October 16, 2011
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Title: Kamisama no Memochou
Genre: Mystery, Psychological
Rating: 7.7/10

Kami-sama no memo-chou

Summary: Fujishima Narumi is a plain high school boy, who has been isolated in the class. His classmate Shinozaki Ayaka invites Narumi to the gardening club and introduces a hikikomori detective Alice to him. Alice hires Narumi as an assistant to solve mysterious cases involving an illegal drug “Angel Fix”. But the drug entraps Ayaka into danger.

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Review: Another mystery anime that I took quite a liking too. Only I didn’t care so much about the mystery or case solving as I did the characters. It would seem like many “mystery” anime lately have been more about the characters than the actual cases. Classics like Conan don’t emerge anymore. Instead anime like Kamisama no Memochou and Gosick are slowly becoming more popular. Lately I’ve began to wonder if shows like these are really considered mystery, then again I can’t see myself classifying them as anything else. Although I didn’t get a strong impact from Kamisama no Memochou it did leave a lasting impression. Hooking me with the first hour long special and then finishing off nicely with a pretty heart felt ending.

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The art style was beautiful. It did a great job with lighting effects and character models. The action scenes weren’t too bad either. Considering they didn’t have a main focus on action the anime does a good job with some of the choreography. Probably the only thing that I wasn’t too fond of was the constant use of backgrounds. I honestly can’t remember much other than the same NEET base and clan house. The buildings all looked the same and it was a typical city scene over and over again. There really isn’t much you can do considering some of the settings, but it didn’t leave much of an impression either since the art wasn’t anything different from the norm. Spicing things up might have helped the anime out a little more.

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The anime did a great job getting you introduced to the 6+ reoccurring characters in a short period of time. They continued to improve the characters by giving them strong backgrounds. Many were explained through short two-three story arcs in which the characters always face a moral dilemma. Despite what the description says the “Angel Fix” arc didn’t occur till the last few episodes. The other episodes were dedicated to completely unrelated cases in which the genius NEET detective Alice read from her God’s Notebook the words of the dead. Alice was definitely one of the more prominent roles that had very little background established. They didn’t explain how she became a NEET detective or really how she got to where she was. A mysterious kid genius that has access to nearly everything in the world. At least anything that had been buried under lies and deception. I can’t say that I was completely in love with her character because she didn’t really have much to her. Despite her vast knowledge base she didn’t do much in terms of physical labor. Basically saying that all the cool action scenes were done in her absence. She played a vital role keeping everyone on the right track and figuring out how everything came to be. I would have liked to know more about her but I can see why they avoided the subject. The next character of attention was Narumi. An average kid was an unnaturally big heart. He didn’t fit the category for neat, and he sure as heck wasn’t a start detective. He didn’t really have many traits about him actually. His average personality kind of made him a bore to watch. He spent of the time talking to various people to learn more about what was going on. It seemed to me that he was left in the dark for just about every case and had to find out the hard way what was happening around him. What bothered me most about Narumi and his character set was his quick jump to friendship. It seemed like it didn’t take much to get on his good side. Nearly everyone he met he instantly wanted to help in some way. It wasn’t until the final arc where you finally see his “mean” side. Even so he wasn’t the worst character I’ve seen in an anime. Boring, but not the worst. However, he did bring up a few character inconstancies that caught my attention. For one, he makes a pack with the head of a rather powerful clan. Not even a half-assed one, he did the whole shi-bang with sake and such. Despite such a rare and close bond between two people they didn’t seem to follow through with it. It seemed like half the time they didn’t trust each other or really get involved even though they were on the same case. It started to seem like the whole thing was a way to kill some time before starting the next arc. Thankfully the story arcs weren’t too bad and I found myself quite enjoying them. The story is well done if you are into character interaction. There isn’t some secret conspiracy going on or any world shattering events. Most of the stories are between the small group of NEETS and their client. I find that the personal level they placed in all the characters made the series so enjoyable to watch.  The final arc, “Angel Fix” was easily the best. It showed the close bond between all the characters and really brought out the best of every emotion. The series came to a great closing, probably the best they could have done given the situation and style. Since they ended with such a bang, I will say that the series made it rather high up there on the lists.

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The soundtrack for Kamisama no Memochou wasn’t half bad either. I really enjoyed the background music during the dialogue scenes explaining the whole situation. It was an eerie yet beautiful sound that made the situation a lot more intense. It heightened the senses and probably one of the best I heard over the Summer season. I’ll definitely be checking if there is a full version. The opening and ending were enjoyable to listen to as well. The ending was a great rock song that caught my attention rather quickly. The opening, a little calmer comparatively, isn’t one of the best but a good fit for the anime.

Final statements: Kamisama no Memochou was probably one of my favorite shows for the season. It had some pretty good stories and some nice character development. It taps into a lot of emotional scenes with some great effects. The finale was definitely the best and I’m glad they didn’t fizzle out like some anime. However, it didn’t quite have the impact as some so it only gets stuck with a preferred watch.

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