The File of Young Kindaichi Returns First Impressions

Hajime Kindaichi, grandson of a famous detective and no slouch in that area himself, travels with his best friend Miyuki who is recruited to perform in a fashion show in Hong Kong in place of a model who she bears a striking resemblance to that’s gone missing. Unfortunately the missing model is only the first to disappear, and worse things are on the horizon. 

 

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I’m a huge fan of the Kindaichi Case Files manga, so was quite interested in checking out this anime adaptation. A nice bonus for me is that this adapts one of the later Kindaichi series, so the mysteries will be new to me.

So far I’ve watched the first case, told over the course of the first four episodes. That seems exactly the right length to properly let the mysteries unfold. The Hong Kong Kowloon Treasure Murder Case provides a decent introduction to Kindaichi and the formula, approach, and atmosphere of his adventures.  It seems to have the same general classic mystery feel and structure as the manga, and this opening mystery has good hooks and twists (and the coincidences the plot is based on are too amusing to really hold it against the story).

The pacing is decent, although the exposition heavy setup and solution portions are less cumbersome when reading and drag ever so slightly in animated form.  There’s also a little bit of handwaving and stretching of suspension of disbelief with certain developments (which also occurs in the manga at times), but importantly not in the mystery related parts so no real complaints.

Vital context is kept hidden until the end, but the mystery plays fair and key parts are solvable (if requiring some big leaps of logic). This is one of the things I love most about the Kindaichi stories I’ve read, and I’m particularly happy to see this aspect continued here.

Overall I enjoyed this quite a bit and will be continuing to watch when I can. I do recommend reading the original manga series first if you can, if only to appreciate the cameos, have a better sense of the main characters, and because the written stories are a little deeper. But as I mentioned before this initial arc does provide a good introduction to Hajime’s world, and should be extremely accessible even with no prior familiarity.

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