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Weskalia's Psychic Detective Yakumo Tv Review

Psychic Detective Yakumo

Psychic Detective Yakumo tv Review

In order to help a friend possessed by a spirit, Ozawa Haruka knocks on the door of her university's movie research association. There she meets Saitou Yakumo, a rude, unkempt young man with a red left eye, who is said to have spiritual powers. At first Haruka is skeptical, but she comes to believe him when he conveys messages from her older sister, who died when she was a child. Together, they work to shed light on the terrifying events happening at their university. But this is only the prologue of what's to come...

(Source: ANN)

Story & Characters

Adapted from a novel by Kaminaga Manabu, Bee Train's rendition of this mystery supernatural series plays out as an suspense detective anime rather than an anime variation on its original concept. This isn't its first adaptation, there were two manga and a live-action, but this anime offers no compelling reason for the popularity.

Apart from being an eccentric and reserved college student, Yakumo is a psychic detective who investigates paranormal cases when he feels like it, but he soon finds himself involved in some seriously bizarre businesses after a case results him accepting jobs from second-year high school Ozawa Haruka. The thing is not everyone can be a psychic detective, and Yakumo has this special red eye that allows him to see ghosts and spirits, and thus, makes him competent in dealing supernatural occurrence. Though wowed by his looks, Haruka is not so frightened by Yakumo's acerbic attitude and red eye that she assists him as others involved in the psychic field - Yakumo's reluctant inspector friend, and some evil guy - assemble for various jobs requiring spiritual services.

Despite its appearance, Psychic Detective Yakumo is not as intriguing as it may look. And, true to form, the titular character gets himself roped into helping a young woman's supernatural drama almost immediately. It's hard not to compare this series to its supernatural sibling Ghost Hunt, whose male lead is similarly cold, though Yakumo lacks his unchecked ego so far. The sad thing is while normally shows like this convince you that the detective's stunning wit and ingenuity help him solve the case, Yakumo doesn't have that much qualities. Even if his "I see dead people." talent assists him in solving cases whatsoever, they don't help much; nothing else happen, there are ghosts, possession and spirits, but not many display of supernatural. In fact, Yakumo looks like a normal crime-solving thriller mixed with some "supernatural feel" in it - kidnappings, a not-so-haunted abandoned house, and some nasty main dish involved the main character's trauma - but they're all soon deadly clear that the surrounding evil is very and very human.

The series goes nowhere that isn't fully expected; it clings with dispiriting vigor to established structures: the hero faces enemies from his past, getting helps from the heroine and comrades to beat down each successive challenger. The cast doesn't fare much better, with Yakumo being kind of a jerk, leading his pack of irritating cliche that range from a pretty boy all full of coolness and impersonal attitude to the "more human, less supernatural" mysteries. Its biggest asset is Haruka, whose realistic strength of mind and little core of sadness allow her to carry the series' emotional heart with becoming ease. They do grow as the series progresses, though they never add more than any of that because it's always obvious that they will change.

Rating: 5

Art

Nothing is at best about Bee Train's typical animation effort. They deliver forgettable character designs, dull backgrounds and the well-known light-schemed color. Yakumo is dashingly bishounen, appeal of a cool guy, but that doesn't stop him from helping a damsel in distress, especially a cute, lavender-haired one like Haruka. Interesting though it looks, there's nothing interesting to look at his red eye. It can glow frightfully, revealing his... awesome Geass power. Oh wait! He doesn't have that! But his red eye is so terrifying that just by staring alone is enough to scare off some weak-willed perpetrators who notice it then go screaming into the arm of the police. Why so serious?

The one thing I truly enjoyed was the way the series drew the ghosts. The ghosts in Yakumo are all colored in shades of reds and blacks, with crazy eyes and gaping mouths.

And don't forget the show's main villain, you know he's very bad because he's a big hulking old man and has two red eyes. Great! That doubles the staring power, and that proves you don't want to run into him in the dark alley.

Rating: 7

Sound

Another typical gesture was how Bee Train invite seiyuu who have already been familiar with trademark roles: Ono Daisuke's aloof and cool bishounen, Fujimura Ayumu's bright energetic girl type (and this isn't the first time the two play a romantic couple), George Nakata's "big bad boy." That alone means there won't be anything stands out. Amongst potential voice acting issues, only a few shines - the psychopathic murderess Nanase, as she hits just the right tone and sound for the character without resorting to exaggeration.

Even the soundtrack, which has been alternated to creepy, horror music smacks no absolute results. The two pieces of music perhaps stand above the level of mediocrity except its visual, OP "Key" is Baccano! casts-off, while ED "Missing You" introduces some new faces, just because they have to throw more strangers into this limited airing.

