| Monday, May 20, 2013

Anime Vice News Feed


Previous Lists... Top 2D Fighting Games *** Top Soundtracks *** Top Miyazaki Movies *** Top Forgotten Fighting Games***Top Manliest Men *** Top Ninjas *** Top Mecha *** Most Awful Anime *** Most Awful Dubs *** Wimpiest Guys *** Top Intros *** Top Anti-Heroes *** Best Ultraviolent Anime *** Top Sci-fi Anime *** Top Overlooked Sci-fi *** Top Intros (Part 2)

Welcome back yet again, Vice-squad.

This week we’re rolling
up our sleeves, furrowing our brows and searching for the mysterious identities of anime’s finest detectives...

== TEASER ==

NUMBER FIVE == Yusuke Urameshi (YU YU HAKUSHO)

Yusuke is a Spirit Detective. Sure, arguably he’s only a detective by title, and he solves cases the only way he knows how - - with his
But really, would using his smarts be any better?

I'd say he's like any classic noir hero. He's a rough kid from the wrong side of the tracks, he's approached by a beautiful woman who gets him
into trouble, and he’s always got his trusty gun with him at all times (even
If they are just his fingers
). In many ways, Yusuke's your quintessential detective fiction gumshoe. In most other ways.... he’s a demon king with super powers.


A case can be made that zenigata is in fact a terrible
detective since he never seems to get his man. However, his tireless efforts,
and admirable motivations earn him a spot on the list. And in the annals of
anime detecting, this guy’s one of the most lovable and memorable. A pillar of
cartoon police buffoonery!

His unending pursuit of Lupin aside, Zenigata does manage to
do some good, solve some crimes, and put a few nefarious baddies behind bars.
In CAGLIOSTRO, he is instrumental in exposing an enormous counterfeiting ring,
even going against direct orders to do so. He’s a man who lives by a code-- a
true servant of justice and truth!

Basically, Zenigata is a good dude, and he does always
manage to track down his man, even if he never catches him. He’s easily fooled,
but tends to do the right thing in the end. He’s slavishly devoted with a heart
of gold and a determined face. That’s the kind of man I want on the case!


This is almost a cheat since SHERLOCK HOUND is extremely
obviously just an anthropomorphized dog version of Sherlock Holmes. He’s also
got the extreme advantage of being directed by the big catbus himself, Hayao
Miyazaki on occasion.

Not every episode of this show is a winner, and only 6 were
directed by Miyazaki, but those 6 are pretty damn perfect. There’s a Victorian
era scifi, steampunk element to the show that’s not overbearing and in fact
very charming. And yes, Sherlock Hound himself is as adept at crime solving and
detection as the original Mr.Holmes. In fact, the show was forced to halt
production because of complaints from Conan Doyle’s estate.

This is a perfect example of “all ages” anime. It’s perfect
for kids but never pandering or patronizing. It’s a mix of European and
Japanese sensibilities, with nice, approachable designs that don’t feel creepy
the way some anthro stuff can. This is a must-see for any fans of Miyazaki,
Sherlock Holmes, or whimsy of any sort. Any of you guys into whimsy?


This is the anime detective series, a huge huge franchise in japan (and
kind of a flop here, sadly). CASE CLOSED is packed full of Sherlock Holmes
references, but it really has more in common with MURDER SHE WROTE. Every week
there’s a new improbable mystery for Conan to stumble across, and every week
it’s solved by the end of 21 minutes.

Jimmy Kudo is a gifted teenage super-sleuth, trapped in the
body of a child with super-human kicking powers named Conan… If you’re still
reading then you’re willing to suspend your disbelief admirably and CASE CLOSED
just might be your new favorite show. Conan/jimmy have sleuthing abilities that
border on the realm of super power. Whats more, he has to keep his adult brain
secret from his friends and colleagues, deal with annoying brats as best
friends, and little girls trying to smooch him. He’s got a lot on his plate.

The fun of CASE CLOSED is partly in watching Conan/Jimmy
solve the increasingly convoluted murder mysteries, and avoid giving away his
secret. It’s a bit like how Ranma has to fight off enemies while keeping his
gender-swapping secret from select members of his crew. And much like ranma,
this eventually becomes too tiresome for the writers and it all comes out into
the open. Either way, the ride is a fun one.

He’s also got a scientist friend who looks an awful lot like
Dr.Light from megaman. And just like megaman, this professor gives him all
kinds of gadgets to aid him in his perilous exploits. Things like wrist-watch
voice mimic technology, and kick-enhancing leg braces. CASE CLOSED has a really
nice mix of over-the-top cartoony ideas, and surprisingly grizzly murders.


Basically anime’s Batman, L is a monster of a detective with
a mind that always seems a couple steps ahead—of both the characters and the
viewer! In fact, he knows what you’re thinking right now and he’s not

L is the perfect foil for Light Yagami, and an interesting
weirdo of a character in his own right as well. Much of the thrill of DEATH
NOTE comes from the dramatic back and forth and one-ups-manship of these two
characters. L is neurotic, suspicious, analytical, paranoid, and even frustrating
at times, but nothing gets past him.

L also stands in stark contrast to the rest of our TOP 5
detectives-most of whom are dapper, refined, even dashing. L is a mess with a
sweet tooth. He slumps, shoeless, with bags under his eyes at all times. He is
unconcerned with his appearance or really much at all beyond finding the truth.
He is something of a psychopath but he’s on the side of justice, perhaps only
by chance. He’s likable despite it all. The viewer jumps back and forth between
wanting L to succeed in solving the Kira mystery, and hoping Light gets away
with it. I suppose you could think of L as the villain (in some sense). This
kind of complicated character work is what sets DEATH NOTE apart from the pack
and what makes L our number one anime detective!

There they are, folks, the sleuthing-est, brainy lot of
detectives that anime has to offer! Feel free to weigh in on which of our
grievous oversights offended you the most this week by leaving a comment in the
section below. But don’t expect an apology.

Alex Eckman-Lawn is an illustrator and comic artists from Philadelphia. Check out his site - - - - rumble with his Tumblr - - - and hit up his Twitter: @alexeckmanlawn


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