Anime: Kamisama no Memochou

Heaven’s Memo Pad or probably more fondly known for its tag line – It’s the Only NEET Thing to Do, is a summer 2011 anime. It deals with a hikikomori detective  – Alice and her rag-tag bunch of assistants (a professional pachinko player, a military geek and a gigolo) and friends ranging from high school students to yakuza.

From the first episode we see that this anime is unafraid to tackle some of society’s issues (and in this case, more Japanese specific issues) and yet at the same time it focuses more on the characters than the mystery. Through the series we get to see some of the characters’ back story and for the main character Narumi we see how he changes with each experience, from his very first interaction with Alice and perhaps more importantly the crossing of paths with Ayaka.

I feel that Narumi is very much the focus of this anime, he may be an introvert, but because of that fateful meeting on the roof with Ayaka, his life is changed forever. Everything revolves around him, the relationships he forms, the experiences he goes through and the feelings he expresses. He learns more about himself and of his friends every episode and seems to come out of his shell a bit more each time. He’s not as stupid as Alice deems him to be, he does have his moments, but many times he is guided by Alice on his journey of growth and progress. Alice on the other hand doesn’t seem to change, still knows more than she lets on and remains mysterious till the end.

If I were to describe this anime in two words it would be drama and tragic. Not all the story arcs ends with happy endings, that said I guess we remember tragic endings more than happy ones.

Detectives are speakers for the dead, digging up words that were lost from beyond the grave. Only in order to protect the honour of the dead do we hurt the living and only in order to console the living do we harm the dead.

Kamisama no Memochou starts off as an interesting anime, and what kept me hooked was the plot and the impact each arc had on Narumi and on my perception of things. The rest of characters with the exception of the yakuza boss were quite forgettable however, and no amount of fanservice (child porn? I mean like how old is Alice anyway?) they threw in could help that.  As mentioned before, the mysteries isn’t the important part (despite the quote from Alice), it’s really the reaction of the people involved, the drama!

It’s not bad for a 12 episode anime, and if you like watching drama/mystery then by all means go for it. For teenagers, I’d say this is one of the better non-romance drama series out there. If purely just for the mystery, there are better ones (like Gosick, Kindaichi…) around. Still worth watching if you have the time, or are bored.

And is it just me but are there a lot of mystery animes being produced lately?

2 Responses to “Anime: Kamisama no Memochou”
  1. TWWK says:

    It was an interesting anime – pretty well executed. My only real disappointment with the show was the lack of development for Alice, not personality or background-wise, but in her analytical skills. She just uses computers – that’s pretty much it – nothing else in the show really explains why she’s such a genius or how her genius works.

    As for mystery anime…you could be right. I’ve never paid attention to the genre, but there seem to be a lot, all in this same kind of vein, lately.

    • everworld says:

      Alice felt like the kind of character that doesn’t have any explaination and is there almost as a mentor figure for the main character, which I found was a bit weird, considering her age and looks.

      In terms of mystery animes, I’m a huge fan of the genre, but that particular season/year saw a huge increase in animes that were all almost the “same”. I use the word “same” loosely here, they just felt very similar to me. But just to list a few, there was Gosick, Kamisam no Memochou, Psychic detective Yakumo and even Dantalian no Shoka. It was slightly disconcerting and most of them weren’t that great either.

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