Tantei Gakuen Q
Kyuu is a kid with an interesting past, when just a young boy he was kidnapped and rescued by a detective. Instead of being traumatised by this ordeal, Kyuu is inspired by it, and in particular, by the detective that rescued him. It will come as no surprise that Kyuu wants to be a detective and that he immerses himself with solving mysteries. However, before one fateful day at a building site, they are solely of the TV and film variety.
One day, when Kyuu witnesses what looks like a routine suicide, he is implicated in a completely unexpected adventure. At the scene of the incident, Kyuu encounters two young people like himself, Megu, who possesses a photographic memory and Kintarou, an expert in martial arts. The trio sense that instead of suicide, the man was murdered. The newly formed gang of three are then able to convince the police that this is the case.
However, the original suspect, a suspicious and attractive young lady turns out to be someone quite different. Hailing from the legendary Dan Detective Academy (DDS), Katagiri Shino catches the gang by surprise and only further intrigues Kyuu and his desire to become a great detective. Despite having fantastic problem solving skills, Kyuu is just a tad naïve, and is totally unaware of DDS, and even more unaware that the very next way he will be taking the examination to join. Megu and Kintarou fill him in with the details and, after disobeying his mum and going to the exam, everything begins to kick off.
Detective Academy Q is not the world’s most spectacular series; the animation and character designs are functional rather than flashy. However, it does have interesting and varied characters, even if early on they are slightly clichéd. The opening episodes are used to successfully set the scene and introduce the major characters: the tricky trio above are joined by boy genius and computer programming expert, Kazuma, who is never seen without his trusty laptop, Dan Morihiko, the wheelchair bound Head-Master and founder of the Dan Detective Academy. After passing the entrance exam with flying colours, Kyuu, Megu, Kintarou and Kazuma are drafted into the mysterious Q class and sent off to work together, supporting the police at various crime scenes. These episodes are used to emphasise the different skills of each character and how they fit together as a team, with most episodes allowing Kyuu to spout out his favourite lines, “There are three clues,” and “There’s only one answer.”
In addition, other than these two catchphrases, the cases themselves are actually rather different and, at a pinch, solvable, most of the clues are highlighted in each episode with the stakes getting higher with each an every mystery. That said, you’ll be a genius if you actually solve them first time around!
Despite its unspectacular appearance, Detective Academy Q looks like being a highly enjoyable series. The characters are full of life, the cases are interesting, and so far, it does not look like being over-reliant on cliffhangers like many similar series are. However, saving the best to last, two things will no doubt catch your eye. A quick check of the credits reveals that there is a rather interesting cast of vocal talents on show, few other series will combine the vocal talents of Shinji Ikari of Evangelion fame, Hikaru from Hikaru no Go, the infamous Taishi from Comic Party, and Kirika from Noir. Anyway, enough name-dropping and back to business. Slightly more fun and possibly an even better reason to watch this show are the potential dark secrets and bigger mystery of Kyuu’s life. It is worth noting three things, one, we don’t see his father in the family home, two, Kyuu’s mother is highly reluctant for him to become a detective, and three, Kyuu’s magnificent powers of deduction, despite him not appearing to be overly intelligent in other areas. Of course, there is only one answer… That is, go watch his series as soon as possible!
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