Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro

The Boring Info The Characters The Terms The Songs The Opinion
Nōgami Neuro
Katsuragi Yako
Kaitou Sai
The rest
777 Tools of the Demon World
7 Tools of the Demon Emperor
Crossing the line of humanity
Kodoku no Hikari

The Animoo

Yako, a young girl, returns home from school only to find out her father has been killed. Because the room he was found and killed in could not be entered from the outside (doors and windows were locked, with no signs of forced entry), the police ruled it a suicide so they could close the case, despite the fact that there was no way he could have killed himself in such a manner.

6 months later, while moving into her new apartment and starting life alone (her mother had left for South America after the father’s death), she is suddenly approached by a man standing on the wall, offering to help her solve the mystery about her father’s death. All he asked for in return was for her to work for him and become his front in the human world. While reluctant, she wants to know what truly happened on the day her father died, and quite figuratively, strikes a deal with the devil…

The Boring Info

The anime is 25 episodes long and is based on the ongoing manga of the same name. The anime however takes several liberties in terms of storyline and characters.
It is called 魔人探偵 脳噛ネウロ (Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro) in Japanese. In English, this means “Demon Detective Nōgami Neuro“, however, its official English title is “Neuro -Supernatural Detective-“.
Two drama CDs have been made about Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro.
•Neuro’s name seem to fit his person quite well. Neuro is a common prefix used for things related to the brain, while the kanji for Nōgami (脳噛) can be translated as “brain eater” (while he doesn’t literally eat brains, he eats mysteries which are created by the minds of people).

The Characters

In snack-sized bits. Images to come.
Nōgami Neuro – A demon who feeds on mysteries. He comes to the human world after having consumed all the mysteries in Hell, and chooses Yako to be his front in the detective agency. He is incredibly insightful when it comes to solving mysteries, but has admitted various times that he does not understand the human psyche. Neuro has a vast amount of powers, all which seem to fade with in accordance to when he consumes a mystery, how complex it is, and the time he spends in the human world. He has hopes for Yako becoming able to solve the mystery of her father’s death by herself, though he rarely ever shows it. He is actually rather mean towards her, and frequently insults her or inflicts her pain. Even his compliments comes off rather sardonic.

Katsuragi Yako – A young girl who was approached by Neuro after her father’s death. She loves food and is able to eat a ridiculously large amount without getting full (she once finished off an entire buffet for probably around 50 people by herself, and was still hungry afterwards). Other than her insatiable craving for food, she has a real knack for the human psyche, a trait the Neuro himself does not possess, making her rather irreplaceable. Some of the cases could not have been solved without her input on the trains of thought by some people or their emotional and psychological state. In fact, she would quite often give a minor lecture about moral and whatnot, after the culprit has been pointed out.

Kaitou Sai – A ruthless killer with no memory of his past. He possesses the power to alter his cell-structure making him able to change his physical appearance in rather drastic ways, but does not have complete control of it. His memory loss is a side-effect of his powers, as his brain cells are very unstable and “resets” to zero memories every 6 months. He wants to know who and what he is, which is what makes him kill and dissect people. When he finally meets Neuro who also possesses powers out of the ordinary, he becomes obsessed with dissecting Neuro in the hopes of finding out how he himself works.

Shinobu Godai – former member of a gang of money collectors, possibly for the Yakuza. He starts working for Neuro after a series of events explained in one of the episodes. For the detective office, he is a jack-of-all-trades; working as a chauffeur, gathering information, acting out roles to help with the investigation, etc. Neuro typically refers to him as “Slave number 2” (Yako being slave #1), which often leads to loud and amusing outbursts.

Akane – A braid of hair that is apparently possessed by a spirit (assumed to be the corps found in the wall of the office Neuro took over). After being found, she works as a secretary by using the end of the braid as a hand to type with. She later receives a “battery” from Neuro (one of the triangular things he wears in his hear), which allows her to leave the office for a while, usually attached to Yako’s cell phone.

Sasazuka Eishi – A senior police officer who worked the case of Yako’s father’s death. While not happy about it having been ruled a suicide, he was forced to let it go. He has a rough exterior, probably due to reasons that were completely absent in the anime version (his family was killed on his little sister’s birthday by Sai). He is usually very kind to Yako, probably because he can put himself in her situation, and often allows her and Neuro to work alongside with them, and makes the arrests when Yako points out the culprit of a case.

Ishigaki Jun – Eishi’s new partner, after the case of Yako’s father. He is rather young, and as such a fan of a great many anime series, often buying toys (which are usually destroyed by Eishi) or asking for time off if he forgets to set the recorder to record one of his shows. He is very green around the gills in terms of police work, and absolutely worships Eishi, despite him often smashing whatever Jun buys for himself. While he doesn’t have anything against Yako and Neuro personally, he is very clear about his dislike about having civilians interfere with police cases, despite the number of cases Yako and Neuro have solved.

