Kodomo Keishi (コドモ警視) features Marius Yo-kun 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”. As a result, even though he continues to work as an investigator at night, he has to attend school during the day. Fortunately, devious students have ensured that his brilliant deductive mind has had more than enough to keep it busy.

This episode starts off with what seems to be a harmless scene, and a girl at Hazama’s school packs what looks like a gift. But there’s something devious about the way she goes about it.

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In the regular classroom scene, we find out that it is, in fact, Valentine’s Day (and this aired at roughly the right time to make it topical). Naturally, Yumi (Minamino Saki) once again makes a bid for Hazama’s heart, this time with Valentine chocolates.

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But when Hazama opens the box, he finds nothing inside! He tries to escape, but she starts crying, leaving him unable to disengage.

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Just at this moment, the teacher who always gets Hazama into the cases passes by.

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So, even though this really, really doesn’t seem like the kind of case he wants to bother with, Hazama is caught between a loudmouth teacher who nearly gives away his secret in front of Yumi, and Yumi herself who continues to be distraught by the failure of her dream scenario.

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Yumi is pretty sure of who’s responsible, though, and explains why – there’s another girl interested in Hazama. Naturally, it’s the girl we saw at the beginning of the episode preparing her own little box. Did that box contain stolen goods?

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The teacher has his usual dream about winning the favor of nurse Takamura (Shaku Yumiko).

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But this time we finally get a change of pattern – it’s not the teacher who convinces Hazama to take the case, but Yumi.

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He’s even less enthusiastic than usual about the circumstances, though – especially by the fact that Yumi continues crying.

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The credits roll while Yumi recovers, and Hazama tries to figure out when the presumed culprit would have had the opportunity to steal the chocolates.

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The obvious time is during P.E., but how?

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Hazama notices some sawdust-like substance on the classroom floor, and tracks leading down the hallway. This leads him to his initial theory, which (if the pattern holds) will be wrong.

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Hazama visits Takamura who really shouldn’t be giving patients chocolates – it’s bad for their health – but does give some to Hazama anyway.

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He sets them aside, and almost forgets them as he leaves. Not sure what their talk was about this time.

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It’s time to face the accused with Hazama’s theory:

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She’s sharp-tongued, but she can’t argue when Hazama gets Yumi to demonstrate that it’s possible to get from P.E. to the classroom in a minute by an unexpected route, so that her absence from class was more than enough time to commit the theft.

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But the presumed culprit shows that she posted a blog article which had pictures of her making her chocolates, and then opened her box of chocolates to show that they weren’t Yumi’s.

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Yumi disputes that claim, saying that they are the chocolates she made, and they end up fighting over the box.

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Just when it’s looking ugly, Yumi gets a sniff of the chocolates, and decides they aren’t hers after all. They have the same shape and look, but the smell is odd. Curious, Hazama smells them as well.

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For now, the girl in the red coat stands vindicated.

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Hazama once again broods over the case during his work hours.

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And again, he’s visited by an old friend from the Kodomo Keisatsu series:

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The encounter definitely gives Hazama something to think about (ah, if only a conversation with coworkers really led to the solution to every problem!).

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So, what is it about that smell the chocolates had?

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For once, the mystery was totally intelligible without subtitles, so I can verify that the whole thing definitely made sense. And for once, the solution didn’t seem off-the-wall – it was rather very close to something that could really happen. On the flip side, that meant the case was a bit too straightforward and less of a puzzle, but considering the successful execution of a Valentine-themed episode, I think it’s reasonable to forgive that.

The ending also featured probably the best “Mein Gott!” I’ve seen on Japanese TV (from Marius-kun, of course). I loved that the Chinese subtitlers put “OMG” as the translation – almost the only thing in those subtitles I could understand (after I get reasonably competent at Japanese, reading Chinese is definitely next – hopefully knowledge of kanji will help).

So, I’m still liking this series, in spite of the set pieces.