After what appears to be just another ordinary day, middle school student Yoshio Kobayashi wakes up in his classroom to make a terrifying discovery: his teacher has been mutilated, and Yoshio happens to be holding the weapon used to commit the crime.
Despite the initial shock of finding himself in this predicament, the curious and detached Yoshio can't help but be secretly thrilled about this attempt to frame him. His put-upon friend Souji Hashiba is turned into a willing accomplice, and together, they are determined to prove Yoshio's innocence. Additionally, Kogorou Akechi, a genius high school detective, has come to the scene of the crime in order investigate the case and when Kogorou meets the young man found guilty, an intense mutual interest sparks between the two of them. Kobayashi wishes to enter Akechi's world of crime solving as his assistant, and Akechi is determined to see if the enthusiastic boy is up to the challenge.
Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace is a surreal mystery and horror anime that contains brutal and bizarre crimes, loosely based on stories written by Ranpo Edogawa, who is famous for his influence on Japanese fiction.
Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace (lit. Strange Tales of Rampo: Game of Laplace) is inspired by the works of author Edogawa Rampo (a pseudonym for Tarou Hirai) and commemorates the 50th anniversary of his death in 1965.
He was a Japanese author and critic who played a major role in the development of Japanese mystery fiction. Many of his novels involve the detective hero Kogoro Akechi, the first recurring detective character in Japanese fiction and is clearly inspired by Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.
The Academy Awards, also known as The Oscars, is an annual American award that honors the best in cinema and their achievements in the film industry. Since its introduction in 1929, winning this award has become the gold standard to which movie titles are measured against, as well as the end goal that many bigwigs within the film industry aim for. It encourages innovation and progress, which is always a good thing in any form of storytelling medium.
And while the Oscars celebrates the "best of the best", there's an equally recognizable award that does just the opposite, The Golden Raspberry Awards. Better known by its shortened name The Razzies, since 1980, it has served as the antithesis of the Oscars by honoring the "worst of the worst" to come out of the film industry. Needless to say, this isn't the award anyone wishes to be bestowed with. And if anime titles were to ever be given an equivalency to the Razzie award, I can safely say that Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace would be nominated with flying colors.
Overworked, ostentatious and utterly deplorable, Ranpo Kitan is a tethered together mess with inconceivable nonsense and dizzying tonal shifts that relentlessly forces a narrative with no rhyme or reason. It's a title that fails so much that it transcends to an ethereal plain of stupidity, becoming something like a "how-to" guide on making a bad anime. It turns shit writing into an art form.
Ranpo is classified under the mystery genre but is better suited to be seen as a comedy. Trying its best to tell an interweaving story of a conspiracy, we're introduced to our trap protagonist Yoshio Kobayashi, or who I like to refer to as Fujoshi-kun, as his mundane life is flipped upside down when he finds himself involved with a detective after a gruesome murder. The rest of the story chronicles Fujoshi-kun's misadventures with this detective and the rest of the wack jobs they encounter along the way.
The mystery genre tag for Ranpo Kitan is extremely misleading since most of the cases have no real "mystery" behind it. For the most part, the show is simply dedicated to showing fucked up psychopaths and the extreme methods they're willing to take in order to murder people. There's no guessing, there's no clues, there's no investigation, just a bunch of crazy dimensionless lunatics killing people in very over the top ways. It's like Spike's TV series "1000 Ways to Die" with an extra serving of vanilla homoerotica. And at the off chance the show does try to tell a mystery story, it became irrelevant since Fujoshi-kun and the detective Kogorou Akechi are basically the Houdinis of solving crime. With little to no foretelling clues, they're able to piece together a case as if it was simply routine. There's no proper answer given and when they made any attempt to explain it, the reasoning was convoluted logic that only made sense when the writers retcon past events.
Another poor element the show attempts to use is a highly volatile sub-form of math known as chaos theory. Like time travel, chaos theory is in its fledgling stages of understanding and falls more into the realm of make-believe than factual content. Most of what is known of it come from a lot of guess and check work that ultimately pans out to a dead end. To put it in layman's terms, it's impossible to prove accurate. And since math is all about accurate assessments, trying to incorporate such an unstable arithmetic equation in a real world setting only comes off as stupid. And that's precisely what Ranpo attempts to do; it takes an asspull theory and uses it to haphazardly explain away events as "it's all according to plan" logic. If you use an inkling of common sense while watching this it'll frustrate you to no end. It's the equivalent of a "mystery" show making up bullshit as the story goes along and pretending it was predestined.