The Terms

777 Tools of the Demon World
As the name suggests, these are tools of the Demon World (Hell), of which there are 777. Neuro will typically say this, before exclaiming which one he is going to use. A common thing for all of them are that the names start with “Evil”. Each tool has its own specified use, many of which aren’t completely obvious if one was just to look at them. For a full list of the tools Neuro has used in the anime and manga thus far, please go to Wikipedia or click here.

7 Tools of the Demon Emperor
Powerful weapons of the Demon Emperor, usable by only a select few demons, they’ve only been summoned a few times in the course of the anime. This is most likely because that with their amazing power, it also takes a lot more out of Neuro to summon them, energy that he quite frankly cannot spare unless he has no other choice. Again, for a list, go here.

Crossing the line of humanity
Not as much a term as it is an occurrence. You’ll often notice that the culprits turn into some kind of monster after having been exposed. Yako explains this as when humans cross a line of what is human, they turn into something else, something ugly. In all the cases, what they turn into has some relation to their obsession or how world view. For instance, one believed that humans had become nothing more than tamed dogs by following society’s rules and norms, and thus turned into a dog-like monster. One was obsessed with family and such, and had a branch suddenly sprout from his head (“family” –> “family tree” –> “branches of a family tree”). I thought it was a pretty cool detail actually.

The Songs

DIRTY is an alternative/rock/grunge/whatever song (so I’m not good with distinguishing genres, sue me) performed by Nightmare. I think it’s pretty awesome actually, especially since it changes to a different style halfway through, but without losing its awesomeness.

The animation introduces all the main characters (let’s face it, almost all opening themes introduce the main characters…), as well as some of the most common themes in the series, e.g. Yako’s love for food, Neuro inflicting pain on Yako and breaking her neck, and the “The culprit is… you!” followed by Neuro consuming the mystery scene played whenever the mystery is solved.

Kodoku no Hikari
Kodoku no Hikari (Light of Solitude) is performed by Kagami Seira. It is by no means bad, I just found it to be a little too sugary sad (yes, emotions have tastes, shut up…). It starts out as a 70s love song, and then gets sadder as it progresses.

The animation consists of Yako walking alone through the streets of… err… the city she lives in. As the animation progresses night time falls, an the street lights turn on, and she sees Neuro. While I have no ways of confirming it, I think the single bird in the beginning is meant to represent her, which is why she is walking alone. When the bird then finds its “flock”, i.e. where it belongs, she find Neuro.

The Opinion

I found the anime to be quite entertaining, though as a mystery, I have doubts about it. The author of the manga described the story as “a straight forward entertainment book wearing the skin of a mystery“, which is probably pretty accurate, because while it is extremely entertaining to see Neuro solve the mystery, you, as the reader/watcher, have no chance in Hell to figure it out. You might get one of the things, such as the culprit, the motive, or how a murder was committed, but more often then not, you aren’t given all the clues needed for each case to be solved, which leaves you kind of “out of the loop“.

Another “problem” I have with the anime is a pretty standard one. As a common rule of thumb, the manga will always outshine an anime, perhaps with the slight exception of sports anime (since the sense of speed doesn’t always succeed as well on paper). This is no exception. Many of the characters which had major roles in the manga (such as Yako’s father’s real killer, I mean come on!) had only non-speaking cameos in the anime, and some were not show at all (such as the New Bloodline). The characters that were still shown had been made more “hollow” and simple. For instance, in the anime, Kaitou Sai was an obsessive, sadomasochistic killer instead of <spoiler>a failed clone of Sicks (leader of the New Bloodline), who never made an appearance or was even mentioned. She (yes, Sai was born a girl) is being hunted down by the New Bloodline because he is their guinea pig, but is helped by a woman named Ai in creating and maintaining the “Kaitou Sai” persona while he figures out what makes a person an “individual”, which s/he believes can be found out by examining the insides of people</spoiler>. The reasons for the mysteries and characters being simplified, and the ending taking “the easy way out”, is most likely because they only had 25 episodes to work with.

In short, if you plan to watch this anime, I would strongly suggest that you don’t, but that you read the manga instead. It may be a bit slow to start off in comparison to the anime, but the characters and mysteries are so much more well-developed in the manga. That being said, the anime is not actually bad, and if you haven’t also read the manga, you’d be quite satisfied with the story (though the ending is still kinda… sucky). But I still recommend the manga over the anime, especially if you want the real story.

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