Debutante Detective Corps
Ayanokouji Kimiko, Ayanokouji Miyuki, Nina Kirov, Ryuuzaki Youko, and Shuu Reika, five of the richest girls in the world, make their stunning entrance into Seika Girls' School, only to be targeted for assassination by a band of ruthless mercenaries. Little do they, or the hapless detectives assigned to protect the schoolgirls know that this set of beauties is far more talented than your average debutantes...
Some days you come across something so obviously fluffy it makes cotton candy seem rock hard in comparison. Debutante Detective Corps is one of those titles - it has no pretensions of being anything other than eye-candy. Which can be fun ... to a point.
First off, the five "debutantes" (a fair approximation of the Japanese term ojousama) are introduced, first by their spectacular (and completely improbable) entrances into the school (complete with vital stats!), and then again in the terrorists' video, though the second time around, the camera seems to have been aimed about a smidge below the usual angle for a head shot. Hmm. Surprisingly enough, though, that's about it for fan service, except for a shower scene that's played for laughs. As far as laughs are concerned, the attempts at humor in this show are about as subtle as a ten-ton hammer over the head, but then again, it's the unsubtlety of this OAV that makes it so amusing to watch.
The characters themselves are fun, adequately designed, and loaded with cheesecake - this anime has an unshakable Tokimeki Memorial does Burn Up W feel. (And yes, those are the Graduation girls you just saw in that brief cameo.)
Yes, they're stereotypical and about as shallow as they come, but, hey, this isn't supposed to be Grave of the Fireflies here. And remember, they're schoolgirls, so of course they're going to win! (No matter how much property they'll have to pay for later.)
Of course, this anime falters exactly where you'd expect - the plot is downright stupid, and the "trick ending" is about as silly and straight-to-video as you can find. The baddies, too, are silly and even excruciating, especially the Incredible Growing Man (the guy looks like Tamiya from Oh My Goddess on steroids, and grows about five feet taller each frame). Sadly, the animation really falters when compared to even high-grade contemporary material, and compared to modern standards, DDC looks downright trashy. And the girls are cute ... but we've established by now that cute girls just can't replace good writing.
Debutante Detective Corps isn't exactly fit for overanalysis, and despite the cute girls, the fairly decent J-pop / techno soundtrack, and the silliness, a rewatch or two reminds you that in the grand scheme of things, it's actually pretty bad. It's fine for people just testing the waters, but after a long career of anime review, it's time to admit that DDC is a guilty pleasure whose time has long gone by.
Great fun if you can appreciate the value of good cheese, but it hasn't aged well due to its self-indulgent plot and low production values. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Despite the emphasis on fan service (i.e. the courtesy breast shots), there is no nudity to speak of. (Again, the shower scene is only a joke.) The violence is threatening, but no one really gets hurt. Kite this ain't (thankfully), but it's not for the Totoro tyke, either. Fine for teens and above, though, as it is surprisingly tame for an ADV title.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Debutante Detective Corps © 1997 Toho International Ltd / Headroom / Marcus
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