The latest NHK-series: Telepathy Shoujo Ran, a charming mystery shoujo series about the titular character who is blessed with the gift of telepathy, among others. With Yoshiiro Ike’s soundtrack, it features an adaptation of a set of children’s novels; it had the potential to be either a fun little series or a gigantic flop. Thankfully it became the former.
However, you do need to realize that you do not want to watch this series because of its mystery part. The different stories that are presented throughout the series aren’t exactly bad, but they don’t stand out either. They’re often cheesy, involve Ran&co mostly by coincidences or suffer from overmoralistic confession speeches. They’re just… there; in order to support what really makes this series stand out.
What really made me return to this series for every single week is the cast of characters, and then especially the banter that occurs between them. The four lead characters form an excellent team that’s always fun to watch. While this series is not strictly a comedy, there were enough hilarious moments between them, and this remains through the entire length of the series. Hardly any attempt at a joke falls flat. Overall, the point where this series excels at is in fleshing out its characters. Even when there’s no comedy, the creators and the lead characters manage to keep everything going along smoothly to prevent the viewer from getting bored.
The graphics in this series are also pretty decent. Even though there’s lots of epilepsy-inducing CG, characters move smooth and their facial expressions show a very wide range of subtle emotions. It makes use of very bright and varied colours, which makes for a very aesthetically pleasing series. Ike Yoshihiro’s soundtrack also brings this series to life, even though it may not be among his best works.
Overall, expect anything from the story here and you will be disappointed, but nevertheless this series managed to achieve what it set out to do: despite the storylines that usually fail to capture, it’s a continuously fun series from beginning to end. Ran, Rui, Rin and Midori are a set of wonderful characters, with especially wonderful banter between them.