As is the case with a lot of detective anime, there’s been a rash of drowning murders in the area over the last nine months, and the higher-ups at the Metropolitan Police Department are getting frustrated. Every able-bodied man is put on the case…except poor Totomaru Isshiki; our eager detective bro is told to take five. Sadly, even though his heart is in the right place, he’s a bit of a dope, having let three different culprits escape from under his nose, among many other goofs. So, in order to help him get results, an old-timer refers Totomaru to a brilliant former sleuth who manages an apartment building. However, when our bro goes to pay him a visit, he soon encounters Ron Kamonohashi: a guy who looks and acts NOTHING like as advertised. He lives as a hermit in a communication blackout—no TV, cell phone, or any other means to get information on potential cases, including interacting with others. However, upon hearing about another murder in the city, and with the promise that Totomaru will support him, Ron agrees to break his five-year hiatus and help solve the mystery. Cue the shenanigans!
When I was writing my notes about this one, I wrote one thing at the top of the page: “This is what happens when ‘L’ and Matsuda from Death Note get their own anime.” And that pretty much sums up this show in a nutshell. While the characters aren’t exact carbon copies of the Death Note characters, you have to admit that there are similarities. However, “L” and Matsuda were two of my favorite characters in Death Note, so watching this one was fun, even though the reviewer part of my brain was screaming, “Haven’t we seen this setup before?” Indeed, we have; a greenhorn detective teams up with a brilliant yet eccentric sleuth to solve tough cases and cue the shenanigans. But there’s just something prodigiously quirky about this one that makes me feel there might be something more here to stick around for. Ron is intriguing as a character: What is his background? Where did these deductive and persuasion skills come from? And what pushed him to figuratively and literally throw himself into a padded room? So many questions…
So where does that leave us with Ron Kamonohashi’s Forbidden Deductions? Well, it does look like just your typical buddy cop anime with your typical “murder of the week” format, but I think the characters are going to be the ones to nudge this one into the “give it five episodes” ranking. Kamonohashi’s brilliant yet sleepy eccentricities combined with the straight-laced, leap-before-looking mentality of Totomaru make this a show that has loads of potential.
Ron Kamonohashi’s Forbidden Deductions is available for streaming on Crunchyroll