Saturday, July 11, 2009

Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro

I guess it’s time to write about another anime that’s neither a ,,must see” nor a ,,throw it in the toilet where it belongs with its brothers”. Majin Tantei is such one anime series. It tried to bring something new and entertaining to the infinite table of anime… but does it have the potential to grab a piece of the cake, or will it be put in a baby chair?

The plot follows Neuro, a demon that has consumed all the mysteries of Hell and now came to the human world to find and consume ,,The ultimate mystery”. So, as not to make his presence noticed, he teams up with Yako Katsuragi, a girl who understands the human psychology, is able to quickly adapt to a situation and remain calm and has an eating disorder since she has a constant voracious appetite. The reason she agrees to help Neuro is that she wants him to solve the mystery behind her father’s mysterious murder. You’d do well to remember this, because it plays a much important role later on. At first the plot seems like it doesn’t have any consistency and everything happens at random. But here comes Sai, a sadistic and very powerful kid who can morph himself. Thanks to him there is a more important plot going on, but it only comes 2 times during and the last 4 episodes. Most of the series is based on solving different mysteries from random people, which help Yako evolve her detective skills. These mysteries, while entertaining, are sometimes dumb. Not only the culprit is revealed to you before he is revealed to our heroes, but their reasons are always so FUCKING STUPID. It’s like ,,I killed him because he said my food doesn’t have a heart” or ,,I killed them because I wanted to model their hair with their blood” or ,,I killed because I had a boner” etc. It’s like ,,Can it get more retarded than this?”. Yeah it can… how about having these guys transform into mutants at the end. One transforms into Violence Jack, another into a cat, one transforms into a… a… pterodactyl or something like that, and one reminded me of Power Rangers. Yeah… ,,It’s morphing time”. His furniture combines with him and he looks like that guy in cardboard boxes that supposedly is a robot. You know, that robot which is made out of different cars, and a mysterious room appears out of nowhere and they all Houdini themselves inside that room and… well whatever, this is getting out of hand. The bottom line is that it gets too dumb and unexplainable to just let it go unnoticed.

But the fuck up that keeps this from being something truly memorable is the ending. As mentioned before, 2 important factors for the great plot is Sai and the murder of Yako’s father. Turns out that it was Sai who killed him, but you find that out much earlier than the ending. It’s the reason that you want to know. So after Neuro defeats him, Sai, thanks to a delicate condition, is about to lose his memory. So Yako asks him ,,Why you did it” and he’s like ,,I remember… I killed him” and you’re like ,,WOW… Thanks for the confirmation, but I want to know WHY”. And now 3 possible scenarios… either they (the producers) were lazy, either they didn’t know what to say, either they were being plain fucking dicks, cause all Sai says is ,,I can’t remember…”. What he actually says is ,,GO figure out yourselves you dumb shits”. How cheap is this, to rely on amnesia to cover up your fuck up... I know that the manga explains this, so the question arises… Where they so stupid or lazy as to not take this one little thing from the manga? Or were they trying so hard to be assholes that they just had to do this? I don’t know, but it doesn’t end here. Later, Yako says she will protect Sai. They give little hints about this, and I have a theory, but can’t she say it herself as to confirm it, dumb shit-eating bitch. When asked why she says ,,Sai is…” and then she’s brain dead. After a while she reboots and she’s like ,,What was I saying?”. Can’t it get cheaper? And of course she miserably fails in her pathetic attempt to protect Sai. She leaves an amnesiac guy all alone for a long time, with the window of the 1st floor open, in a South American country. So he runs away, and she immediately gives up on searching him and returns in Japan. But I have to say… for an amnesiac guy, he sure knows his way around the world, cause we see a brief scene with him back in Japan. He got from South America to Japan while having amnesia… I have to be really naïve and forgiving to accept that as a fact. The ending sucks sooo hard that few things can make up for it.

Well at least it has a good presentation. The graphics – perfect. They may not make you touch the screen, but are certainly a feast for the eyes. Smooth and sharp, character models are well defined, and the detail on Neuro is impressive. If he is more human or demon, he has a lot of detail and color, especially when he’s using his 666 tools of Hell, which not only are beautiful to look at, but are also original. Voice work is believable, sound effects are realistic, and it has a good musical score.

For what it’s worth, Majin Tantei is somewhat entertaining, has good action, and the mysteries are somewhat interesting to figure out, although you will be asking yourself most of the time ,,how” and not ,,why”. It’s not one of the worst anime I’ve seen but it’s certainly frustrating. And it’s amazing that this is a Madhouse production. Compared to Paranoia Agent, another one of their works, this one fairs a little better, but… at least that one had some mystery. They fucked up with that at the end pretty bad, but at least it was a mystery. Here not only is this NOT a mystery, it also doesn’t explain some essential stuff.

In the end, Majin Tantei isn’t one to sit in a baby chair, but his share of the cake is baby-small.


Sapphire Pyro said...

this series had been pretty dumb and WTF to me, but I found it very entertaining xD the manga's supposed to be better but I find the anime more enjoyable xD hehe~ I love this series~

blur said...

I find this series trying too hard to be intellectual. When it was all just a point of a finger away. Lol!

But I enjoyed unravelling Yako's past.

As long as you don't watch it for the "mystery" cases, it should do alright. :)

Anonymous said...

Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro was the first anime series that I really watched so it was an instant love. However, years later, I finished the manga and I have to say this: the anime adaption is FAR inferior to the manga.
I shall always remain sentimental regarding the anime and so my view may be biased, but there wasn't much time in the anime for what made the manga so great. One thing is for sure, MadHouse screwed up big time in 'altering' the ending but, with the long build up to it, it would have been difficult without a huge commitment.
Read the manga, please, plot holes explained, character development of the scale and no missing characters.