The Detective is Already Dead has been quite a polarizing anime this season. It seems some parts of the anime community enjoy it while other parts entirely despise it. However, it’s hard to refute that the anime is certainly an eventful one.
Siesta Meets Watson
With a noticeable amount of exposition, The Detective is Already Dead hits the ground running as we’re briefly introduced to Kimizuka Kimihiko, a middle schooler who has a knack for getting mixed up in often dangerous yet hilarious scenarios. One day, he’s kidnapped by a mysterious group and is forced to board an airplane with an equally mysterious suitcase. Not long after, another bizarre case arises in the plane where he meets a self-proclaimed “legendary detective” called Siesta. Upon taking down a would-be hijacker on the plane, thanks to Kimihiko, Siesta decides to recruit him to join her on more adventures stopping crimes and solving cases. After weeks of reluctance and another brief yet equally bizarre adventure, he eventually accepts her proposal.
Sadly, the whimsical and dangerous life of Siesta and her Watson do not last for long, as if you paid any attention to the tile, you’d know they were never meant to. After three more years of solid detective shenanigans, we find out Siesta apparently passed away off-screen. Another year later and we’re left with Kimihiko, in a state of dissolution having accepted his now lukewarm life. Unfortunately, this same life is thrown into disarray yet again when he meets a high school girl named Natsunagi Nagisa, who, upon investigation, finds out that she has the literal heart of his deceased partner.
Long Live the Detective…Apparently
The first 46-minute episode of the anime is unsurprisingly dense and filled with many elements, the most noticeable of which being the relationship between Kimihiko and Siesta. Despite seemingly dropping into his life from out of nowhere, we see the two quickly grow a bond, especially during the three years off-screen. The first episode primarily focuses on that bond as we see the pair solve an admittedly strange and middling case together. Though some may argue that their interactions seemed forced and lacking chemistry, I personally enjoyed how the two interacted with each other, especially their reserved yet witty dialogue.
This all makes things a bit sadder for Kimihiko when Siesta ultimately leaves the picture and is replaced by another more common colored-haired heroine. SIesta’s death leaves quite an impact on Kimihiko as his personality noticeably takes a hit. He’s now more sullen and reserved than ever. However, this changes when Nagisa comes into the picture. Unlike Siesta, Nagisa is boisterous and outspoken, but like Siesta, she noticeably keeps Kimihiko on his toes and out of his comfort zone. As such, the anime decides to continue the detective adventures with a new heroine. Although, I believe this decision is ultimately a foolish one as not only is she not even close to being a detective, but she’s also voluntarily putting herself in dangerous situations with no reasonable motive whatsoever.
The Steady Decline
Speaking of detective adventures, I initially found the anime’s method of providing intrigue with its episodic mysteries to be semantically suitable. Many anime or shows advertised as mystery or detective series regularly portray their individual cases in an unsatisfying and elaborate manner, as these cases are usually solved by contrived methods not explained to the viewers. At first, I thought the case wasn’t the same for this anime as it did an excellent job of at least sprinkling around hints in the first episode that can be caught by the clever or observant viewer. However, this isn’t the case now, as, after the first episode, the plot was entirely turned upside down, and more convoluted plotlines with unexplained sections came flying out of the woodwork. Not only did the anime’s core premise turn out to be nonsensical at best, but its execution is horrid, especially after watching the unjustifiably convoluted fourth episode.
Narrative faults aside, The Detective is Already Dead at least managed to impress me with its animation in the first episode alone. And I mean its animation specifically, as its other production elements are rudimentary at best. The dense first episode sports a very distinct action sequence which, if you’ve seen, is probably in your mind as you’re reading this probably because the smooth yet sharp motions of the scene left a mesmerizing first impression. Unfortunately, this is yet another aspect of the first episode to remain in that episode alone as the rest of the anime so far only provides cookie-cutter if not mediocre visuals and designs.
Overall, The Detective is Already Dead is so far the epitome of disappointment this season. It seems to me that studio ENGI tried its best to hook in as many viewers as possible with its bizarre yet promising first episode, only to progressively drop the ball afterward. If, for some strange reason, you’re still interested in watching this upsetting anime after reading this, then I advise you keep your expectations extremely low.
The Detective is Already Dead is available to stream now on Funimation
Have you seen The Detective is Already Dead yet? Do you know of a better detective anime? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.