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Anime / The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED

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Daisuke Kambe has no problems using his vast personal fortune to solve crimes, assessing lives based on their financial worth. He joins the Modern Crime Prevention Headquarters where he is partnered with the compassionate Haru Kato, who values human life and is disgusted with Daisuke's materialistic ways. Together, they must stop butting heads and overcome their opposing world views to solve the toughest crimes in the precinct.

The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED is an anime series produced by CloverWorks, former sub-studio of A-1 Pictures and directed by Tomohiko Itō. The anime began airing April 9th, 2020 and can be viewed here. However after the release of the second episode, the future episodes would be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The third episode was released on July 30, 2020.

This is the second adaptation of the Fugo Keiji novel from the 1970s by Yasutaka Tsutsui with the first one as a live-action drama in 2005 where it had a female main character.

The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: "Nothing Makes A Man so Adventerous as an Empty Pocket" is one for Daisuke and Haru having official leave from the TMPD.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The final episode ends with the main duo foiling a heist in New York, with Kambe being his usual destructive self in the process by blowing up a bridge.
  • Anyone Can Die: For this kind of series, it's expected that some of the main characters may die. The first two were both Chosuke Nakamoto and Katsuhiro Takei who were murdered by Shigemaru Kambe, the prime suspect of his wife's murder.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Kambe has... guess from the title.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: This is done in "Money is the Root of All Evil" where the first half shows the flashback of Nakamoto and Takei investigating a murder case nineteen years ago in letterbox.
  • Banana Republic: The fictional Latin American country of Poliador which has their president visiting Japan in "If Money be not thy Servant, it will be thy Master" to sign some papers for finalizing the construction of the dam in his country. The Kambe group happens to be the main benefactor of the dam project. However, the dam is slated to flood one of Poliador's native lands which would lead to a planned assassination attempt of the president.
  • Book Ends: The show begins and ends with Kato, dangling on the destroyed bridge and Daisuke looking down on him with a smug smile before Kato drops into the water.
  • Broke Episode: In Episode 4, Kambe leaves the house after a fight with Suzue and forgets his wallet. He has to rely on Kato's cheap cooking and housing to survive the night.
  • Broken Ace: Kato used to be part of the more respected First Investigative Division, but after he badly injured a suspect and the trauma made it impossible for him to use a gun again he was kicked down to the Modern Crime Prevention team.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Kato prefers to solve crimes the more traditional way and doesn't like doing unethical things unless absolutely necessary to avoid loss of life.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The first few episodes started with a silly tone where there's a rich guy who uses his money to solve crimes and pay the damages that he caused and his partner has to remind him not to go beyond the rules. Then in "Money is the Root of All Evil", the tone shifts to a serious murder investigation that has a lot of conspiracy surrounding it.
  • Credits Gag: Each episode is titled Check-(insert episode number), and ends with a tally of the costs Kanbe incurred in that episode.
  • Debate and Switch: In the last Episode, Daisuke is about to release his parents' adollium research to the public, before he is warned that this could potentially lead to a repeat of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He begins to hesitate about his own plans, but before he can make a decision, Kato accidentally stumbles on the button that confirms the data transmission and inadvertently publishes the research.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: The episode "The Sinews of War Are Infinite Money" is Die Hard on a Shikansen train that stopped outside Shinagawa Station.
  • Evolving Credits: The opening credits on episode 7 onwards added more color and effects including the silhouettes of Daisuke's parents and the red shadow on Daisuke, who is walking towards Chosuke.
  • Fiction 500: Over the course of the investigation in the anime Kambe has spend hundreds of billions of yen. Kambe's wallet is shown to practically grant wishes, including even developing and launching an intercontinental missile to use like a jet plane.
  • He Knows Too Much: Sayuri Kambe's murder case led to a conspiracy that was hastily covered up by the higher-ups. Sakai, the police director at that time, had to put a leash on his subordinates so they cannot uncover the truth. After the case is closed, Sakai ended up dead under suspicious circumstances. It's one of the reasons Takei tries to prevent anyone from opening the case because he's afraid that he would end up just like his father-in-law. It turns out that Sayuri's death has something to do with her adollium research which drove her husband into killing her. When Daisuke tries to ask his grandmother about it, she doesn't answer, much to his frustration. Then, the conspiracy unfolds as it turns out that the adollium is some sort of energy and it got the government and arms dealers interested which would explained Shigemaru's obsession with it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: As revealed in episode 9, Chosuke and Takei deliberately refused to flee because the former has to put a tracking device on Shigemaru while the latter holds him down at the cost of their lives. This eventually helps Haru and the rest of the Modern Crimes Division to track down Shigemaru and aid Daisuke.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: uses "Check" in place of "episode". It's relatable for the mentioned theme.
