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Manga: Cuticle Detective Inaba

Cuticle Detective Inaba is a shounen manga by Mochi. An anime adaptation premiered in January 2013.

It's about Hiroshi Inaba an artificially-created being, formed by splicing the genes of both a human and a wolf, who gains information by tasting and examining people's hair, and pretty much has a hair fetish. He can transform into a more wolf-like form, and also gain special powers and perform different attacks depending on the type or color of hair he eats. Formerly employed by the police and partnered with an officer, he now runs his own private detective agency with the help of his sadistic, cross-dressing secretary Yuuta (often mistaken for a girl), and Kei (a *relatively* normal teenager working part-time at the office). Kuniharu Ogino, the officer formerly partnered with Hiroshi, also often helps out with cases. His arch-enemy is Don Valentino, an evil mastermind goat with a taste (literally) for money, and a variety of messed up but extremely devoted henchman, including gentleman samurai Lorenzo, who always wears a bag over his head and assassin Gabriella. Most chapters are individual stories revolving around Hiroshi and his friends trying to arrest the Don, always failing miserably.

Episodes are available for streaming at Crunchyroll and The Anime Network

This series provides examples of:

  • Artistic License - Biology: Hiroshi says that he gets powers from all of the natural hair colors, and says that black is one of them. Only black is not a natural hair color. What we consider to be "black" is actually just a very dark shade of brown.
  • Amusing Injuries: Happens numerous times throughout the series. Examples include Don Valentino being on the receiving end of Gabriella's gun when she's angry and Ogino accidentally slamming Hiroshi up to his neck into a concrete road when trying to get him down on the ground.
  • Animal Talk: Ogata does this as a teacher in episode 7a.
  • Animal Motif: Haruka's is a rabbit.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: never mind that Soumei shot a police officer while using Ogino's body, all Hiroshi wants to know is what Soumei did to Ogi's bangs.
  • Badass Adorable: Azusa. Stella.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: the Don fails epically at it in episode 7, cue Kurami's katana hitting him smack in the head. And then he gets shot by Gabriella.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Kei.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Do not waste (or eat) money in front of Kei.
    • If Azusa makes Valentine chocolate for you but not her father, start running for the hills. If you can outrun Ogino.
    • Don't hurt Ogata in front of Stella or Ogino in front of Hiroshi.
    • Getting to close to Hiroshi will invoke Yuuta's wrath.
    • Do not cut Ogino's hair, let alone use 100 yen scissors. Hiroshi will burn you to a crisp.
      • Do not steal Hiroshi's hair collection. He'll get serious kick your ass.
  • Big Brother Worship: Haruka towards Hiroshi. He became a villain just so Hiroshi would pay attention to him, and wants to destroy the police force to get Hiroshi back.
  • Bishie Sparkle
  • Bishounen: Both the brothers Hiroshi and Haruka Inaba. Yuuta may also count, being a little too pretty for a boy.
  • Bloodlust: the werewolf girl who got her powers by tasting blood. Soumei was forced to kill her.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In episode 12 the lights go off in Don's hideout, but you can still see his eyes flying all over the screen. Kei says that he's freaking out and wishes that the audience could see it. Noah then says that you'll be able to see it on the Blue Ray. A caption soon comes up saying that she's lying.
  • Breath Weapon: A poisonous one used by the Donragon.
  • Cat Girl: Natsuki
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The second half of episode 8 takes a really dark turn. The first half of episode 9 isn't much better.
  • Covert Pervert: Yataro, which is why Natsuki and Haruka hate it when Soumei possesses his body cause he's shameless.
  • Co-Dragons: Natsuki and Yataro to Haruka
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Everywhere! This show runs on Rule of Funny, so it's to be expected. Here are a few highlights:
    • Yuuta at one point in the first episode lets Gabriella kidnap Kei. He's shown to be hiding, chanting a Madness Mantra about how exciting things are.
      • Bloody Hilarious: Whenever Gabriella is involved. At one point the Don winds up with over a dozen bleeding bullet wounds in his head because she's become tired of waiting for Inaba to show up.
