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Light Novel / The Detective is Already Dead

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The Detective is Already Dead (探偵はもう、死んでいる。, Tantei wa Mō, Shinde Iru.), is a light novel written by Nigojū with illustrations done by Umibōzu, published by Media Factory in Japan with five volumes out. Its English release has been licensed by Yen Press. For the manga version, Mugiko has done the illustrations. Likewise, Yen Press has licensed the manga alongside the light novel version. An anime adaptation was done by ENGI with the first episode aired on July 4, 2021 as a one-hour special. It was announced that it will see another season.

Kimihiko Kimizuka is an average middle school student who happens to be Born Unlucky and constantly seems to attract the worst kind of attention possible. One fateful day, he is recruited by a teenage detective named Siesta to serve as her assistant in the course of her work, and they enjoy a memorable 3 years of adventuring and going on investigations together. The good times end, however, when Siesta is killed in an investigation of a secret criminal organization called SPES that consists of pseudohumans. One year after her death, Kimihiko, now a high school senior, is trying to manage ordinary school life as he tries to move on from his loss... until SPES resurfaces again and he is roped back into the fight against them.


Definitively not related with Fist of the North Star, especially with Kenshiro's catchphrase.

This work provides examples of:

  • Action Prologue: The series starts when Siesta and Kimihiko confront Albert Coleman aka Bat when he starts a hijacking of a passenger plane.
  • Actor Allusion: Back in Lost Judgment, Xanthe Huynh played Kyoko Amasawa, who leads the Mystery Research Club who wanted to jump at the chance to be a detective. She's now playing Siesta, who's an actual detective.
  • Anachronic Order: The light novels are written out of chronological order, and the anime goes even further in adapting material out of order of the novels. The anime's official Twitter account even had to post a chart showing which light novel volume the material covered in episodes 1 to 6 came from. It also shows what light novels received manga adaptations (Volumes 1 & 2 as of that tweet).
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  • Bait-and-Switch: The anime pulls many false baits, such as Siesta is badly injured and the screen fades to black, or she is seen unconsious whenever Kimizuka isn't nearby, tricking the viewers to think that is how she died, just to see her alive and well again. Not until Episode 9, however. Siesta pulled a Heroic Sacrifice to save Kimizuka, and Hel ate her heart, proving she was gone for good.
  • Breakout Character: Surprising as it might be, Siesta was originally planned to be a Posthumous Character soon to be displaced, with the starring role falling on Kimihito, Natsunagi and Saikawa, but the success of the novel made the author keep making her appear.
  • The Cameo: Fubuki Shirakami and Matsuri Natsuiro make an appearance as news casters in Episode 3.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Volume 3 / Episode 7 shows Siesta getting slightly tipsy from "juice" after having dinner with Kimizuka, and later that night in their hotel room she invites him to sleep in the bed together with her. They have a heartfelt, intimate talk about how much the past 3 years have meant to her before she leans in to touch his face and softly ask if he'd like to try something "not so serious." The scene then fades to black. While Kimizuka insisted in Volume 1 nothing happened, the author of the story has said that he's an Unreliable Narrator due to missing some memories and only Siesta would truly know the truth. In the end, it's up to the reader to decide what happened between them that night (although it's notable that, at least in the anime adaptation, the two have their clothes on when they wake up).
  • Extra-Long Episode: The first episode is actually two episodes long, with the first half being the meeting on the plane, and the second half being an adventure at Kimi's high school.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: For some unspecified reason, the original novel in Japanese has a Spanish translation of its title, La detective está muerta,note  as a subtitle. Given that "siesta" is a Spanish word (and a very Spanish concept), maybe this explains it.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: SPES is a criminal organization that has pseudohumans in its ranks. They're also the subject of Siesta's investigations before her death.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Old: An unusual subversion applied to teenage rather than adult characters. During the series' various chapters and flashbacks, Siesta and Kimihito are shown in scenes set in a four years range, which should be a world of difference in people their age, yet their character designs in the anime remain just the same among all the episodes, down to the clothing.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In "Attention Passengers: Is There A Detective on Board?", Siesta and Kimihito get involved in an aircraft hijacking case. The latter lampshades it when he throws the question on whether a private detective was on board as the justification Albert Coleman aka Bat was seeking her out.
