“Detective” Story

August 25th, 2022 in Anime, General Reviews by

I am starting to question if we really need to base animes off of video games. On the one hand, a lot of the footwork has been done for you, as far as preproduction; on the other hand, you have to come up with real mysteries and not those tales that could be solved in five minutes if I had ALL the clues in front of me. Such is the dilemma with Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katori no Nazotoki File (“Reiton Misuterī Tantei-sha ~Katorī no Nazotoki Fairu” or “Layton Mystery Detective Agency: Kat’s Mystery Solving Files”).

We are in London. Or maybe it’s Lundun. We are at Katrielle Layton’s office, where she solves cases, just like her famous father, who has gone missing on some great adventure. Together with her harried assistant Noah Montoir/Ernest Greeves (yes, they have two names; must be a production requirement) and her dog, Sherl O. C. Kholmes, (Yeah, play with the spelling of that one) they solve mysteries around the British Isles. And therein lies the problem.

They really aren’t mysteries. It is pretty soft, in that it doesn’t involve things like murder or blackmail or tracking down a cheating spouse. These are simpler things, like, where did that pastry shop go and why are their pylons in the middle of nowhere. There is a second series of episodes, wherein the reason for Layton and Luke absence is explained and this all converges into the Grand Conclusion, when the arcs finally meet and we get the Adventure of the Final Problem.

It feels like a video game and I wonder why? And since a key component or clue is not revealed to you until the very end, you are kind of prevented from solving said mystery on your own. It’s not a terrible series, but it could have been so much more than what it was.

I mean, Katrielle is cute and perky and has a real nose (or eye) for all of this, while her assistant is, well, her assistant and sometimes is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. Even the dog seems to play a bigger role than him (and the dog gets one episode to shine. Even animals, it seems, have a need for detective help.)

It’s just I could not tell when this show happens. It has a pre-War/post-War flavor to it, especially with the fashions, but without cell phones or Walkmans, who can be certain? 1932? 1962? 2012?

Do you want to binge? You make the call. Each story can stand alone and you could potentially watch it out of order (although you shouldn’t) but I am not certain if binging would help overall. That really is a personal taste; I found my two-a-day sufficed for me. Be forewarned: it is a 50-episode run.


On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           7 (Too cartoony for me)
Plot                  8 (Works for what it wants to tell)
Pacing              7 (Moves along consistently)
Effectiveness   8 (More for the Layton/Luke arc)
Conclusion       7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Bingeability     6 (Strictly personal decision)

Overall            7 (Too much hidden from us all)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I’ve solved every riddle.

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