But perhaps the aspect of this show that became the most grating wasn't the ludicrous story but rather the ill-conceived cast of characters that populated it. This is a show that's asking you to take things seriously while presenting a loli teacher who looks like she's 10 but is actually 32, a fujoshi bait lead who is far removed from reality and think everything is "fun", a man who wears a paper bag over his head and watches little girls, a masochist that wets herself, a detective who's a living breathing Gary Stu, a 4th wall breaking medical examiner who happens to be a loli, and the list just goes on and on.
These caricatures that make up Ranpo Kitan are tonally conflicting with the dreary atmosphere the story is trying to present and as the story continues along, they somehow manage to get worse. It's a motley crew of one terrible personality after a next, each one adding a headache inducing layer to the show. This conflicting tone between the characters and story results in some of the worst tonal whiplashes imaginable. Dark scenes can be immediately followed up by yaoi fanservice or poorly placed comedy. Nothing is treated seriously despite the show's desperate attempt to be serious and as a result, nothing feels significant in the least. Just poorly handled "dark" moments being forced to share screen time with subpar humor.
The only thing Ranpo deserves recognition for was its audiovisual presentation. It used very interesting techniques to convey certain scenes and even had a few motifs, that while too deserving for such a badly written show, still helped to enhance it from being a complete failure. Some notable examples were the 'butterfly effect' visuals that tied back to chaos theory (obviously being represented by the butterflies) and silhouettes being used to show a character's relevancy to Fujoshi-kun within the story, by either masking the person in it or having them step out of it. It was a well thought out idea that deserved credit for its inclusion. No, it wasn't on the same pedigree as something Masaaki Yuasa or Kunihiko Ikuhara would use but it was certainly a step above average.
The opening and ending theme were also nice ear-worms and even had accompanying visuals that were well paced. "Speed to Masatsu" by amazarashi, which served as the opening theme, was a catchy progressive rock fusion song that really got the blood pumping. Certainly a standout track from the summer season. The same could also be said about the ending tune "Mikazuki" by Sayuri, a bittersweet ballad that hit the right high notes while building into a nice pop rock anthem finish. They were both sonically soothing and were great as stand-alone listens.
2015 saw with it a sleuth of detective/mystery anime titles, Ranpo Kitan was yet another statistic. However, out of the bunch, Ranpo was quite possibly the worst to make its debut that year. And for that, it deserves its Razzie.
The only thing I enjoyed was the opening and ending themes... the show itself can jump off a cliff into oblivion.
I'm not going to mince words here, this anime is really bad. It set out to create a mystery and the end result was a faux pas into B-grade territory. Unintelligible and pointless, there is nothing here to walk away with. With that being said, I highly suggest you save yourself the trouble and ignore this throw-away title.read more
Here’s the thing about detective fiction. When you go into a series with mystery as part of its genre, the least you should expect are cases, then suspense, culprit(s), clues, and the resolution. Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace takes the typical ideas of a mystery and attempts to transform the show into a blockbuster thriller. The key word here I refer to use is “attempt”. Otherwise, this series is what came out as a disorganized mess with a colorful script that started out with life but ended up as wreckage.
First, we should understand a bit of the background info about the original series. The 11-episode adaptation is based on an author known as Edogawa Rampo. As a celebrated author in Japan, the main focus of the series concentrates on some of his published works from over 50 years ago. Back then, he was known for breathing life into the mystery genre in Japan with inspiration based on famous detective known to many as Sherlock Holmes. But don’t think this show as near as smart as it should be. Sherlock Holmes didn’t invent criminal justice. He perfected it.
