Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace – 02

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Things certainly got very… anime.

I don’t know about dead people chairs, but using my boyfriend as a backrest is pretty comfortable, so maybe these characters are on to something…

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There was kind of a switch in moods from the last episode to this one. The first episode was more creepy and had more shock value, where this one was mostly explanation with some weirder antics coming in. Not that this is a bad thing though since the exposition on the murder was engaging enough. The switch to Hashiba’s point of view (and thus the background characters actually being given character designs) was kind of interesting too. Though it only really served to reinforce that Kobayashi finds regular life so boring that nobody except those that interest him deserve any kind of recognition.

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On that line of thought, the formless people are pretty convenient in making trying to figure out the murderer a bit more difficult. A lot of the time in anime you can tell who is going to be more important than a background character just by how interesting or unique their design is, but not so much in this show. Maybe this episode cheated that a bit in having Kobayashi notice the real murderer (or at least have the real murderer say something to stand out to Kobayashi) a while ago but not revealing them like they did when he noticed Hanabishi, but it did make things more interesting. Plus having a character revealed instantly after saying a line like that would have been really obvious.

At first it seems like a bit of a stretch with Kobayashi’s logic that the first conclusion of someone turning women into chairs is that it’s a sign of love, but at the same time, the kid obviously has a few issues he needs to sort out so maybe this is a logical thought process in this case. Looking at how he was able to come to this conclusion pretty easily, maybe he is the best person to try and solve gruesome mysteries since he can follow the killer’s thoughts more closely. I’ve never seen either, but I’ve been led to believe that shows like Dexter and Hannibal are kind of the same thing (a killer catching other killers, not that Kobayashi has killed someone as far as we know), so why not apply the concept to anime.

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Yep, she’s a keeper.

This kind of also explained why Kobayashi is pretty feminine too, since that might be a reason why his teacher fell in love with him. Well, that and maybe the fact that Kobayashi was probably a few years away from having his own human furniture collection. They probably would have made a really terrifying couple had it actually worked out… But anyways, at least they had some sort of justification for Kobayashi’s design. Plus Hashiba also seems to have a thing for Kobayashi, so there’s that reason too. Though Kobayashi didn’t necessarily need to be feminine for that to happen (maybe they’ll prove that wrong in some backstory eventually).

There was a line about how Hashiba told Kobayashi that the killer was definitely in the classroom (in that scene where Kobayashi was being interrogated by the detectives) that seemed off. How did Hashiba know that the killer was there for sure? Maybe Kobayashi told Hashiba about how the meeting went with the teacher, but that had nothing to do with the cell phone trap. Maybe this was supposed to make Hanabishi a red herring since she was the only one to really react to the phone and she was the only other character that Kobayashi noticed (the wrist cuts could have been due to angst over Kobayashi stealing her love or something). Though Hanabishi has pink eyes where the person who reacted eye’s were brown… So it was probably Hashiba just reinforcing the idea that Kobayashi didn’t murder anyone yet. Oh well. They’re probably going to just move on from here and never address this again since the mystery is done, but it just seemed weird at the time.

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So regardless, the mystery was solved rather easily. …Which is just as well because despite the culprit not being entirely sane, she was also only 14. That makes the likelihood of mistakes seem greater anyways. Like I mentioned earlier some parts of the mystery were very based on assumption too, like Kobayashi assuming his teacher was in love with him, or even how the culprit admitted her crimes the first time she was questioned about them. But at the same time, they covered the basis of the mystery portion with the culprit leaving clues and being identifiable by the audience if they were paying attention (one of the major rules of detective fiction). They did put a lot of emphasis on the media blackout after all. Maybe this was solved so easily because this was an “easy” crime committed by a child, but I’ll have to compare once I get a glimpse of what Akechi can solve. He didn’t do much this mystery and he’s had a lot more experience than Kobayashi, so surely he faces some tougher situations than this one on a regular basis. …Probably.

Ranpo Kitan is still pretty fun. I didn’t mind the mood switch so much and Kobayashi is pretty unintentionally (?) funny because of how okay he is with dealing with murderers, and also being interesting to watch for the same reason. The line he said to Hoshino about how learning about her was fun was pretty revealing about his character. So now that Kobayashi is working with Akechi, it will be interesting to see who takes the lead in the upcoming mysteries. Kobayashi might be more interesting to watch, but Akechi is more experienced… And Hashiba will probably be along for the ride to be a voice of reason (and also for the shounen ai).


