Outerhaven Anime: First Reaction – Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo “Shounen Tanteidan” yori


Last year, on the 50th anniversary of Edogawa Ranpo’s death, Lerche released an anime called Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace which received some mixed reviews. This year, TMS Entertainment is taking a stab at another one of Ranpo’s stories with Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo “Shounen Tanteidan” yori.

First Episode Impressions

Trickster utilizes a couple of familiar characters that we’ve seen before in Game of Laplace… those being Yoshio Kobayashi and Kogorou Akechi; however, they are the same in name only as these characters are completely different than their Game of Laplace counterparts…. sort of. This is due to the fact that Ranpo loved to use this names in each of his stories.

While their characters are different, Akechi does share one common trait with his Game of Laplace counterpart in which in both shows, he is a detective. Here in Trickster, Akechi is older and a bit of a pervert that’s a bit full of himself. This brash new Akechi seems a bit out of place because most of the show focuses on the “Boys Detective Agency” and this is where the bulk of our story takes place.

Kensuke Hanasaki is a member of the Boys Detective Agency that is overseen by Akechi. They assist Akechi in his pursuit to capture the infamous criminal who is known as Twenty Faces, another staple of Ranpo’s stories. Hanasaki comes across a young boy named Yoshio Kobayashi who wishes he could die, but he can’t. This is due to a strange ability that causes an invisible protective shield to form around him that can destroy or disintegrate anything it comes in contact with. The shield, seemingly, has different strengths as in some instances it can blow a hole through walls and other times it can simply repel things away. Kobayashi has no idea how to control or it why it acts differently at different times.

Hanasaki invites Kobayashi to join the Boys Detective Agency, but convincing Kobayashi isn’t as easy as it seems. Kobayashi is so scared that he will end up killing someone if they get close, he runs away each and every time Hanasaki tries to talk to him. Eventually, after Hanasaki loses his wallet and Kobayashi tries to return it to him, Kobayashi begins to start to trust Hanasaki. While he’s still reluctant on joining the Boys Detective Agency, it does give him something to think about…. Especially since Hanasaki makes the promise that if he joins, he’ll find a way to grant Kobayashi his wish and kill him.

This seems like an odd concept for a show, but then again, Game of Laplace was kind of out there as well. Given the fact that Edogawa Ranpo chose that pen name as a play on Edgar Allen Poe’s name, a weird and twisted tale of the macabre is to be expected with Trickster. So far, there have been mixed reviews, but it’s keeping my interest for the time being, albeit slightly.

OP and ED Impressions

GACKT is one of those artists that get people excited just by name value alone and this is one of those times where you see why that is. “Kimi Dake no Boku de Iru Kara” is the opening theme provided by GACKT and it really gets you hyped for the show. Even if this shows turns out to be a flop, the opening song alone will probably be on repeat for almost any anime fan. The song is a bit refreshing from the run of the mill themes you typically hear, but at the same time, there’s something familiar about the song. The chorus sounds like something I’ve heard before, but I just can’t remember where

The ending, “1HOPE SNIPER” by Azusa Tadokoro is very high energy for an ending theme. It could actually serve as the opening theme if it wanted to. Last time I heard an ending song pull this off was K: Return of Kings. The song is also very catchy even though it sounds a bit on the generic side. It’s up in the air for me if I really want to hear the full version of it, though as a song like this should be fine in small doses. I could just see this song getting repeated a few times and then just getting skipped over because you’ve heard enough of it.

Worth Watching?

MAYBE – This is one of those love it or hate it shows and right now, I don’t know which one it is for me. The premise of Trickster seems to be the same as Game of Laplace in the sense that it’s a detective pursuing the criminal Twenty Faces, but it also has a different cast of characters, but they all seem rather bland. It seems like the show is trying to cash in on Kobayashi and his mysterious invisible sphere of death to try and hook you and if that’s all they’re going for then it’s not going to be enough. Maybe I’ll know after a couple of more episodes, but right now, I’m on the fence with this one.

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.