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Literature / The Case Files of Yakushiji Ryoko

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The show's cast. From left to right: Junichiro Izumida, Ryoko Yakushiji, Lucienne, Marianne and Yukiko Muromachi.

Yakushiji Ryoko is a Superintendent in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, and with her lackey/slave/chew toy Assistant Inspector Junichiro Izumida They Fight Crime!, though more often than not the cases end up involving the paranormal. While being in the Metropolitan Police Department's Criminal Investigation Bureau, Ryoko is the daughter of JACES President Hiroko Yakushiji, who is an ex-MPD high-ranking officer. As such, she is the "official" Yakushiji known in the public to be standing ready to succeed her father. Think Law & Order meets The X-Files meets James Bond and you have a rough idea of what the show's like.

Notable for featuring an adult female protagonist above the age usually considered attractive who is still a badass and incredibly competent while also being extremely sexy.


Created by Doctor Yoshiki Tanaka, the series is a franchise that consists of a drama CD, an anime and manga series that has been concluded with 11 volumes alongside the original novels.

As of 2021, the series has not been "officially" made available to Europe, Oceania and the Middle East. The manga and anime's been released overseas so far to China and Taiwan and perhaps to the various Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. But not the novels as they're still in Japan.

The anime version can be watched in English via Retro Crush.