Now enough about Sherlock Holmes. This show does concentrate on mystery and suspense alongside peculiar cases at works. The first few episodes establishes a rather bizarre case involved a schoolteacher being murdered in a crude fashion. The main male protagonist Yoshino Kobayashi becomes a suspect because of his close proximity of the murder and because he is a key witness. He also becomes an assistant of Akechi as they work on the case. This is where the mystery aspect of the show comes in. The first two episodes establishes Kobayashi as a capable investigator. Although not on the same level as Akechi, he is able to deduce with clever thinking that a culprit framed him for murder. Through careful analysis, he is able to clear his name. And by doing so, the audience gets a clear view of his potential as the assistant. On the other hand, Akechi is on another level of skill. He claims to work on strange cases out of “fun” but the government has actually issued a license for him to investigate in abnormal activities.
Here’s the thing about the show though. It’s both a simple and complicated series. On the simple side, Game of Laplace appeals to the cases as some of them have fairly obvious red herring and resolutions. And if you can call a few of those resolutions, it sometimes comes out as fairly rushed and lacks concrete interest despite a thrilling buildup. A few of the cases does have recurring themes and symbolism that is memorable on terms of content. The complicated part is more of the characters. By complicated, there’s a few ways to look at it. First, it’s more of whether we should know them better. At first glance, there’s a good amount of interest that should be invested into the main characters in particular Akechi. His intellectual mind is legitimate and someone that we don’t see too often. His intention to take down a primary source of antagonists known as the Twenty Faces in the show is a keen interest that is explored often. On the other hand, there’s Kobayashi, an androgynous boy who is hard to take seriously. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t focus much at all on characterization for either of the two main leads. It does however, compare the two on a background basis because of their ideals and perception of the world around them. There’s more necessary focus on the cases and because of content, we also get a bit of that on the supporting characters. To say the least, most of the other characters are far less interesting. Examples include Kobayashi’s best friend Hashiba with mostly a minor role throughout the show and an implied crush on him. Or there’s Hanabishi who dresses like she is going to a cosplay party, the Black Lizard with an obsession on Akechi, or the Shadow-Man whom is dubbed as the ‘master of disguise’. Is it just me or do all these characters have something in common? All of them are downright strange. And because the show is so insistent on focusing mystery, it neglects most of them with a lack of characterization.
Despite this, I guess the show could appeal to certain type of audiences. Anyone interested in suspense that’s laced with imagery, symbolism, and metaphors can find this show to be quite appealing. I’ll also have to admit that despite some of the comedic values added in the show, it retains its seriousness throughout almost each episode. Body horror is also a prominent aspect from the very first episode that runs all the way through the show. It’s not just symbolic but also literally frightening if taken on a realistic approach. Some of the plot twists of the cases are also gruesome with disastrous consequences that results from human sins. Additionally, the show offers some insight on various studies such as chaos theory and algorithms. To say the least, Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace is well crafted when it gets serious and not off track. But often or not, it doesn’t fulfill its full potential.
The artwork invests itself with a unique fashion although nothing outlandishly mind blowing. They essentially capture the mystery elements and thankfully accomplishes that. The most noticeable part is the obstruction of the character faces with the use of shadow silhouettes. By doing so, it creates a suspenseful atmosphere that appeals to the themes of identity. On the other hand, character designs are more or less worth praising. Kobayashi is designed to look like a trap and the show itself seems to be aware of this as it pokes fun of his looks. There’s also a bit of fan service when it comes with characters like Black Lizard along with her sadism. Still, the show does maintain a distinctive way of delivering its art style. The amount of symbolism the show possesses in the form of butterflies and other background makes it enough to attract interest.
A stronger point in the show is the soundtrack. The OP and ED theme song are not just visually appealing but also very well decorated with clever cinematics. The OST has the style of what makes a mystery show especially when episodes reaches its climax point. This is further accompanied by the eerie feel and coordination when demonstrated by its suspenseful angles. Finally, we have the character voice mannerisms. Criticism can be easily approached again with characters like Kobayashi, who doesn’t really sound like a detective prodigy. On the other hand, I will say that Akechi has a voice that sounds like the mind of strategist. Furthermore, some episodes is able portray the emotional appeal with more sensible themes.
So what does this series in the end equate to? It’s more of an average mystery show that has some promise but mostly doesn’t live up to itself. What seemed clever and well-structured in the beginning quickly becomes stale. The storytelling is unbalanced despite all the interesting themes each episode that ultimately becomes half of entertaining as it is. And to top it off, only a few of the characters are memorable and probably only by their names. I will say that the unique style of some of the artwork and symbolism strikes as intriguing. And when connected with the soundtrack, the show can be a blockbuster thriller. Each episode’s title tries to lure the audience in but in the end, Game of Laplace plays out as a not so much fun.read more
In the first 3 episode, I started to think that this series was interesting. But in the last 3 episodes, it all goes wrong..., in almost every aspects.
