Alt title: Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo "Shounen Tanteidan" yori

TV (24 eps)
2016 - 2017
Fall 2016
3.281 out of 5 from 3,097 votes
Rank #10,768

Kensuke Hanasaki meets a mysterious boy named Yoshio Kobayashi who, due to an unexplained fog, cannot die though he wishes for death. Intrigued by this boy, Kensuke invites him to join the Boys’ Detective Team and their work around the city. But danger awaits and their fate will lead them down a dark path.

Source: Crunchyroll

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This anime in a nutshell:  This is the result of what happens when a psychopath and a sociopath get bored and seek thrills with each other. well as all the lives they destroy (sometimes literally) along the way. It's not the worst anime I've seen, but it's far from being the best, either.  It did have potential, but there was no commitment into said potential. Plot There are two interlacing plots in this anime.  The first and most interesting of them is the mystery of the "zombie boy", Yoshio Kobayashi.  Why can't he die?  What's the trick to his strange power?  He is discovered by Kensuke Hanasaki who is trying to track down a lost dog as a member of the Boys Detective Agency and then brought to the agency on the promise that Hanasaki would try to find a way to kill him. The other plot occurring is that the city is being stalked by "The Man of 20 Faces", who causes all sort of panic and trouble; Akechi Kogoro, the leader of the Detective Agency, has been chasing him down for years with nothing to show for it.  While 20-Faces continues to cause damage (and just be a creepy psycho) and use everything and everyone around him as pawns, Akechi is honestly no better though he's the "cop" to their city-wide game of "cops and robbers". Honestly, the biggest "story" in all of this is Kobayashi's personal journey. Characters So much potential...mostly wasted. Kensuke Hanasaki flips between being an annoying eternal optimist to hitting his teen angst years late.  If it wasn't for the fact that he is shown to feel bad about things, he could be a borderline sociopath as well. Yoshio Kobayashi is an amnesic, mysterious boy who probably shows the most development in the entire series, though his flippant attitude about life and death and seeming lack of empathy towards others can be offputting.  This is derrived from the fact that he can't die; a strange power prevents him from dying no matter what he tries. Akechi Kogoro is a borderline sociopathic man who tries to do "good" things, but honestly isn't too much better than 20 Faces in how he uses others and shows them no sympathy if they're struggling. 20 Faces is a bored psychopath who is obsessed with Akechi and seems to be able to brainwash people with some mysterious power. The other characters stay fairly consistant throughout the series, with only a spattering of character growth here and there at an almost unnoticeable level.  The characters, themselves, don't seem to have much of a bond.  Rather than a well-oiled unit or a team, they feel like a bunch of strangers who were just thrown together by chance and told to work together (even though it's all their own will to do detective work).  Sound and Animation If you're going to watch this, don't watch the English Dub.  Please. I accidentally stumbled upon it on Funimation's site when looking for the next episode,'s horrible.  The Japanese voice acting is, as usual, entire bodies better (not just the head and shoulders) than the emotionless English Dub. The music is forgettable.  I was not a fan of the opening or outro songs, and the music in the anime itself is...well, I don't even remember it.  There was one episode where they tried to use cognitive dissonance but failed miserably because there was nothing horrific going on (just Akechi surrounded by books and some flashbacks). No real complaints about the animation. Overall This had the potential to be much more than it was.  At one point, a philisophical question of morals and "what is justice" came into play...but sadly, the creators didn't commit to grasping that and running with it.  They tried to touch a little on it, but did a terrible job at doing so and just couldn't seem to put both feet in the water of philosophy. They could have really made the viewers question morals and what "justice" is, but instead gave us a lukewarm taste of what it could have been and then went back to mucking about by jumping between the Hanasaki/Kobayashi plot and the 20-Faces/Akechi plot while scattering a few ideas and characters here and there. A couple characters even show up later to question "justice" even more, but in the end were also wasted potential. As I watched the series, I found myself much more interested in the mystery which was Kobayashi (and their mysterious powers and how they got them...which, by the way, is never explained in a satisfactory manner) and his character growth and past (as well as strange budding friendship with Hanasaki) than I did about 20-Faces or Akechi. I even skipped and went back on a couple of episodes because the 20-Faces focus (when the focus was on him and Akechi) was incredibly boring.  It attempted to be some sort of suspense, but failed on that angle and was just...dull.  There were even some scenes where time was of the essence and the characters were just...standing around.  While there are good action scenes, the anime is also riddled with a lot of nothing happening and (often pointless) dialogue. The first thing I said to myself when I finished watching the series was the line I used to open up this review: This anime is pretty much the result of what happens when a psychopath and a sociopath decide to play a game of "thrills" with one another...and all of the people who get hurt because of that. There's not much more to say than that.  If you're looking for something fairly mindless (and can tolerate the slew of annoying characters), I suppose this is a good way to aleviate boredom.  It's certainly better than using people as tools to play some sick game with another person to get a "thrill" out of it. Mindless background noise, especially if you're not a fan of Kobayashi's character.  Episode one is also extremely confusing and just a little weird (and ironically, the "weird" part isn't Kobayashi's powers). I'll give it a 4 out of 10...and I feel I'm being generous with that score.

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