Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace – 04-07

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Because it’s not art unless there’s copious amounts of nudity.

Well right away, it turns out that Twenty Faces was not Kage Otoko like I thought he might have been. Oh well. Twenty Faces seems like an interesting addition to the story anyways.

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Good, finally some plo- ………… Oh.

Kuro’s introduction was… interesting. How Akechi met her and their previous cases they solved seems like something that needs to be explained at a later date, but for now she was useful for information. …Even though she’s in prison and who even knows how she got the info in the first place. How did she get Watanuki out of jail when she’s already in prison (with slaves somehow)? Who knows. This is probably just one of those plot details that they’re going to skim over. But I guess overall, despite her personality quirks, she’s an impressive individual. Somehow she managed to get a convicted criminal who was caught in the act of a crime released, the police were somehow willing to deal with the media backlash of this, and again, she’s in prison while managing this. Or as it was explained in episode 5, maybe it was just all because Watanuki had some mental disability. But then again, the characters seemed to attribute the release to Kuro and she seems to have subordinates outside of prison. She’s definitely a character that the show should go in to more because of her history with Akechi and the amount of power she seems to have even behind bars, but there’s still plenty of time for that in the series.

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They also went a lot into Kagami too, and for good reason. His story about how he turned into a criminal himself was very sympathetic (well, maybe up to the point where he was dissolving people in a bathtub). Surely his job did help people, but how some of the criminals were basically just allowed to go free and of course, what happened to his sister was undoubtedly frustrating. The anime seemed to question whether or not it’s okay to judge criminals like that, but from what they’ve shown so far, the answer seems to be “yes”. Kagami got things done and acted as a deterrent, where the justice system appears to be endless loops that just let the criminals go free without any consequences whatsoever as long as they can prove that they’re mentally ill. Kagami himself said that his way of going about things was wrong, but before that they seemed to show that there wasn’t really any kind of justice by following the legal system at all.

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Though with the new Twenty Faces cases, it seems that the idea of punishing otherwise unprintable criminals is an idea that at least one other person agrees with (or maybe even more if the newest case isn’t the real Twenty Faces either). But really, the fault seems to be with the system itself, which didn’t seem to do much with the clearly dangerous criminals other than let them go. Sure some people probably changed for the better, but an alarmingly large number seemed to go right back to committing crimes, so whoever is evaluating these people as rehabilitated is clearly wrong.

So the plot’s involvement with Kagami as Twenty Faces didn’t last long at all. Or at least with this version of Twenty Faces, since Kagami doesn’t seem to be the real one and more cases keep happening apparently. If Twenty Faces was supposed to bring all of the episodes together, it doesn’t seem too effective… The way the plot is moving seems logical (with the case of Kobayashi joining, him getting involved with Watanuki, which progressed to Kagami, which progressed to other Twenty Faces), but at the same time, the episodes feel pretty disjointed from one another.

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Episode 6 was pretty nonsensical and was definitely a different atmosphere than Kagami’s tragic backstory the episode before. It didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose plot-wise, but maybe it was to show how hectic Akechi’s life has become due to all of the people now involved in his life (not that we know how things were before Kobayashi showed up). Also, it kind of showed how the characters they’ve introduced so far interact with one another. Normally there’s just Kobayashi and Hashiba annoying Akechi, so this was a little different with everyone annoying Akechi this time. Though from Akechi’s reaction to Kobayashi and Hashiba showing up at the end of episode 7, he doesn’t seem too annoyed with the two following him around (or maybe that was just because they brought coffee).

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Akechi actually solved some cases apparently in between Kagami’s case and Panorama island, but of course we’re not actually allowed to see what happened there. At least we finally get to see him in action now. Maybe. Hopefully he takes the lead this time, even though Kobayashi has shown up. Twenty Faces seems to be who Kagami is most concerned with, so it would be silly if he wasn’t that involved with this case. Plus the plot has been more open about Akechi in general by showing us a bit of his childhood, his relationship with Kuro, and even a bit of his thought process when solving cases. It’s interesting to see how he’s more commanding when solving things, as opposed to how Kobayashi’s thought process is shown. It’s also interesting how the side characters for Akechi look like puppets or something like that. I guess he has a similar outlook as Kobayashi as to how boring everyday life is, so it makes sense.

