you’d get if a series is at some parts incredibly good, while at others incredibly bad. The storytelling is quite impressive, and it definitely succeeds in keeping the rather… flawed story interesting throughout the run of 25 episodes. The characters are also enjoyable to watch, especially in the second half, and some of the drama can be surprisingly good. Still, you’ll get the most enjoyment out of this series if you like a good dose of cheese once in a while.

3 Responses

  1. alida says:

    well… if a series is too lazy to care about making itself make sense, why should the audiences force themselves to ignore logic and common sense?

    it’s like they have a huge poster that says “don’t watch me” under the title.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    That’s indeed the thing. It’s a major flaw of this series indeed, but it can actually compensate for it with other things, like enjoyable characters and a great sense of storytelling.

  3. jtstellar says:

    hmm the way you would use the word “lazy” to describe something is rather subjective.. in something like an anime show, “effort” can go into a lot of things.. characters, art, story originality.. it’s not like we’re taking a standardized test where the only subject tested is how easily the series makes itself understandable.

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  • SuperMario
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 03:28 PM)
    Have you guys watched the Clan? I just finished it and it had a very good ending, tied up everything neatly. Latin cinema had such a blast year in 2015.
  • SuperMario
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 03:26 PM)
    Vincent Cassel plays a womanizer type, so I’m not surprised here. I think the tale of an ogre got me the most.I took my friend to watched it and I remembered she enjoyed it, more so than myself.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:14 PM)
    The locations (supposedly in Italy) and the sets were great tho. The lack of CG was very refreshing- it gave the film an oldschool charm, and it really fit the fairytale theme.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:13 PM)
    @Kaiser: he was distracting a little bit. All the while I was like “I wonder how they got him for the role?”.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:10 PM)
    I wonder if Vincent Cassel has ever actually played a likeable person…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:06 PM)
    I expected to be grossed out by the heart eating scene yet it had no effect.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:05 PM)
    Could have sworn I wrote the word flea but the word ant got typed =<
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 01:50 PM)
    @Kaiser: it also happens that the Selma Hayak bit was also the only semi-good ending. I admit that the twins were pretty good tho. Strangely mature and reserved. It’s nice to see young actors that don’t ham it up like Hollywood kids.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 01:48 PM)
    @Kaiser: it was a FLEA, and you know what’s weird? That’s strangely taken directly from the tale. The fairytale says “the king grew a flea to the size of a sheep, and then he skinned it” with no additional details. It was an interesting choice to build a whole subplot out of one sentence.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 09:51 AM)
    If i had to pick, its the story with Selma Hayak that was my favourite.
    Also RIP giant ant monster, moe as fuck, you were wept for you adorable fucker lol

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