ADV Films // 2003 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // December 1st, 2005
Ah, how the mighty have fallen.
You ever hear about the Norse god Loki? Yeah, that's him -- the one who was always getting into trouble and pissing off poppa Odin. Well, seems he was up to his old tricks again and got himself banished from Asgard. Thing is, Odin decided to have a little fun at his son's expense, so he trapped Loki inside the body of a young boy. What's a trickster god trapped inside the frame of a Midgardian preteen boy to do? Hire a butler, hook up with a clumsy schoolgirl, and start a paranormal detective agency, of course.
The first four episodes of the anime series Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok are included on this release. Here is a brief summary of each:
* Episode 1: "Presenting the Mythical Detective"
Clumsy schoolgirl Mayura hears rumors of a haunted clock tower; ditching school, Mayura heads for the tower. Mayura climbs to the top of the tower and finds a doll. The doll begins speaking to Mayura, who foolishly takes the doll home. The doll later manages to escape. Mayura contacts the diminutive detective Loki about the strange toy; Loki, sensing Mayura's aura has been tainted by evil, decides to hunt down the doll. Mayura also goes looking for the doll; she finds it, and the doll asks to be returned to the top of the tower. Once there, the doll turns on Mayura and tries to kill her. Loki and Yamino, his manservant, burst in and save the day. Believing it will be a great adventure, Mayura invites herself to join Loki's agency.
* Episode 2: "The Allies of Justice are Totally Broke?!"
Loki and Yamino accompany Mayura to her high school, where she hopes Yamino's cooking will help draw new members for her Mystery Society. Mayura has no luck, as all of the students seem interested in Narugami, a recently arrived transfer student who carries a mysterious wooden stick and spends his nights rescuing women from purse snatchers. Mayura takes Loki on a tour of the school. A cursed suit of armor in the school's museum comes to life and tries to attack them. Mayura says the armor belonged to a nobleman who became possessed by a demon and began murdering young maidens. Loki knows the armor is actually after him, so he sets a trap for it. Loki destroys the armor, but Mayura picks up the nobleman's sword and is taken over by the demon and attacks Loki. Loki shatters the sword, ending the curse. Narugami shows up; Loki tells Yamino and Mayura that Narugami is actually his brother, the thunder god Thor. Narugami asks Loki is he knows how to get back to Asgard. Loki says he does not; he also says Odin is trying to destroy him.
* Episode 3: "The Assassin Descends!"
Birds at a local zoo start behaving strangely. Tsubasa, the head of the zoo's aviary, hires Loki to discover the reason behind this phenomenon. Loki and his companions go to the zoo, where they find Narugami working as a mascot. Heimdall, a Norse god who lost one of eyes in a Loki-related mishap, kidnaps Mayura and takes over Tsubasa's mind. Loki manages to save Tsubasa and Mayura.
* Episode 4: "My Dad's a Great Detective?!"
Mayura's father forbids her to associate with Loki. Loki opens a portal to a dream world and shows Mayura's father exactly why his daughter decided to become a detective. Seeing the error of his ways, Mayura's father relents and says it's okay for her to be a member of Loki's team. Mayura orders a pizza for everyone; the pie is delivered by Narugami, who has been forced to find yet another job.
This series has absolutely nothing going for it. It is a mishmash of tired, bad ideas. The stories aren't the least bit interesting, and the same is true of the characters. I was bored by the first episode, and I was ready to shove a sharp object into my brain by the time the fourth installment ended.
Aside from a few jagged edges in the first episode (most noticeable during a slow pan), the transfer is top-notch. The stereo Japanese track features very good channel separation; apart from the opening and closing theme songs, there's not much surround action in the 5.1 English track, and the dub's voice acting is very annoying. Extras include a gallery of character art, clean opening and closing sequences, and previews for other ADV releases. You also get an interview with two members of the Japanese cast; clocking in at just under seven minutes, this interview, which was originally included on the second volume of the Japanese release, deals primarily with future episodes and contains some spoilers. (The character voiced by one of the interviewees doesn't show up until the fifth episode, leading me to wonder why this interview wasn't saved for Volume 2.)
This series might be entertaining to members of the ten-and-under crowd, but I cannot imagine anyone else will find much value in what it offers. I strongly advise you to skip it.
Review content copyright © 2005 Mitchell Hattaway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Clean Opening/Closing Animation
* Art Gallery
* Voice Actor Interviews
* Volume 2 Preview
* ADV Previews
* Anime News Network Page
* Official Site