Pretty Boy Detective Club (Bishonen Tantei-dan), also known as the Pretty Boy (Bishonen) series, is a collection of mystery light novels written by NisiOisiN and illustrated by Kinako (of Gatchaman Crowds fame). Pretty Boy Detective Club follows Mayumi Dojima and the eponymous Pretty Boy Detective Club as they solve a series of increasingly strange cases.
The original series of novels lasted from 2015-2021 with 12 volumes. A manga adaptation illustrated by Suzuka Oda ran from 2016-2019 in Aria and Shōnen Magazine Edge, while an anime adaptation by Studio SHAFT aired in the Spring 2021 anime season.
Tropes in Pretty Boy Detective Club:
- All Elections Are Serious Business: The student council elections are serious enough to involve attempted murder.
- Arc Words: The four cardinal rules of the Pretty Boy Detective Club are repeated throughout the story and are explored in deeper meaning with each repetition:
- Rule 1: Be pretty: Always look beautiful inside and out, and seek the beauty in everything.
- Rule 2: Be a boy: Always stay young at heart, never lose that youthful sense of wonder.
- Rule 3: Be a detective: Always be analytic, keep your mind open to all possibilities and never stop looking for the truth.
- Rule 4: Be a club: Never try and burden yourself by trying to do thing on your own, remember we're a team.
- Arranged Marriage: Nagahiro is engaged to the daughter of his parents' friends, Kodaki Kawaike.
- Art Shift: Typical for studio shaft, The Anime switches to different styles several times across the the series, but most notably in the last episode, where Mayumi's opponent for the student council elections confronts her and admits to attempting to kill Naganao, and sneaking into the school unnoticed just so he could run for class president . during this scene, the art style changes nearly every other shot for minutes on end.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Naturally.
- Consistent Clothing Style: Hyouta refuses to wear anything but shorts, to show off his gorgeous legs.
- Crossover: A number of short stories have the club, some time in the future, have adventures with the Monogatari series protagonist Koyomi Araragi after he starts attending college and also a gag crossover manga series including Zaregoto.
- Exotic Eye Designs: In the anime, Mayumi's eyes have star-shaped highlights and Kodaki has crosses.
- Face of a Thug: Michiru is rough around the edges and has a reputation as a delinquent, but he's actually a good guy bordering on Team Dad.
- Love Triangle: Averted; Nagahiro is engaged to Kodaki, who has feelings for Manabu, but despite the prime circumstances, Kodaki's dilemma is neither boy wants her.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: Subverted. Nagahiro's fiancé is in elementary school and the other members of the club are aware that it's an arranged marriage, but that doesn't stop them from teasing him over it. Especially Hyouta, who calls him "Mr. Lolicon".
- Noiseless Walker: Kodaki has the uncanny ability to make absolutely no sound when she walks. The club believes she has misused it to push Manabu down a flight of stairs, but what really happened was she snuck up behind him and accidentally scared him when she tried talking to him.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: The student body president election arc mixes this with They Look Just Like Everyone Else! to a truly disturbing effect. To wit, someone who doesn't even go to the school, and might not even be a kid, managed to infiltrate the middle school and run for president without anyone realizing he doesn't belong, all because of how easily he blends into the crowd.
- Power Limiter: Mayumi's glasses dampen her superhuman vision. A necessary handicap because overtaxing her eyes puts her at risk of going blind.
- The Quiet One: Sosaku rarely speaks up and emotes even less. He prefers to let his artwork do the talking.
- Shout-Out: The tratement of Mayumi eye condition may be a nod to the Princess from Andersen's The Shadow, whose "disease" of being too sharp-sighted made everyone around her very uneasy.
- Super Senses: Mayumi's eyes are truly extraordinary, allowing her to see things completely invisible to normal human eyes.
- Supreme Chef: Michiru, who grew up poor and hungry, is dedicated to creating beautiful dishes. He is the club's resident cook.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Mayumi is first disguised as a boy when the club suspects she is a target for assassination. She decides to keep up the masquerade and join the detective club.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Manabu is more than happy to dress up as a girl while going undercover.
- Voice Changeling: Nagahiro's voice is so amazing that he can mimic voices he's heard before.