Ever since I realized it’ll be a long time until I can experience more Kindaichi Case Files (an awesome murder mystery series) I’ve been seeking other mystery manga/anime series to fill the void. I watched this series a few months ago, so I’m a bit fuzzy on some of the details. When I selected this series I knew it was a murder mystery genre and the manga ran for 4 years in Shonen Jump, and that’s certainly no easy task. So I started watching Majin Tantei Nogami Neuro with a lot of hope that it would equal or top Kindaichi.
Nogami Neuro is a demon that feeds off of mysteries and puzzles, after devouring all the mysteries in the demon world he enters the human world seeking new food sources. There he finds a young girl named Yako and gets her to partner up with him. She acts out the role of the detective so he can draw less attention to himself while he solves and devours the mysteries at hand. What Yako gets in exchange is in the event they encounter the mystery that is plagueing her, Neuro will solve the case and give her the answers she seeks. Although the two are drawn together by such a serious agreement they have an amusing/odd relationship. Neuro tends to (humorously) treat her as a slave and is constantly getting her to do his bidding by bullying her. Yako on the other hand is a bit of a pushover and seems to not be able to focus on anything but eating food most of the time.
Usually when I watch shonen the show doesn’t remind me that the target audience of the series is a fraction of my age. But I definitely felt my age as I watched Majin Tantei Nogami Neuro. In a lot of the episodic murder mysteries, the identity of the bad guy is fairly easy to guess. If that weren’t enough sometimes they make a face that suggests they’re up to no good before they’ve been officially “revealed”. I also usually don’t care for how the (human) murderers change to a monster form as they confess their crimes (before Neuro devours their energy), it’s almost like they need to be de-humanized in their evil moment. Neuro has 777 demonic tools at his disposal when solving mysteries. These detective tools really do not impress me at all, they make easy cases preposterously more easy to survive and solve. I mean he has 777 supernatural detective tools? No wonder he was able to solve every mystery in the demon world. I prefer my mysteries to be solved with a limited number of gadgets (or preferrably none) at the detective’s disposal.
There were aspects of this series I liked enough that encouraged me enough to finish the show. Although I have complaints about a lot of the villains and their (corny) metamorphasis, there were some I did like despite all that. I was interested in Yako’s back story and the mystery she wishes to solve and I found Neuro’s sadistic treatment of his “slaves” amusing. I also liked the developing friendship between Neuro and Yako. At the end of the day this duo is what made the series worthwhile for me.
The series definitely gets more enjoyable as the episodes go on, and has an entertaining mystery at the end. So do I recommend this anime series? Lets face something before I answer that, how many anime series cover a 23 volume manga series in 25 episodes without leaving any unanswered questions? Keep that in mind if you choose to watch this series, I don’t consider this a spoiler. Those who love anime should know very well that this is a common risk when selecting anime series. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend the anime, but it’s not a bad way to kill time. It certainly doesn’t hold a candle to Kindaichi, so I think I set my hopes a bit too high going in. I’m going to read the manga at some point. I feel like it will be more entertaining and leave me more satisfied at the end…but we’ll see.