“You, be my assistant.”
The young man who’s prone to get mixed up in cases, Kimihiko Kimizuka, became an assistant to a self-proclaimed girl detective who’s as beautiful as an angel, Siesta, on a plane that’s flying 10,000 metres above the ground.
For the sake of fighting the enemy of the world, the two of them spent 3 years going around the world. Their adventures passed by in a blink of an eye, and in the end, they got separated by death.
A year passed since that shocking day. Kimizuka who turned into a third grade highschooler, got immersed in normal lifestyle, and spent his days as a normal highschooler. Suddenly, a client appeared in front of Kimizuka.
Are you the detective?
Triggered with his meeting with his girl classmate, Nagisa Natsunagi, a grand story that connects the past to the present is opening its curtain once again..
(Source: Muse Asia)
Dany Muhammad (The Indonesian Anime Times)
There’s a mixed reaction among fans of the detective mystery regarding the anime itself. As a detective anime, The Detective is Already Dead is certainly unique. They are not shy to break the rules of the detective genre. While some fans won’t take this narrative decision lightly, it’s also not something new either. A lot of young Japanese writers have been toying around with the narrative of detective mystery since the mid-’80s, adding elements of supernatural, sci-fi, or even slice-of-life in what is considered a rigid genre (Remember Knox’s 10 commandments?). Discussing this topic will take too much time, but it’s important to remember that The Detective is Already Dead won’t be your typical orthodox (honkaku) detective mystery story.
So to fully understand whether you should watch it or not, we need to see what aspect of the detective story that being played around in this anime. First of all, the supernatural element is apparent here. While writers like Nisio Isin also like to add supernatural elements in their story, The Detective is Already Dead take it to the extreme. For example, Siesta’s power make her solve the case before it even began. For many fans, it feels like Siesta is cheating. The supernatural element in this anime just breaks the immersion of “thinking” that is often found in other detective stories.
The second aspect that we need to talk about here is the Sherlock-Watson dynamic. Just like the title stated, the detective actually dies at the start of the second episode. It creates an interesting shift of character roles. Now, Watson has become Sherlock, and new Watson that potentially could become Sherlock appears. It is interesting to think about. It makes me think about character dynamics that are normally found in detective anime.
The third aspect, which is still tied to the second aspect, is the presentation of the main detective herself, Siesta. Siesta is a detective with mysterious supernatural power. What is her power? It is just… unexplained. Moreover, a detective character normally is the center of a detective story. But here, she just died, offscreen. This part is weird. If the detective is really dead, what’s her role in the whole story? Sure, it’s easy to dismiss this part as a big troll by the writer. But seeing how deliberately weird this part is, maybe there’s something more here, maybe.
Execution-wise, I like how the action scene is animated. It feels satisfying seeing an elegant character like Siesta dancing around on the screen, fighting against a mysterious monster inside a plane. But because the fight happens in a tight space, we can see the background is not blended well with the key animation. For the other part of the story, it’s worth mentioning the anime has many dialogue scenes. Since it’s a detective show, it should be expected. However, I also feel some dialogues are dragged for too long.
So, should fans of detective mystery watch this anime? Maybe, but you need to accept that The Detective is Already Dead won’t be a traditional detective mystery story. They just deliberately break a lot of rules in the detective story and probably that’s the appeal of this anime. It’s more fun to think about the narrative design of the anime itself than the actual case in the anime. In the end, The Detective is Already Dead is a detective mystery story that won’t shy to investigate themselves.
The anime is currently streaming on Muse Asia and Muse Indonesia.
Facts and Figures
|Alternate Title||Tantei wa Mou, Shindeiru.
Si Detektif Sudah Mati.
|Source material||Light Novel by Nigojyu|
|Casts||Ayana Taketatsu as Nagisa Natsunagi
Kanon Takao as Yui Saikawa
Maria Naganawa as Alicia
Saho Shirasu as Charlotte Arisaka Anderson
Saki Miyashita as Siesta
Shin Nagai as Kimihiko Kimizuka
Takehito Koyasu as Chameleon
Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Kōmori
|Scenario||Deko Akao (After the Rain)|
|Character Design||Yousuke Itou (King’s Game the Animation)|
|Opening Song||“Koko de Ikiteru. (ここで生きてる。)” by Mary x jon-YAKITORI|
|Ending Song||“Kodou (鼓動)” by Nana Kagura|
|Broadcast Date||4 July 2021 (1230 GMT, 1930 WIT, 2130 JST)|
Screenshots and Trailer
The Indonesian Anime Times