Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Quick Reviews: Lost River (2014)

Eh, I'd stick to Acting.  To see how Ryan Gosling manages to make a worse Terrence Malick Film than Malick himself, read on...
In idyllic Detroit, we get...

Okay, am I the only one that sees Tree of Life here?  I mean, come on!!!!
Oh yeah, the Plot.

Basically, this Mom is trying to save her House, while her Son is stripping houses for copper.
This angers Dr. Who here, the guy who apparently runs this three-block radius with four Houses, a Store and no Cops.
To try and afford the House, Mad Men Lady works at a strange Club where people sing and women get fake murdered.

Eva Mendes- who did she sleep with to be in this Film?  Oh...right.
Who needs Strippers when you can have this?

Seriously, it's like the maker of A Serbian Film made a Club.
Can they escape from this sad Town?  Can they survive?  Can Saoirse Ronan keep this off her Resume forever?

To find out, watch the Film (if you really insist).
Go back to saving Jazz!  Ryan Gosling is a really good Actor.  I really liked stuff like Blade Runner 2049.  Please stick to that, man.  I want to like you.  Don't make bad Films like this.  Del Toro did this better.  Terry Gilliam did this better.  To be fair, the Film has some neat visuals (when not ripping off Malick) and it uses color well.  If this was a Music Video, it would be good.  Unfortunately, it is a narrative Film with barely any narrative, barely any forward momentum and I couldn't care about any of the Characters.  It's just...a bad Movie.  It is clear that Ryan Gosling has a thing for random, inexplicable gore that don't drive the Plot.  Joy.  On the plus side, there's no issue involved in pointing the blame...
After Only God Forgives, it is easy to assume that the Director was to blame.  Seeing its Star make a worse Film kind of disproves that (a little).

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Impossibly-Cool and Lost in Translation VHS Cover Art: Girls Nite Out

Is this the last one?  Maybe.

This one checks off a few boxes...
Foreign- Check.
Over the Top- Check.
VHS Box Art- Check.

How good is it though?
Okay, it's pretty bad-ass.

Supposedly there is a completely-bonkers Trailer that ties to this one.  It features ladies not from the Film talking about 'what happened that night' as Scenes play.

I still can't find it.

In the meantime, fear the claw!!!

As always...
Aside from the obvious 'patching' I did, it was purely touch-up and accenting here.  It's not always hard.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Old-School TV: One Step Beyond- 'The Dead Part of the House'

Another trip back in time.  This beat The Twilight Zone to the air, but did it equal it?  Let's take...
John Newland just kind of appears in this House to introduce the tale of ghosts.  Ooohhh...
A recently-widowed man visits his Sister with his Daughter.  Obviously, things aren't great.
She's curious about noises she hears upstairs and the mystery of a room that is locked.
Unfortunately for her, Dad is having a hard time reconnecting with her following the loss.  She has to make new friends...with girls in her room that only she can see and hear.
It is just a backdrop for some family drama as the Dad learns to deal with his daughter again and he can never prove whether or not the ghosts- the girls died from a gas leak when left alone in the room- are real or not. 

He thanks them anyways before they return home.  The End.
A simple, but effective Story.  In case it is not clear yet, One Step Beyond is more grounded in reality than the more famous Twilight Zone.  I'm not saying that it is 100% real, because, well, why would I?  It just doesn't feature Satan or Space Aliens or Monsters.  This is mostly straight Dramas with some sort of vague element of mystic stuff- be it ESP, ghosts or projection.  There are no monsters- only men and women.  Once you get past that, just enjoy the Show for what it is.  I sure did.  This one is a bit more dry than some others, but still quite good.  Kudos for never paying off the ghosts in a clear, dramatic way.  If you believe in this stuff, the Story will be believable.  If you don't, well, it won't.  They don't take sides (mostly) or outright cheat here.  It is what it is.  Speaking of that, I had fun looking up the Actors on IMDB.  The guy who played the Dad was a Character Actor who died in 1998 with one notable credit- Nick Fury!
Next time, I have one last Episode on the Disc.  Let's see if it ends this run in a big way.  See you then...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Immediate Response: Deadpool 2

Can they catch lightning in a bottle again?  X-Movies can sometimes be really good the 2nd time around, so let's see...
The Good
* The Film is just so damn funny.  Sick and twisted, but also with some genuine jokes too.
* Reynolds makes Deadpool shine yet again, playing him as the sardonic, self-deprecating, 4th Wall breaking idiot we all love.
* The Movie is shot well and the Action is easy enough to follow.  That's high praise for a 2010s Action Film- sadly.
* All of the new Characters shine.  Yes, even Peter.
* The Story is deeper and more sincere than you might expect.  It's a strange blend, but it works.

The Bad
* It's still a Deadpool Film, so it's going to be full of cursing and dirty jokes.
* It's still very META, so you still won't like that if you hated it in the first one.
* If you're in this solely for the jokes, the Melodrama may not be your favorite.  Vice versa.

