As anticipated Fall 2010 season was, Bee Train’s latest anime Shinrei Tantei Yakumo translating from Japanese “Psychic Detective Yakumo” was released. A series I would consider an “Occult detective” with a mixture of mystery and paranormal elements. It was originally a novel original written by Manibu Kaminaga that has adapted into two Mangas, stage play, and a live action. As for novel to get so many adaptations I was convinced that I should check this out and review it for myself.
Story: The story revolves around a University student name “Saitou Yakumo” who is peculiarly different from everyone else. He is not an average student, he has right pupil that is green and the left is red; which gives him the ability see the Paranormal. Yakumo has a certain belief that Spirits are bound to the earth because they have a certain “Cause” that keeps them from leaving. The Anime starts out when Haruka Ozawa; the other main character confronts Yakumo in need of help. Thus beginning the friendship and Yakumo’s first investigation in the anime. Yakumo isn’t a easy person to get along with he is lazy, scornful and social outcast, though sometimes he shows signs of little concerns and kindness. Though the title translate into Psychic Detective; Yakumo isn’t a detective at all. He is just a freelance psychic who usually tags along on Detective Gotou’s investigations. Gotou is a experienced rugged cold shoulder detective that known Yakumo for quite awhile and he often ask Yakumo’s ability to help. Haruka on the other hand is a nice timid girl who always end up tagging along with the other two and tries really hard in the story to get along with Yakumo.
Aside from the Characters description back to structure of the show. The anime is pretty episodic for the most majority as Yakumo is out to investigate a different case with Gotou involving something unexplainable due to something unknown and Yakumo is brought in and finds a spirit bound to the world. His goal is to use his powers to communicate with the struggling spirit and bring it to peace. Though the anime involves crimes, cops and detectives it doesn’t have much mystery in it. Though the concept sounds cool but all of it don’t weave in together and have too many missing layers to it. There is always a crime scene but they don’t care to give a synopsis what happened, the cause and seems mostly exempt from most of the episode. It’s seems the anime in order Gotou having something explainable, Yakumo investigates and finds a spirit, The spirit is caused from a murder or some sort that tries to speak out (Spirits don’t talk in the anime but somehow talks to Yakumo), they find the villain and the case ends usually. The same old rinse and wash technique, They try to keep adding concepts together but they all don’t mix up. The story the main story is filed in two arcs at the end of the show and bit rushed out leaving you with many questions more than answers.
Art/Sound: The anime art and character design are pretty good. The characters are nice and stylish, nice bold art and solid coloring to the environments. The setting of the backgrounds and objects are nice and realistic, very artistic indeed. The action stays pretty fluid on the action and I haven’t seen any errors in the show. The anime seems pretty up to date modern in it’s time. The color tones, shadows and lighting fit the mood on par with a Detective case scenario. I’d say Bee Train did a really good job on the animation and very fine job from this studio.
The voice acting had some famous Japanese voice actors such as Ono Daisuke acting Yakumo and the opening theme song. All of the voice actors suited their characters finely and portray a good tone. The anime soundtrack consists of some nice Rock n Roll during action sequences and some other distinguishing music in it.
Overall: I’m going to say the anime need to work on it’s story board, The structure was off balance and doesn’t take time to present the plot well. I think the anime should focus more on the story and connecting them together, The concept tried too putting in concepts such as the paranormal haunting, police case, drama and dialogue scenes. They leave too many plot holes and questions on account for their excuse of poor plots.
I’d would of suggest if they had a bigger budget they should of expanded the series to a 26 episode instead of 13 episode series; Too explain the investigation cases better and put in major arcs in between. Though the voice acting, art and action was really good but the story lacked a lot but it still had a good finale at the end.
If you appreciate a small, episodic mysteries and some action Psychic Yakumo is might worth taking a look in.
Sounds/voice acting: 7/10
Final Score: 7/10
Roughly because i’m nice and the final score was 6.5 I raised up to a 7 due to this Anime could of had more potential.