Kodomo Keishi (コドモ警視) features Marius Yo-kun (マリウス葉) playing Hazama Seishiro, a 36 year-old police investigator who was turned into a child by a gas produced by an organization known as “Red Venus”. This series is a sequel to last spring’s Kodomo Keisatsu, but its first episode seemed superior to that initial offering because it allows Hazama a more natural role – that of child detective. Unlike Kodomo Keisatsu, it is set in the school he is forced to attend by day, not the police station he works at after leaving class.

The episode begins with an unknown student sneaking into an office, bringing in something wrapped up.

Then we turn to Hazama’s classroom . . .

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. . . where fellow student Kitabayashi Yumi (Minamino Saki) asks for math help (though she clearly has interest in him beyond a need for tutoring).

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The two idiot teachers do their normal schtick of chasing after Takamura Kaori (Shaku Yumiko). They’re not quite as bad as they were in the first episode, though (and certainly not nearly as distasteful as their Kodomo Keisatsu counterparts) – it just looks like competition for Takamura’s affection rather than unnecessary obnoxiousness.

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As usual, one of them calls Hazama over with a puzzling case (especially puzzling to me, because without subtitles, I couldn’t understand what he was talking about at this point), fearing that he will be held responsible for the situation . . .

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. . . and also as usual, Kazama doesn’t want to get involved.

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There’s a brief interruption from the other idiot teacher, in which the one consulting Hazama has to shoo him away to keep him from noticing the problem.

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Then we get the stock scene in which Hazama is made to accept the case . . .

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. . . which only works well because of the way Hazama stands up to the teacher and looks like an adult by comparison.

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After the credits, we find out (well, I find out, since I didn’t know from their earlier talk) that the trouble involves a safe, which means it involves the contents of the safe.

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While the teacher is trying to open the safe (which seems to be part of the problem) . . .

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. . . the student we saw sneaking around earlier pops up from under the desk.

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Rather suspicious, no?

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He claims to have seen a burglar (強盗 – goutou), but Hazama isn’t at all convinced by this story.

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Hazama sees a note stuck to the boy’s sleeve with rice which says “金庫開ける爆発” (explosives to open the safe).

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Needless, this has the teacher flustered, and the boy runs away comically, but Hazama quickly concludes that the boy, Okajima, is the culprit when it comes to the issue with the safe.

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So . . . how did he do it?

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In another stock scene, the teacher imagines getting credit for solving the case and winning the heart of Takamura.

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And if I have any complaint about how things go, it’s that the progression of scenes is too predictable, already following the exact pattern that we saw in the first episode. So, next is Hazama’s talk with Takamura.

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The initial confrontation with the suspect that doesn’t end the way Hazama wants:

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Some token German:

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Hazama’s brain is wracked by the problem . . .

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. . . when he meets other members of the team from Kodomo Keisatsu . . .

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. . . and something suddenly strikes him.

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However, he can’t quite put it together without going home and getting comfortable.

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And there’s a call between him and Kunimitsu Shin (Katsuji Ryo).

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After which he is finally ready with the solution.

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So yeah, the lazy writers are at it again, and this pattern is going to seriously irritate me after two or three more episodes, if Kodomo Keisatsu was any indication. But, to be fair, that’s the only serious downside, and it might be forgivable as long as the mysteries are credible.

That leaves me with a problem, because without subtitles, I can’t really assess how convincing the motive and solution to the mysteries were. The nature of the mystery itself was fair, and from what I could understand, the method was at least innovative and interesting if not entirely realistic. I also think I understand the clue that led Hazama to the conclusion, and if I’m right about that, it was a fair case, but I might be wrong.

In short, I continue to hope that someone subtitles this, if only so that we can properly enjoy the efforts of this young star:

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If there’s any consistent bright spot in this series which makes it work, it’s Marius-kun and first steps into acting. He’s doing well enough (for his age) that this should lead to further roles, and in that case this might end up somewhat of a fan classic.