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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Dec 2. 2015 05:04 AM)
    Although that one as far as I know does not have another version with better art.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Dec 2. 2015 05:03 AM)
    The onepunch man fans will be happy to know that Bone is adapting another work by the author, Mob psycho.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:46 AM)
    @Kaiser: so far it’s good. I’ve been hearing the buzz but I wished someone had nodged me to watch it sooner.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:42 AM)
    You’ve reminded me Bam that I’d been meaning to pick up ash vs the evil dead sometime.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:39 AM)
    @Kaiser: the remake was still pretty entertaining, but it lost the silly comedy edge the series was known for. I still think that the 2nd film had the most unique and prominent voice of its own, and all of that is present in the new series’ pilot. If anything Raimi cranked it up a couples of notches here and there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:35 AM)
    There was a mean spirited feel to the remake I found pretty appealling.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:27 AM)
    @Kaiser: the original Evil Dead was playing the horror genre straight, but it had a strata of slap-stick that was partially unintended. With Evil Dead 2 he doubled down on the strange horror/comedy dynamic and it became fantastic. Army of Darkness was very entertaining, but it strayed very far from the series’ roots. The remake was only produced by Raimi, while he got back on the writer/director chair for the pilot of the new series, and proved that he still got it sharp as ever.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:19 AM)
    Then again I believe Raimi was fairly involved with the remake.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:18 AM)
    The remake as far as remakes go should have been worse but it worked much better than I would have thought and I say this as someone who hates reboots/remakes.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:16 AM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen the first evil dead but I don’t think its aged well, the second one I’ve seen and its hugely entertaining later on but its army of darkness that was the most enjoyable of the three for me.

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