It’s safe to say that premiere was substantially different than I expected.
I’m not sure what I thought Cuticle Detective Inaba was going to be, given that I don’t know the source material, but this was definitely way zanier than I expected from the promo materials. This series is a lot closer to Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san than Psycho-Pass, that’s for sure – there’s not a serious moment in the premiere and no reason to expect any in the coming weeks.
We have a serious cast, anyway, and it’s pretty obvious they’re having fun with this premise. Suwabe Junichi is Cuticle Detective Inaba, who’s apparently a werewolf who can track down anyone if he chews on one of their hairs. Having quit his job as a police dog (again, don’t go getting P-P ideas here) after his “pure white” otouto disappeared, he now runs the titular detective agency with the help of two human assistants – the very normal (but not as much as it appears) 16 year-old Kei (Miyu Irino) and the very abnormal trap Yuuta (Shimoda Asami). Yuuta is very interested in Inaba and hostile towards anyone who he perceives as in the way, and Kei is interested in making money as he comes from a poor family. As for Inaba, he’s infinitely trusting and apparently quite useless when it comes to the daily necessities of life.
In a show like this with no serious intent, the only thing that matters is whether it’s funny or not. So far, I’d answer that with a qualified “yes”. The opener’s plot involves an Italian mafioso/counterfeiter named Don Valentino (Ookawa Toru) who also happens to be a goat, his fawning right arm Lorenzo (Kosugi Juurota), and a trigger-happy hitowman named Gabriela (Hikasa Youko) who makes anyone between 146-162 CM tall her minion. It’s basically 22 minutes of sight gags, double entendres, and pop culture references. Cuticle Detective Inaba is definitely from the carpet-bombing school of comedy – through sheer volume of attempts some of them are bound to hit, and they do. The whole sequence surrounding Valentino’s counterfeit bills and how they’re made is pretty funny, and the histrionics of the cast (we also have Morikawa Toshiyuki as Inaba’s old police partner Ogi and split-second cameos from the likes of Okamoto Nobuhiko) are good for quite a few laughs.
Time will tell if this style holds up over the long run – and if it lends itself to blogging. I enjoyed Azazel-san only slightly and found the humor pretty repetitive after a while, though on balance I liked the premiere here a bit more than most of that series. Even if it works this sort of comedy doesn’t exactly lend itself to blogging, though, so my suspicion is that this is more likely to end up in the watching list than anything else.