The franchise contains examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: In episode 10, Izumida He tries to eavesdrop on Ryoko’s conversation with Monami while she's in the bath, hiding behind the curtains. To his horror, she gets out and suddenly pulls back the curtains, exposing herself to him (the viewer only sees her Shoulders-Up Nudity, but he gets the full eyeful). She doesn't even react and just calmly orders him to get her bathrobe.
  • Action Girl: Ryoko and her two maids are all capable combatants, with both hand to hand combat and in firearms. Yukiko can also hold her own in a fight.
  • A-Cup Angst: Ryoko makes a point to taunt Monomi, who is her clone about having bigger breasts, much to Monomi's distress.
  • Adaptation Distillation: While the manga did take some aspects from the light novels as some of its stories were available with the former, there's no way that the anime did the same. But the production team did a bit of a good job with a reference to the Tokyo Nightmare novel.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Yukiko is a tall dark-haired girl who's graceful and composed, complete with Stoic Spectacles. Unless she's interacting with Ryoko who easily breaks her composure and turns her into Not So Stoic.
  • A Wizard Did It: With regards to the digital pictures the newspaper reporters had when the camera was destroyed after being ambushed by a JACES tactical team. Same with the giant frog's appearance near Azabu-Jūban.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Usually the maids, but they shine after confronting thugs outside Ryoko's penthouse apartment and in the Black Spider manga/novel arc.
    • Ryoko with Marianne in the last episode after facing JPP tactical teams.
    • Izumida fighting alongside Yukiko in the Black Spider arc.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Almost all of Ryoko's underlings, but especially Izumida, who she often goes out of her way to torment.
  • Between My Legs: The camera loves to use the Ryoko's legs as framing devices.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • The last episode features Yukiko going Rambo with two Howa Type 89 assault rifles while laughing maniacally. Once she runs out of bullets, she falls over.
    • When she confronts Ryoko on why she was not told of Nonogase's true allegiance, Yukiko was very angry that she was about to throw the water from the nearest glass onto her when Ryoko avoided it by twisting a bit with Yukiko's arm.
    • Izumida, where he shows off his unarmed combat skills to the max in the last episode. Or in any incident where Izumida must fight.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Ruriko (and the JPP) with Shiba and an extremist faction in the JGSDF.
  • Big Fancy House:
    • Ryoko's penthouse, though it's unknown where it is in the Greater Tokyo Area. She even allows Izumida to stay with her when it's not possible for him to go back to his own place.
    • Don't get us started on the Yakushiji family estate.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Both her maids and Izumida serve as Ryoko's bodyguard, despite her being a badass on her own, which is Lampshaded by Izumida.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
  • Brown Note: The Ultrasound Bug, which drives people to suicide.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Ryoko is something of a slacker who is often found shopping, bossing around her underlings and enjoying the finer things in life... while also being incredibly competent at her job, speaking several languages and being a graduate of Tokyo University.
    • Akira is a career officer who very much lacks a lot of seriousness, being a Bumbling Sidekick to Yukiko and an Otaku for manga and idols.
  • Busman's Holiday: As expected, her vacation to Okinawa ends up involving an investigation of the supernatural. It's implied she did it on purpose.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Both Yukiko and Izumida are more law-abiding types of officers. To their chagrin they have to work with Ryoko who is a Cowboy Cop with no respect for protocol.
  • Call-Back: There's a mention to the Tokyo Nightmare novel in the first episode. Only those who have seen/know about the novel series would understand this reference.
  • Camp Gay: One of Ryoko's contacts, Jacqueline, is this after being forced out of the Ministry of Finance due to a government scandal.
  • Canon Foreigner: Ruriko, Monami and Kazuma are original characters for the anime that play an important role in the anime's story arc.
  • Chest Burster: In the Black Spider arc, especially how it was able to surprise Ryoko and the others in BC in an ambush.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Ryoko isn't pleased whenever she sees Monami get close to Izumida.
  • Cloning Blues: Monami, Nonogase and Ruriko are all clones, but the first two don't know it.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: How Ryoko, Izumida, the maids and sometimes Yukiko responds to an all-out attack by armed mooks.
  • Cool Big Sis: Ryoko starts acting as a "big sister" figure way towards Monami, who is actually her clones.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Several in the first episode alone and a running theme. Ryoko's on the fast track to becoming one herself in order to hector everybody she can into joining her own company so that they won't join its main competitor the JPP, which aims to turn itself into a real military and get rid of the JSDF permanently. This is what some of the Western fans of the franchise didn't like. Although her actions may be part of the Amakudari culture in Japan, which does exist until now from the days of the Allied Forces occupation and the fact that this is what a majority of those involved in the government do.
  • Cowboy Cop: Ryoko often acts outside of protocol when solving her cases. She gets away with being one due to her status as the heir apparent of JACES.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Ruriko being able to create another clone of herself in the anime's ending. It implies that someone's supporting her from the shadows.
  • Creator Cameo: Dr. Yoshiki Tanaka making an appearance in the first episode.
  • Cult: A major enemy in the first few episodes, the Tsukuyomi Party.
  • Cyanide Pill: The assassin had combustible drugs to kill herself. See Driven to Suicide.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Ruriko's plan to take down the Yakushiji family with Ryoko as the main target by using an anti-terrorist exercise with gunships and a tank to kill her.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: With the fact that ex-police officers (Enlisted and High-Ranking personnel) leave their positions to form the bulk of JACES and JSDF soldiers and officers form the bulk of the JPP?
