Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace 3 manages to be sinister and eccentric at the same time. The former is demonstrated by Sachiko’s murder; the show had that all set up to be a happy ending, the girl cured, happy, and going to school, only to turn it on its head and make her another victim. It demonstrates just how cruel this show can be. It’s eccentric not only with Koboyashi happily cross-dressing but in its final bit, where bag-head, a man with an unhealthy but benign interest in young girls, fights a man with an unhealthy, possessive and murderous interest in them, two sides of the same coin. Finally, there was that line in Sachiko’s flashback about her father not being able to see her face. Like Kobayashi? Is this going to be a running theme? I guess I’ll find out soon …
Episode four, in spite of a few surprises, didn’t really work. I was rather pleased (though disgusted) that Watanuki returned because it showed this wouldn’t simply be a “murder of the week” series. On the other hand, I can’t agree with the police’s strategy here–letting a serial killer loose to bait a vigilante, and I’m surprised he could just walk around scot-free like that. And while the identity of Twenty Faces was a surprise, there wasn’t much in the way of clues for us to solve. It could have been anyone on the police force if they wanted. Yeah, so Kagami was shown as obsessed and insomniac, that wasn’t enough of a connection for me. Now the show has lost one of Akechi’s best foils on the police force. Finally, what the hell was that scene with Black Lizard about? What did it do apart from introducing a rather disgusting character? Did she help at all?
Episode five was dull and disgusting. We’re forced to watch how Kagami got the way he did, starting as a wide-eyed rookie investigator with a doting younger sister, who we could all guess would be dead meat by the end of the episode. The insanity defense puts some repeat offenders back on the streets and his dedication wavers, then one of them kills the sister … By this time I had turned away from the TV in disgust. And, by the way, you know who all the worst criminals are because they are somehow monstrously deformed. Sugata’s lizard tongue, Watanuki’s extreme obesity. Things like that, where you know you’re supposed to hate them. And they all say “I’ll be free in a few months, ha-ha!,” an oversimplification to make them even more monstrous so you can root for the equally disgusting vigilante “justice.” This show had been been so clever and stylish up to this episode; now it feels derailed.
As a palate cleanser I chose Sore ga Seiyuu! 4. Basically the girls’ show ends, there’s a wrap party, everyone is depressed because there’s no other work coming. Futuba is cheered up by this week’s cameo, Banjou Ginga, whom I had to look up, and then the decision is made to make the girls a unit and keep their radio show going, because they’ve gotten better, probably the moral of the week, unless it’s “Keep trying” again. So now the girls have to adjust to their new, slightly elevated status while they wonder just what the hell it means to be a unit. I’m still not in love with this show, the episode moments where they could pick up the pace, but the goofiness of the 4-koma comes through at times, and there’s the happy, always changing ED where they sing a bit of an anime hit song.
Teekyuu! 51 has already been supplanted by 52, but I need to ration out the show’s greatness, so only one episode here. It’s the cultural festival and we see a lot of Yuri and Udonko, who I don’t remember. An impressive SPG of 2.9, keeping its good streak going.