#494: Spoiler Warning – Coming in April: Tantei Gakuen Q/Detective School Q: “The Kamikakushi Village Murder Case” (2003)

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If last week’s spoiler-heavy post on Mr. Priestley’s Problem, a.k.a. The Amateur Crime by Anthony Berkeley seemed rather like an invite to a party for which you did not possess the necessary shoes to get past the bouncers, well, TomCat is here to even up the balance a bit…

That’s right, the my fellow obsessive on the subject of locked room murders and impossible crimes is going to be joining me for the tenth Spoiler Warning post, to go up here on The invisible Event in April, and so of course we’ve plumped for something in the seemingly-impossible realm of things.  And rather than something obscure and difficult to find — oh, I know it sounds it from the title, but bear with me — TC has picked something freely available and easy to access: everyone can join in!  All you need it 2½ spare hours between now and April and an internet connection.

M’learned friend has suggested we plump for episodes 16 to 21 of the anime Tantei Gakuen Q/Detective School Q, which deal with an apparent raft of impossible crimes and, best of all, are freely available to watch on YouTube (other video-sharing sites are, I’m sure, available).  I have literally no idea what we’re about to be faced with, but TC calls this run “the legendary Kamikakushi Village Murder Case” and that’s good enough for me.

Based on the manga from Seimaru Amagi and Fumiya Sato, creators of the highly-regarded Kindaichi Case Files manga, Detective School Q is…well, look, you’re going to do what I did and look it up on Wikipedia, so here’s the synopsis:

Detective School Q is the story of a group of young students from Class Q of Dan Detective School (DDS), a prestigious and renowned detective academy founded by Morihiko Dan, the most famous detective in Japan, and the adventures and mysteries they unfold and solve together. They eventually work against Pluto, a mysterious organization which creates almost fool-proof plans that only a handful of detectives can solve.

There’s an increasing excitement around the output of Eastern detective fiction — Locked Room International have brought us some fabulous translations in recent years, Ho-Ling seems determined to taunt those of us not versed in any linguisitc acquisition with delightful-sounding mystery after mystery from China, Japan, and surrounds, and the first 16 volumes of Gosho Aoyama’s Case Closed/Detective Conan manga are from my personal experience somewhat wonderful.  My sole experience of Japanese mystery on the screen comes in the form of the first six episodes of The Perfect Insider, an ingenious if agonisingly-paced show, and so these six 20-minute episodes will be something of a eye-opener for me whatever happens.

Episode 16 of Detective School Q can be found here — settle down, hopefully be confounded and then delighted, and we’ll see you in April for the discussion!

13 thoughts on “#494: Spoiler Warning – Coming in April: Tantei Gakuen Q/Detective School Q: “The Kamikakushi Village Murder Case” (2003)

  1. This is a good set of episodes indeed althouth for me are the two cases that come before it (episodes 7- 11, 12-14) are the best in the series (manga included)! Have fun!

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  2. TomCat is here to even up the balance a bit…

    To be honest, my reasons for picking this story-arc from TGQ were mostly self serving. 😉

    I had been looking for a good excuse to finally sit down and rewatch these episodes in over a decade, but also wanted to see how JJ responds to a pure shin honkaku-like story in anime form.

    And a note of warning for people unfamiliar with this form, don’t get turned off by the quirkiness in the first episode of this story-arc, which is more like a prologue than anything else. But has some clues that become important in the later episodes. Just wait until Q-class gets to that remote and mysterious village to investigate all those inexplicable disappearances.

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    • I’ve watched everything up to episode 11 by now, and I really enjoy the mysteries here. (Episodes 1 through 7 are standalone “cases”, and then 8-11 is a separate case of the “stranded on an island” variety – excellent stuff.)

      However, some of the anime trappings seem extremely out of place to me. The puerile focus on sex that pops up here and there is distracting, to say the least.

      But I’ll definitely watch the whole thing, the rest absolutely makes up for it.

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  3. This story is definitely one of the highlights of the overall series, which manages to maintain a very high standard throughout with very diverse stories. The anime doesn’t adapt all of the original manga, but man, I really love the voice acting and the music of the anime series. Shame they never released a soundtrack. The ‘the mystery is solved and now we’re going to explain it’ BGM is awesome.

    (Though err, linking to copyrighted material that has been put up on video sharing sites w/o the permission of the rights holders here is exactly the same as like putting links to sites where they’d offer epubs for free in your reviews, and not really err, nice to the original creators…. >_>)

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    • By which I mean: I am kinda disappointed you didn’t go with for example an story of The Files of Kindaichi Returns, which is available freely on Chrunchyroll in a way that actually supports the creators.

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  4. I don’t think it is emotionally possible for me to begin a series in the middle, even an episodic, non-continuous-story program (and this one obviously does have story arcs.) So I watched Episode One yesterday (kinda fun, and I don’t mind the subtitles since the animation is static), and we’ll see how it goes from there.

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  5. Why in the world does the url say “the murder at redmire hall”? I just noticed this and it threw me.

    On a more relevant note, I might just do this. I’ve heard good things about Tantei Gakuen Q so it’s been lower on the list, but….Hm. I’ll have to wait and see.

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    • The url says The Murder at Redmire Hall because I’d originally intended to write about The Murder at Redmire Hall. Then I realised there were only so many Saturdays in Feb and with this announcement, my 500th post on The Fourth Door, a podcast episode (or maybe two) and my intended subject this coming weekend I didn’t have enough time to fit it all in. So I bumped Redmire Hall and neglected to update the link in the WordPress editor — that’s what happens when you plan ahead 🙂 Won’t happen again I assure you, back to flying by the seat of my pants for me 😂

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  6. I’m glad to see that Detective Academy Q is getting some press coverage. 😊 I read the entire manga series, as well as the one-off special, more than four years ago – and I’m thinking of re-reading all the volumes in sequence. Which means I might not hit the Kamikakushi Village murders in time for your spoilerific review with TomCat. But I think I can remember the central conceit to the solution. 😅 And I need to catch up on your joint-review with Kate on Mr Priestley’s Problem. 😅😅

    Maybe Kindaichi next time?? 🤩🤩

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