Ranpo Kitan Review — B-

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Detectives solve mysteries and walk the thing line towards madness.

Ranpo Kitan is downright disturbing. And this is coming from a guy who wasn’t too bothered by Crime Edge or Mirai Nikki or even Sword Art Online. I had trouble finding time watching Ranpo Kitan, because I refused to watch it before I went to bed or while I was eating.

The disturbing part is not so much the murders (although those are disturbing as well) but mainly the characters. The main character in particular. He is completely psychotic. He absolutely revels in murder mysteries. He enjoys them. He smiles when he looks at corpses that were brutally killed. For him it’s all fun and games. Even his own impending death is all fun and games.

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The show is great at building this atmosphere where everyone is a raving lunatic and this seems perfectly believable. It also takes great liberty with the style. Definitely one of the most unique visual presentations I’ve seen recently.

The reason I only gave it a B- is that, despite the excellent characterizations, mood and visuals, I was just never too excited to watch this. It’s superbly made but it’s not the kind of show that you want to watch. You aren’t particularly rooting for the heroes (since they aren’t much better than the villains). Perhaps that’s just not the type of show Ranpo Kitan is intended to be. I also felt that thematically it would have helped to be more focused on a smaller set of ideas. It tried to tackle too much and ended up not getting to delve too deeply into any of it.

  • Storytelling – B – Fast paced, intricate stories.
  • Voice – A – Excellent unique visual style and mood. Went wild with experimentation.
  • Characters – B – Makes characters that are extremely unique seem believable.
  • Attention Grab – C – It was intellectually great but I didn’t want to watch it.
  • Production – B – Looks good.
  • Overall – B-

Recommendations – Ghost Hound, Mouryou no Hako, Hyouka

5 thoughts on “Ranpo Kitan Review — B-

  1. “Makes characters that are extremely unique seem believable”
    Literally what. This is the same series that had the villain who killed others with math because and daddy and school were mean? The one with the trap shota who can solve complex murder mysteries in moments, who also decided to kill himself because something something the world is boring (nevermind how he goes back to being happy afterwards even when not really much has changed besides Namikoshi being dead).

    1. Lol ok I definitely chose the wrong word. They aren’t believable at all, but they present them with the conviction and consistency that allow you to fully buy into the character.

  2. It certainly is one of the craziest animes I’ve seen in a long time. There’s a “gentleman-thief” with a bag on his head who is a shapeshifter more or less and his hobby is to stalk elementary-school-girls – and he’s one of the good guys! There’s a master-criminal who’s an exaggerated masochist-caricature and she’s imprisoned beneath the police-station – and yet she’s able to influence events outside and send out minions when needed! This series had so many WTF-moments…

    Despite the series’ off-the-rails-thinking when it came to plot, story and characters the actual material was a little bit TOO serious for my taste. This series took serious issues and then used them as a springboard for its crazy story propelled by the actions of crazy characters while never showing the self-awareness to address obvious stuff like how for example humanity is a pile of shit here and everything good gets crushed beneath the shit.

    And isn’t it strange how the series changed after the first couple episodes as it suddenly only had eyes for the Twenty-Faces-gimmick? I certainly didn’t expect the series to just focus on that for most of its run.

    1. I don’t know, even if they never addressed it directly I think it was pretty obvious from reading between the lines a bit that humanity is a pile of shit. 🙂

      And yeah, I didn’t expect the twenty faces thing either. Not to mention that whole predicting the future stuff. One of the biggest WTF moments for me in a series of WTF moments.

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