Picture this, you are in a commercial aircraft going who knows where in a three-piece suit, a carry-on you have no idea contains, and an overwhelming urge to have a smoke. That is of course because you are a grown man, one attuned to shady business treading the fine line between morally questionable to straight-up illegal. It has always been this way since you were a young lass, bad luck always finding you.
Expect you are still somehow a young fucking lass at the ripe age of 14 with a three-piece suit, a six-foot stature, and yes still smuggling goods on a plane in 2020. If Eddie Dean had to bank on mystical intervention in 1987, my boy, Kimihiko, I hope you have such luck cause cocaine smuggling vs firearms, very different.
The Detective Is Already Dead is one of the very few summer shows that caught my eye, mostly because I love white-haired Kuuderes and smart-ass protagonists. Being true to what an ace detective is, this series follows Siesta. The noted white-haired blue-eyed kuudere that happens to be seated neatly seated next Kimihiko Kimizuka, an uh, middle schooler, I guess?
Really, if you want to watch this show or read the novel throw out their age, it does a real stupid roundabout way to make it relevant.
I was hooked right away. A detective story, a harem, fucking best girl Siesta, it was all there, I was victim to the white hair. The blue eyes. Then she died, kinda, sorta?
Critically speaking this show is weird for me to take on, hell, even the light novel is. It is a story of basic ass idea matched with strange development. It is a thing that can happen, I mean we had it in Hunger Games which was just The Lottery with extra steps. The idea isn’t anything new but how it’s told is.
Since I have read the first volume along with finishing the first season I am going to reference the light novel but this post will mostly be about the show. The things I thought it did well, the things I thought it did poorly, and ultimately why it was my favorite of the season while also being extremely sub-par.
Getting back on track Kimihiko, or Kimi as he will be referred to as in most of the series, is sitting on a plane smuggling some weird luggage when a stewardess asks: “Is there a detective on board?” A totally absurd thing to ask in such a situation so he chalks it up to he simply misheard, that is until a hand raises next to him, stating that there is indeed a detective on board, and she is a sight to behold.
In a grand gesture, we are introduced to Siesta, a legendary detective who at that moment claims that Kimi, from this point on, would be her sidekick. Giving little to no resistance we are taken on a journey that would play out over 4 years all across the planet as the duo travels taking on SPES. A group of mutant evil guys who want to destroy the world I think? We honestly don’t get much outside they are bad and want to do bad things.
This adventure sadly comes to an end as, the title states, the legendary detective dies leaving Kimi, now the ripe age of 18 alone and without a cause. Sad right? Literally robbed of best girl, but fret not, enter Nagisa Natsunagi. Coming Kimi’s classroom after school she asks if he is the legendary detective, something he dismisses since he is not and that is a life he no longer lived.
She then shoves her hands in his mouth both in the anime and light novel, which was oddly funny to me for some reason.
After introducing herself she states that she wants Kimi to find someone, or rather her heart wants him to. The thing about Nagisa is she was given a new life, growing up feeble due to a bad heart she never was able to do the normal things kids can do. Ya know like run and stuff. That however was changed as she was able to get a new heart, but this heart longed for something, specifically someone.
But some stroke of luck, that heart found exactly who it was looking for that day.
This sets the narrative of what this series is. It follows Kimi and Nagisa as she takes up the role of legendary detective due to her newfound heart’s origin. Kimi, now once again a sidekick can continue his journey without Seista fully, but her influence still playing a part in his life. Then the flashbacks start.
One of the weirdest things of this series is even though she is ‘dead’ Siesta the detective has more screen time than anyone else, even Nagisa who is her main replacement. This is a bit strange when you compare it to the first volume of the light novel that lightly talks about Kimi’s past with her, focusing more on Nagisa and specifically their first job of helping idol Yui Saikawa. This vaguely happens in the show but quickly gets thrown into a multi-episode flashback of the 4-year adventure Kimi and Siesta had.
While I didn’t hate this, it does make the title of the series a little odd. I mean you have it clearly stated right away that Siesta is dead only to have most of the 12 episodes specifically about her, even though she is a forgone conclusion. For what it’s worth she is an S-tier waifu.
It has also left me curious as to how the second volume of the light novel goes which I will write about once it comes in later this year. If I was a betting man however I would say the second volume is a flashback volume and the anime took more content from it than the first. If this is the case I feel it is a weak spot for the story since the first volume spent most of its time getting me invested in Nagisa but I digress.
With a 62% score on Anilist, me saying generally the series is pretty meh, how can I say it is my favorite of the summer as well as what did it do wrong? So first off, for me this summer season was weak, we have the Great Jahy that started halfway through but looking back outside of Dragon Maid season 2 which I’m sure I will love there wasn’t anything that stood out to me. Girlfriend Girlfriend gave me brain aids and Sonny Boy seemed to get love but that show wasn’t really my style. To put it bluntly, I liked the idea of The Detective Is Already Dead, I liked the dialog, humor, and general feel, it’s that simple.
However, it would be a fault not to talk about what this show really lacked, direction. The first episode is a rare 46 minutes opener and it is done well. Action is crisp, animations are on point and everything felt right, but it was a high that was short-lived. I will never bash someone’s profession outrightly, being a director is hard work, it takes time and talent to build one’s style and vision. Hell, most people never even get that far. But for Manabu Kurihara taken this series as his first direction role I feel was a bad fit. The story is too convoluted, there is too much going on and the direction starts to slip almost right away.
It shows awkward shots, weird movements as Siesta bounces on a bed or bends over at an odd angle to get a knife. Even some of the running scenes look straight-up comical and it really takes away from what I think the shots are trying to do. And when one adds that with the series taking some liberties from the text and forcing the flashbacks right away it makes the ground of what the story is being built on that much weaker irrelevant to how much I enjoyed it.
All and all it goes like this. If you want a classic mystery anime with harem elements, dope waifus, and sarcastic ass hole of a main this show has all of those and for the most part it does them well. It also does a good job of foreshadowing, some of the villains visually looking very similar to those who come to help Kimi later in the story, all of which I find very curious.
It has been a while since I have written anything for my blog so I just want to put it out there I’m around and fine. I haven’t been watching much anime but I have been reading a lot of manga but most of my free time has been going to either replaying Dragon Age or working on the book I started a couple of months ago. In short, I am taking a little break with no eta. I will be finishing up some series here soon and plan on writing about them, The Promised Neverland manga for example. But until then take care.
As always thanks for the read.