Posted by psgels on 24 September 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou

Time to review another one of the top shows of the past Summer season. Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou is either my third or fourth favourite show of the serie that debuted on Summer 2011, depending on how well Blood-C’s ending turns out. This was the series to go to for intelligent mystery, well written scripts and varied cast.

Especially the script of this series is something where this series shined like no other. Thsi show, above all else, is well written. It consists out of a number of standalone arcs that are all focused on some murder mystery, and it’s the script that does wonders in fleshing all the different cases out into multi-layered stories and it tries to put as much meaning into the eventual conclusions as possible. This makes just about every conclusion worth watching, as the creators always manage to throw in some sort of satisfying conclusion.

The cast of characters is also an interesting bunch: from the outside they all look like your regulr JC Staff cliches (you know, moe school girls, bland male lead and in particular an annoying little girl), but this show actually manages to give an original spin on them. It does so by excellent acting, and also by giving each of the characters strong roles. The cast of this show is HUGE, but it’s very varied, and most of them turned out to be actually very interesting to watch. The male lead meanwhile starts off a bit bland, wanting to help people for the sake of helping people, but as the show moves on he really grows into a reliable and sympathetic manager and organizer.

Where this show falls down is that it doesn’t seem to realize that it’s only got 12 episodes. It doesn’t drag, but some arcs are very long (one takes up four episodes; that’s a third of the entire series!) and there are too many episodes that focus on the side characters. That’s nice and all, and the result was that the characters in question got some really memorable stories, but because of that there was no time left to animate the arc that focused on the central character of this series: Alice. She could have been an amazing character with a little bit of depth. And in fact, the entire series ended just prematurely: It’s built up in such a way that a potential second season has the potential to become a classic. Unfortunately, that will probably never arrive.

Oh, and there is also something that you need to take in mind when ou start watching this series: the fanservice. This remains JC Staff unfortunately, and so the creators tried to insert very out of place fanservice scenes, similar to what happened with Index II. Don’t worry though: these scenes disappear in the second half. Right when this series really starts to hit its stride, although its opening episode also is one heck of an eye catcher.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Terrific script, well use of build-up and twists. Only 12 ewpisodes long. Will become even better with more episodes.
Characters: 9/10 – Varied cast, likable characters, strong drama, excellent character development.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Crisp art and animation, nice usse of CG in the backgrounds.
Setting: 8/10 – The stories don’t tie together whatsoever, nor do they have a general theme beyond murder. But this show does create a very believable atmosphere.

Himitsu The Revelation (Granted, Kamimemo does not hold a candle to the master of the arc-based murder mystery genre, Himitsu – though it is a fine attempt nevertheless)
Ayatsuri Sakon
Shinrei Tantei Yakumo

5 Responses

  1. Joojoobees says:

    Well, this show did end strong. Certainly there are many other shows this season that are far weaker, but I can’t help but feel there was some stumbling here. I guess it is precisely because one can see the potential that one raises the bar, and wishes this could have been just a bit more.

  2. Akari Mizunashi says:

    For someone so obsessed with character development I was sure that you were going to rave about memochou being the only JCStaff show in the past 2 or 3 years to have real quality developments in the two main characters. Instead the positives of the review are the writing and unstereotypical cast of characters? Is this some sort of elaborate joke?

    The dialogue at points was so stereotypically JCStaff that I literally took the words out of the characters mouths while watching during many of the episodes. While the direction and actual content of the stories were seemingly great for JC staff, the writing at times was so unbearably childish that it lessened the effects of the events themselves.

    The strength to me was the fact that through all of the arcs, and all of the events that occur in the series, both alice and narumi were noticeably affected/changed in a way that was surprisingly genuine and unforced. I’m not sure how anyone can say that alice was not a developed character and that by the end of the show the creators had given depth to both the two leads. For me, it’s rather the side characters that are given the stereotypically anime ‘fleshing out’.

  3. Perrin4869 says:

    I’ll mention first that I never got past episode 3, and if you don’t want to read trolling, then stop reading this comment right now.
    Now, I know this is fiction, and that if I want realism I should go watch the news. But a NEET loli detective? It’s the only NEET thing to do? Seriously, Japan?

  4. Scruffy says:

    Must say that I really enjoyed this show. The only real complaint I would have is that i never got exactly what the whole Alice / Narumi dynamic was supposed to be. Alice was perhaps the only character that did not get any development.

    For the light novel readers .. just how many of the light novels (there’s 9?) did the show cover? I would love to see a sequel to this show.

  5. someloser says:

    to me the major weakness of this show for me was that it felt over-idealistic, there were some points where the script seemed to follow the need for a happy ending rather than logic-wise like a true mystery. narumi was a pain too, but at least he actually improved through the show and had some sort of meaning.

    i kinda wished that the side characters served a bit more purpose, feels like they got too little screen time.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:23 AM)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: yeah, even tho it was his highest grossing movie it managed to brought his career to a stand-still. His next film Gods of Egypt looks like it could be fun, albeit it’s just as much as a CGIfest as I, Robot. Egyptian stuff is admittedly rather intriguing, I remember a 2004 French film Immortel ad vitam that blended that with modern themes that became popular for a while.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:50 AM)
    *remove second and
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:50 AM)
    @Bam: Regarding dark city, such a shame the director of that followed up dark city and the crow and with Irobot.

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