Do you remember how I HATED Ranpo-Kitan? Or how much I enjoyed the ACTUAL stories of the author when I read them?
Well this episode me and Atsushi are introduced to Stray Dogs very own Rampo-san. (Or Ranpo, either way.)
Where do I begin?
The story was straight forward, after the fight they are clearing up just for Rampo to announce he’s going on a job. Kunikida decides that Atsushi should go too and it turns out that he’s needed because Rampo doesn’t actually know how to use the trains or get around anywhere. A dead body has washed to shore and Dazai ends up getting dragged to shore (though this time apparently he was just floating and not trying to kill himself, no, not he, he is waiting for his perfect partner to commit suicide with him.) After coming across a hard headed officers Rampo slowly wears him down to agree to let him try and solve the case in under a minute, something that Rampo does with seemingly great ease. With the case solved Dazai explains to Atsushi that Rampo DOESN’T have a ability, proved by the fact then when he used his Ultra Deduction Dazai had hold of him which would have killed his ability instantly. We also learn that Rampo is 26 (eek! so am I until the 20th!) so he just seems to be a very innocent, eccentric genius, though Dazai isn’t too far behind on the genuis side of it.
If anything it was everything I kinda hoped that Ranpo-Kitan would have been. Likeable characters actually solving cases in a way that makes you understand it. Like a Japanese Sherlock Holmes.
Of course we aren’t going to get loads of episodes of Atsushi and Rampo-san running around solving mysteries… But we should.
Why I’ve condensed it all to one paragraph is because the one thing I loved about this episode was just the characters. Rampo was just brilliant, I loved everything about him and he brought out a more grown up and serious side to Dazai who after his original spurt of craziness calmed down and stood on the sidelines watching Rampo do his thing. It made him look like a superior. I also liked how he explained everything to Atsushi so well, in a way that Kunikida would think below him to do.
It showed the different dynamics in the group and how when you find your place then you get a certain amount of respect. Being called a brat and being talked to harshly by Kunikida doesn’t seem to be as bad as it is but maybe if Atsushi can find his place then the dynamic will change again,, its all he’s being asked to do really.
Being able to see things like how Rampo works through Atsushi’s eyes is great too. There is no pre-judgement, the only person Atsushi seems to have judged is Dazai… And maybe the Tanizaki duo but then they are just strange.
Again it didn’t sacrifice comedy for seriousness or seriousness for comedy. The whole exchange with the police officers were both comedic and enthralling, the actual case ended up being really heartbreaking and seeing a glimpse of the reasoning for Rampo figuring it out was fascinating. For me it got the balance right with all the out there stupid stuff being at the beginning and it calming right down near the end.
I haven’t found a character I don’t like yet which is a great thing and I really did just fall in love with Rampo and would love a whole series with just him and Atsushi (with occasional help from Dazai) solving mysteries. Now that would be cute!