Ryoko's Case File is another adaptation of a novel by Yoshiki Tanaka of Legend of the Galactic Heroes fame, and it's nothing nearly so sober as LoGH. Instead, enjoy a light supernatural detective show with a French-language fetish instead of a German-language fetish! Junichirou Izumida is an ordinary cop working under superintendent Ryoko Yakushiji. Guess what: strange things tend to happen to them. In this first two-part case, Ryoko and Izumida deal with exploding people and Wacky Cultists, and things move along leisurely from there. As you might know by now, I don't mind a slow-paced, talky story, and this is one of those. Yes, the action is there (I mean, people are exploding here) and the production values are admirable, but it's still a relaxed detective novel at heart.
I will leave the details of the case to you, the viewer, but I'll talk a little bit about these characters. Ryoko is the same arrogant, childish genius kind of character as Reinhard is in LoGH, and like many of Tanaka's protagonists, it seems, dangerously lacking flaws. Sure, she's kind of a raging bitch, but just like Lina Inverse, that only makes her more endearing. She even has a cutesy abbreviated nickname, like Lina does. Izumida is one of those hard-working, put-upon salaryman husband sorts. He describes his job as "babysitting" Ryoko, but the dude's absolutely p-whipped and he only appears slightly inconvenienced at worst to be called her slave. If we had to type Ryoko, she'd be a tsundere type on the deep end of "tsun", wouldn't she? Maybe that's why this show got made in today's age of anime writing, where characters are defined by a list of crazy fetish words pulled out of a hat.
Together, Ryoko and Izumida are reminiscent of a straight version of Reinhard and Siegfried, except the sexual tension is a bit more overt. You know what it is? Tanaka knows what works on fangirls: longing glances and "I'll never leave your side!" speeches. Tanaka knows what works on fanboys: hard-ass borderline-dominatrix chicks who get all soft on the hero for maybe thirty seconds or so at a time. Except, of course, our hero ignores our heroine's regular advances, because he's such a professional. So we have a bit of "sleep with her, already" disease.
There is evidence of an ongoing storyline here, but it's worked very gently into what looks to be an episodic structure. I'm looking forward to continuing on this, as I just like to sit down with a mystery every week. In the long run, some of the slow-burn brilliance that LoGH gave me would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath.