Haruka Ozawa's sophomore year is getting seriously scary. One of her friends is possessed, another has committed suicide and Haruka could be the next one to flunk the still-breathing test. Her only way out of this potentially lethal dead end? Yakumo Saito, an enigmatic student born with a mysterious red eye that allows him to see and communicate with the dead. But the deceased don't always desist and some killers are more than ready to kill again to keep dead men from telling any more tales. That doesn't stop Haruka's knack for digging up buried secrets, and there's even more evidence of bodies being exhumed by both Yakumo's police contact and an investigative journalist with a newly made corpse in her closet! Can this pair of anything but normal paranormal detectives solve the ultimate dead case files or will they end up in cold storage themselves?
'Shinrei Tantei Yakumo' ('Psychic Detective Yakumo') is about Yakumo, an university student and private detective, who has a red left eye that lets him see ghosts and spirits.
The premise and atmosphere of this show is very similar to 'Ghost Hunt', just that the good guys have no offensive super powers, and the ghosts and spirits are directly harmless. The basic format of the show begins with Haruka asking Yakumo to investigate on a case, he takes a look at the scene, ask for help from allies (police detectives, journalist, priest etc), and puts the spirits at ease after a showdown. At the same time, there
is another parallel story of a group of villains watching Yakumo's move and plotting a evil scheme.
The introduction was done very well, the characters seemed very interesting, but it seemed to be downhill from there instead of picking up in pace and intensity.
One thing I liked about the story was that it focuses on human beings despite being a show about ghosts. Instead of senseless showcase of super powers, Yakumo and company actually trace back the problems like a real detective, and also focuses on the issue of discrimination he faces for being different. The problem was that none of the cases were particularly interesting nor memorable, and the showdowns are rather anticlimatic. Even the main and final case was severely underdeveloped, as we still don't know the reason "red eyed man" became a spirit, why he had the ghost-seeing red eyes, or his relationship with Yakumo and his mother other than the obvious. Painfully slow pacing certainly did not help.
Of course, we're left with an open ending that explains nothing, and starved for another season.
Yakumo was an interesting character though, with a complex and painful past that's gradually revealed to us as we follow the cases he was assigned by Haruka. I particularly liked how his antisocial personality was explained by his past and ghost-seeing eye that enabled him to see things others can't. Unfortunately, Haruka existed mostly to set up the case and an attempt to add a little romance to the story. Their chemistry was rather poor, and she rarely play any significant role in solving the cases or development of the protagonist. She was also portrayed as an extremely dumb girl just to demonstrate how smart Yakumo is compared to an ordinary person.
Art style was very generic, but the backgrounds had a nice atmosphere. The characters seemed disturbingly flat though. I can't quite put my finger to why it is so, but if I had to guess, it was either awkward shading or lack of detail despite realistic design.
The presentation was also very boring, standard still camera or slowly moving screens.
BGM was rather good for this series. Sets the creepy mood well, and some sound really touching or melancholic. Unfortunately, the story was nowhere near engaging, and could not take advantage of the music. It also lacked variety, as if every scary scenes had the same song, one for touching scenes, and another mysterious theme.
No complaints for voicing, everyone sound they should and performed average or better in my opinion.
OP is rather original with the song that sets the mysterious mood for the show, ED was rather ordinary.
I hate to use this word to describe a series, but there's no other way... dull. 'Shinrei Tantei Yakumo' had a strong introduction and all the ingredients to make it a great show, but it just didn't live up to its potential. There's no eye candy since action was very limited, the story lacked suspense despite being a mystery, and the presentation was boring.
It turned out to be yet another bland forgettable mystery anime.
Shinrei Tantei Yakumo revolves around a strange college student with a cursed red left eye. Through his eye, Yakumo is able to see and communicate with spirits of the dead, helping them move on from their earthly dwelling.
The events unfold in an episodic format familiar to detective series fans, giving STY the double effect of being easy to follow while having a tendency to be repetitive. Personally, though, I liked the format. Despite the mini-cases, the plot still followed the main conflict, which is big and complex and absolutely mind-boggling. Technically, the art is so-so, but the sound is fantastic. BGM is perfectly timed
and gives just the right feeling.
I love this show for its complex plot, and its excellent script. (You know those cheesy lines you only get out of detective stories with psychological drama tendencies?) I hate it for what I feel is its lack of attention on character development, given we only ever hear about Yakumo's life and nobody else's. Oh yes, and the stories aren't scary at all.
