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Manga / Cuticle Detective Inaba

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Kei. There's cat statues all over the office.
    • Exaggerated since he loves cats despite having a cat allergy.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Eastern style Donragon in episode 8a.
  • 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.
  • Tanuki: Big statue of one standing outside the Inaba Detective Agency.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.