Editorial: Introviewing Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

Kobayashi, Age 13 (Boy)
The Gender-Neutral Child

My first impression of the title was that it was a Pokemon parody. But, then a golden butterfly fluttered by a gender-neutral child wearing a Sailor Moon costume. Perhaps the butterfly represented the purity of childhood. I felt a sense of impending doom. For the remainder of this post, I will refer to the child as a girl because it seems like one.

The opening theme was a weird acid trip. Someone watched the “I Am the Walrus” video one too many times. After the opening theme, the girl woke up with a knife covered in blood. Maybe she has a weird fetish, but then the camera panned to a human body carved into a chair. Perhaps she is a a psycho. Accusing adults seemed to think the child had something to do with the structure of human flesh. But, she seemed strangely calm for having just created such a thing.

Hashiba, Class Rep.
The Little Girl’s Teacher

One adult, seemingly a detective, seemed to ask questions—but he also has a pill-popping problem. An interrogation commenced. They discussed possibilities about what actually happened at the crime scene. Someone spoke a French word! They must be in French class. Then, a teacher escorted the child back to class, where other annoying children seemed to think nothing of the crazy human chair thing. Maybe the other children were just shadows of her imagination? After all, one classmate was half-cat.

The child was still strangely upbeat after witnessing the horror of the human chair. She was walked home, and along the way they passed through the red light district—hookers everywhere! Instead of going home, they went into the drug addict’s house. He took them into his pad and he shared what I can only assume to be roofies. At this point, I hoped there would be no rape. —And, snorting and crushing pills? That did not look good for the little girl!

Akechi, Genius Detective, Age 17
The Pill-Popper

The girl did not seem to think much of the addict’s drug use, and she played some tunes on his jukebox (who has a jukebox?). But, the pill-popping detective decided to turn on a song as well. The man sleeps on a couch, this hobo can not even afford a bed! He seemed to be discussing the human chair, and then a robot appeared, too. The robot was the culprit, perhaps! The girl was framed, and the robot had a panda accomplice! As this developed, the teacher who brought her began yelling, because she refused to believe the pill-popping detective.

The noise attracts attention and promptly the apartment was raided by police. The jig is up, little girl! It seems that they had found a pattern of similar body carvings online. I can only think that it is a serial killer. The child is framed—or, the child is a demented girl who has done this before. As the girl was handcuffed, the plot thickens—and the episode ends.

What I can conclude is that this is a murder mystery thriller. Obviously, not seeing this in translation has its perks. I can watch the anime in its purest, original form. But, on a more serious note, this flick seems like an interesting story. Someday, I may condescend to watch it in English, and I encourage you all to watch the original and superior Japanese version (unless you are a translation-loving plebe) so that you can follow along. As for me, I will continue to review these episodes in Japanese. Until next time, Excelsior!


  1. Of this season of anime, this is one that I passed over. I may give it a look now.

  2. @Imitanis It is solid but, as mentioned in TSM 332, I have some problems with a bit of laziness in its art. More aggravating is the way in which the plot is developed and deployed. The second episode was very disappointing. I may check back later in the season to see if its develops to a more complex and nuanced work.

  3. Anime confuses me greatly.

    I will learn everything I need from this column.

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