Shinrei Tantei Yakumo is recommended for lovers of old-style detective mysteries and ghost stories. Although there's admittedly less of the latter than the title implies. It's really just a police story with a paranormal flavor.
This show is about a high school student named Yakumo who has the ability to see spirits with his left red eye and sometimes communicate with them(not a super original premise, but highly entertaining nontheless). He spends his spare time tricking kids out of their money with fake card tricks, or just sleeping about. But, once in a while, he'll take a spirit associated police case that has piqued his interest. But with his troubled family past and issues with humanity, will Yakumo ever be able to live a normal life?
While not an entirely original premise, they definitely utilized it to it's full potential,
much more effectively than many other similar shows. The story basically has everything a good anime needs: A complex main character with a troubled background, a helpful and insightful love interest, a devoted detective, and ghosts. Really, that's all they needed here, but they added even more into the mix to give it an added level of depth and enjoyability.
Yakumo's disturbed background piqued my interest in him, and also apparently the interest of those around him. But the best part isn't when they discuss Yakumo, but when Yakumo discusses with the accused how he knows that they are guilty. With pounds of accurate speculation, Yakumo presents his inner monologue better than even Yagami Light of Death Note.
He solves murders, abductions, and even poltergheist possesion, making for an interesting watch.
What can I say, it suits the series. It's dark and forboding when it's supposed to be, and bright and happy when it's supposed to be. Also, although not littered with fight scenes, when they pop up in Shinrei Tantei Yakumo, it looks damn realistic. The character designs aren't the most original I've ever seen, but I suppose that look best suits their personalities.
When it comes to animation, this show did it right.
To be honest, the opening theme represents the show so well I was actually considering making this review simply a link to it on YouTube or something. The opening theme is truly fitting, and the ending just as much so. The voice acting was just as it should be to match the theme of the show, and the background noise/music was never out of place.
Once again, a 2010 show did animation and sound well.
Although sometimes the main love interest (Haruka) can be absent minded occasionally, every other character plays their role perfectly.
Both of Yakumo's parents are dead, and he has always been shunned or even beaten up due to his red left eye.
Later you find out that Yakumo and Haruka's past goes back further then either of them thought, giving their relationship and added level of depth.
What I absolutely love about their relationship though is that there is no stupid blushing, and the girl is simply trying to help the guy, which is a refreshing change of pace seeing as most anime series these days have the protagonist being an emotionally immature nitwit who freaks out at the sight of anything related to women.
In this show, Yakumo doesn't express any feelings for her at all, and instead simply allows her to tag along, while she is trying to help him in dealing with his troubled past. It's obvious they are concerned about eachother and harbor feelings, but the best part is that it's successfully conveyed without either character being awkward or embarassed in any way.
The supporting characters also offer comic relief and intel on future missions, as well as being occasionally super adorable(I just wanna give his deaf little cousin a hug for being so cute
Ghosts, the supernatural, and mystery-- with more focus on the former two and less of the latter.
So far, each episode seems to be formatted like this:
Some character development, a mystery involving a ghost/supernatural forces, foreshadowing of a bigger plot. (And this pattern has stayed consistent on the episodes I've seen so far...)
Obviously, with a pattern like this one or all of the three has to be sacrificed and we end up with a mystery per episode that is neither challenging to us nor expanded well on. Just a plain "oh here's an issue, here's -briefly- what the characters did, and here's the solution."
It's not a
bad formula but for people who are expecting/wanting a more dramatic or drawn out mystery, it might not quench your thirst.
The nice thing this series does (so far) is that despite the rather short "character development" segments it is done rather cleverly and leaves you a little curious about more and whether they'll have a bigger role later. Same can be said about the segments that seem to "foreshadow something bigger" except they are even shorter and may prove more of a tease than anything.
Overall, so far it's an average standard show, it doesn't have a crazy "cliffhanger ending" pacing nor is it so slow you wished the episodes would air faster.
((Edit/Note: in the later part of the series the pattern has changed so that character/background development has become a bigger part of the episodes-- however this results in the "mystery per episode" parts needing to be stretched beyond one episode, which can be both a good or bad thing depending on whether you mind cliffhangers or not))
Neither epic nor horrible --a series that one can check out if you have the spare time to spare. But it's not a great loss if you don't check it out.
Do you love detective stories? Ones that keep you guessing who the criminal is? Action filled clashes between good and evil? Or maybe it's a battle of the mind between detective and criminal that gets you going. Whatever your bias, read on for some great recommendations!