University student and the one at Metanorn who's known for wearing glasses. Likes blood, insanity and plot twists, but also plays otome games and adores cute romance anime. It balances out... somehow.
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30 Responses to “Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace – 02”

  1. IreneSharda says:

    It’s kind of weird, I ended up liking this episode more than the first because it felt more funny and less pretentious. Yet, the mystery, I must say, was rather sloppy. A good mystery should allow the clues to all be there in the open for the audience to figure it out too, even if it must happen in hindsight. This mystery required some very large assumptions that there is no way the audience could have guessed at. How were we supposed to know that the teacher was a pedophile and that for some reason, every prepubescent girl that he fell in “love” went crazy and was happy to be turned into a chair? Also, are you actually asking us to buy that all these girls disappeared and nobody made a connection to the teacher? And how were we supposed to know that he had shifted from liking little girls to liking little boys? And you cannot tell me that a middle school age girl has the power to strangle a grown man without someone hearing anything?

    Sigh…while this episode was better in tone, it was also still bad as well. The main character is still the most annoying character this season (yes, even more than Gatcha’s Hajime). The mystery wasn’t very good, and it wasn’t even presented very well.

    I’m giving it one more episode, but I’m not very positive.

    • Karakuri says:

      Haha see, I kind of liked the pretentiousness. Though in either case, the anime seems to favor style over substance. This is fine by me because it makes things interesting to watch, but I do agree that some things didn’t make the most sense… But oh well, this is fun to watch (for me anyways) as long as you don’t look at things too closely.

  2. Samsura says:

    The thing that differentiates Ranpo’s style of mystery compared to say Csi or bones is that it isn’t about finding more and more clues. I don’t think that this is the type of show where one piece of evidence will change everything. That being said, if you don’t follow Kobayashi’s assumptions the conclusion here probably won’t make sense.

    The most important thing that the show got right here was not making the sensei evil. Now I’m not saying we should be turning our lovers into furniture, but the mutual desire of furniture and sensei is what makes Ranpo different from another mystery series. He is a freak, but there is a clear amount of love behind sensei’s actions. And this also extends to Kobayashi who saw this emotional stuff in the furniture.
    This show just keeps on surpassing my expectations.

    • IreneSharda says:

      The most important thing that the show got right here was not making the sensei evil. Now I’m not saying we should be turning our lovers into furniture, but the mutual desire of furniture and sensei is what makes Ranpo different from another mystery series. He is a freak, but there is a clear amount of love behind sensei’s actions. And this also extends to Kobayashi who saw this emotional stuff in the furniture.

      I can’t really agree with this. Maybe our definitions of “evil” are different, but being a pedophile serial killer is pretty darn evil in my book. The episode didn’t do anything at all to make me relate or sympathize with him, the only emotion I kind of had was mild disgust.

      The way you’re talking about a “freak”, makes me think of a misunderstood and warped genius, like the Phantom of the Opera. This guy is more on the lines of Ted Bundy.

      • IreneSharda says:

        Sigh, forgot the blockquote tags. 😛

      • Samsura says:

        The difference here is consent.

      • Samsura says:

        The difference here is consent. I’m not saying I sympathize with this wanna be carpenter, what I’m saying is that he isn’t evil. The fact that all the actions of this story were inspired by a perverse love is the main takeaway. I think the better way to phrase this would be to say that the perverse love isn’t evil, and since that perverse love is MUTUAL, sensei isn’t evil. Though I understand why a normal “morally upright human being” would disagree with this.

        • Karakuri says:

          Ah, I never even thought about the consent aspect to all of this. The consensus in the episode seemed to be “killing people is bad” (hence the police involvement) but all the parties directly involved seemed more than okay with it.

          • skylion says:

            Well, you see, murder is still a crime, even if the murdered doesn’t press charges…

            • BlackBriar says:

              Well, you haven’t committed a crime if you haven’t been caught.

