Crime has never been so odd and criminals never so odder. “Cuticle Detective Inaba” initially follows the standard crime drama trope. Our hero, Hiroshi Inaba (dead center), used to work for the police department, but got tired of being bossed around and thwarted in what he could accomplish, so he struck out on his own, as he feels he can do more without the restraints of police protocols and his annoying partner. And that’s where the standardness ends.
You have noticed the ears, right? Well, that isn’t some rockin’ hair style, our detective is a genetically-engineered werewolf and he can determine EVERYTHING about a person by tasting their hair. OK, it’s not as bad as licking drool, but still….
He will need all of his skills as a new villain has come to Tokyo, Don Valentino, a Mafia crime boss who is going to bring Japan to her knees with a daring series of bank robberies. He will amass all the money in the land…..so he can eat it. Yes, that guy IS a goat. Aiding Don is his fight is Fernando, that burlap-bagged guy who looks like a refugee from “Resident Evil”, Dr. Noah (the purple-pigtails. Yes, Woody Allen did that joke in 1967 with “Casino Royale”) and Gabriella, that scowling maiden at the far left, who is simultaneously the best and worst assassin ever. Oh, she can hit her mark….but it’s usually Don. Right between the eyes.
Aiding Inaba in his fight for truth, justice and the American way…I mean, the Japanese way, is Kei Nozaki, the guy in blue to Inaba’s right. He spends most of his time trying to protect Inaba from….his other partner! Yūta Sasaki, the blonde on Inaba’s left, is actually a cross-dressing boy who comes up with all kinds of plots to kill anyone who gets close to Inaba. This also includes…
Kuniharu Ogino (the man in black above Yuta). He is a top inspector with the police force and was Inaba’s partner, but they had a falling out. He is also a bit of a superman, as he cannot seem to be killed and projects an aura so scary that EVERYONE is terrified when he gets enraged.
Together, the forces of good fight the forces of evil and never reach a real conclusion, as Don manages to escape the long arm of the law every time. There is also a sub-story where Inaba is looking for his younger brother, Haruka Inaba (who he finds. That’s the white-haired person as the far right). He works for NORA, a group dedicated to the destruction of everyone. Other members of NORA include Natsuki and Yataro (she, up; him, below), both wolf/human hybrids and the evil head of NORA, the ever distrustful Soumei-san (he’s that tiny sheep sitting on Haruka’s shoulder). He has the ability to leave his body, but his last vessel is in prison, so must inhabit this sheep doll.
So, everyone is chasing everyone else and despite and sheer amount of mayhem and destruction, this is a lot of goofy fun, as they mock almost every police drama convention. Now, it does take a bit of a serious tone in episodes eight and nine, but that sets up for a most ridiculous conclusion.
OK, this show is played strictly for laughs and if you are looking for something deeper, this isn’t the show, but I was drawn in by the weird and quirky nature of this rather thin story. Still, I think you will enjoy it. I certainly would have loved to know more about Fernando, but that’s water under the bridge. You get two episodes per show and you can see everyone go through their paces and still not be able to stop crime in the big city. That goat is one slippery snake!
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Interesting artwork and approaches)
Plot 6 (OK, not really much of one)
Pacing 7 (Can get a bit too frantic for its own good)
Effectiveness 8 (It does tell its story well)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a coupler point’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 4 (A similar show would be “Gurren Lagaan”)
Overall 7 (Fun but slight)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. This is a series you’ll like, you will.
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