Ongoing Investigations: Case #114

I watched some of the various Detective Conan OVAs 1-9 stretched across many years. OVA 10 I haven’t gotten my hands on yet, and the Magic File OVAs I’ll leave for a separate post as they relate to the movies. It’s worth noting that they didn’t start making Conan OVAs until the 2000’s and they continue to make them despite the deadness of the OVA market but hey it’s a huge franchise. For the most part they are silly romps, some not even containing a real case, but not very memorable either way. The better ones are two containing Kaito Kid, perhaps I am just totally bias, OVA 1 which is actually very funny and OVA 4 where Conan and Kid end up on the same train with a precious jewel; OVA 3 guest stars Heiji who teams with Conan to find a missing kid; and finally OVA 9, which was probably my favorite despite not having a case, where Conan sees what the future might hold should he never find an antidote. These OVAs are really just supplemental material that aren’t required viewing so they are easy to just grab a few or skip all together.

hisuicon As a long time fan of the Phoenix Wright games I had to check out Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective to see how the spiritual successor stacked up to the original. While it is very clearly a Shu Takumi game it is a very different in terms of mechanics and flow. In Ghost Trick you start the game after just been killed. You are a ghost who cannot remember who you are, how you died, or who killed you plus on top of that have only until sunrise to figure it all out. You do have a few remarkable ghost powers to help you interact with the land of the living. You can jump from various inanimate objects and manipulate them in a Rube Goldberg fashion. So if wanted to alert someone before they were shot you could say jump into a fan, have it turn on, then jump into a piece of memo paper kicked up by the fan, ride it to a bicycle, and then have the bicycle ring its bell. But if that warning was not enough you can jump into the body of the recently dead and rewind time to 4 minuets before they died. So most of the game is you jumping around trying to save people in hopes that one of them will lead you discover who killed you and why. Ghost Trick has the same snappy writing of the Phoenix Wright games while being a solid departure from the courtroom drama. The twists in the game were clever and shocking but were not out of nowhere especially if you were paying attention. Ghost Trick could easy rank as one of Narutaki’s top 10 games of the year just because you team up with a lovable Pomeranian named Missile during the course of the game. The puzzles were decently changeling without every being unfairly difficult. There are some when you just have to try everything until you see a change. Also sometimes you just have to go through a section, see where you utterly mess up, rewind time, and then avoid the trap they set you up for. The only thing that is completely and utterly unchanged from Phoenix Wright is the music which while great could very easily just be mistaken for the soundtrack for Phoenix Wright 5. It is a really fun game that could be a franchise that equals its older brother.

I was very excited about another season of Kimi ni Todoke. And the operative word here is “was.” Now that it is upon me and I’ve floated through three episodes, I feel it is a case of be careful what you wish for. Introduced is a new character, a laid back blonde guy who takes an interest in Sawako, we don’t know much about him yet but he is clearly a rival for Kazehaya. At the same time a rift (for no apparent reason) starts to occur between Sawako and Kazehaya. This is basic form for shojo series that get popular, but I was impressed with S1 and how it flipped my expectations. I don’t feel that happening so far in S2, the misunderstandings are dragging out far too long. In short, the series has taken giant steps backwards in terms of Sawako and Kazehaya’s progress leaving me very unhappy. And I have a feeling this entire season will work to fix the ridiculous gaps that occur between these first installments, thus ending the season at about the exact same point of relationship progress they had in the first.

hisuiconI noticed that Funimation started streaming Spice and Wolf II so I had to continue the journey of moe economics. Kraft and Holo continue their journey North to find the village that Holo once called home. In the first major storyline of the season Holo catches the eye of a young merchant named Amati who tries challenges Kraft for Holo’s hand in marriage. The seemingly lovable and meek Amati quickly shows that he is a ruthless merchant to the bone during their battle. The whole contest brings the palatable sexual tension between Kraft and Holo to the surface. I don’t think it is a huge spoiler to say that Kraft wins but I must point out that Kraft and Holo beat Amati in about the most vicious way possible. I am sure that Amati will appear again if for nothing else I would want revenge if anyone did that to me. The second storyline involves a shady deal, the church, and some dirty politics. Much like the first series this was a fun little series with a very unusual slant of the medieval fantasy adventure. The show is always smart with its economics and Kraft and Holo’s banter is even sharper. There is usually a good deal of tension at the end of each storyline but the buildup before that will put some people to sleep. Also I can see some people shouting, “HAVE SEX ALREADY! YOU OBVIOUSLY BOTH NEED IT!”  at the screen by the fact what while Kraft and Holo keep getting closer but the author refuses to have them cross that obvious threshold. I am still entertained by the series immensely and hope they can get around to making a third season one day especially since the novel series is wrapping up soon.

I watched the independent OVA Kowarekake no Orgel. It is the familiar story of a guy finding an abandoned robot girl in the junk heap but in this case no romantic intentions ensue. Keiichiro is quiet and lives along and seems to have pulled away from society a bit. He fixes the robot and names her Flower who begins to be a sort of housekeeper. We learn about Keiichiro’s past as Flower helps him open himself up to the world again. It’s a quiet tale on purpose but it also didn’t seem to have any life in it either.

hisuiconAnd speaking of the novels since I have been going to the library lately I noticed the first Spice and Wolf Novel on the shelf. I was curious to see how different it was (if at all) from the anime. The first book about Kraft and Holo meeting and then getting involved in the currency speculation affair like in the anime. The story plays out the same in the overall structure but I did notice that the anime added some additional material. Chloe’s involvement with the currency speculation and her whole romantic subplot with Kraft is totally an anime addition.  In the novel Chloe’s part is played but Yarei who more of a minor character. While they added some complexity of plot in the anime we get more of Kraft’s inner workings in the novel. As is the general strength of most novels the larger amount of room lets you have details the anime does not allow. While I can’t see the novels winning over anyone who disliked the anime it was an enjoyable read despite the fact that I already knew the story.  I hope if nothing else Yen Press can finish the novels so I get some resolution to the story.

Please Kimi ni Todoke, make me happy again.


2 thoughts on “Ongoing Investigations: Case #114

  1. Shinmaru says:

    Ghost Trick is pretty awesome. I’m so out of the loop on video games that I didn’t know it existed until a friend of mine told me to play it, but I loved it. I thought the ending twists were particularly clever, because there’s a lot of subtle foreshadowing throughout the game that you don’t really catch until everything is revealed.

    Kimi ni Todoke’s second season is just frustrating. I mentioned this to Narutaki on Twitter, but a sick part of me wants to see how long the show could stretch out these dumb misunderstandings and ridiculous stalling. 40 episodes? 50? 60? MORE??

    I don’t know … shows where romance takes up 80 percent of the screen time just don’t work for me anymore unless they’re short enough to be snappy about it. There has to be something else going on. Kuragehime worked because along with the romance you had the building storyline that had its own subplots. The romance was limited to specific moments and was therefore more meaningful. Kimi ni Todoke is now all Kazehaya and Sawako drama, and it’s quite repetitive.

    • reversethieves says:

      I only knew about Ghost Trick release date because of a random Tweet. I am glad I saw that because it is a great game. Theoretically a good twist is one that has plenty of breadcrumbs leading up to it and might even let you guess part of the end but the full impact is surprising but logical given what has come before. Ghost Trick does that really well.

      My main problem with Kimi this season is there would be misunderstands in the first season. But at the points where the average shojo series would of left to compound the misunderstanding and have the angst run for other 10 chapters Kimi went right and resolved the nonsense. But this season it is going left like a standard series which is be nowhere near as upsetting if what had come before was not do good.

      – Hisui

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