  • Double Agent: Nonogase for Shiba.
  • Dream Intro: The first episode starts with someone who looks like Superintendent Ryoko Yakushiji shoot herself in the head. Assistant Inspector Junichiro Izumida wakes up and finds out that he's in his room. The dream turns out to be important as references to it comes to their investigation on Shiba.
  • Driven to Suicide: The assassin in the second episode after Ryoko reveals her allegiance to the cult.
  • Driving Question: What happened to the original Ruriko and Nonogase. And who made another Ruriko clone after all? Also, who was responsible for conspiring with Ruriko to slander Ryoko's name?
  • Dual Wield: Yukiko using dual Howa Type 89s.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The ending for the series does show Ruriko's clone was made yet again. Ryoko told Izumida that she wants to hunt down the people/persons who conspired with Ruriko. Although one would wonder if the ratings and the fanbase in Japan would qualify for another season.
  • Fair Cop: Many of the cast are police officers and they're all fairly attractive. The most notable example being Ryoko, who's a Head-Turning Beauty many characters find to be extremely beautiful
  • The Fashionista: Ryoko is rarely seen wearing the same outfit twice, and she wears many fancy clothes. She's also an Action Fashionista as she fights in her fancy clothes plenty of times.
  • Feet-First Introduction: In the anime OP, we're introduced to Ryoko's red high heels before the camera slowly pans up her long legs.
  • Foreshadowing: You know the nightmare of a Ryoko-like person shooting herself in the noggin'? That person appears to be Monami, or possibly an earlier, failed clone.
  • Fun with Acronyms: JPP or Japan Private Police. JESS or Japanese Empire Security Service. The only abbreviation unknown is JACES. (That is, if Yoshiki Tanaka ever gave out an acronym definition)
  • The Gadfly: Ryoko enjoys getting a rise out of people for her amusement, usually by being The Tease to Izumida.
  • Gas Leak Cover-Up: The destruction of the Ginza tower is attributed to a massive gas explosion. A colossal rampaging snake bred by a cult is the real reason, though Ryoko helped by feeding it a ton of growth drugs.
  • Ghost City: Everyone in Tokyo was told to stay off the streets due to anti-terrorism training by the JGSDF. This is due to Ruriko's work of course.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: Shiba, which has covert divisions of the Japanese government based in the "Shiba" building. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police has a covert division of its own based in the building that does black ops.
  • Government Conspiracy: In covering up the "true" nature of most of the cases Ryoko participates in. Near the end of the show, the JPP and JGSDF (The latter under the crooked Defense Minister) team up with Ruriko and Shiba.
  • Gratuitous French: Ryoko's maids are both French, so it's not usual for them to speak in French to each other. Marianne and Lucienne also always Speak in Unison.
  • Hanlon's Razor: The answer to most of the cases Ryoko, Izumida and sometimes Yukiko and Kishida are involved in.
  • Honey Trap: Lucienne & Marianne both play this role on occasion, usually to infiltrate somewhere. One time they even wore French Maid Outfit to do so.
  • Human Pack Mule: Ryoko refers to Izumida as her Shopping Bag handler in the first episode. During the epilogue, he’s seen carrying her bags from wrist to shoulder on each hand.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: The maids destroying the mutant mangrove tree in Okinawa on Ryoko's orders. She walked away upset after Marianne fired napalm to take it out with Yukiko agreeing to it since its victims inside the Tadomura estate were beyond saving.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Izumida response whenever fanservice happens around him, usually involving Ryoko. He doesn't always succeed.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • The dual maids using an airport baggage cart to knock down a purse thief in Narita Airport.
    • Lot of more instances in the manga. Ryoko uses a pool cue to beat up some mooks. In the Black Spider Incident in Canada, Izumida decides to use his necktie. His friggin' NECKTIE, ya hear?!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: See Corrupt Corporate Executive.
  • Kill All Humans: The anti-terrorist robot that went berserk, killing armed JPP personnel since it was meant to kill armed terrorists in case of an armed assault on a nuclear power plant.
    • Thou Shalt Not Kill: But it can still tell between armed people as enemies and those who aren't.
  • Meido: Marianne and Lucienne, and later Monami starts being trained as one.
  • Meaningful Name: Monami means "My friend" in French (mon ami), is given by Ryoko after she misunderstands Marianne and Lucienne's Gratuitous French pronunciation.
  • Millionaire Playboy: Ryoko's father, and when Monami first shows up they initially think she's a bastard kid of his like it's a common occurrence.
  • Mistress and Servant Boy: Ryoko and Izumida have this dynamic, as she's a domineering woman who's constantly teasing him. Her pulling him by his necktie is practically a Running Gag.
  • Mood Whiplash: The opening scene of the first episode provides a prime example. We see a young woman standing in the sunlight as the wind blows around her. And then she shoots herself in the head. It's All Just a Dream, but damn!
  • More Dakka: The plot to kill Ryoko in an anti-terrorist exercise with small arms-armed goons from the rogue JGSDF and the JPP alongside Apaches and Type 90s.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
  • Narrator: Izumida is the Deuteragonist as well as the narrator, telling his struggle in working with the actual protagonist Ryoko.
  • Necktie Leash: Ryoko to Izumida, once again showing exactly who's in charge. Later Monami becomes fond of doing this to Izumida.
  • Nothing Personal: Nonogase to Izumida as he needed to fulfill his role as a double agent with JACES and Shiba.
  • Ninja Maid: Ryoko's maids, Marianne and Lucienne. They're also French for some reason. Both are experts in small arms handling and infiltrating into various places.
  • Ojou: Ryoko is the heir to a massive security corporation, and she's actually called "Ojou-sama" by several people who work for it.
  • One-Woman Army: Ryoko heads down to a deserted downtown Tokyo to defeat Ruriko and Shiba, but her attempts were defeated when JGSDF tanks and gunships block her way.
