Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace: The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)
March 12, 2017 by Dennis Amith
“Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace: The Complete Series” is for the anime fan who loves mystery anime series. And it’s also easier to follow since it’s only eleven episodes long. “Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace” is an anime series worth watching!
Image courtesy of © 2016 Funimation. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace: The Complete SeriesThe Asterisk War: Limited Edition Blu-ray Vol. 3
ANIME SERIES AIR DATE: 2015
DURATION: (Episodes 1-11) 275 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9), English Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, English Subtitles
Release Date: December 13, 2016
Originally Concept by Rampo Edogawa
Directed by Seiji Kishi
Series Composition by Makoto Uezu
Music by Masaru Yokoyama
Character Design by Kazuaki Morita
Art Director: Ayumi Miyakoshi
Chief Animation Director: Kouji Yamagata, Yusuke Kamata
Anime Production: Lerche
Featuring the following voice talent:
Daiki Yamashita/Justin Briner as Hashiba
Rie Takahashi/Jill Harris as Kobayashi
Takahiro Sakurai/Eric Vale as Akechi
Cho/Mark Stoddard as Nakamura
Jun Fukuyama/Todd Haberkorn as Namikoshi
Kappei Yamaguchi/Jerry Jewell as Shitai-kun (Corpsey)
Katsuyuki Konishi/J. Michael Tatum as Kagami
Saki Fujita/Jad Saxton as Minami
Takehito Koyasu/Sonny Strait as Kage-Otoko (Shadow-Man)
Yōko Hikasa/Mallorie Rodak as Kuro Tokage (Black Lizard)
Inspired by the works of Edogawa Rampo, Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace tells a macabre detective story rife with symbolism and visual tricks that exist somewhere in the delicate balance between gruesome and gorgeous.
Middle school life was dull for the intelligent and charismatic Kobayashi, until the day he was framed for his homeroom teacher’s murder. After the event drew the media’s attention, an infamous high school detective inserted himself into the investigation. Brooding and brilliant, Akechi quickly cleared Kobayashi’s name and took the inquisitive young student on as his assistant. But for every case they closed, two more seemed to open in its place.
The streets were alive with whispers of one deadly name, Twenty Faces–a legendary murderer who killed criminals in the name of justice. With cryptic clues leading the way, Kobayashi and Akechi began following the trail of bodies left by the prolific killer. But will they be able to stop him before countless innocent people, inspired by his deranged cause, start following his lead?
In Japan, one of the most well-respected authors of mystery fiction novels was Edogawa Ranpo (Taro Hirai). A pseudonym used by Taro is a rendering of one of his favorite writers, Edgar Allan Poe.
In 2015, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Edogawa Ranpo, a series titled “Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace” was produced by Lerche and directed by Seiji Kishi (“Kamisama Dolls”, “Assassination Classroom”, “Fate/Prototype”) and a screenplay by Makoto Uezu (“Akame ga KILL!”, “Assassination Classroom”, “Danganronpa the Animation”).
The anime series is set at a middle school where several murders have taken place. A 17-year-old middle school boy, who is mistaken for a girl named Kobayashi is blamed for dismembering his homeroom teacher.
A person who loves solving mysteries, Kobayashi and her good friend Hashiba (a popular guy who wants to protect Kobayashi at all costs) want to team up with Kogoro Akechi, a 17-year-old genius detective who solves abnormal crimes.
Kogoro offers Kobayashi to become his assistant only if he can find the killer responsible for dismembering his teacher.
As Kobayashi is successful in helping Kogoro, the trio then work on various cases such as trying to find the Shadow-Man, a thief accused of kidnapping several girls. But also trying to find a vigilante known as Twenty Faces, who kills murderers who have not been brought to justice and killing them the way the murderers had killed their victims.
But as the trio investigates, Kogoro realizes that Twenty Faces may be tied to a person from his past.
“Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9). There is a lot of detail featured in the art backgrounds, a lot of characters featured and these characters have great detail and shadowing. Colors are absolutely vibrant. There is slight softness, but that is expected with anime TV series. But overall, animation is solid throughout. I found no compression artifacts or any problematic issues with this Blu-ray release.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace” is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD Stereo 2.0. Both soundtracks are well-acted and are crystal clear through the front channels but with the 5.1 soundtrack, the English dub has an edge due to the use of the surround channels.
Subtitles are in English.
“Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace” features the following special features:
- Episode 6 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Eric Vale, Justin Briner, Jill Harris and Sonny Strait.
- Promotional Videos
- Commercials – Japanese commercials
- Textless Opening and Ending Song
“Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace” comes with a slipcover and also both the Blu-ray and DVD version of the anime series.
In Japan, mystery manga and anime series are quite popular. In fact, one of the longest running anime series still on television is “Meitantei Conan” (Case Closed) which has been airing since 1996 (and the manga series since 1994).
But part of the excitement surrounding the anime series “Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace” is that it commemorates the 50th anniversary of the death of Rampo Edogawa. An author known for creating mystery fiction novels and many works that were inspired by his original oeuvre.
Set for a modern age, “Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace” is a mystery anime series that focuses on murder cases, but primarily focusing on Twenty Faces, a vigilante who murders people who have not received justice for murdering their victims.
Where other mystery anime series have a humorous side and often a touch of darkness, “Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace” has that but in a weird, unusual way, one of the main characters, Kobayashi (a boy who is often mistaken for a girl), has a different perspective of seeing things in life. Perhaps it’s the way she was raised or the challenges in life that she has endured, but sometimes her thinking puts her in odds with her good friend Hashiba (a guy who obviously likes Kobayashi).
Meanwhile, main protagonist Kogoro Akechi is rather interesting in the fact that he also sees life in a different way, similar to Kobayashi. But he has skeletons in his past that are slowly revealed throughout the anime series.
As for the Blu-ray, animation is fantastic as colors are vibrant and characters are well-drawn. Lossless soundtrack for both English and Japanese soundtracks are well-done, with the English dub receiving the 5.1 treatment. But both soundtracks are well-acted. As for special features, you get an audio commentary (possibly one of the worst Funimation audio commentaries that I’ve listened to), Japanese promotional videos and commercials.
Overall, “Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace: The Complete Series” is for the anime fan who loves mystery anime series. And it’s also easier to follow since it’s only eleven episodes long. “Rampo Kitan – Game of Laplace” is an anime series worth watching!
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