Publisher: ADV Films
Running Time: 100 min
Release Date: 10/18/2005
If you haven’t guessed from the title, Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok is (very loosely) based on Norse mythology. Odin has become so irritated with trickster god, Loki, he’s banished him to Earth (Midgard). Now trapped in the body of a small boy, he and companion, Yamino, open a detective agency and pursue cases involving the supernatural.
Episode one opens with Mayura, a high school student obsessed with mysteries and the supernatural. She’s heard the old clock tower is haunted and heads out in the middle of the night to investigate. Sure enough, she finds a freaky looking doll that can talk to her and takes it home with her. The next day, she calls up her friends to brag about her new find with visions of fame dancing through her head. Unfortunately, before she can show it to anyone, a cat grabs the doll and jumps out the window, leaving Mayura to hunt the entire day for her new toy.
As she combs through town, she comes across Loki’s detective agency and stops inside. While Loki and Yamino don’t actually agree to help, they do some investigating on their own, and the three are soon reunited at the clock tower where Mayura is in danger. Here, the formula for upcoming episodes begins – something or someone of a supernatural nature causes trouble. Mayura gets caught up in it and Loki and Yamino must save her.
In later episodes, we are introduced to Thor, who has also been banished to Midgard and although ordered to kill Loki, forms a loose alliance with him and Heimdall, another god from Asgard who’s out to kill Loki for taking his eye. Each has certain powers though they seem to be limited by their human bodies.
While the storylines are somewhat cliche, this anime has the cuteness factor going for it. I really enjoyed all the characters’ personalities and want to know more about Loki and Yamino. Mayura is extremely cute and, while she does border on annoying at times, she never quite crosses that line. Thanks to an in depth look into her past in episode 4, we get a great motivator for why she is so obsessed with being a detective. This episode really humanized her for me and gave me hope that the rest of the series will explore the motivations and emotions of other characters.
As mentioned previously, this anime is very loosely based on Norse mythology. Loki is nothing like how I’d expect the Norse character to act. He genuinely seems concerned about Mayura and sincere in questioning why after so long, Odin would come after him. I wonder if later episodes will present is more playful side.
Narugami as Thor is entertaining in the show, but again, nothing like how I picture Thor. It’s difficult to believe that the mighty warrior would be neurotic about keeping a part time job. I do, however, like that they threw in the Heimdall/Loki conflict in the first few episodes. According to Norse mythology, these two gods slay one another at Ragnarok so it will be interesting to see if this rivalry plays out in a similar fashion.
So far, the anime has a lot going for it. From these episodes, we still have no idea why Loki was banished and why Odin now wants him dead. We know that some time ago, Loki took Heimdall’s eye and now he wants revenge. And we know that Odin asked Thor to kill Loki but doesn’t feel he has a good enough reason to do so.
Still, just from watching these episodes, I still have no idea where this anime is going. I’d definitely continue watching this for the characters, but having watched four episodes, I’d like to have some type of story or at least an interesting hook introduced and I don’t feel I’m walking away with that.
I watched this dvd primarily in English. There’s a lot of dialog to this show, but I thought the English cast did a wonderful job of capturing the emotions and personality of the characters. The music is moody and adds to the mysterious atmosphere of the anime.
Visually, this anime looks great, which a vibrant color palette and some interesting animation effects. In the first episode, for instance, whenever Loki senses spirit activity around Mayura, the screen goes grainy. They characters have a traditional yet detailed feel to them while other visuals in the show are striking. In one episode about a possessed doll, just looking at that doll would freak anyone out. She has a lifelike yet otherworldly characteristic to her face.
They do recycle a number of scenes, however. For instance, Loki calls his mythical crescent staff in virtually every episode and you get that magical boy transformation sequence every time. Is that really necessary?
The cover has a lovely illustration of Loki holding his crescent shaped staff and looking very sad. He is framed by golden leaves surrounding a green trimmed window. The logo appears prominently as a crest of arms in the bottom center. On the back, there are six screen shots adorning the right side. A brief summary, headed by the caption, Ah, how the mighty have fallen! fills the rest of the space.
The menu shows a silhouette of a boy with a large wing extending from his back. The background is a blood red and transparent feathers blow around him. There’s also a creepy animation of a half moon that jumps around. The menu options are clearly displayed at the bottom in a gold frame.
Extras include a clean opening and closing, an interview with the voice actors who play Loki and Frey and a character design art gallery.
Category: DVD Reviews