This is review number five. The anime I’ll be reviewing is entitled “Cuticle Tantei Inaba”. My friend recommended this to me a while back and I really enjoyed watching this. Anyway, the genres it’s under are Action/Mystery/Comedy, but the anime is mostly just comedy.
The anime is an adaptation of a manga by the same name. It was animated by ZEXCS. Each episode has a runtime of ~24 minutes. The story centers around Hiroshi Inaba, a half-wolf, half-human detective. Along with his two assistants, crossdessing Yuuta and “normal” Kei, they go through marvelous misadventures in an attempt to arrest Don Valentino, a mafia goat. From the plot itself, you can tell that things are going to get interesting.
In a world where half-human, half-animal chimeras live and work alongside normal people, there are sure to be a few bad apples in the bunch. Unfortunately, half-human criminals means non-human clues that often leave the police stumped. That’s where lone wolf detectives like Hiroshi Inaba come in. He’s literally part wolf and has the amazing ability to extract critical information just by examining or tasting a sample of someone’s hair! Of course, that ability has also resulted in Inaba having a little bit of a hair fetish, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem for his two assistants. (Well, at least the cross-dressing one isn’t complaining much.) And it’s nothing compared to the strange tastes of Inaba’s nemesis, the omnivorous (and half goat) crime boss Don Valentino, who has an appetite for green legal tender instead of tender young greens! Inaba’s sworn to cut Valentino out of the criminal flock before the Don can wolf down more ill-gotten dough, but he’s going to have to chew his way through a lot of evidence to get his goat. Can sheer dogged detective work put the baaaaad guys behind bars?
That synopsis may seem long and intimidating, but read it. It’s hilarious and it’ll give you an idea of what kind of show Cuticle Tantei Inaba is.
Needless to say, the plot for Cuticle Tantei Inaba is ridiculous. The anime is focused mostly on the gags and humour, so the plot seems to be there merely to give the story a structure and conflict. At first glance, Cuticle Tantei Inaba seems like the kind of show that either tries too hard or doesn’t try at all.
Well, you’re wrong. With an eccentric cast full of unique characters and funny situations, the anime serves up wacky and unexpected humour. There are times when the writers try a more serious tone, and just as you’re about to get sucked in by all the emotional scenes, you get gobsmacked with even more outlandish events.
Despite being under the mystery genre, it’s hard to take anything seriously because you’ll be laughing to hard. There are episodes featuring flashbacks, or unrelated skits like a day at the zoo or some sort of fairy tale retelling. The random situations just add to the charm of the show. I like how the jokes can be funny at an “international” mindset – meaning that there aren’t any jokes that are too ‘local’ for a non-Japanese to understand.
What I’d say is the biggest flaw of the show is that the plot points weren’t elaborated enough for my satisfaction. There were many things given focus to in the anime, but I won’t say them because that’d be spoilers (〜￣3￣)〜 Some problems and mysteries were never resolved by the ending, leading you to wonder what exactly did happen about a certain situation. Despite the abrupt ending, the journey leading up to that point was still a fun ride.
The characters are the life of the show. Every single one of them is unique from each other, with their own quirks and flaws. From the hair fetishist wolf to the money-eating goat, you’re sure to find a character you’ll be interested in.
The anime has a large cast of thirteen characters. While this would usually bring problems with screentime and development, Cuticle Tantei Inaba was able to put it off quite nicely. The writers made sure to give all the characters an adequate role in the anime, and enough screentime. Though some of the characters started off plain and generic, the anime tried to develop them more. Although I think the characters could have been fleshed out more, it worked well for a gag anime.
The character designs were great. They really stand out, and they’re all different from each other. I like how the anime employed different body types and faces to make the characters as distinguishable as possible. Although some of them look like characters out of an RPG, the designs really fit the characters’ personalities well.
Don Valentino is a goat. Enough said.
The animation was decent; not much going on, but with the rapid-fire pace of the events, it’s not really important. Most of the time, the characters are simplified into a chibi or cartoony mode, but this helps establish the funny vibes and adds to the comedy of the show. The animation during the fight/action scenes really shines through.
The opening theme is entitled “Far Away, In the Everydays” sung by the main character Hiroshi Inaba. It’s a nice song, though it’s pretty mediocre in my opinion. It wasn’t as flashy as one would expect an OP to be, but it’s nice to listen to. The opening sequence is basically just the characters doing their thang, except the OP actually makes it look like it’s a serious anime. Minus the goat, that is.
The ending theme is “Prima Stella” by another main character, Don Valentino. It’s a slow and catchy ballad, and probably one of the most unique ED’s I have encountered in anime. The voice actor for Don Valentino did a really good job in capturing the craziness of Don Valentino’s character. The ED sequence features Don Valentino singing. The animation was really in sync with the song and it gets crazier the more it progresses.
This anime had me in stitches and I have no regrets watching it. Although the ending didn’t solve all conflicts presented, it was still a great anime and worth watching (ღ˘◡˘ღ) ♫
tl;dr If you like comedy anime heavy on gags and quirky characters, then you’ll like Cuticle Tantei Inaba.