What They Say:
Kindaichi unmasks the Game Master, reveals their murderous motive, and shows how their tricks were done. But will the game of death claim one more victim?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Game Mansion arc has been an interesting one to watch so far, largely because what it did felt a bit more like some of the stranger stories we got in the books and it provided a surreal situation for the cast to be involved with. The whole thing is familiar of course to any number of murder mystery stories that happen of this style, but it had a nice edge of weirdness to it with how it kicked off at the mansion, which was preceded by some great character time between Miyuki and Kindaichi. That helped to make the stakes feel a little bigger since there’s something working its way there. But in the end, we get the familiar pattern here of a lot going on in the first two episodes while the third one gives us the reveal of what really happened after Kindaichi figures it out and works through it all.
The main gist of what he’s thinking about all of this is that the Shimomura’s were the targets here, as they were the only ones killed, while whoever was running the Game Mansion missed the easy opportunities to knock off others – Kindaichi included. That raised a huge red flag when he survived one of the instances and the fact that everyone else survived and got out. With a little bit of background that comes into play as the backgrounds of certain other people involved comes to light, such as Kozue being related to a family that had real issues with the Shimomura family, the accusations and panic starts to fly pretty well. Kindaichi’s approach is fairly standard here as he nearly accuses almost everyone that survived while exploring the way each of them had small reveals about the situation and all of it works well to explore what happened and why.
And it does go into things pretty well with some twisty secrets, particularly as it deals with Mugi and the fact that she’s actually Kozue’s mother. With the Shimomura’s and what’s involved there, it gets pretty dark with how Mugi ended up raising Kozue on her own, but ended up having to give her up because of how bad the situation got on her end and the things she did to try and survive. There’s some decent stuff that goes on with this as the real mysteries are explored about the why of it all and that a lot of it turns on Kozue is rather amusing to see in a way considering the original way things started to work out. There’s years of issues here going on because of past family issues that pushed people in dark directions, but it also has its light at the end of the tunnel that works out well for making things come together in a good way, at least for some.
The final arc for the series is a pretty decent one as it tells a kind of odd story with some big twists here in regards to who’s related to who and what their real goal of revenge was all about. Having watched a lot of Kindaichi material over the years, I do have to admit that I once again find myself in the position of enjoying it, but also knowing that it’s weak in its own way. I like the characters, the mysteries and the whole approach of it, but I also know that in my heart it’s a real pale shadow of the manga. The series, when translated to anime form, comes across as a slightly more serious Detective Conan show. The manga for me is something that gets far more involved and detailed and far more engaging, which is hard to do in a weekly show. It’s also hard to do in serialized manga form, which is why I read just the compilations. I have a real affection for the property, and as much as I do enjoy the anime, I’m also very aware of its weaker nature. It’s fun, but it’s largely fluffy to me.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.