Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo
(The Case Files of Young Kindaichi)
Gakuen Nana Fushigi Satsujin Jiken: File 2
Copyright: © 1997 Toei Animation
Length: 23 minutes
Rating: NR, Parental Guidance Suggested
Format: Original Japanese Dialogue (VHS, LD)
Sakuragi sempai's body has been found hanging in the biology room of the old wing of the school. The same classroom Kindaichi and the rest of the Mystery Club broke into the previous night when they saw an unusual ritual happening. However, when they'd forced their way into the room, they found nothing; no candles, no arcane markings on the floor, and certainly no dead body. How is it then, that her body has found its way into the biology room for all to see in the morning exactly as Kindaichi and the guard had seen it the previous night? Could it be that the "Houkago no Majutsushi" is angry at the idea of the old school being destroyed and is wreaking havoc on the school body?
However, more than just Sakuragi's death, certain items that she'd been working on that night have also disappeared. The old Mystery Club's journal of the Seven School Mysteries, as well as Sakuragi's data disc have both gone missing from the club room. Who has the items and why have they taken them? Could it be that others plan on solving the mystery and getting the credit for solving the mystery? Or could it be that anyone who tries to solve the Seven School Mysteries will end up just as dead as Sakuragi?
The mystery continues to build in this second episode of the story. With the death of a second student, and the revelation of more information from former Mystery Club president Aoyama Chihiru's investigation gives hints of what could be most important to the mystery at hand. The slow unveiling of key information to the mystery as well as the escalation of tension due to the increased activity of the Houkago no Majutsushi holds the viewers' attention making us want to know the rest of the story. Direction in this second episode is solid with timing of lines and action. Likewise, the revelation of information, while at times convenient follows logically with enough happening on the side to keep things from being too linear.
While the action itself is limited, the mystery at hand is more than enough to keep viewers' interest. With various pieces to the puzzle present, viewers are tantalised with the possibility of solving the mystery, but... Not quite everything has been revealed yet, and so, the finer details are not yet determineable. The slow revelation of details in a variety of ways, as well as the activities of the various members of the Mystery Club keeps viewers interested throughout the episode. Indeed, the manner in which information is revealed intermingled with the action in the story itself as well as the solid music track, all work together to continually build tension and suspense through to the end of this second episode. With almost all the relevant information and tantalising bits of what remains to be revealed, we are left in suspense for the third and final episode to this story.
Noteworthy in this second episode, the voice acting has settled down a bit and the more awkwardly voiced characters have settled well into their roles. The delivery of the voice cast's lines comes that much more naturally helping to build the overall atmosphere and reality to this episode. Again, there is a touch more angst than completely realistic in high school, but this does not detract viewers' attention much from the story at hand. The music also continues to be solid in helping build the overall feel of tension and suspense to the story. With some new melodies unheard in the first episode, the music continues to be quite good for a TV production. On to the wrap-up say I!
- JN, 2001.02.06
café rating (original japanese):
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