  • Otaku: Several different ones, not necessarily anime and manga related (such as Nonogase, a security buff) while Kishimoto is more of a traditional example.
  • Overnight Age-Up: This happens to Monami, thanks to Applied Phlebotinum, she undergoes Rapid Aging and goes from a child of about 8-9 years old in Episode 9-10 and to a teenager of about 16 in Episodes 11-12.
  • Panty Thief: A sight gag in the second episode shows a JACES operator taking one down in a montage of images.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: Ruriko offering Monami the chance to be the "true" Ryoko by joining her and having Izumida to herself after Ryoko is taken care of.
  • Playful Hacker: Lucienne is an expert in computers, especially hacking.
  • Precocious Crush: Monami has a crush on Izumida as a youngster. After her Overnight Age-Up, she becomes a Smitten Teenage Girl and becomes much more forward about her attraction to him.
  • Private Military Contractors / Law Enforcement, Inc.:
    • The JPP, which does contracts for security duties abroad in war-torn countries. In real life, a Japanese PMC (if it operates like Academi) would probably have problems being tolerated in the Japanese public.
    • Depending on your view, JACES.
    • Ruriko mentions to the corrupt Defense Minister on the strong ties between the JPP and the JSDF with JACES and the National Police Agency. You can see the source of manpower for these two corporations.
  • Product Placement: A Nikon camera in the 3rd episode is branded as "Mikon", most likely to avoid any legal troubles with the actual company.
  • The Rival: Yukiko and Ryoko, who call each other "Oyuki" and "Oryo" respectively. The franchise mentions that they were like this ever since their university days in the University of Tokyo.
  • Running Gag:
    • Izumida blocks Kishimoto from talking about the Leotard. Whatever it is, we'll never know.
    • Yukiko and Ryoko always getting into fights for no good reason, especially if the latter wants to do this a lot on purpose.
    • See Necktie Leash.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses:
    • When Yukiko turns to this, prepare to hide/run away/get away from her.
    • Nonogase near the end of the TV show.
  • Screw Destiny: Monami supposedly to be the "true" president of JACES. Ryoko screwed that up and allowed her to live with her maids in France.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: How Ryoko tries to solve cases and take down the bad guy while using police/JACES resources whenever she feels the need for it.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Shiba resorts to this, when they were able to get the media to slander Ryoko.
  • Sexy Silhouette: Ryoko's sexy silhouette is featured prominently in the anime's OP. This is also used during her Shower Scene in episode 4.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot:
    • Ryoko gets one while getting out of a pool in a one-piece swimsuit, but asks for Izumida to help pull her up, not wanting to miss a chance in teasing him.
    • In a later episode, Yukiko gets a similar scene, climbing out of the pool only to find Izumida right at the border ready to help her up. Apparently Ryoko makes him do this so often, he just started doing on reflex.
    • Lucienne also has one in episode 6, with a shot focusing on her back as she climbs out of the pool in a bikini.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Ryoko isn't very concerned with showing skin. When Izumida followers her to her bathroom, she doesn't hesitate to strip and take a bath despite his presence. He keeps his eyes averted the whole time, despite her being covered by Censor Suds.
  • She-Fu: Ryoko's main fighting style, though it appears to completely take her opponents off guard as a result of all the fanservice it involves.
  • Slipknot Ponytail: When the Tsukuyomi agent lunges at Ryoko in episode two her hair comes undone.
  • Sneezing: Happens at times.
  • Starts with a Suicide: Even if it was All Just a Dream. Maybe.
  • Stealth Clothes / Spy Catsuit: Ryoko has this in the anime in some action scenes. In the manga/novel, Izumida, the maids, Kishimoto and Yukiko get a chance to have one too.
  • Subordinate Excuse: It’s made clear that Ryoko uses her position as Izumida's direct supervisor to keep him at her beck and call, during and after hours. This extends to having him stay at her place, taking him to fancy restaurants, even taking him along with her on vacations. In the Manga, it’s implied that she orchestrated his reassignment to her unit for this reason.
  • Tank Goodness: In the last episode when the maids hijack a Type 10 MBT to take out rogue JGSDF Type 90s.
  • Those Two Girls: Marianne and Lucienne are always seen together, to the point they even Speak in Unison.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: The conclusion of the episode when Ryoko and Izumida confront a rogue DK Pharmaceutical scientist who went to hiding with a monster child and treated it like her own son since it'll die eventually due to unstable cells, leading to degeneration.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: In the final episode Nonogase, who apparently didn't realize he was a clone and only discovers such as he's disintegrating.
  • Tower of Babel: Ryoko mentions this after she and Izumida investigate the Ginza Tower as being too tall since it makes the horizon very ugly.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: Monami turns up at Izumida's doorstep soaked to the bone and quickly passes out. He carries her back inside and has to undress her while she's out to prevent her from getting sick. When she wakes up, she acts amorous towards him, while clad only in a Modesty Bedsheet and they end up in a Suggestive Collision, just as Ryoko and Yukiko arrive.
  • Undying Loyalty: In Episode 6 of the Anime, Izumida is offered a high-level position, but he declines the offer and chooses to remain by Ryoko’s side. She chides him for it when she finds out.
  • Vetinari Job Security: No matter how corrupt Ryoko is... she has the advantage of not being Ruriko.
  • Volleying Insults: A Running Gag involves usually composed Yukiko and Ryoko resorting to this when they get at each other's throats.
  • Weirdness Magnet: To quote Yukiko, "trouble follows wherever [Ryoko] goes." This also extends to Monami.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With regards to Ryoko and Izumida in the entire franchise.
  • You Are Number 6: Monami is referred to as R-9 by The JPP.
  • Zip Me Up: One of the many ways Ryoko torments Izumida.

Alternative Title(s): The Case Files Of Yakushiji Ryoko