Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace: Episode 03

Shadow Man 「影男」

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I’m not sure if I’m more shocked by the cruelty of the crime itself or just how fitting Kobayashi is in that one piece dress!

Maybe it’s because it’s been a hot summer day and now the cooler summer breeze is finally blowing in so I’m feeling sleepy. Or perhaps its the general tonality of Ranpo this episode. After the shocking 2-parter start to Ranpo, Shadow Man (Koyasu Takehito) and his penchant for little girls doesn’t come across as too shocking. He’s some sort of warped Robin Hood who steals to save poor little girls because he likes them… thou shan’t judge. Ok so when Shadow Man’s suspected of not just theft of riches but also those little girls he likes so much such as Oosone Sachiko (Oohashi Ayuru), Kobayashi can’t help himself for wanting to be involved in the mystery of the 9 missing girls.

While watching this episode unfold in the same general mood and sleepiness Akechi is in, the shock factor caught my attention when Kobayashi changed into Kobayashi-chan. I knew he’s a trap and I knew he’d become by anime-trope, a pretty little girl, complete with best friend (friend-zoned) Hashiba turning crimson shy… but I didn’t expect him to look THAT good in a little white dress. The next shock came as criminal mastermind Watanuki (Suyama Akio) unveiled just what he did with Oosone! That fat bastard. Good that Akechi got a few jabs and punches into that piece of sh*t meat. How on earth did Akechi remain standing if he dislocated his hip joint from throwing judo moves on Watanuki?

I’m really liking the stage setting used to focus on the Shadow Man and Oosone – how they met, the efforts he went to for her (he’s seriously good at disguises) and how Oosone knew who Shadow Man was all along. It was akin to watching a play – efficient and tight to bring a viewer’s attention to just the bare essentials as though guiding us to focus on these details of the mystery. Ranpo’s mix of humour is still working – Hashiba’s embarrassment over anything to do with Kobayashi, Kagami’s sister-complex and of course, Kobayashi’s trap-trope-related contributions to the overall storyline. I will grow tired of it by the next episode but as Akechi (oh Sakurai, how you make a sign sound so divine to this fangirl~) plays along with Kagami’s requests and Kobayashi’s whims, I’ll tag along too.

This anime version of Ranpo’s not a direct adaptation per se of Edogawa’s novels, themselves based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes adventures. For one, Akechi’s married in the novels but here, is a very single 17-year old. It’s most likely that future episodes will be episodic and given that it’s 1-cour, maybe a bigger overlapping mystery arc that hopefully leads to the mystery behind Akechi himself. He hasn’t got the same drug problem Holmes does though those headaches do make me wonder just how much paracetemol can the boy grind to powder to take so often every day.

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