  • In Name Only: The anime is more of a reimagining of the novel's setting in modern times than an actual adaptation. The only things that carried over from the novel are Daisuke Kambe (with Adaptational Jerkass) and a female character with the name Suzue. Everything else is completely original.
  • I Want Them Alive!: In episode nine the villains make attempts at capturing Kambe alive. This is because Kambe's dad appears to be the ringleader. Though it's later revealed to actually be the Kambe family's butler in disguise and under the control of Daisuke's grandmother, it's reasonable to assume she also didn't want Daisuke to die.
  • Job Title: The title refers to the protagonist Daisuke Kambe, an incredibly wealthy detective.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: As revealed in the last episode, Shigemaru is not the one who murdered his wife. He just found her corpse and at the state of shock, he grabbed the murder weapon which was used to kill Sayuri. This eventually Daisuke and the police assume that he's the murderer.
  • Police Are Useless: Both First Division and Modern Crime Division are on the bystander positions because the ones who ended up solving the cases are Daisuke and Haru. While the First Division members took their jobs very seriously, Daisuke and Haru are the ones who did all the hard work. The Modern Crime Division members are even worse as they tend to slack off and don't take their job seriously except for Haru and Chosuke Nakamoto who is a veteran detective. It's only in episode 9 that the Modern Crime members become competent only because Chosuke was murdered.
  • Product Placement: The henchman controlling the laser turrets in "Life Shouldn't be Printed on Dollar Bills" used a controller modelled on the upcoming PS 5 controller.
  • Relocating the Explosion: Episode 1 has Daisuke chase a pair of thieves fleeing after robbing a chocolate store, unknowingly stealing a van with a bomb. He uses his newly-purchased car to push the van off a bridge into the water where it detonates.
  • The Reveal:
    • The adollium is actually a new type of energy that can jam electronic waves and can be used as a weapon. As Suzue finds out, it can also be used as renewable energy. Kikuko even compares it to plutonium which can also be misused by other people. This apparently got Sayuri killed. It also explains the police higher-ups covering up her murder and getting rid of anyone who is connected to it because the government wants that piece of technology.
    • Shigemaru Kambe didn't kill his wife, he just stumbled across her dead body. Furthermore, he also wasn't the one that killed Chosuke and Takei; it was the Kambe family's butler wearing an incredibly realistic mask of Shigemaru's face. The real Shigemaru tried to kill himself after the death of his wife but failed and is now in a vegetive state.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: The thief duo in Episode 1 get scared that Kambe is about to push them off the bridge. What they fail to realize is that the van is rigged with a bomb and simply assume it's because he's trying to do them in instead.
  • Running Gag: Every episode ends with a summary of the costs Kambe incurred.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: This is largely how Kambe operates. He offers money to detainees in exchange for intel, he agrees to pay for the damages his antics cause, and his fortune affords him access to a wide array of gadgets he uses to fight crime. However, there are some limitations such as leaving his wallet behind and being unable to access some of his family's files.
  • Spanner in the Works: In "If Money be not thy Servant, it will be thy Master", Daisuke and President of Poliador almost fall victims to an assassination attempt, having been locked in a room with a poisonous gas device. The room was locked with a one-of-a-kind key that subsequently got lost; however, they are saved in the nick of time, because a local janitor happened to have a spare copy of said key...which he made to use the room for "things he shouldn't have been", as the room wasn't used all that often.
  • The Stinger: The post-credit scene shows HEUSC being implemented on Modern Crimes Division and Kiyomazu, who is actually an "Acting Director" at the beginning of the show, promoted to an actual Director. Meanwhile, Daisuke and Kato are fighting crime around the world with the latter having his own gadgets.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In "Money Burns a Hole in the Pocket", after they both made a decision not to escape, Chosuke and Takei face Shigemaru Kambe without any weapons except a pair of handcuffs. On the other hand, Shigemaru is armed with a knife. The end result? A bloody murder with both Chosuke and Takei dead.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: While the Kambe mansion has high maintenance security thanks to the existence of the supercomputer HEUSC, its security isn't as tight as what it seems. For example, Kato rams his car on the mansion gate so he can enter the mansion without any trouble and a criminal was able to bypass the security doors equipped by facial and voice recognition which only the Kambe family has access to. However, the latter part is justified because the criminal is wearing an incredibly realistic mask of the supposedly-dead father of Daisuke, who is also the administrators of HEUSC.
