Anime / Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

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"This world we live in is a dream. The dream we have at night is, in fact, the true world."
Ranpo Edogawa

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace (Mysterious Stories of Ranpo: Game of Laplace) is a Summer 2015 Anime by Lerche based on Ranpo Edogawa's works to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the author's passing. Its official website is here.

Kobayashi wakes up in his classroom to find a bloodstained saw in his hand, his teacher made into a gruesome chair and blood all over the classroom. The police consider him guilty until the detective Akechi arrives. However, Kobayashi's more than willing to solve the crime for himself.

...Thus begins a series of murders and other crimes.

It's showing on Funimation and Anime Lab for the curious.


Tropes for Ranpo Kitan:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: How Akechi views Black Lizard's affection for him.
  • Adult Fear: The entirety of episode 3 is filled with this.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Namikoshi. It's what eventually leads to his becoming Twenty Faces.
  • All There in the Manual: The (not so) secret profiles. Unfortunately, Black Lizard's and Shadow Man's are still both mysteries (except the birthday Black Lizard gave herself).
  • Ambiguously Gay: Hashiba, who is definitely attracted to Kobayashi. Akechi and Namikoshi, as well.
  • Arc Words: "This world we live in is a dream. The dream we have at night is, in fact, the true world."
  • Asshole Victim: All the victims of Twenty Faces and copycats. Including Watanuki and Sunaga, the murderer of Kagami's sister.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: How 20 Faces operates.
  • Badass Bookworm: Despite being a loner, this is the main reason why Akechi was never bullied growing up.
  • Bishōnen: Akechi.
  • Body Horror: As time goes on, it's indicated that this series is full of this.
    • Episode 1: Getting murdered and turned into a chair. Eesh. (Somewhat alleviated when Corpsey is subjected to it since it's a Baymax-looking...thing...but still creepy.)
    • Episode 2: It's revealed that the person that turned into a chair in episode 1 is also a murder suspect that has many other person-chairs, perfectly preserved to resemble real chairs, at his abandoned parents' house.
      • Remember that murdered person-chair in episode 1? The corpse just a hollow body. The internal body (bones and other internal organs)? Preserved inside the teacher's (real) chair, resembling the internal anatomy of a real person.
    • Episode 3: The fate of the girl that refused to become Watanuki's daughter. She got crushed with a machine, mixed with cement, and turned into a cement picture wall.
    • Episode 5: The fate of Kagami's sister. Hanged above a high building with mutilated limbs, wearing the dress that got her silver prize in design competition. When the police found her, the only explanation they can give to Kagami is that she suffered extensive damage.
      • How did Kagami retaliate? Crushed the killer's eyes, mutilated his limbs, soaked him and his limbs in a bathtub full of chemical liquid, retrieved the main body to be given a life support device, but according to Kagami, he did that because he deserved a Fate Worse Than Death, so he's gonna die anyway, but in a slowly, painfully vegetable state...
  • Breather Episode: After the gut-wrenching revelations and gruesome murders of previous episodes, episode 6 is much more lighthearted in tone.
  • Childhood Friends: Hashiba and Kobayashi have been best friends since grade school.
  • Copy Cat Killer: Twenty Faces. There was a real one three years ago, but all the ones we see so far have been copycats.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Akechi, of all people, has this reaction in episode 9 when it's revealed that his old friend who turned into the original Twenty Faces is still alive at all.
  • Disney Villain Death: Namikoshi.
  • Downer Ending: Namikoshi is defeated, but he commits suicide. His massive crime is slowly forgotten about, but that doesn't stop people from continuing to take up the persona of Twenty Faces. And there's little reason to believe that the corruption that Twenty Faces was supposed to stop in the first place has gone away, either.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Kobayashi. The girls are jealous of him because of this.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: How Hanabishi, Kobayashi's new homeroom teacher, dresses.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Kobayashi. Hashiba is heavily implied to have a crush on him and their previous homeroom teacher fell in love with him.
  • Evil Former Friend: Namikoshi, to Akechi. He becomes the original Twenty Faces.
  • Great Detective: Akechi, who's meant to be in high school.
  • Faceless Masses: Anyone who doesn't have importance in the story is shown as a shadowly blob, only gaining details if they're important, and fading back to a blob when they're no longer important. At least when it's centered around Kobayashi.
    • When the story is centered around Akechi, they're instead artist pose dolls. For Namikoshi it's skeletons with faces similar to Twenty Faces.
  • Fat Bastard: Watanuki. Don't want to be his daughter? Hope you enjoy being crushed and mixed into cement.
  • Friendless Background: Hashiba, until he met Kobayashi in fourth grade.
    • Namikoshi and Akechi, they were each others' Only Friend.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Played straight in the past with Namikoshi and his red headphones, but averted in the present day.
  • Hot for Student: Kobayashi's previous homeroom teacher was dating one of his classmates, but eventually broke up with her because he fell in love with Kobayashi.
