Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

2 July 2014: Kindaichi may have returned, but he couldn't make me care

Also, he has a ponytail.

I'm dropping Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Returns at episode 13 even though there's at least one more episode in the current arc. Somehow, the allure of knowing who The Real Killer is isn't compelling enough to make me watch even one more episode of this detective show. It's not that Kindaichi Returns is necessarily bad in the usual sense, but it's just not very engaging. The biggest problem is none of the characters are particularly charismatic.

You can tell Reika is an idol because she's holding a microphone.

Kindaichi himself isn't an odious cretin. In fact, he's at least above average when it comes to male anime protagonists. However, he's a rather shite detective, which is pretty damning in a detective show. The biggest problem I have is that Kindaichi is sort of a dumbass except when he finally reveals how the show's ridiculously convulated murders were conducted. (Seriously, even in comparison with the excessively complex murders in Detective Conan, the murders in Kindaichi Returns are spectacularly unlikely and frankly quite stupid.)

You can tell Reika is an idol because she's wearing slave arm bands.

And while Kindaichi might figure everything out at the end (and spend three episodes explaining how the victims were killed), he basically does nothing to prevent these homicides while people drop dead all around him (as is fitting of his lazy bad-at-book-lernin' schoolboy persona). This is a pretty sharp contrast with two other notable detectives from this season. Conan is intelligent at basically all times and at least tries to prevent crimes when he has the opportunity. Tensai from Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin is also freakishly smart and never turns off her detective powers.

You're still doing better than Rukia, sweetie.

None of the other characters seem particularly interesting, either. This may be due to a bit of a catch-22, since Kindaichi Returns presumes the viewer is already familiar with all the supporting characters. (The franchise itself predates Detective Conan.) Unfortunately, The Childhood Friend is rather dull. I guess I do like Reika, the love interest idol, but mostly because I find it sort of amusing that all of her fans appear to be adult salarymen who are probably way too old and not NEET enough to be fervent fans of a teenage pop idol.

Do an idol pose!

I rather wanted to like Kindaichi Returns, particularly since Detective Conan fansubs appear to have dropped off again. Ultimately, neither the crimes nor the victims were interesting enough to keep my attention, and I didn't know enough about the regular characters to want to know more about them. I am sort of interested in watching more Reika episodes, though. I like the idea of a teenage idol who constantly gets falsely accused of murder.

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