I will first discuss the story, the anime was identified as the mystery genre with no other genres. I should say that at first, the story promising many things. As we know, in mystery series, there's only one item that been offered to us. And the answer is 'the mystery' itself, but if we identified all of the available cases in Game of Laplace, there's not much mystery in it. It just a blank question that ready to be answered at any time and any place. The bad thing is the anime unable to present intense mystery settings to the screen. Which a fatal error to the story plus the enjoyment. Imagine this,
"Have you had any idea if we watch a detective or a mystery movie without any mysteries within it?". The mysteries revealed with unclear reasons and many plot holes. Good thing this is just 11 episodes.
Another annoying thing is the character. I didn't even know why there's always psychopath that do the killings. The main cast could be told as one of the most typical, uninteresting, and ridiculous cast I've ever seen. You must know that the director is having a brain wreck. Instead offering a great mystery, they offering a yaoi fan service. Really? YAOI?! In mystery genre?! They exacerbated the situation with many other annoying and bizarre cast which I didn't want to describe one by one because it's just too.......ridiculous.
The animation and sound settings it's fair enough to make me watch this until the last second. Thanks to that two aspects, my headaches starts again.
Comic Relief, Ridiculous Cast, Unfulfilled Individual Element, and many other bad things make this anime got worse and worse. All of that wrapped up in just 11 episodes.Trust me, if you have any idea about watching this, I suggest you too forgot this for an instant. read more
A damn shame, i didn't had a lot of hype about it but i was hoping that it would end up good.
Ranpo Kitan is an anime to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Edogawa Ranpo. He's pretty much of the godfather of mystery series. If he was alive, i'm not sure if he would be happy about this adaptation of his works with the modern twist of these days.
For the story, i'll not talk about it you can just read the synopsis. However, what i can say is that the mysteries around the cases aren't really good. They are cases that could have been interesting but it goes so fast and they don't even show you a clue, they just throw the answer like that.
''Hey, we never showed you that girl or these clue but it doesnt matter, that's what happened deal with it.''
Where's the fun in this ? Dammit Makoto Uezu and Seiji Kishi stop touching mysteries and stuff. Stay with comedies. Please.
The art is good. It's not ugly but it's not ''holy sh- it's beautiful'' too ! However, we can see that they try to be original with the presentation and some of them are really appreciated like the people who only were silhouettes representing people that Kobayashi doesn't care at all and only the people that he finds interesting is seen normally. Just background characters for him. Sometimes, they try too hard with the symbolisms that it just gets boring.
The sound is ok. The OP and ED were some of the best in this season. ( I listen to them a lot in my car, no joke.) The OST is also nice, but there one song in particular that plays almost every episodes. Is the song bad ? No. But it gets annoying, a little bit like the song ''Don't loose your way'' in kill la kill.
The characters are ... most of the time forgetable. With the exception of one : Kobayashi. A boy who got us all confused, thinking that it was a girl. Kobayashi is bizarre and wants some action in his life... thats pretty much it. The protagonist pretty much gets in trouble, help sometimes Akechi and gets our ding confused. The other characters aren't worth mentioning with Hashiba who might be gay for Kobayashi (we will never know), the detective super-duper intelligent and anti-social Akechi and Minami the medical examiner aka one of the worst character this season. Popping out randomly, trying to be funny. The Shadow-man was good tho. Weird and sometimes creepy but he was definitly the most interesting one.
Overall, i was hoping that it gets better. The first episode people were sceptical and i was thinking: ''Oh c'mon people it's just the first episode. Give it some times.'' The more it was going, the more i was thinking that ... yeah, that's not good at all.
4/10, don't waste your time with it.
Well, there's only 11 episodes so you can try if you want but don't get your hopes up.read more
The newest mystery series to air this season is based upon Edogawa Ranpo's great detective, Kogoro Akechi! Let's go through the background of Japan's most renowned mystery novelist and see which stories made it into this latest homage.