Posted 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 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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  • K-Off
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:11 AM)
    I’ll disappear now; going back to the game.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:10 AM)
    @Bam Kk, will do so after I’ve caught up on Walking Dead. I feel like I could get an adventure game streak going.
  • Yuko
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:08 AM)
    Talk about a learning curve. I thought Surgeon Simulator had a pretty big learning curve…
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:08 AM)
    @K-off: no I hated that game.
    You should play the first episode of A Wolf Among Us tho,that game just sells itself ;)
    I never once read Fables neither, so not a fanbiase involved neither.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:06 AM)
    You’re right, the niche IS really fine tuned. I spent hours looking at YouTube tutorials and shit =o
  • K-Off
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:04 AM)
    I honestly still don’t know what to expect from TellTale, but I have high hopes…
  • K-Off
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:03 AM)
    @Bam I’m guessing you liked Telltale’s Jurassic Park?
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:03 AM)
    @K-off: Don’t get me wrong, I heard good things about it, but flight simulators just aren’t my thing. It seems to have a slow learning curve as well, which might be the thing keeping it niche.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 10:00 AM)
    @Emma: if you have access to any type of computer right now then there really isn’t any excuse left not to, as it has aged very gracefully. The heavy noir jazz-fueled adventure in a 1950s south American land of the dead never really gets old and just oozes with style, witty dialogue and tons of charm. A timeless masterpiece of the medium by far.
  • Yuko
    (Monday, Sep 1. 2014 09:59 AM)
    @K-Off God damn, that sounds like hell.

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