    • Ogino really doesn't seem to mind getting hit in the head with a refrigerator. Or having Yuuta seal a trap door he's stuck under with tape.
    • When they come across the evil doctor Noah in episode 5, the evil doctor explains that she wants to kill Ogi because he's in peak physical condition, giggling about it like an excited schoolgirl. Yuuta soon joins in and helps her out.
    • In the Hot Springs Episode, Gabriella beats up Yataro because he refuses to react to her in a towel. He bleeds so badly that the hot springs turn red. Everyone is still fine with bathing in it, though.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In episode 12, Hiroshi finds his jar of hair stolen. Searching the place for clues, he finds a single hair and after some thinking determines it to be a goat hair, seemingly oblivious to the room being absolutely covered in goat hoof prints. Gets lampshaded by Kei.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack From Behind: when Soumei is about to shoot Hiroshi at point blank range, he gets shot instead with a poisoned bullet by Haruka. Soumei even calls him out on it.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ogata. He's able to take down Gabriella and Kei admits he's on the same level as Ogino.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Noah has purple hair and eyes.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Kei and Stella.
  • Dark Action Girl: Gabriella
  • Demonic Possession: Soumei can do this to people, but he gets energy when they let him in willingly.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Soumei crossed it when his partner killed himself and he got framed for his 'murder', this after witnessing years of police corruption.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Noah filling a entire castle with death traps so that not even she could go back in safely, and Yuuta attempting to poison Ogino with his Donragon, while in a small room.
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: the Don looks like a real, utterly badass goat in the second half of episode 7.
  • Dirty Old Man: First thing Soumei does when possessing Yataro's body is to grope Natsuki.
  • The Ditz: Wakaba, Kuniharu's wife has no sense of danger.
  • Doting Parent: Ogino loves his daughter.
    • Seems to extend to Hiroshi as well, though to a lesser degree. Azusa goes on the fake 10000 yen bill, Hiroshi on the 5000.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Yuuta Sasaki. Yes the cute blonde kid you see in the page image is a guy.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • From the first chapter when Ogi was trapped in the cellar by the mafia, Yuuta blocks all the gaps, keeping air from entering for Ogi (who was supposed to be Yuuta's client) to suffocate. He had done this only out of his own twisted sadism. It then proceeds to show that even the mafia were shocked.
    • Neither the Don nor Noah allow Gabriella to kill Kurami's father after Noah performed surgery on him.
  • Evil Albino: Haruka
  • Evil Is One Big Happy Family: Comedic Sociopathy aside, the Valentinos and NORA care deeply about each other.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Soumei after being framed for murder by the police force he'd served for years.
  • Fallen Hero: Soumei
  • The Faceless: Lorenzo
    • Partially subverted in episode 10 when Soumei, possessing Lorenzo, gets irritated at the mask and starts to pull it off. Hiroshi and Ogi freak out and pull it back over his head, since revealing his face'll make them "think it's the last episode!".
  • Fair Cop: Ogino
  • Fetish: Werewolves have to have one in order to track down criminals. Hiroshi has a fetish for hair, Stella for elasticity and Yataro for smells. They also have to make sure they don't end up developing a fetish for blood for obvious reasons.
  • Fragile Flower: Stella, although only in the beginning.
  • Friendly Enemy: The Don. Usually.
    • Noah and Yuuta from the moment they meet.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Gabriella. She pretty much wants to kidnap Kei, who is much younger and smaller than she is, as is her preference, and her introduction includes some of her former clients. One of them is a female dom, and in the background you can clearly see two young men being tortured, one of whom with a ball gag in his mouth...
    • Ogata fawning over Hiroshi seems prime ho yay fuel, except it's only because Hiroshi's a werewolf and Ogata is crazy fond of dogs.
    • Hiroshi caressing and smelling Kurami's hair while blushing was because he was excited about Kurami's hair, not Kurami himself. Doesn't stop the whole thing from screaming ho yay.
