Psychic Detective Yakumo
Plot: "Saitou Yakumo is a young man with a very special gift: he can see the souls of the dead and communicate with them. When the aloof student isn’t duping his fellow classmates out of their money with fake card tricks, he takes on paranormal cases that pique his interest. Making use of his unique abilities, logical mind and his contacts within the police, Yakumo strives to solve each supernatural case he takes on and bring those responsible to justice. But when the youthful detective becomes the target of a sinister duo can he get to the bottom of their scheme before he is dragged into a world of darkness and hatred?" (site synopsis)
Story: In my opinion Psychic Detective Yakumo proved to be one of the few shows which were worth watching during the Fall 2010 Anime Season. This show was announced long ago but like the theme that it debates, it remained in a state of mystery for a long time until the time to air got near. What this anime actually debates is not something new nor out of common but the way it is presented makes it very good to watch. It’s dark ambience and the way the story develops surely makes you stick to the screen while watching it. The story of this show centers on a college student named Haruka Ozawa, and her first encounter with a mysterious accident that affected her friends and not only. To find some clues and to elucidate this mystery she trusted the rumor of a psychic detective who can see and communicate with spirits while solving murder cases and any other types of crimes. She pays him a visit and to her surprise he is a completely different person from what she though he could be. She witnesses several guys losing some bets and afterwards she realizes that he does not use psychic powers to win but rather some clever tricks, so her trust and belief in him drops. That until he is able to reveal some of her secrets that she keeps for herself. His name is Saitou Yakumo, and same like Haruka he is a college student living the life of a complete loner. However he is collaborating with another detective named Gotou, who from time to time helps him solve cases. Unlike Gotou, Yakumo has the true vision of a detective, always attentive and receptive to details that for some people seem to be unimportant and always anticipates certain events, qualities that makes him suitable to become a reliable detective. But the one thing that makes him different is his attitude, he is unsociable, repugnant and he always tries to keep the persons that care about him at distance. His attitude manifests in front of Haruka too once he asks for big sums of money in exchange for his help. Saitou proves to be in the end a different person from what he looks like, cold on the outside but warm in the inside, he accepts Haruka’s request and involves himself in the case. As the story develops Haruka finds out that he truly is different from the normal persons since he possesses the ability to see ghosts, proofed by the different color of his eyes, which he hides from people. One of his eyes has the red color shape while the other has the green one. To his surprise, when he asked Haruka what does she think about him when his red eye is revealed, he hears something that truly touched him, that he looks cool with the red eye. From this moment on, a connection is being born but not a new one, that’s for sure. However both Haruka and Yakumo have several secrets about their past that they keep them hidden. The way Yakumo acts is not because of the way he has been living but because of several events that completely influenced his life, like the death of his mother and the fact that his own mother actually tried to get rid of him and several other details that are to be revealed later on. The thing that remains in the fog until the near end of this is whether there was a connection in the past between Haruka and Yakumo? And also the encounter with a very dangerous foe that threatens the life of Yakumo and the people around him, what is his connection with Yakumo and what does he want to achieve by “making him embrace the darkness within his heart”? Indeed a show that really worth’s watching, Psychic Detective Yakumo might be at times boring and unclear but it never leaves opened flaws and it always manages to impress.
Animation and Sound: Once again we have another show made by the famous Bee Train studio, known for the production of several anime shows that explored the “girls with guns” theme (Noir, Madlax, El Cazador de la Bruja) and also the producer of a 2009 work named Phantom ~Requiem of the Phantom~. The animation is splendidly executed, the quality, the character design and directing are made in a way that you can’t overlook and not enjoy. The sound is also pretty good, both the opening and the ending soundtracks with the mood of the anime and feature some awesome sequences as well. The voice acting also includes some well known names like Ayumi Fujimura voicing Haruka (Hatsukoi Limited, Letter Bee, Kaichou wa Maid-sama), Daisuke Ono voicing Yakumo (Kaze no Stigma, Haruhi Suzumiya, Durarara!!) and several other names.
Characters: Now here the opinions may vary. Personally I enjoyed the personality of all the characters (except that coward Ishii which pissed me off the entire series but never mind that was not a good enough reason to drop this one) but of course the characters that had the most interesting personalities were Yakumo, Gotou and Haruka. Yakumo with his unpredictable personality and his appearance at the beginning seems to be a typical Yagami Light, a guys without emotions but in the end he proves to be different in the inside. Haruka as well, clumsy, cheerful and at times reliable she is always worrying for Yakumo even though the guy clearly tries to keep distance from her so that she won’t get involved in his affairs, a thing that in the end proved to be a good reason. Gotou, while being older and more experienced in being a detective compared to Yakumo he could not even match his intelligence and his way of seeing things. Yakumo unlike Gotou is able to solve cases that Gotou could never solve. The side characters and the antagonists also play a vital role in developing the three main leads too and they are named left aside.
Overall: Suspence, mystery and intelligent these are the words that could describe Psychic Detective Yakumo. Like I mentioned above, I consider this show to be in top 5 best Fall 2010 Anime shows mainly because unlike most of them it managed to present the story to the fullest, in a unique way and the most important thing it had a certain closure and not a cliffhanger at the end of the show. A second season might be possible since the original work is still ongoing but honestly, the ending of this show pretty much reached a conclusion so I don’t see the need for another one.
~Enjoy and Cya Around~