By the looks of it, it seemed Rampo Kitan was trying to be a sort of modern telling of story concepts taken from the mystery novels of famous Japanese writer Ranpo Edogawa. This very story gimmick can possibly prove to be a major barrier for many Western anime fans since not too many of Edogawa's works are accessible in English and this series is dependent on its viewers having knowledge of characters and story elements from the mystery writer's work to understand the symbolic elements of its storytelling. I'll admit even I was a bit lost with many of the Edogawa references as my only exposure to the man's work is the gentleman thief Twenty Faces.
But setting this issue aside, Rampo Kitan is focused on teen detective Akechi and two middle school boys who assist him in trying to solve a mysterious string of murders connected to a vigilante named Twenty Faces, this being an obvious nod to the rivalry between detective Akechi and Twenty Faces from Edogawa's works. It looked like the series was attempting to be symbolic with exploring society's ills and the oppressed lashing out against them by tying it in with whatever themes and story elements are within Edogawa's works. The execution of this is a bit hit-or-miss. It does have its moments of effective storytelling such as a rather tragic exploration of the murderer from one case tackled by Akechi in the middle of the series to show how far society's ills could break someone mentally trying to do the right thing for others. The style in which the cases are explored at a number of points is also quite creative as Ranpo Kitan goes for a theatrical-style presentation with showcasing elements of its cases, character back stories, and themes that helps enhance the story mood at key points and also serves as some effective symbolism at points to show the disconnection that Akechi and some other characters can have with perceiving others. Plus, the middle comedy episode in the series serving as a buffer between the show's first and second half was quite humorous for me with its absurdity and is worth a look if you enjoy comedy.
Beyond these positives though, Rampo Kitan's very premise carries some major issues outside of the mentioned accessibility of the series. A number of the major characters in the series didn't feel like characters to a good degree as they felt more like shells to carry along the major elements of the series that it attempted to push, this being quite noticeable with the middle school boys that accompany Akechi on his cases. The motives of a number of the criminals and the supposed wrongs that society pushed a number of them into felt either absurd or a bit too nihilistic with pushing the anime's themes or attempting to twist character and story elements from Edogawa's novels. A few of the characters in particular, Black Lizard and Shadow Man, felt a bit out of place with Rampo Kitan's attempts to be a dark and serious look into mystery and elements of the human condition with how over-the-top their characters came across.
Overall, I suppose my thoughts on Rampo Kitan are a bit mixed. While I applaud it for trying to be different with its creativity and incorporating elements of Ranpo Edogawa's stories for this mystery series, the execution of this is quite hit-or-miss and there is the obvious issue of many of its story elements flying over the heads of many Western viewers unfamiliar with Edogawa's literary work. I suppose whatever enjoyment you may get out of this series will depend greatly on how read up you are on Edogawa and his novels.
Rating: 6 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
It has been so long since I watched the show. Since you mentioned the books, I never really look into it and look it up or really factor into the show. I just went the flow. I do agree that the characters feel flat.
Old Man Dream: ...later titles in the Macross franchise can finally come stateside with all involved parties finally coming to a truce over how to handle things with the Macross trademark and all later anime in the franchise associated with it.
Apr 9, 2021 10:26:05 GMT
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT