First Look: Beautiful Bones

bones_01_1

Alternative titles: Beautiful Bones -Sakurako’s Investigation-, Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru
Light Novel Adaptation by Troyca
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Shoutarou is a highschooler with a bizarre hobby: After school, he goes to the mansion of Sakurako Kujou, an eccentric bone researcher, and helps expand her collection. After a dig turns up human remains, Sakurako flexes her abilities as a forensic investigator.

Marlin’s verdict: A House-ian Procedural

This show feels like someone finally looked across the pond at the inundation of forensic procedurals in American media and decided that as long as there’s a waifu, the Japanese scene might enjoy it too. To this show’s credit, at least Sakurako is a grown woman, however, that just makes Shoutarou’s relationship with her all the weirder. It seems pretty obvious to me that he has feelings for her, and I guess that would be okay if it was one sided, but Sakurako makes some overt gestures that were a little too intimate. As for this show’s detective chops, I have to say I enjoyed it. A little bit Bones, a little bit House, I think Sakurako’s presentation is enjoyable, and her eccentricity is just reigned in enough to not be annoying. Japan has been starving for a good detective since Hyouka left us, so I’m going to look forward to what Beautiful Bones has in store for us.

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Artemis’ verdict: Not Such A Beautiful Beginning

Damnit, I should have known this title was too long to be any good. In all seriousness though, my problems with the first episode of this show have less to do with the plot and more to do with the execution; like Marlin said, it’s been a while since we’ve had a decent detective story, so I was quite looking forward to giving this one a go. However, while I quite like the art style – there are one or two scenes in particular that I thought were really well directed – the soundtrack felt weirdly out of place. More importantly though, the characters ended up rubbing me the wrong way. Sakurako’s obsession with bones is one thing, but her personality is another; I suspect it’s meant to come across as mysterious and eccentric when mostly it just seemed condescending and abrasive to me. The considerably more level-headed Shoutarou, despite his constant complaints about her behaviour, for some reason still follows her around like a sheep, and the vaguely creepy sexual tension between the two isn’t helped by the fact that the camera kept closing in on Sakurako’s chest. By the time the episode was through, I felt slightly uneasy for all the wrong reasons, so this one’s probably not a keeper for me.

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