What’s it about ?
This is the revival of a well-regarded 1997-2000 TV series, which itself adapted a long-running manga. (I’m not sure whether this new series directly adapts some of the manga or involves original material. The plot does involve smartphones, after all.)
The gimmick is that this is a fairplay whodunnit mystery series, with each arc mostly self-contained.
Kindaichi, our protagonist, is the archetypal “brilliant but lazy” high-school protagonist. He’s the grandson of a famous (fictional) detective, whom this series can’t actually name because of a lawsuit from the original author. Ahem. Anyway, he’s himself a great amateur detective, which is very useful as he can’t make two steps without stumbling into a new murder case.
Miyuki, his childhood friend who’s always hanging around him, hint hint nudge nudge. This arc’s plot involves her getting scouted by a model agency because she looks just like a fashion model who’s just disappeared, which should have rung some alarm bells. So the pair of them are invited to a fashion show in Hong Kong.
There are half a dozen suspects for the inevitable murder that ensues, helpfully introduced one by one by the script. Usually they start dropping like flies until only half are left and Kindaichi unmasks the culprit.
The location move to Hong Kong prevents most of the usual (sparse) supporting cast from showing up, although there’s a game attempt by Saki, an underclassman of the duo, who conveniently happens to be visiting Hong Kong with his parents. You don’t say.
There’s been a fresh coat of paint to update the series to modern standards, but it’s still more than a bit old-fashioned. It still has all the signature gimmicks (such as the suspect grid where they’re crossed out one by one as they die), and even the music’s a rearrangement of the old tunes.
I can’t be objective with this one. I’m a mystery nut in general, and I’ve always enjoyed what little of the original series I could lay my hands on. This is basically more of the same ; self-contained enough to be accessible, but I’m not sure how appealing it can be for a modern audience.
Still, I’m obviously going to watch this for as long as it lasts.