Yakushiji Ryoko no Kaiki Jikenbo

Title:Yakushiji Ryoko no Kaiki Jikenbo
Yakushiji Ryoko's Case File
Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: KIUCHI Hidenobu
The story revolves around Ryouko Yakushiji, a 27-year-old multilingual investigator that graduated from Tokyo University's elite Department of Law, and the bizarre cases she faces while working for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. Yakushiji not only has to deal with supernatural beings in her line of work, but also her rival Yukiko Muromachi, another equally talented and beautiful police investigator.

Based on a series of light novels written by Tanaka Yoshiki and illustrated by Kakinouchi Narumi. (summary from ANIDB)

13 TV Episodes.
Aired July-October '08.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch Stretch [series:1843#628]
(All episodes watched):

The character designs and OP sequence of YRnKJ immediately reminded me of Gallery Fake. For the most part, the series consists of compartmentalized "cases", each of which is solved within one episode; a more lengthy and serious case concludes it. Contrary to what I was expecting, Yakushiji doesn't possess any paranormal powers. Her brilliance counterbalanced by her arrogance makes her an interesting character, who you can get to like--or maybe I should say tolerate. Let's just say that she doesn't suffer fools gladly. It's hard not to pity her assistant, Izumida, who acts as a sort of narrator/guy-you-can-identify-with in this series. He's no fool but is treated like Ryoko's "slave", as he puts it.

I wasn't particularly impressed by the way the first case worked out; the solution was bizarre, difficult to understand, too weird to take seriously, yet somehow didn't seem all that unusual. It felt rushed and generic. This would be a problem, to varying extents, throughout the series. I was tempted to shelve YRnKJ, but episode three was better. Yakushiji learns that she's being trailed by two reporters looking for scandalous photos, and orders Izumida to assist her as she leads them on a wild goose chase. This episode was amusing and had nothing at all supernatural about it until the very end. Episode four was OK, except for one thing: they forgot to offer any explanation of what that thing was! It's frustrating and hard to take seriously when a bizarre creature appears out of nowhere which looks nothing at all like what all the clues had suggested.

You might say YRnKJ turned out to be one of those every-other-episode-is-good shows. Episode five was fun and fairly plausible; the explanation was kept secret long enough to build intrigue, and might actually be possible in the not-too-distant future. Episode six, on the other hand, made no sense at all. Was it supposed to be funny? Why didn't we get the slightest explanation as to how such a creature had come to exist? Also, there are few things I hate more than characters who are so "cool" that they can knock out an opponent armed with a blazing submachinegun using their feet or bare fists. I was going to say that the odd numbered ones were good, but not so number seven. Instead, let's say that about half of the episodes are modestly enjoyable while the rest make little or no sense at all. Episode seven fell into the latter category; an "explanation" (note the quotation marks) to the mystery is offered at the end, but it is still so poorly revealed and utterly absurd that I could only shake my head in dismay at the end. Yakushiji's personality seems to have changed very little; that is, we don't know much more about her than we did after episode one. I don't hate Ryoko but I feel sorry for her rival female police official, who she continually makes fun of. I don't recall this woman ever doing anything worse than refusing to dress like a tramp.

The concluding arc had some problems. The plot cooked up by Ryoko's archenemy Ruriko was pretty nonsensical when you think about it. It was hard to hate her when her scheme (which involved "tainted radio waves") was so absurd. Yet I must admit I kind of enjoyed it. Ryoko and Izumida's chemistry was fun, and so was the post climax wrap-up. I guess at the end I would describe YRnKJ as a series of great potential which was only partially exploited. An interesting pair of male and female main characters weighed down by carelessly explained mysteries which leave the viewer scratching his or her head. It was difficult to tell if the show was trying to be taken seriously or laughed at. But it was fun at times, and a mere 13 episodes wouldn't be a major commitment.

Don't let the mangroves get you!

Last updated Monday, October 06 2008. Created Sunday, August 10 2008.

Other Sites
Official (Japanese) Series Web Site http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/yakushijiryouko/

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