Akari KitoManaka IwamiMamoru MiyanoShinji Kawada
In/Spectre: Season 2
Also known as: Kyokou Suiri: Season 2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2023
Director: Keiji Gotoh
Writer: Noboru Takagi
Original creator: Amahara
Actor: Akari Kito, Aoi Yuki, Hiroshi Yanaka, Kana Ichinose, Makoto Furukawa, Mamoru Miyano, Manaka Iwami, Masaki Terasoma, Mayumi Sako, Naoya Uchida, Shimba Tsuchiya, Shinji Kawada, Tomokazu Sugita, Tomoko Miyadera
Keywords: anime, yokai, fantasy, detective
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Episodes 13-24
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=24950
Website category: Anime 2023
Review date: 13 June 2023
in spectre
It's clever and ingenious, but probably too dry for rewatching. Kotoko is a Goddess of Wisdom who'll help almost anyone who asks her, but won't always tell them the truth. This is interesting because it's subverting the trope that anything said by a detective in a long climactic expositional speech is the Word of God... but it limits the rewatch value because it's built around lots of expositional speeches.
(Well, discussions. Lots of theories are debated to within an inch of their lives.)
The cast are fine. Kotoko is an impeccably well-spoken girl of small stature and a brutal intellect. She'll tear you apart without turning a hair. She has a sort of morality, but this will include, for instance, teaching humans a lesson for relying on the supernatural. (She's a human whose life is inseparably entwined with the supernatural. She'd deny hypocrisy.) She's also as crude as hell and will cheerfully tell strangers way too much information about her sex life with Kuro. In ep.20, she wants a naked woman pen.
Kuro tags along with Kotoko and puts up with almost everything, but he'll shut her up when she's vulgar. He's also immortal. As it happens.
This year has more story arcs than Season 1. Leaving aside three standalone episodes (including one where the Big Bad's the main character and another where two men in an eel restaurant decide that Kotoko herself is a mystery to be debated), we have...
1. THE YUNI-ONNA = it's about a charming couple, although Kotoko tears them to shreds at one point. (For a good reason.) The story's aware that their relationship can't last forever... but hey, that's humans for you. This one's lovely.
2. TAE AND THE ELECTROSHOCK PINOCCHIO = odd. Tae's an abrasive 80-year-old who'd quite like to die and be reunited with her husband and children, but she's managed to befriend a booze-loving talking cat. Also, a wooden doll's killing the fish.
3. SLEEPING MURDER = completely mental. A rich company mogul tells Kotoko that he murdered his wife 23 years ago and he wants to be punished for it, but no one would believe him if he confessed. He used supernatural help. He's told his children that he killed her (but they don't believe him) and that he'll give his inheritance to whoever manages to prove it (but not interested in competing over this). Kotoko's job is to make this work. The premise is bizarre and occasionally off-putting, but this is a cool mystery with lots of surprises and a satisfying resolution. Followed by a completely different one. Kotoko's kind of scary. Also, this is the second consecutive story arc about an old, rich person who's lost a spouse and/or children, feels guilty, gets no pleasure from wealth and is looking forward to death.
I like this show. I might, perhaps, even recommend it to someone in the mood for something odd and cerebral. (And talky.) I'd definitely watch a third season if they made it, but it's a rental rather than a purchase. I like its characters and I enjoy its puzzle box Sherlock Holmes discussions, but I'm pretty sure the latter wouldn't be as interesting on a rewatch.