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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  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 04:42 AM)
    Even Anno admitted that Evangelion’s success was heavily reliant on Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s unique and attractive character design. It was familiar but still original. Rei and Asuka’s designs as well as the plug suits and the look of ye Evas had a huge impact in the industry and inspired a whole slew of future animators. You could’ve done the same exact series with a cruder art style and it wouldn’t have been nearly as good.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 04:19 AM)
    @Aidan: art-style is integral to the overall quality of a product, that’s why it irks me so much when Type-Moonies endlessly praise Nasu and underappreciate Takeuchi as if he didn’t contribute all that much to Fate’s success.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 02:38 AM)
    @Bam, it’s a rough style admittedly. But mate I played Umineko with the original artwork. It’s hard to find anything worse than that…expect Higurashi’s artwork…(shivers)
    Ryukishi, great writer but not an artist.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 12:24 AM)
    You guys made me want to go see Fury Road in IMAX now.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 10:13 PM)
    @Aidan: you know I tried looking into Muv Luv since it’s supposedly a seminal LN, but that character design is horrendous. The story sounds interesting but there’s such a divide between that and the art style that there’s no way I can get into it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 02:04 PM)
    Another Muv luv spinoff gets an anime adaption. Sure, lets adapt everything except the work that made it famous in the first place.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 04:10 AM)
    Muthafuckas cancelled the Constantine tv adapatation…
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:45 AM)
    Come to think of it, Tsugumi’s personality at odds with her monster design. I’m getting reminded of that mech from zone of the enders dolores that had the personality of a young girl .
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:43 AM)
    @Aidan: The bear will be explained as it was done so recently enough in the manga, Ochiai remains however a very dull villain.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:27 AM)
    You know when grabbing screenshots Sidonia really does look better when you look at it in still images. I really do think that if they just gave the models more natural movement then it would look metric tons better.

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