        • IreneSharda says:

          Since all these girls were children at the middle school age, the idea of “consent” in a whole other thing altogether. And murder is murder, whether the person thinks they “want” it or not.

          I honestly can’t even think of whatever this creep was feeling as “love” anyway. It felt more like “possession” to me. This guy could be on an episode of Criminal Minds.

          But, like you said. I can’t think like him, and I sure as heck don’t want to.

  3. Foshizzel says:

    This episode made me laugh more than “feel” things even the ending was totally LOLOLOL teacher jumps out of the window? Really? Is this looney toons?

    I still don’t like the main character he/she is dumb.

    • Karakuri says:

      Well, if you’re a morally just person I don’t think you’re supposed to really “feel” things here…

      I get people’s dislike of Kobayashi too, but I think he’s supposed to appeal to a different kind of audience. This whole show in general is probably trying to do that since it’s exploring darker topics that society doesn’t really talk about. Though that kind of pretentiousness is probably turning people off…

  4. zztop says:

    Anime Kobayashi’s androgyny and connection to anime Akechi is a shoutout to Ranpo’s original novels.

    Novel Kobayashi was an excellent cross-dresser and master of disguise, who used his skills to assist Akechi, his boss and mentor, to solve cases.

    The sociopathy is likely anime-original though.

    • Samsura says:

      Have you read much of Ranpo’s Boy Detectives Club works? I have only read 1 work with Akechi Goro, mostly I’ve only read Ranpo’s early pre-WWII Ero Guro stuff.

      • zztop says:

        I’ve never read Ranpo’s detective novels prior to this, but I did some research on his works after watching Ep 1.

        I also found out this whole arc is one big creative liberty by the anime. Ranpo’s original “Human Chair” story didn’t have Akechi, Kobayashi or grisly murders of any kind.

        Here’s a summary of Ranpo’s original “Human Chair”:

        • Samsura says:

          Ok, because I have actually read stuff like The Human Chair or the Caterpillar and a few other choice stories. I was aware of Kobayashi’s existence, but not through actual experience.

        • skylion says:

          …it’s what they call “loosely inspired” in this business..

    • Karakuri says:

      Ah, well that explains a lot!

  5. Di Gi Kazune says:

    After Kara’s comfy comment, I suddenly thought: I wouldn’t mind a person frozen solid as a nice tabletop. :3

  6. JPNIgor says:

    the kid obviously has a few issues he needs to sort out

    Oh, rly? I TOTALLY think this girl, I mean, boy, is compleeeetely normal because, yeah, let’s look at human chair photos and not be creeped out at all.

    I mean it, Kobayashi creeps the heck out of me. Keep him away, please.

    Though I found it really funny that Kobayashi came to the conclusion that the teacher was in love with him by himself. I’d think of a thousand reasons to deny this line of thought if it ever came across my mind.

    • Karakuri says:

      Yeah, I thought that coming to the love conclusion was definitely not the first thing I would come to. Though I guess this just proves that Kobayashi thinks differently? I mean, I wouldn’t want to stare at human chairs like the kid either….

  7. BlackBriar says:

    A shaky yet alright second entry. The case was solved quicker than I imagined, though but still retained the ominous feel.

    Frankly, I think those people have a screw loose for wanting to be killed and torn apart just to be some guy’s furniture. That’s a one-sided affair no matter how you look at it. Do they value themselves that little? The very idea is disturbing.

    the kid obviously has a few issues he needs to sort out

    In my opinion, Kobayashi is amoral. Probably an only child and was raised in a manner where he developed a mentality where he feels he doesn’t need to concern himself with what happens to certain people, physically or psychologically.

    • Karakuri says:

      I think they’ll probably do a 2 episode mystery again in the next episodes. Minami said some 4th wall breaking line about “see you again in two weeks”, so chances are she’ll be back in 2 weeks.

      Well maybe not valuing themselves little, but it was out of love? Kids do crazy things for love, and even more so when they’re young and haven’t really established themselves in society completely. This was just a… different and terrible (by society’s definition) expression of it. They were okay with it apparently.

      I don’t know about how Kobayashi was raised, but I don’t necessarily think it was his upbringing that made him that way. His parents weren’t acknowledged by him, so they could be pretty normal. But yeah, he’s definitely not normal haha.

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