From the first episode, I really thought this would be more of a mystery anime with different cases that required the intellect of the detective figures to solve them. …Instead, there’s less emphasis on the thought process (often cutting out details that the viewer would have needed to figure things out) and more of a “let’s bait the culprit so they come to us” type of thing. Not that this is bad, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. I still wish that they would bring things together more in the plot, but it seems a little late for that. Plus we might finally see Akechi do something besides having fighting scenes at the end of a case, so that’s exciting.



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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8 Responses to “Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace – 04-07”

  1. zztop says:

    Despite being titled after Ranpo’s books, the episodes use very little, if any, elements from their sources.

    For example, the original Caterpillar story is markedly more psychosexual and grotesque than its anime version (Ep 5). Plot spoilers follow.
    Show ▼

  2. zztop says:

    Kobayashi body pillows are up for sale:

  3. BlackBriar says:

    With Kuro’s perverse reminiscing, I’d really like to see how she and Akechi operated in the past prior to her imprisonment. No doubt she was keeping things “interesting”. One thing is certain: the woman is one hell of a shameless masochist. How she got that way, I can’t even begin to imagine.

    Kagami’s development was interesting. A demonstration showing it doesn’t much for a person to fall from grace. One wrong move and that’s it. His anger toward the justice system is understandable because no matter how you look at it with criminals exploiting loopholes, the system is ultimately facilitating future crimes of various natures. It’s even more frustrating to watch because the criminals are openly rubbing it in the officers’ faces that they can’t touch them and they’ll be back on the streets in a matter of months, maybe less.

    The events made good on Kagami’s last words after his interrogation. Twenty Faces isn’t one but many, therefore he’ll never die. So it’s basically saying there’d be no end to the series of vigilante justice because Twenty Faces is an ideal that most people won’t hesitate to take on. Especially those who’ve suffered a tragic loss like Kagami or Sachiko’s father who got his revenge on that obese bastard whose death actually had me relieved to see because he deserved it.

    The past episodes were ups and downs but are still doing well enough to keep me coming back and this new case may be a return to form. It’s amusing how Kobayashi and Akechi view everyone around them to symbolize their anti-social behavior (Kobayashi with silhouettes and Akechi with wooden puppets). I can relate to them in a way because I wouldn’t do anything that doesn’t directly involve me or I’d only do something to stave off boredom.

  4. Samsura says:

    I am convinced that this is a show most suited for people with a background in 1920’s Japanese Literature and Japanese Cult Cinema. That person is me, but who else?

    There is a mountain of context that I need to give for these past episodes, so lets get into it.

    Don’t let any of the fan service or tits fool you: the Black Lizard is a dude. Played by the lover of famed wannabe revolutionary Yukio Mischima, the black lizard of the movie of the same name was a famous theif obsessed with jewels and mummifying beautiful people. He/she also falls fatally in love with Akechi. The relationship in anime basically takes place after everything I just said. I do recommend watching the Black Lizard movie because of its incredible bizarreness and lunacy.

    As for Panorama Island, this is my favorite of all Ranpo’s stories. The base premise changes from the novel which is more of a murder mystery to the manga by the wonderful Ero-Guro artist Suehiro Maruo to the mostly related movie Island of the Malformed Man which is an immensely strange experience. Simply put an isolated Island devoted entirely to the pursuit of pleasure and desire turns into quite the hedonistic nightmare.

    Ignoring the clear throwaway nature of episode 6, I really love this show. Both artistically and narratively this show has exceeded in capturing the disturbing and haunting nature of Ranpo’s books. The cold detachment in Kagami’s voice as he recalls his sad tale, the weird state that is Akechi’s mind, both the horrific violence committed by the criminals and those who hunt the criminals, all of it fascinates me. One other note about the Fiend of Twenty Faces is that the novel version is actually quite similar to Kage Otoko. Novel Fiend was a gentleman thief who was Akechi’s main rival. I am not sure why the switch occurred to make him the threat that he is, but I can’t wait to see. Just trying to decipher the bizarreness that is Panorama Island brings me immense joy.

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