Rating: 6

Presentation

Yakumo isn't a great horror, supernatural series, or for that matter a great series period. Thirteen episodes do seem long enough to cover Yakumo's painful past, the plot was decent but it was poorly executed. This mechanical rendition of a supernatural mystery moves listlessly from one scene to the next, the producers clearly bored out of their minds because they know that you know what's coming. If the production staff didn't bother to put much effort in it, then it shouldn't bother you to watch it. If you like to flex your sleuthing muscles and to see a similar concept in a much better rendition, you may want to give Ghost Hunt or even Madhouse's superior Death Note and Monster a whirl instead.

Suspense is a delicate thing. If it's done incorrectly, it will ruin the whole production. It's about keeping audience at the edge of their seats, making them wonder what will happen next and hitting them when they least expect. Unfortunately, Yakumo falls right off the bat.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Story: 5
Characters: 5
Art: 7
Animation: 8
Voice: 6
Music: 7
Overall: 6.25

Good:
+Solid visuals and some decent horror enough to blow your mind.
Bad:
+Predictable, crammed with overused character types.
+Logical issues.

Rating: 5

Final Verdict

5.50 (average)

Reviewed by Weskalia, Aug 18, 2011

Comments

  1. MisaSasekage Moderator Aug 18, 2011

    I agree, this show disappointed me, it didn't progress like I hoped it would. Haruka was a completely predictable character. I did like this anime's villian though. Nice review Weskalia^^

  2. ShinKyo Aug 19, 2011

    Well since it isn't a great horror, supernatural series I guess I'll skip it.

  3. Nessbad94 Aug 19, 2011

    I think this series weren't such breath taking as other mystery. But in my opinion they're 'watchable'. They have a bit horror, some mystery and investigations.. so some plot, too. But yeah, they could be done much better. Nice review!

  4. SnickerdoodleNinja Retired Moderator Aug 19, 2011

    I have to say that I've been very curious to see this series, and it's a shame that it looks like it isn't all that good. Still, after reading this review I still think I might check it out sometime, since I will know what I'm in for ahead of time and I might be able to enjoy it at least as a guilty pleasure. If not, at least it's short.

    On to your actual review. Once again you've been very thorough and descriptive, without a trace of bias. You seem to have been completely honest, and I particularly loved the art section. It was great fun. xD Great job!

  5. mbeckley Aug 19, 2011

    I've seen the first episode months ago and had a feeling that it wouldn't be so breath-taking. So i guess you've said it all about the series. Lol. Very detailed review. xD

  6. angelxxuan Aug 19, 2011

    good review. I still wouldn't mind finding this one. I tend to enjoy these sort of shows. so I'll be the final judge of things. between the two recent reviews of the same anime I have to admit I will probably give it a try. I have been known to drop something I don't like and finish it up with spoilers. people are famous for those on the net for some odd reason.

  7. SolemnSerpent Sep 09, 2011

    I've been looking into this anime, because it sounded like it might be a good watch- however after a while, I've drawn a similar conclusion. It's a pity too; the premise sounded interesting, but alas, weak direction conquers. );

    Great review; and the lines, "It can glow frightfully, revealing his... awesome Geass power. Oh wait! He doesn't have that! But his red eye is so terrifying that just by staring alone is enough to scare off some weak-willed perpetrators who notice it then go screaming into the arm of the police. Why so serious? "

    A Code Geass and a Dark Knight reference in the same paragraph- you've reached the pinnacle of awesome with your wit.

  8. aozoraskies Sep 25, 2011

    I've heard good things about Psychic Detective Yakumo, and I thought a crime mystery meets supernatural + slice of life would be my kind of show. Sadly, your review has successfully convinced me otherwise. *sobs*

    I am starting to observe that tone-wise, you seem to have the most joy in either lovingly reviewing what you deem masterpieces, or gleefully putting down shows that became train wrecks. XDD But it's rather enjoyable and I do have this grin on my face to prove it~

    Ah Bee Train. Why does it seem that the popular shows that Bee Train produces, the ones that really are meant to start and STAY serious, are the ones they always manage to flop? By the sound of it, Yakumo's flaws are that it is wholly predictable and has a main character that viewers can easily fail to sympathise/enjoy. And 'logical issues' + 'mechanical rendition' + 'bored producers'. *flips desk at eet all* How disheartening. Thankfully, your review has bright enough a spark in it to cheer me up!

    Can't help but think of the Shadows in Persona, with your description of the ghosts though. :giggles:

    I guess we all have to stick to Ghost Hunt or Xxxholic for some decent supernatural mystery then. As in a mystery that really mystifies lol. I would have dearly loved a Sherlockesque twist in one though.. "No, no Watson. How do you expect me to trust mere delusions as solid evidence? I need PROOF. Now see this mark here..." "You just had the dead man himself tell you who the murderer is. =_=" "I can't read that ruin of a face. He could be lying!" ...forgive the random...

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