Aside from shounen, horror, and mech-oriented sci-fi elements, the mainstream anime scene is heavily populated with ventures revolving around the detective mystery genre. For the 90s kids, fond memories of the Detective Conan series still linger at the back of their minds, and the title itself is indicative enough of the influence Sherlock Holmes and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had on the series. As we went through the recently released anime adaptation of Akira Amano’s Ron Kamonohashi’s Forbidden Deduction, the influence was felt even more strongly, and without spoiling the future plotline, it can be said that readers who are familiar with the manga must know that the influence goes far beyond the narrative style and plot structure. Revolving around an unlikely duo of detectives, the series adds a particular supernatural spin to conventional investigations, which will remind the viewers of Naoki Urasawa’s masterpiece, Monster.
The first two episodes of Ron Kamonohashi’s Forbidden Deduction establish two leads, initiate world-building and, as expected from an investigative anime, create a potent enough intrigue to hook viewers. While the series primarily deals with a lighter, shounen-oriented tone, the mildly dark theme sporadically indicates the potential for serious storytelling at the same time.
Who Are The Key Players?
As the series begins, viewers are introduced to Totomaru Isshiki, a bright-eyed junior officer of the Metropolitan Police Department. Being an amateur in his profession as an investigator, Isshiki often finds himself to be the butt of jokes in front of his colleagues, with Captain Amamiya being especially harsh on him for his apparent incompetence and assigning him rather unimportant cases. In the first episode, conversations between Isshiki and his friend/senior officer Kiku reveal a serial murder mystery that has baffled the department for the last nine months, claiming five victims with no solid clues to further the investigation in a positive direction. Impressed by Isshiki’s enthusiasm and honesty as an officer, Kiku suggests that he take the case to one of his acquaintance Ron Kamonohashi, whom he considers the best detective in the country.
As Isshiki comes across Ron, he gets surprised by his eccentric, extremely reclusive, laid-back, distant demeanor—also due to the fact that Ron has cut himself off from any sort of communication with the rest of the world. Added to that, Ron’s unwillingness to help him and deliberate attempts to distance himself from any information regarding the case puzzle Isshiki, and considering this ordeal to be a mistake, he prepares to take his leave. However, at that moment, Ron showcases his efficient observational and deductive capabilities as he rightly assesses Isshiki’s background, and having had a glimpse of his potential, Isshiki now desperately wants to take his assistance. Despite Ron’s repeated warning to not let him learn about the case, as he has a certain condition that makes him incapable of becoming a detective, Isshiki forcefully brings him up to date about the details and assures him that he will safeguard him from any trouble that might arise, not knowing any details about his condition. Learning the details of the case triggers Ron’s detective instincts, and he immediately gets hooked on the case.
How Did Ron Solve The Serial Murder Case?
Reaching the crime scene where the latest victim of the serial killer has been found, Ron uses his extraordinary intellect and analytic abilities to ascertain that all the rich male victims who drowned to their deaths and were robbed of their belongings fall into a certain category, as all of them were heading towards a celebratory occasion before their deaths. Analyzing the pattern and assuming a possible location where the incidents might have happened, Ron uses Isshiki as a trojan by making his appearance resemble that of a rich person and asks him to enter a parlor. Eventually it is revealed that the barber of the parlor is the culprit, as he used to make his victims unconscious through carbon dioxide inhalation produced by dry ice and hot water concoctions before drowning them in the sink. As for how Ron was able to figure it out, he ascertained that all of the victims went to the parlor before attending their respective social gatherings, and the only one in the overlapping vicinity of the crime scenes is this one, which also has access to dry ice from a local shop.
The barber tries to flee by accessing the building’s rooftop, but soon Ron and Isshiki catch up to him. This is when Ron’s stated ‘condition’ emerges, as, in a dazed state, he asks the culprit to take his own life by jumping off the roof, and his eyes shine in an unusual way, which hypnotizes the barber, who proceeds to do as directed. A confused Isshiki tries to save the barber, but at the same time almost trips and falls over himself. Fortunately, Ron returns to his normal self soon enough and rescues them both.
How Did Ron Solve the Case of the Reluctant Killer?
Later, Ron explains to a dumbfounded Isshiki about his peculiar condition: that hearing a confession from a perpetrator triggers a supernatural response in him that alters his personality, which goads the perp to take their own lives as a form of retribution. Ron used to be the topmost scholar of the best detective institute in the world, known simply as Blue, and after all of his solved cases resulted in the deaths of the culprits, he was suspended from the institute. This led to him living in seclusion, veering away from his passion, i.e., investigation, forever, before Isshiki brought him back into the game once again. Now Ron is more eager than ever to continue pursuing his passion and wants Isshiki to be his representative in order to do so. For their partnership to work, Isshiki will handle the cases on paper, while Ron will assist him throughout.
The police department receives a riverside murder case, and Amamiya, once again considering Isshiki to be ineffectual, assigns him a petty piggy bank money siphoning case. Ron happily takes on the case, and by the end, he is able to deduce the interconnectivity between the two cases, as he reveals that the owner of the piggy bank had used it to bash her stalker to death, whom she dumped in the riverside. Later, she replaced the piggy bank with a new one, but the money she had put inside secretively had only her fingerprints in it, and this, along with some hard-to-spot evidence, allowed Ron to successfully tie up yet another case. However, as the perp confesses her crime, Ron’s dreadful abilities get activated once again as he goads her to end her life by drowning, and once again, Isshiki saves another perp in the nick of time.
Are The Blue Authorities Coming After Ron?
As the second episode ends, the scene moves to the headquarters of the Blue, where some of the most revered detectives in the world have assembled to discuss an alarming situation in Japan. Despite Isshiki maintaining secrecy, the news of Ron Kamonohashi’s return to the public arena and involvement in an investigation has been spread worldwide thanks to the detective network, and the Blue’ Principal is made aware of that by the rest of the council. While some of them hold a respectful, appreciative regard for Ron as he was the best ever detective of the institute, the majority consider him a threat due to his dangerous ability and warn Blue Principal against a catastrophic situation if Ron is allowed to go scot-free. The principal decides that in order to uphold the justice they have sworn to protect, they will not allow a killer detective to operate freely and will apprehend him when a tracking instructor shows his interest in undertaking the job of doing so.
The first two episodes of the series have definitely piqued the interest of the viewers, who will be eager to learn more about Ron’s background than anything else. How Ron gained such an ability and a detailed evaluation of his murky past will be uncovered in the upcoming episode, along with a surprising link with Sherlock Holmes, something that manga readers already know.