Saturday, April 9, 2011

Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro review

Stats
Episodes: 25
MAL score: 7.93
MAL rank: 480
Synopsis (provided by me): Neuro is a demon from the underworld, but instead of feasting on blood and other demon-like foods, he eats mysteries. The demon world isn't providing juicy enough mysteries for his voracious appetite, so he travels to the human world where he searches for the most appetizing mysteries. Once there, he forces asks a high school student named Yako to accompany him, and together along with a yakuza and a moving piece of hair, they solve mysteries while satisfying Neuro's unceasing hunger.

I really hadn't heard of this anime until a while ago when I stumbled across this AMV:
^This video introduced me to Nougami Neuro and convinced me to watch it. It seemed like a hilarious mystery show with a hot sadistic demon.

There is a hot sadistic demon, but it's not really that funny, and the mysteries aren't all too good until much later in the show.

The first few mysteries were definitely lame. It seemed like the show would set up all the evidence towards one character, and I'm watching it practically screaming, "IT'S HIM, YOU IDIOTS. I'M TELLING YOU. HE NEEDS TO BE ARRESTED, DAMNIT." Then of course, the show tries to be all cool and witty by telling you that the culprit is the complete opposite of who you thought it would be. A lot of really cool mystery/drama shows do this, but the difference is they're actually witty. In Nougami Neuro it just felt way too forced. The actual criminal would be revealed, and then Neuro would go on one of his spiels, trying to explain how the guy did it. Some of the logic that Neuro used while finding the actual murderer was pretty interesting and made sense, but most of it felt much too bizarre. It mostly felt like the writers were trying to surprise the viewer, but it just didn't work out, resulting in an illogical, unrealistic mess.

After the culprit is unveiled, the murderer would usually start laughing manically and then transform into some disgusting creature. Usually what they transformed into had something to do with the crime they committed, and it's different for everyone. One woman turned into a pig; another became a really buff Pinocchio thing. I did appreciate the creativity that went into the creatures that people represented. It was kind of cool to see what each murderer would become, but it destroyed any of the realistic feelings that the show had. Most of the murderers were depicted as evil for the sake of being evil, or as I have said, they were shown as being disgusting monsters. In real life, every murderer has a motive, and they're all human. Even murderers have morals, so the fact that they were depicting murderers as heartless monsters was kind of sad. :/

The show was mostly a "mystery of the week" type of show, but near the end, there were some longer mysteries as the puzzles became more difficult to solve. One of the more memorable (and offensive) characters was David Rice, a Japanophile from America. He had a HUGE NOSE, and he always exclaimed things in English like: WOA, EW, and GROSS! He was also extremely obnoxious. It was actually kind of offending to think that the Japanese really think of Americans that way. :/
David Rice 

Throughout the episodic stories, there was a bit of an overarching plot that did end up getting resolved in the end. The main antagonist in the show, Phantom Sai, was introduced in the beginning of the show as an elusive, unpredictable, and almost invincible teenage boy, running around killing people and stuffing their bloody remains into boxes. By the end of the show, I didn't know if they were going to develop his character at all beyond his introduction or actually flesh out his character for what it's worth. I was fairly surprised to find out it was the latter.

As I neared the end, I was puzzled as to why they were going to South America. Come on, guys, a South America where everyone speaks Japanese? A South America where people still sacrifice people in a non-sadistic way? Wat?

And especially: WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO SOUTH AMERICA? or rather, since Yako's mom is imprisoned there (lol why?) WHY THE HELL ARE ALL THE JAPANESE POLICE GOING TO SOUTH AMERICA ONLY TO DO NOTHING?

God, the setting of the ending just didn't seem very logical, and the way it was portrayed was really unrealistic. I do understand why Phantom Sai went to South America and why he lured Neuro there. That makes sense, but the way in which they presented it was just really stupid. By the end though, Phantom Sai definitely got his development, and I applaud Nougami Neuro for supplying a sound ending that left mostly all plot questions answered.

Out of all the characters, the best was definitely Neuro. His reactions to everything were always very eccentric, and he commanded my attention in every scene he was in. Other reasons why I love him:
-He's sexy.
-He's a demon.
-He's a sadist.
-He wore his hear up in a ponytail one time like so:
 ^GOD DAYUM. JUST LOOK AT THAT.

The "actual" main character was Katsuragi Yako, but she was more of a doll for Neuro to torture than anything.
Yeah, she wasn't that great of a detective until waaay later in the show when they actually decided to develop her character more. Up until the last 5 or 6 episodes, it was kind of obvious that Neuro was the actual detective and not Yako; I don't know why all the police couldn't tell. Neuro was always the one to describe the crime, and Yako barely said a word; in fact, she seemed more than a little bit clueless. The other characters must have been really dense not to catch on. Really, why does Neuro need Yako anyway? He pretends to be her assistant, but really he's the one to solve all the mysteries; it's just that he lets Yako take all the credit. I wonder why...

About Akane-chan, the moving piece of hair, well, I don't really know... xD

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Ending: 7/10
Art: 5/10 - Just really average
Music: 6/10 - Nothing really special, though the opening was pretty enjoyable.
Total: 32/50
Mean: 6.4/10

Recommended?
No, not really. Only if you're desperate for some mystery. Although, if you want some really awesome mysteries, try the older Kindaichi.