The synopsis for the show in the previews of this season was pretty much spot on. It seems to be a detective type show, with an eccentric female lead much like the American television series “Bones” with a few tweaks here and there. Still I thoroughly enjoyed “anime Bones”, and I’m looking forward to the rest of it. The duo of abnormal genius and young “straight man” compliments the subject matter, and deduction scene was well thought out and interesting. In terms of mystery show first episodes, I’d score this one above last season’s “Rampo Kitan”, though that may just be my affinity for the leading ladies unique charms.
To start off this mystery anime, we are treated to the anime standard “cherry blossom” opening. The main character (Shoutarou Tatewaki) is walking to school with his friend, when they come across a dead kitten on the side of the road. Every other student is disturbed by the death, but Shoutarou calmly asks for items to dispose of the corpse. Along with his friend Imai, a girl named Kougami, and their teacher Isozaki, Shoutarou is able to create a final resting place for the kitten under a cherry tree. After burying the cat, we learn why he is so comfortable around death. Shoutarou is friends with a rather eccentric osteologist names Sakurako Kujou, who loves bones.
Sakurako often enlists Shoutarou, who she calls “boy”, to go on bone finding expeditions with her. This particular excursion takes the two to the beach, where Sakurako bribes Shoutarou with the promise of Alaskan shrimp if they make a big discovery. After numerous attempts a big discovery is indeed made by Shoutarou in the form of a human skull. Sakurako explains that the skull is that of an Asian female in her late 20’s that was murdered, and against her will Shoutarou calls the police to report the human remains. When the police come Sakurako explains that the police would never find the killer, since the skull is around 100 year old. Undeterred the officer takes them to the station for questioning on the mystery skull.
On the way to the police station, the cop explains that the skull marks the third body found that day. Sakurako is intrigued, and manipulates her way into stopping at the scene of the crime. Upon arrival a rather portly detective is reporting the deaths as a double-suicide, but Sakurako is unconvinced by his assessment. She steps onto the scene and demands to see the bodies, and she’s allowed to do so presumably because of the authority she commands in her voice. She announces that the bodies are the result of a double homicide, but the rotund detective asks what her credentials are. Shoutarou explains that Sakurako’s uncle was a famous forensics professor, and this information is enough to sate the police officer she originally met. At the station Sakurako explains how she deduced the nature of the double homicide, and her and Shoutarou leave for her house. Not before she tries to retake her precious 100 year old skull though.
I admit that I enjoy detective shows on TV, and I often find myself watching several episodes of them at a time. I’m glad to see anime taking steps into this genre, and I hope to see more in future seasons. I am not sure what to make of the relationship between the two main characters, after all they don’t seem to be romantically involved nor are they related to each other. This wouldn’t bother me so much if the synopsis of the show didn’t specifically call Sakurako, Shoutarou’s “girlfriend”. There is also the fact that the show specifically says that Sakurako has a fiance named Ariwara. Then again I might be jumping ahead of the show’s story on this subject, so for now I’ll be content with idol curiosity on the subject.
In terms of the deduction of double homicide I felt that the way in which she came to the conclusion was pretty practical. She uses the way in which the knot tied the two corpses together as the catalyst of her conclusion. Simple observations of the dominant hand of the male, and impracticality of the female tying a knot in the direction it was tied were eloquently delivered by the somewhat mad scientist Sakurako. Her whole persona seems wrapped up in her love of bones, and her arrogance born of her own intelligence. This is why I like Shoutarou’s “straight man” persona which brings the arrogant Sakurako back down to earth, and gives her the impression of a petulant child at times. It’s truly a fantastic chemistry between the two characters, and I look forward to more of it as the show progresses.
As you can see, this show is pretty much the total package in my opinion. The plot is intriguing, the characters are entertaining, and the whole first episode gives you the vibe that the whole anime is going to be just as interesting. There isn’t a whole lot I can find wrong with the show, outside of my afore mentioned confusion over the main character’s relationship. I suppose if I really had to dig for a grievance, it’s the swiftness with which the police were cowed by such lack luster credentials. My uncle is a truck driver, yet I doubt anyone would consider me an authority on the subject of his profession based solely on my relation to him. It is somewhat frivolous to have to dig that hard to find a problem with this first episode though.
If you haven’t gauged the tone of my words, this is a show I will probably follow for the full compliment of episodes. You can find this amazing show on Crunchyroll (link below), or you can follow my social media to get the TLDR on every episode as the season progresses. I have a feeling that the adventures of Shoutarou and Sakurako are going to be a hit of this season though, so I’d strongly urge you to watch this one. If you enjoy a nice balance of serious tones, and comedy you can’t go wrong with the first episode of “Beautiful Bones”.
Arigatō my fellow BrOtaku!