3 Episode Rule is a series in which I watch the first three episodes of a new anime and decide whether to stick with it or drop it based on those three episodes alone.
When you realise the first episode of a new series you might be watching is 40 minutes long, you can really go one of two ways on it. Coming into this show completely blind, it made me a little apprehensive. I made the choice (mistake?) of watching all three episodes back to back.
Sometimes that has an effect on my response to the series, although this time I feel like my feelings would have been the same on The Detective is Already Dead regardless of how I shoved it down my peepers.
Kimihiko Kimizuka is your average light novel protagonist. Generic to a fault and desperate for a normal, boring life. His big problem being that he somehow possesses the worst luck imaginable, finding himself mixed up in nasty situations on a near daily basis. So much so that he is pretty tight with a number of member of the Japanese Police.
On one day, like any other for him so it would seem, he is roped into smuggling a gun onto an airplane, only to find himself in the middle of a battle to the death between a dude with a robot tentacle coming out of the side of his head and girl who only gives her codename: Siesta.
Siesta announced she is the legendary, world’s greatest detective and has orchestrated all of the events in the plane to allow her to stop and capture this powered person from killing anyone aboard the aircraft. She then buts into Kimi’s life and bullys him into being her Sidekick.
Both of these characters are like 13 or 14 years old by the way. That fact shouldn’t bother me considering this is an anime, but the way both characters are represented really makes me struggle to buy that, especially when Kimi doesn’t look any different in the second episode when we skip forward four years.
After reluctantly agreeing to be Siesta’s sidekick, they go on globe trotting, James Bond-esque adventures for three years. Putting a stop to terrorist schemes and having wild adventures along the way. And that’s all just in this initial, 40 minute episode, afterwards we skip forward four years and learn that Kimi has gone back to being a boring high schooler and that Siesta had somehow died one year prior.
Putting an end to their life of adventure as Detective and Sidekick.
Kimi’s boring life is crashed again when a girl called Natsunagi crashes into his life and demand he be hired by her for a job. Long story short; Natsunagi had a heart transplant a year prior and it turns out the heart inside her used to belong to Siesta.
From then on, it seems like Natsunagi is determined to live as Siesta did, becoming a detective and righting the wrongs of the world like some kind of superhero combination of James Bond and Sherlock Holmes. The only problem is that she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing.
And so Kimi is dragged along as her “sidekick”, in part because he’s the actual brains of the outfit now, after spending three years with Siesta. But also because he obviously grew to love his old partner and seeing some part of her still alive in Natsunagi makes it so he yearns to be near her.
So that’s the outline of the 60 minutes of anime I watched for the purposes of this blog post. And to be blunt about it: it was a chore to get through this.
I know the Japanese love their wordplay. But this series is almost all just fast talking nonsense to me. One of those shows where Siesta dissects another person’s plans and motives by monologing at them using a series of deductions that the audience were barely privy to.
I’ll admit that there is a fantastic looking action sequence within the first 20 minutes, but that’s the only one I saw like that. The rest of the series were characters talking around one another, being cheeky and picking apart one another’s comments with out actually saying anything. They just talk around one another, and maybe this would come across as cheeky banter between the two.
That would be fine if the main characters had any charm or chemistry between them whatsoever. Siesta is obviously smarter than anyone else in the anime, and she knows it. It makes her aloof and quirky, but not in a fun way. She’s actually kind of obnoxious if anything, forcing her way into Kimi’s life despite him saying he doesn’t want anything to do with her over and over.
Between her being abrupt and kind of smug about it and Kimi being this hapless nobody, that first 40 minute episode was painful to watch. The plane sequence had some cool action moments, but the second sequence taking place during a middle school culture festival was painfully directionless.
The whole mystery element becomes an afterthought to creating some fan light service.
The second and third episodes were a bit better. Natsunagi is a more relatable and likeable character, but the method by which she learned where her new heart came from was also pretty nonsensical, picking up a plot thread from the first episode that seems to forget that this is supposed to be 4 years later.
One of the nicest moments of the whole three episodes was at the end of the second where Kimi tells Natsunagi that the heart inside her is hers now, and she needn’t feel pressure to live up to whoever it belonged to before. Her life is her own to live. So of course, Natsunagi choice is to just turn herself into Siesta with Kimi’s help. Which kind of undercuts the moment to be honest.
Verdict: I didn’t like this at all
The characters are super bland. The writing is frustratingly roundabout and what is probably supposed to be quirky banter between the characters just makes me want to scream at my TV for them to get to the point. It reminded me a lot of In/Spectre from last year.
Which might have made me dislike this anime all the more because of that comparison. Because while I had my issues with In/Spectre and how it just talked and talked and talked without really saying anything, the main two characters, who had a very similar dynamic as Kimi and Siesta in this had so much more chemistry between them.
Kotako and Kuro’s banter and relationship was so much more charming than what we see between Siesta and Kimi. For one, the power dynamic totally one way here. Siesta is this perfect, unflappable, unemotional creature for Kimi to eventually fawn over. But that makes her boring, there isn’t anything human about her.
Like I said, Nat is better, but by the point I was finished with the third episode, I was more than ready to drop this one like a bad habit.