  • Go Karting with Bowser
  • Gratuitous English: Don and his family will do this every now and again because they're supposed to be foreigners. The opening also includes the lines "He is called Cuticle Detective," but they misspelled "called" as "calld."
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Hiroshi when he thinks Stella will be Ogino's new partner. It's not pretty.
  • Hand Seals: Hiroshi shows what happens when amateurs try them.
  • Happy Dance: the Cuticle Dance. Hiroshi even states it shows his great mood.
  • High School AU: The first half of episode 7.
  • Hot Springs Episode: the second half of episode 5.
  • Hybrid Monster: Noah made a Chimera in episode 5 and it was a goat with a snake tongue and cobra venom that turned into gelatin when poked by Yuuta. Of course it's Yuuta...
  • Hyper Competent Sidekick: Yuuta. His poking is able to bring out Hiroshi's powers, he's able to push Soumei's spirit out of Yataro with a single poke and through sheer badassary, Soumei is unable to possess him longer than three seconds. He's also able to sense Gabriella's arrival, detect the mafia taking pictures of Hiroshi and successfully spy on the yakuza while standing three inches from them.
  • Ill Boy: Haruka.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: The Eastern style Donragon in episode 8a.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: During episode five, Ogi walks in on Hiroshi, who's holding hands with Noah, a member of the Valentinos, and wearing the uniform of the criminal organization Nora.note  He immediately begins to crush, Hiroshi, demanding to know what was going on. Hiroshi lampshades the trope, saying that Ogi has really bad timing.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Kei. There's cat statues all over the office.
    • Up to Eleven since he loves cats despite having a cat allergy.
  • Love Bubbles: Ogata. Hiroshi.
  • Love Potion: Love chocolate rather, eaten by Kei and Hiroshi.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Soumei, to Hiroshi and Haruka.
  • Luminescent Blush: Hiroshi and Haruka.
  • Made of Iron: Kuniharu Ogino. It's lampshaded constantly.
    • Subverted when Gabriella shoots him in the shoulder. Everyone is understandably shocked. Again when Haruka shoots him with a poison bullet.
    • He lampshades it after Ogata purposely uses Dynamite instead of candles for his birthday.
    Ogino: "I'm pretty sure that I would live through a dynamite blast."
  • Mad Scientist: Noah.
  • The Mafia: Don Valentino's family puts a distinctly Japanese (and goat) flavor on this trope.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: In the first episode, Ogino flatly stated "I got shot" after receiving one on his head.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Noah builds one with countless Death Traps, a dragon, and a Cer Be Os.
  • Mood Dissonance: when Hiroshi warns Kurami that Don Valentino isn't human, Kurami agrees that there are many dragons and demons in the world, only to be told wrong, you're dealing with a dirty goat that eats money. It just goes downhill from there, with the Don whirling around in a washing machine while Gabriella tortures/threatens Hiroshi, the Don threatening Hiroshi with potato starch, Yuuta blow-drying Hiroshi's hair while he tells Kurami to run for it, and Kurami unable to protect his father because his underlings are all at farms or zoos looking for goats. All of this presented as a detective noir episode.
  • Mood Whiplash: an enraged Hiroshi attacks Soumei and Yataro in full wolf form, biting Yataro and drawing blood, and getting up with murderous red eyes after being kicked by Soumei. Only for an awkward pause to follow as Hiroshi transforms back, stark naked. Cue Yuuta and Kei handing him his clothes while he gets dressed blushing.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Kei's tsukkomi ping-pong.
  • Names to Know in Anime:
  • Noble Demon: the Don in the second half of episode 7. He even laments that there are 'no more samurai in this country'. And at the end, Kurami says he may be The Last Samurai.
  • The Nose Knows: Hiroshi.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Soumei who is a lot stronger and more ruthless than he let on. He would have killed Ogino and Hiroshi if not for Haruka's and Natsuki's interference.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: As Kei puts it, Ogino and Yuuta spat "like a mother-in-law and daughter", even though both are male. Sort of.
  • Only Sane Man/Straight Man: Kei seems to be this thus far. Though he loses it if cats are involved.
