09 July 2013

Tantei Gakuen Q final impressions

And I have gotten around to finishing this series so I can move onto another.

The series ends strongly, in fact the final three episodes are easily my favorites from the series. The episodes leading up to that are good too but are more in line with the ones from the first half.

While the mysteries sometimes feel more like an afterthought compared to the character drama going on in an episode they are still solid mysteries that make sense to how they are solved. The only thing I would have against them is that if you are familiar with mystery series it tends to be easy to figure out who the murderer is so only the 'how' is left to be solved. But considering the age of the cast I can only assume that the series was meant for a younger audience that may not have seen many mystery dramas before so I do find that I can find that as an actual fault.

We get to see that there is a bit more to Kyu (Kamiki Ryonosuke) than his usual happy-go-lucky character. I would have liked to have his character be explored more, especially as we learn more about his relationship with his dead parent than the one he has with his still living one. But it is easier to take his speeches to others better once he is stuck having to deal with the fact that he has some darkness in him as well.

As that second arc of focusing more on Pluto kicks in Amakusa Ryu's (Yamada Ryosuke) role expands as dealing with his connections with the organization cannot be ignored. But with this focus it allows Yamada to do more than just look broody. You can see that he holds promise as an actor but while need more work to hone his skills as there are a few scenes that do not completely work with the emotion he is trying to convey.

After a while it feels like the series is less about the mysteries but more about the group of people who make up Q Class that happen to solve murder mysteries. Especially as other characters than Kyu get to be lead characters in episodes and we learn why they are driven to become detectives.

I think the series is good but it is a strange balance of shounen and mystery. I like both genres but I am still mixed on whether I think they work well together. But TGQ tries it best and final few episodes are the strongest of the series and make watching the rest well worth it. I think it is really the characters that help sell the series as the mysteries do serve to help flesh them out and give you reasons to care about them.

And it is great to see Kamiki, Shida and Yamada so early in their careers, which helps give a gauge of how they have grown as actors since. So it helps if you are a fan of any of the actors in the series.

Now that I have this series watched I will finally get back to Piece to finish up the last two episodes for my reviews and then see about trying to catch up with the other Midnight Johnny's dramas before Kamen Teacher finishes airing.

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