  • Plant Aliens: SPES turns out to be this.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The story is a Whole-Plot Reference to Gosick, another light novel about an unfortunate Japanese student teaming up with a cooler-headed, fair-haired superhuman detective girl to solve mysteries.
    • It is also another Whole-Plot Reference to Aria the Scarlet Ammo, of the same artistic line as Gosick, which also features a legendary detective girl roping the main character along as her sidekick and taking down a criminal organization that employs superhuman members. Aside from this premise, the plane kidnapping in the first volume is a reference to the same in the first volume of Aria, Kimihiro's backstory of losing Siesta echoes Kinji's own of losing his brother, Cerberus is outright a clone of Vlad, the blood bullet used by Siesta in the first episode evokes the Scarlett Ammo, and the whole character of Alicia is basically a semi-parodic copy of Aria herself, all with her name, short height, long pink twin tails, personality, alternate personality taking over, true age higher than she looks, and relation to the leader of the villainous organization (and once the humor goes away, Alicia ends up being ascended to the same main character role Aria plays in her own series).
    • Hel is a (barely) gender-flipped version of Ayato Naoi from Angel Beats!, down to the cap, hair, personality, Daddy Issues, mind control abilities, and even the same red light effect on her eyes when she uses her powers. Not coincidentially, Angel Beats is another series where a serene, silver-haired girl with superhuman powers is involved with a supernatural heart transplant that moves the search of the main character.
    • Another set of plot points, namely the evil organization creating artificial humans, spreading a memory-affecting drug created from strange lifeforms to control students in a high school, and being in relation with a Human Alien entity capable to be cloned, are both together and separately references to Boogiepop Series, where the Towa organization does all of them. Hel also has elements of Boogiepop itself in her androgyny, cape, and being the alternate personality of a troubled girl, while Nagisa resembles a young Nagi Kirima in looks, role and personality, and again, the appendages used by Bat in the anime are designed similarly to how the 2019 Boogiepop anime portrayed those of Eugene.
    • The bioweapon monster is a giant wink to Resident Evil, even having Nemesis' face on a body resembling a huge Licker, not to mention the term "bioweapon" being the same as used in the game. The description of Albert Coleman, a stylish, blond villain able to grow mutated tentacles who works for an evil organization that produces bioweapons, also fits Albert Wesker (the Coleman surname likely coming from another Resident Evil character who worked for the same party, Charles Coleman).
    • Kimihito's house has some weird objects at the background, among them a tribal mask, when the female main character intrudes in his house and wears his clothing. This whole scene makes a subtle reference to Haruaki's house and the introduction of Fear in Cube×Cursed×Curious, another Shana Clone light novel. Siesta's seven items also echoe the cursed items employed by the characters of said series.
    • The bizarre usage of the word "siesta" (Spanish for nap) as a character name is likely a reference to yet another Shana Clone series, The Familiar of Zero.
  • Show, Don't Tell: After being shot by Siesta's special bullet, Bat's extended appendage is no longer able to attack her. Years later, Kimihiko visits him in prison with Nagisa, with the hopes that he'd be able to help her find the person her donated heart wanted her to subconsciously meet. He says explaining it would take too long, so simply lunges his appendage at Nagisa, only for it to disappear. It turns out Nagisa's donated heart came from Siesta after she died a year prior, and its subconscious influence on Nagisa wanting to meet someone was none other than Kimihiko himself.
  • Time Skip: The very end of the first episode jumps ahead three years to the time after Siesta died.
  • Title Drop: At the end of the first episode.
    Kimihiko: "Death did us part. The detective... is already dead."
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 2: Siesta's heart was given to Nagisa Natsunagi in a successful transplant operation after she died.
    • Episode 9: Alicia turns out to be Hel's Split Personality, and it's revealed how Siesta died - she pulled a Heroic Sacrifice to save Kimizuka.
    • Episode 10: Siesta's heart destroyed Hel from within and erased her memories, creating a new idenntity named Nagisa Natsunagi.
    • Episode 11: Siesta takes over Nagisa's body for an amount of time.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Upon learning who Nagisa's heart came from, Kimihiko's initial reaction is to play it down and act as though it's no big deal. Nagisa immediately gives him an Armor-Piercing Slap and berates him for belittling the heart's immense desire to reunite and meet someone she didn't know which turned out to be him. He then gives her a Cooldown Hug, and gives a tearful reunion to give some closure to Siesta suddenly dying a year earlier.


Video Example(s):


The Detective is Already Dead


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