    • They weaponized this in episode 5 during the table tennis match.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Soumei is currently one who has to possess the bodies of others to survive, though he asserts his body must still exist or else his spirit wouldn't be around anymore.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different
  • Papa Wolf: Harm Azusa Ogino at your own risk. Of course, that's assuming that's even possible in the first place. Soumei is a literal example in the extra "The Wolf's House".
  • People Puppets: Haruka's two assistants. Though it's a willing control, since he has little physical stamina.
    • When he goes into wolf mode, he does in fact control them.
  • Perverted Sniffing: Hiroshi is blushing while running Kurami's hair through his fingers, caressing and sniffing it.
  • Power-Up Letdown: a brown hair lets Hiroshi fly - by giving him beetle wings. Everyone immediately bug sprays him. He admits he only used it to freak out Yataro.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: When transforming, Hiroshi's short hair grows longer. Haruka's long hair grows even longer.
  • The Quiet One: Yataro. He'll speak to Soumei and only him though.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Done by Yuuta in the first episode. Doubles as a Madness Mantra of sort since he types "Hurry up and leave" repeatedly.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Haruka and Hiroshi.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Hiroshi.
  • Rule of Funny
  • Running Gag: Lots.
  • Save the Princess: In episode 8a with Yuuta as the princess.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Hiroshi
  • Serious Business: Kurami ordering Tetsu to find goats.
  • Shoot the Dog: at her own request, Soumei personally ended the life of young werewolf that had tasted blood. He had no choice since everyone else was too gutless to do it.
  • Skull for a Head: Mori wears a goat skull
  • Slave Collar: Hiroshi wears a dog collar. According to Kei, Ogino is "sort of his owner".
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: Little Bit Beastly and in the Don's case Funny Animal
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: Hiroshi, distraught that Ogi's bangs have been cut.
  • Start of Darkness: Soumei's began as he saw the corruption in the police cause the suicide of his friend Joji, Ogino's grandfather.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Yataro blushes when he sees Yuuta in a towel. Gabriella, then in a jealous rage beats the ever-loving daylights out of him, exclaiming that Yuuta is a guy.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Hiroshi when he uses a black hair to transform. Kei comments that he's turned into the villain, but at that point, doesn't care anymore.
  • Super Senses: the werewolves.
  • Super Strength: Ogino.
  • Tanuki: big statue of one standing outside the Inaba Detective Agency
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Kurami Torayasu. Ogino.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Noah has purple eyes
  • This Is Unforgivable: Hiroshi to Soumei for trying to kill Ogino. Also, stealing his hair collection.
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: Soumei's attempt to possess Yuuta lasts about 3 seconds, before he literally spits him out, shrunken and whimpering.
  • Transformation Trinket: in Hiroshi's case, any hair of the five natural colors.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Yuuta thanks Ogino for saving him by pushing him off a cliff.
  • Unusual Ears: aside from having regular human ears, werewolves' hair is shaped like wolf ears. In Haruka's case, bunny ears, Natsuki has cat ears. Subverted by Yataro, until Yuuta's relentless poking makes his ears and tail appear.
  • Villains Out Shopping: the first five minutes Episode 5b
  • Walking Wasteland: Inaba gets this power after eating black hair, which Kei is quick to comment, turns him into a villain.
  • Wallpaper Camouflage: Yuuta, when spying on Hiroshi meeting with the yakuza.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 8b. Boy, no one saw that coming, did they?
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Haruka. See Yandere below
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Yataro freaks out when Hiroshi, using a brown hair, grows beetle wings to fly and chases him around.
  • Willing Channeler: Yataro lets Soumei possess his body.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Yuuta.
  • Wingding Eyes: Gabriella without her glasses.
  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Literally, Soumei resides in a sheep doll.
  • World of Ham
  • Yakuza: Kurami and his subordinate Tetsu
  • Yandere: Yuuta. Haruka to a degree, since he used a painful poison to kill Ogino rather than a painless one like Soumei told him to. And he doesn't care one little bit about it.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Noah has purple hair


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