  • Infant Immortality: Horribly averted with the remaining daughters that Watanuki kidnapped, where they are crushed, mixed with cement, and later turned into a wall if they dare to show any hatred towards him.
    • Averted again with Tokiko, Keisuke's younger sister, who had her limbs cut off and was left dangling in the middle of the city by her neck.
    • Averted once more in the final episode with nameless children jumping off a clock tower to their deaths. But later played straight with Kobayashi.
  • Insanity Defense: The temporary insanity and diminished capacity versions are very much overused In-Universe as to why criminals keep getting out since most attorneys won't even take them to court. This, combined with the murder of his sister, is why Kagami turned to becoming Twenty Faces.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Akechi didn't have any friends besides Namikoshi because his intellect was to high for kids his own age to relate to him.
  • Karmic Trickster: What Shadow Man is.
  • Last-Name Basis: Akechi Kogoro, Kobayashi Yoshio, Kagami Keisuke and Hashiba Souji, with the rest either being referred to by title, introduced name or last name. Only the last name is given during introductions, with a few exceptions that lack surnames (e.g. Minami) or in the case of Tokiko would cause confusion.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Akechi is very fast and kicks Watanuki hard enough to send him flying. Although later he complains about dislocating his hip joint. He also broke his arm going against some boys his age, and had to get Namikoshi to fix it up for him.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Hashiba, until he became friends with Kobayashi.
  • Mood Whiplash: The appearance of Minami and Corpsey, the comical duo that gives patients' autopsy reports, comes out of nowhere and during moments of serious discussion.
    • Episode 6 for the whole series. It uses a mundane excuse to throw Shadow Man and a bomb at Akechi and manages to play it for humour. Also a cat gets thrown into the mix, because Akechi doesn't like cats.
  • Never Found the Body: Namikoshi after he falls off the clock tower in the final episode, Hashiba speculates that he could still be alive if they couldn't find his body, only for Akechi to tell him not to view the world as a romance novel.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: A news report's date in episode 5 reveals that the series's chronological setting is somewhere around early 2016, and the show is simulcasting in late 2015.
  • Older Than They Look: Hanabishi, Kobayashi and Hashiba's new homeroom teacher, is 32 (which her title helpfully reminds us everytime she appears), but looks and often acts younger than her students.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: Twenty Faces.
  • Setting Update: Would people in Edogawa's time have had Sim City, smartphones or laptops? Interestingly, Akechi doesn't own a cell phone, and while he does own a laptop and send emails, a significant amount of his research is done the old fashioned way. As a reminder that this series was originally written in the 60s, Akechi occasionally plays records.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Sachiko, surviving a fatal illness and getting the funds for treatment, only to be kidnapped and later killed by the kidnapper after refusing to acknowledge him as her father.
    • Kagami's sister always tried her hardest to be a good designer so she could help his brother in the family's finances. When one of her latest designs got her silver prize in a design competition, she and Kagami were going to celebrate it with a cake when he came home. Sadly, a criminal previously caught by Kagami had some grudge against him and brutally killed his sister as revenge before he was able to come home.
  • Shirtless Scene: Akechi gets one in episode 3 while Hashiba gets one in episode 7.
  • Shout-Out: Episode 6's escape plans are this to Metal Gear.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The name of the show. It could be either "Ranpo Kitan" (literal reading) or "Rampo Kitan" (because of the author's name which by general consensus is Edogawa Rampo), with simulcasting sites opting for the latter.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Hashiba comes from an incredibly wealthy family, but never seems to let his riches get to his head.
  • Stripperific: Black Lizard's outfit is mainly a waist coat that exposes a lot of her torso and cleavage, along with a black thong.
  • Student Council President: Hashiba.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Kagami's sister is brutally murdered and dismembered, and the murder sends him over the edge to becoming a Twenty Faces copycat.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Akechi.
  • Teen Genius: Akechi.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Twenty Faces is a persona taken on by people who want to go above the law to get their revenge on other evils, such as corrupt policemen or doctors. Their methods, however, tend to be just as extreme if not more so than the corruption they're fighting.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 9. At first, it looks like Akechi's calculation to stop the Dark Star program works, until Minami is revealed as one of the Twenty Faces, and reveals to the world that the program is still working. To add the wham-ness point, the original Twenty Faces, Namikoshi, is revealed to be still alive at all. Oh, also it seems like Kobayashi got kidnapped by a mysterious character when he's going to accompany Akechi with meeting Namikoshi.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Kobayashi in episode 3 so he could have easier access to Watanuki's hideout. He then continues this habit because in his (and Hashiba's) opinion he "looks good in them".
    Hashiba: It's not a matter of whether you look good in [girl's clothes] or not!
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Cats for Akechi.


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