  • That One Case: The unsolved murder case of Sayuri Kambe, Daisuke's mother, which was investigated by Nakamoto, Takei, and Kiyomizu, who were all in First Division. It was suspected that Sayuri's husband, Shigemaru, might have some involvement in it as they were both scientists researching on a new type of element that is similar to plutonium. However, Shigemaru's car was torched and he left a "suicide" note. The higher-ups quickly wrapped up the case and both Nakamoto and Kiyomazu were transferred to Modern Crimes Division. Nineteen years later, Daisuke joins the police force to find out the truth behind his mother's death. Turns out that the culprit wasn't his father, it was his grandmother who killed his mother because she doesn't want the research to be released to the public. Shigemaru was just unlucky enough to touch the murder weapon in front of his son but he really isn't dead though, while he tried to commit suicide it was unsuccessful and he now lives in a vegetive state.
  • Twist Ending: "Nothing Makes A Man so Adventurous as an Empty Pocket"'s main plotline ends when Daisuke finds the missing dog Shiro and returns him to his owner. However, while the boy is overjoyed, he then privately reveals to Haru that he found out from the local health ward that the real Shiro died when it was run over by a car after going missing, and the dog he just gave away was actually an identical breed he just bought for 55,000 yen. He then requests Haru to please inform the boy's parents about the truth but to keep it a secret from him.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Daisuke does this to Imura's car, taking full control of it to lead her to a parking garage; and uses the excuse of vehicular manslaughter to take her in for interrogation over another case the force is working on. He later rigs the battery of the car to blow it up, taking her and her lawyer with it.
    • The "vehicle bomb" variant is also used as the plot of the first episode, with the duo of thieves stealing a laundry van completely unaware of the bomb planted in it about to go off.
  • Virtual Sidekick: HEUSC is Daisuke's A.I. butler who immediately processes all of Daisuke's requests through his technological earring and sunglasses when investigating cases.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Money is the Root of All Evil" reveals Daisuke's motivation for becoming a detective: to solve his mother's murder and how his father, who committed suicide, got involved in it. It also turns out that Kiyomizu, Nakamoto, and Takei worked on the case until it's hastily wrapped by the higher-ups. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that Takei was ordered the late police director, who was also his father-in-law, to hide very important evidence related to the case.
    • "Money Burns a Hole in the Pocket" complicates more on the story where Shigemaru is the culprit and he murdered his wife because of her research on the adollium. Daisuke himself witnessed it when he was young and tried to find some answers behind his mother's research that drove his father into killing her. Then, it turns out Shigemaru faked his death and is actually one of the administrators of HEUSC which would explain why it never gave Daisuke information related to the research. By the end of the episode, Shigemaru kills both Chosuke and Takei who were the investigators of Sayuri's death.
    • The last episode shows the biggest twist of all: Daisuke's grandmother is the mastermind and she had her daughter-in-law killed because she's actually going to reveal the adollium research to the public. While he had his disagreements with his wife, Shigemaru is innocent all along and happens to be on the crime scene, holding the murder weapon. Then, he tries to kill himself after his wife died but went to a vegetative state instead. The Kambes' butler is the one who did all the killings and disguises himself as Shigemaru to fool Daisuke, Suzue, and the police. Kikuko admits that she did it because she knows the dangers of adollium which can be used as a weapon if misused.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The van in the first episode "I Came, I Saw, I Sponsored", it's never mentioned who originally rigged it to explode in the first place or why, making whoever was responsible one of the only instances of Karma Houdini in the show.
  • With Friends Like These...: Haru and Kambe's relationship tends to straddle the line between this and Teeth-Clenched Teamwork; which is best exemplified in both the first and last episodes where the latter lets the former fall down a bridge into the harbor below.
    • The first episode also has this happen to the thief duo when Hiroshi bails out of the van he and his partner Yoko were in while Kambe tries to push it over the bridge. Though he does at least make an attempt to make it up to her after the incident.