The student council anime podcast

First Impressions – Kamisama no Memo-chou

Alice tearing up.

Kamisama no Memo-chou is the story of Alice, a “NEET Detective” and Narumi, a generic male lead.  Alice solves mysteries and crimes from her apartment, by using the internet, listening devices, and a ragtag pack of assistants.  Narumi is unknowingly dragged into being one of her assistants (who could say no to that face?) and helps solve a missing girl case.  The show is created by JC Staff, one of the most hit or miss studios around.   In particular they suffer from weak generic male lead syndrome.

Alice tearing up again...

Coming into the show I was quite suspicious.  We have a pile of cliches stacked on top of each other.  A generic male lead meets a genius loli, a military obsessed guy, and a couple of schoolgirls thrown in for good measure.  Consequently, I was expecting the writing and dialogue to be weak, but was pleasantly surprised.  Alice’s lines were all well delivered, and Narumi managed to display some usefulness with his hunches generally being correct.  My other concern was that the show would suffer from Gosick syndrome.  Alice would solve mysteries not through logical deduction, but through an almost magical knowledge of the plot.  This is avoided in the first episode, while there’s no way to predict whodunnit (one of my favorite parts of a good mystery) the show doesn’t make any giant illogical leaps.  I could follow through what Alice has deduced pretty easily, and never felt like she had made a giant impossible leap of deduction.

Oh JCStaff, you so silly.

The one complaint I had with the show was the overly pushy way they tried to paint Alice’s weaker side.  I understand she’s supposed to be cute and on the weaker side, having her tear up when she breaks her chopsticks is over the top.  Her emotional frailty was portrayed well enough in the scene with her bear’s torn ear, it doesn’t need to be hammered home a second time.  A character who can calmly explain to a sobbing girl why her admired Senpai committed suicide, shouldn’t be quite so easily brought to tears.

Speaking of the eventual final reveal of Shouko’s suicide, I was impressed by the maturity of the themes.  We have a girl breaking under the pressure of her demanding life, resorting to prostitution and eventually killing herself.  Her friend hides the body from the police, and starts a fake hunt to find the missing girl!  Definitely not your average light and fluffy content.  I was genuinely taken aback a bit, as I was expecting a much gentler wrap up to the whole thing.

This setup almost puts Lain's to shame.

Overall I would recommend this show based on the first episode, and am eagerly awaiting the next episode!  Also, I’m really, really jealous of Alice’s rig.


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