Twenty Faces 「二十面相」
Akechi drinks his sleeping pills with coffee. Hashiba somehow sees his best friend Kobayashi as someone worth blushing madly for. Kagami serves justice as a detective, while holding twenty faces. Question I have to the above is, why?
I quite liked the 2-episode human chair arc Ranpo opened with so after last episode’s gory kill, this episode continued with the episodic crime which I felt a was a bit short and thus, short-changed. Except, last week’s murderer Watanuki almost became this week’s victim at the hands of vigilante Twenty Faces.
It’s a trope that’s all too familiar in mystery series, whereby a vigilante takes things into his own hands and metes out justice when the system doesn’t. It’s a moral paradox that is all too familiar in the real world too. Should the public fear such a vigilante or praise him for punishing those who go unpunished? Watanuki definitely deserved punishment for what he did to those girls but plead crazy and he’s out scot free (insanity pleas are in place to protect people who truly are mentally incapable of realising killing someone’s wrong; it gets abused but it has to stay in the system). Equally predictable was that the vigilante is almost always someone close by. I was guessing Kagami’s sister but when Twenty Faces stood in front of Akechi and they fought, that guess was out the window.
Akechi suspected Kagami from way back, enough to instruct Nakamura to replace Kagami’s bullets. Needless to say, Kobayashi didn’t suspect Kagami at all so the detective trainee licence is the most he (almost typed ‘she’ haha) will get. Kagami knew he was being suspected and cornered himself into the trap laid out perfectly by Akechi and I really enjoyed the script and visual display of the moral reasoning behind Kagami’s actions so thumbs up for this. I also really liked the colours used to represent each individual. Fight scenes (especially those at night) are often not easily distinguishable/visible so the use of colours, itself an extension of the stage set-up to showcase each crime, worked very well during that sequence before fading back to each original colour. What I don’t get is why Kagami brought the case to Akechi in the first place? Because he wanted to be caught? Because he knew what he was doing was wrong but still had to continue for the sake of ensuring unpunished criminals remain fearful?
Overall it’s not a great episode but it’s not bad either. I’m more interested in Akechi’s backstory (can you blame this Sakurai Takahiro fan though? lol) which revealed a ‘butterfly memo’ hint this week and the presence of an incident from 3 years ago was mentioned. I was quite put off by the masochistic black lizard (Hikasa Youko) so much so I don’t even want to know how she got Watanuki acquitted or why she’s infatuated with Akechi so that contributed to this being a so-so episode. Next episode carries on with the story behind Kagami’s turn as Twenty Faces – is he the real guy or a copycat? More of Akechi please!