Criminologist Himura Hideo seeks the pleasure of murder scenes and announces “I’ve ever wanted to kill a person”. He appears to be a rather dangerous guy who pursues the ultimate crime. His buddy is the somewhat unreliable mystery novel writer Arisugawa Arisu who observes his investigations. His inferences keep missing the mark at times, but he regards himself as Himura’s protector. An unlikely pair for investigation scenes, the two of them make up for each other’s deficiencies as they figure out the complicated and mysterious “tricks” left behind by criminals, with exquisite logic.
Cast & Credits
First of all, the story as a mystery thriller isn't innovative at all. It's like Sherlock and Watson in Japan. It's nothing new. The twists in each case aren't even shocking. The big concluding case isn't that interesting either. Sometimes there are let downs as well but the way the two characters interact with each other are great. The title of the show is 'Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa' but honestly if you're going to play out two of these interesting characters under a law enforcement - they should've had more interesting cases. Or perhaps I just expected more from a crim. professor and a mystery writer engaging in the law enforcement. Nonetheless, the drama had it's format and it kind of knew that it was being cliche at some point so they let sub characters play out the all time (I have solved the case! - Marker) that is often indicated by the main lead. Due to its awareness it did well in a comedic sense and showed character development.
They're great actors in my opinion. The reason why I continued watching was because of the acting. The interaction between the two leads are really enjoyable. Even the sub characters were enjoyable. They bring the characters to life. It felt like they had been friends for such a long time they are practically a couple. They also did so well to portray the characters that you feel like they're really passionate about problem solving and mysteries. You also have to keep in mind that this is a Japanese drama. Sometimes things seem over the top but that's just the feel a Japanese drama has. Also, they do so well in making it feel like that's just how it is. So to say, even with the large exclamations from time to time, it felt normal. Thus, they did a great job.
Japanese soundtracks never disappoint in my opinion. They always know how to create a setting. The soundtrack here were great. It felt comedic yet intense at the same time. It was exactly how the drama was portrayed. There weren't any variations to the soundtrack though so the same one would play every so often. It was like a cue to things getting serious or the marker to knowing that the case has been solved.
Rewatch value is 7 /10 because once you know the reveal it isn't exactly as interesting the second time. BUT, I'd deff. rewatch for the scenes with the two leads. They're just too adorable together. I even watched the SP's because I wanted more of them regardless of what they were going to encounter.
Overall, it's 7.5 /10 because I was expecting more mysteries and thrillers. I wanted something shocking and new. I wanted to be surprised but all I got was cute bromance - which isn't bad at all but I wanted bromance and mind blowing cases.
As far as detective dramas go, Rinsho Hanzai Gakusha's story arcs are based on individual cases. However, what makes this drama distinct is the fact it circles around a criminologist, not a detective. The mind of the criminologist is delved into deeper in each arc. It is as if the story is conceived to solve the mysteries of the criminologist Himura HIdeo rather than the mysteries. The story was otherwise entertaining; however, predictable.
The actors of Himura and Alice really played up the Holmes and Watson vibe which is refreshing to see after Detective Conan. For this drama, the cast was of a high caliber, all great actors seasoned with experience. The best acting would be from Hasegawa Kyoko as Moroboshi Sanae. She is the best villain, because who knew she could be so evil? Of course the main cast is nothing to scoff at either. Takumi Saito already has experience in law from the drama Ace Attorney. Masataka Kubota was Light in Death Note, so its interesting to see him on the right side of law this once. The only actor I would complain about is Yamamoto Yusuke because I see him in literally every Japanese drama.
In a detective drama, the soundtracks are suspenseful, and little of nothing else. Unfortunately, Rinsho Hanzai Gakusha failed to break away from this norm. If the soundtracks were more memorable, not repetitive for every case, and not only suspenseful, I would have given a higher score. Sorry, I way have high standard because of Meitantei Conan.
Rinsho Hanzai Gakusha should be quite easy to rewatch because the story happens in arcs. Just pick the arc you like and rewatch it. In addition, it helps that this is one of the best mystery dramas out there.
Given that you know the criminal and every fact of the case, the rewatch experience would be a tad lacking.