- Debutante Detective Corps (1996: Gainax & Studio 4°C) 1/1 ep.
What happens when you take 5 rich girls with a variety of interests and have them go to school together. Well, it certainly shouldn’t be this. Our five protagonists are super rich high schoolers attending their first day. There is the tech wiz Miyuki, her telepath sister Kimiko, the Chinese (mafia?) kung fu kid Reika, the Russian gun nut who is potentially a Romanov Nina, and the disguise artist who is also a descendant of Hitler Youko. These five, and their incomprehensible backstories, receive a death threat on their first day and so the police come to protect them. The girls decide this is annoying so they trick the police into leaving but then suddenly the baddies attack and hi-jinks ensue. This isn’t a serious show at all and there is little no tension all the way through. I mean, one doesn’t expect much realism when one sees a high school girl fly an Apache helicopter to school, jump out, and then parachute into a the school whilst the helicopter explodes above her…
So, if the plot isn’t much of anything how are the characters? Surprisingly fun actually. This is only half an hour long there was never going to be much character work. Instead it relies on well worn archetypes that it executes pretty well. It also helps that none of the girls spends the whole show shrieking nor does it rely on that Japanese comedy trope of just shouting. Director Akiyuki Shinbou, of Studio Shaft fame, really did a good job in this regard.
In terms of how it looks I am a bit conflicted. On the one hand it has some nice animation and some cool fight sequences. But on the other hand, the character designs are kind of gross. Not only are the faces super weird with their ginormous eyes and cut-yourself-sharp features but they also do that thing of giving these young slender teenagers improbably huge breasts. At least the show never has any of them being sexually assaulted, so that is something. But we do get a bunch of leering shots of said breasts and their nipples seem to be constantly erect, which must get a tad painful.
The Japanese voice track is solid is unremarkable, as I said before its greatest strength lies in the fact there isn’t constant shouting. The dub isn’t good but it isn’t horrible either. I could quite happily watch it, only wincing one or two times. However, I know I’m quite lenient on dubs so your mileage may vary. The music is unremarkable too, outside of a pretty fun insert song which is played during the final showdown.
Overall, this is a fairly harmless and forgettable mid-90s OAV. It is pretty fun to watch with a nice variety of action and humour. It is a bit of a stretch to say it is good but its short running length stops it overstaying its welcome. If you find you actually quite like this then there is a bunch of shows that are connected to it. This OAV seems to be an original story but Graduation is based on a visual novel as far as I understand. So, if you really want more, there is a bizarrely large amount of content for you to get to. In the end, this show isn’t particularly good but if you have half an hour to spare then there are worse things to throw on.
Final Score: 3C
Now enjoy the wonderfully silly ADV trailer for it!
2 thoughts on “123. Debutante Detective Corps”
It’s always very interesting to read your comments about an anime I watched on my own some time ago, especially since our viewpoints are so different 🙂
This time I really liked character designs, they felt very 90s, especially the biker tomboy.
An interesting thing about this anime that you didn’t mention is that it came out on the 1st of April, and felt like a nice joke all the way through. The ending, where they agree to set up a club, felt like it might have been a TV series pilot and for a moment I was sad that there was no continuation, but then I realised I would probably not like it that much.
At the beginning there is a panning shot of a few girls that are designed with too many details to just be background characters, so I guessed these were the Graduation girls 😉
Very nice trailer, thanks for sharing!
Yeah the character designs are pretty fun, there is nothing wrong with being super of their time! I didn’t realise it came out April 1st, I assume it was a coincidence but it is a funny how it all worked out. I get what you mean about it feeling like a pilot episode but I’m not sure if the joke could have lasted over the course of a full series. I mean, they already took things to eleven so they would have had to have gotten really silly with things and I’m not sure they would have the guts to do that.