Who are you, Alice? – Kamisama no Memochou anime review

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I thought Kamisama no Memochou was about NEET detectives. But it was actually about gangster drama. Oh wait, it was, in fact, about Narumi…who constantly got himself into troubles.

Kamisama no Memochou initially promised to be a collection of detective stories lead by Alice, a young NEET girl who was a hikikomori and genius hacker. Her team consisted of Tetsu who was a high school drop-out with lots of illegal connections, Shosa who was a military otaku and spying device expert and Hiro who was a gigolo and talented information gatherer. Narumi, the anime’s male protagonist, was a normal high school boy with apparently no talent except having good heart. Most of the show was presented through Narumi’s point of view. The series was divided into smaller arcs covering different mystery case. Interestingly, every case would involve at least one of the main characters. I believed that the anime tried to be character-driven in addition to being mystery show.

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It was not easy to review this anime. Kamisama no Memochou was a generally strong anime series with no obvious weakness. The mysteries that the NEET detectives needed to solve were moderately interesting with the exception of the final case. But the show wasn’t that great either. My opinions towards the show swung back and forth between positive and negative all the way through its twelve episodes. I thought the anime tried to be too many things at once. Kamisam no Memochou contains bits and pieces of action, drama, slice-of-life, mystery, cyberpunk and even fan service. But somehow it could not deliver any remarkable thing to the viewers. The anime could not make itself be special in any specific way. I could not find any moment in the show that made me happy I started watching it.

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In my opinion, I thought that the anime paid too little attention to Alice who was the most intriguing characters of the show. Seriously, she was a frail young girl who literally lived on her bed. She was a genius hacker and hikikomori. I wanted to know more about her! I wanted to know where she came from, how she ended up at the ramen shop, why she was so reclusive and why did she become the NEET detective. So little was explored about Alice and only small part of her real ability as a detective had been shown on screen. It was sad when the anime fail to recognize its own valuable assets. In Kamisama no Memochou, the most boring and conventional characters (especially Narumi the typical good guy) got the most screen time and exploration.

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I was quite curious where these people got enough money to sustain the NEET detective agency and its team who apparently had no constant income. I doubt the ramen shop would make so much money. Maybe they got some support from the Fourth’s yakuza group. The answer might be in the light novel. Kamisama no Memochou boasted high production value with fluid animation and detailed artworks. Despite its unremarkable run, I was happy that the show was able to manage a relatively poignant ending between Narumi and Ayaka.

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In conclusion, Kamisama no Memochou was a generally solid anime and it had no fatal shortcomings. But the main problem of the show was that it lacked focus on what it wanted to be or deliver. It was a pity. This was one of those decent anime that made me asked myself ‘so what?’ after the show ended. Kamisama no Memochou was not a bad anime but I could not recommend it to you without hesitation either.

Rating: C+

Facts

Title: Kamisama no Memochou (aka Heaven’s Memo Pad)
Genre: mystery, drama
Released date: July 2, 2011 – September 24, 2011
Episodes: 12
Animated by: J.C. Staff

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