Twenty-five-year-old Kakushidate Yakusuke suffers from the fate of constantly stumbling into various crime scenes and ending up being the main suspect.
His last resort: Okitegami Kyouko the "Quickest Detective." However, Kyouko suffers from a strange case of amnesia; whenever she falls asleep, she forgets everything that happened the previous day, making her solve the mysteries within one day.
There is a lot you can say about the Boukyaku Tantei Series, but since none of them had been said yet and I don't have the resources to say more, I will say what is necessary to convey just how great this series is.
If you are familiar with NisiOisiN, the famously prolific author widely regarded for his masterpiece, the Monogatari Series, and also responsible for the Zaregoto Series, the Ningen Series, the Saikyou Series, the Densetsu Series, Katanagatari, Juuni Taisen and Medaka Box (etc.), then it should be easy to clue into the quality of the Boukyaku Tantei series. (I fully am willing to give
this a ten when I finish more of it)
After reading the first volume, I can say that this series somehow exceeded my already-high expectations given my love for the author. This is ironic because the first volume focuses heavily on a similar scenario- admiring someone, like someone you look up to because they saved your life multiple times, even if they will never know they did. Like your relationship with your favorite author, perhaps?
Okitegami Kyouko is head of the Okitegami Kyouko Detective Agency. She can solve the toughest cases within a day, the fastest detective.
But she is also the forgetful detective.
That is because she forgets everything when she falls asleep. Her mind restarts as the next day begins.
It's a similar scenario to "The 50 First Dates" starring Adam Sandler, only no one is trying to hide it from Kyouko and this isn't some cheesy romance.
We follow the tall and timid, Kakushidate Yakusuke. Because of his abnormal height and shy demeanor, trouble always seems to follow him around- that is, everyone always suspects him for crimes he didn't commit. He has been in many small incidents and big ones and even has the world's greatest detective on speed dial. (Aikawa Jun possibly?)
"Kakushidate", if discerning from pronunciation, means "concealing a bad past", and the kanji for "Yakusuke" literally translates to "trouble". "Okitegami" means "a letter left behind", or "a letter from the deceased". "Okitegami Kyouko Detective Agency" translates to the "Deceased Detective Agency". Trust me, this shit is important.
Yakusuke is introduced to us as a part-time lab assistant who is suspected to have stolen the lab's backup SD card for which contains the research the lab has been working on, therefore it is confidential. Yaku calls up Kyouko to come to his defense and this case ends with Kyouko finding the true culprit with seemingly just a few clever metaphors for how the SD Card is similar to Kyouko's memory.
It's the way Boukyaku Tantei expands upon these core ideas introduced at the beginning left me in awe by the time I reached the final chapter. I didn't expect it to go on- what seemed to be a tangent to deliver a cool thought experiment- to build up to themes about how readers see their favorite authors and connecting it to the mysteries it presents and thematically connecting it to how Yaku feels towards Kyouko.
As the forgetful detective, no matter how many times Yakusuke begs upon Kyouko for help, she will never remember him or what she has done for him and vice versa. Every time they meet, they have to introduce themselves as if it was the first time, thus meaning there is never going to be progress in their relationship, at least from where we are at the end of the first volume.
Ultimately, we are left with more questions than answers at the end of the first volume (there are 8 volumes so far), but I have no doubt these questions will be answered and there is a very clear end goal question that is set up. "Who is Okitegami Kyouko?" and "Who made Okitegami Kyouko?". If you want, you could also add in "How will Yaku hook up with Kyouko by the end?", but let's not dive into the realm of ships right now.
I think what really hit me, however, was the thematic similarities in both main characters. Yakusuke is someone who is too scared to move on his own. He is a static character. Stuck in his own time, in his own mind. On the other hand, we have Kyouko, who has daily amnesia and no longer has the ability to remember experiences she has by doing this job. She is involuntarily stuck in her own time, and can't do anything about her own mind. In the end, I just really love their pairing.
But of course, we wouldn't be done discussing a NisiOisiN work without discussing the meta elements within the story. Some of which are pretty simple, such as the example from earlier, that mystery of the SD Card was used as a metaphor for how her memories work, and how the mystery behind it works. I just realized that everything that happened in that case to the SD card also happened to Kyouko's memory... However, that is just the story commenting on itself, and not exactly 'meta'.
The genre this series looks to comment on is the formulaic mystery-of-the-week type anime, the likes of Gosick, Beautiful Bones -Sakurako's Investigation-, and I guess also Hyouka. Which means that there is much more mystery than there is fanservice, so don't come in from Monogatari expecting a lot of detailed descriptions of Hanekawa's panties.
As expected of NisiOisiN, he breaks the rules of the premise to do exactly what it was intended to do. Yeah, the MC is the one who calls in the detective, but this time everyone thinks its the MC! Then it was, 'we're not actually going to focus on the crime itself, to emphasize that point we won't even introduce the culprit'. And the most obvious of all, that the way the MC calls in the detective has to be formulaic, thus everyone needs a clean sheet (Kyouko's memory) for every case. Okay, I am sure I missed a lot, but I have only read the volume once, in comparison, I've read Bakemonogatari after watching the anime twice, so it's much easier for me to notice the meta there than I can here.
What was it intended to do? Be an engaging mystery with interesting lead characters.
Speaking of the Monogatari series, this also wouldn't be possible to be complete if I didn't mention the mention the fan theories about Okitegami Kyouko possibly being Hanekawa. To be honest, after reading the first volumes, I am definitely eager to know whether that is the case. In some ways, I even WANT it to be the case, but we all have to remember that NisiOisiN is a troll and we should read with caution so we don't get