Deadpool 2 was a fun, ridiculous Movie...with a lot of heart.  Like I said, weird blend...but it works.

Netflix and Thrill: Jessica Jones- Season 2 (Part 2)

As Deadpool shoots his way into Theaters, I look at the continued adventures of a Marvel heroine that Mr. Pool would love.  She'd break him...and he'd love it.

At this point, the question is obvious- did they avoid the Episode 7 Problem?  Let's see...
After tracking down the mysterious killer, Jessica learns her identity.  No SPOILER though.
Meanwhile, the other people in her life are not doing great.  Her Sister is doing some weird drug and Malcolm is trying to prove himself as an equal as a P.I.
Can Jessica form a new familial connection with her Landlord and his Son?  Can she be whole?
Will Jessica fall back into the 'hole' of her drinking and self-abuse?
Or will she be the Heroine she truly can be?  To find out, watch the (second half of) the Show.
A second half that doesn't disappoint.  Some people were never going to like this Season.  Why?  It didn't feature Kilgrave.  Aside from that, could they do anything right?  Yes.  As always, the Acting is quite good.  Ritter as Jones is always great, playing some bits subtle and others as big as they need to be.  She manages to be super-strong and also vulnerable in alternating moments.  She was able to rebound from being done 'not so well' in The Defenders, so good for her.  The Story goes in some neat directions and everyone gets a little bit of an arc here.  Some people are going to love or hate the Villain Reveal.  It really worked for me and they went as far with as they could.  Every arc had a solid payoff and nothing felt wasted.  Without SPOILing anything, one bit that I thought they had just dropped does get paid off in the Finale, so good for them.  In case it wasn't obvious, I did not binge this Series- as I never do.  I can only imagine how emotionally-rough it would be to just watch like 11 hours of this straight!  Everything is good and earned too.  I suppose I have to go back now and finally watch The Punisher, huh?  In the meantime, enjoy our Supporting Heroine dressed up like a Ringmaster...for no clear reason.
Is it the best Show (counting both Seasons) of the Marvel Netflix run?  Based on emotion and Story, yes.  It just might wreck you.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

My Crazy Youth: Swamp Thing- The Cartoon Series

If DC wants to make new Swamp Thing, I might as well cover this.

After the Comic been affected by the release of the Batman Film (cutting Alan Moore's run down to avoid any 'bad publicity'), they decided to the hell out of Swamp Thing.  Comics!

From 1990 to 1993, he had a Live-Action Show (which I'll talk more about later).  In 1991, he also had this short-lived Cartoon Show...
In this 5-Episode Show, Swamp Thing is just already a thing (his origin told in flashback) and Arcane wants to study him to become immortal.
As you can see, things don't go too well for Mr. Arcane.  Who's he got with him?
At first, he has these guys and their gimmick weapons- like plant killer spray and a boat.

Just to be clear- these two guys are *supposed to be* human?!?  Sure they are!
He makes them into his Un-Men (aka new toys to buy).  They fail spectacularly in only the first Episode, but I'm sure they will totally redeem themselves.
Of course, we all know what this is really about...
Nostalgia is a beautiful thing.  Right off the bat, the Show has a Theme Song that you will just love or hate.  It is the DK Rap of Cartoon Intro-Songs.  You really have to hear it for yourself.  Once you get past that, you get a pretty silly and shallow experience.  Swamp Thing exists for one of two reasons.  First- to be part of a Creature Feature.  Both of his Live-Action Films- flawed as they may be- excel in that regard.  The first is definitely a darker version, but they touch upon many of the same things.  The second reason- to tell an Eco-Friendly Tale.  It's one thing to thing of, say, Swamp Marshes in a State you don't live in dying out, but it's another for Swamp Thing to die out!  His name is Alec- he's special, dammit!  The Show doesn't really do well in either regard.  Arcane does make his mutants, but they aren't that inspired.  The poor guy who is now like 80% Centipede- the original Human Centipede!- is neat, but otherwise 'meh.'  The bigger thing about the Show is just how blatant the whole thing is about toys.  In the first Episode alone (out of 5, mind you), we get three shades of Swamp Thing, two forms for each Henchman (regular and Mutant), Arcane in 2 forms, two sidekicks and at least 3 Vehicles!  Tone it down, guys!  The Show is theoretically kind of rare (in non-digital form), so that does add to the appeal of it in 2018.  Just, whatever you do, don't make a Shot that will look really goofy in a Screen Cap for some jerk on the Internet to post ironically.  Oops...
Another strange and quirky Show from my childhood.  Was it just a toy commercial?  Kind of, yeah.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Impossibly-Cool Cover Art: Bruce Lee Fights Back From the Grave

A classic example of a 'so fake that it is awesome' kind of Poster.

This is not remotely what the Film is like...but I love it.

If it is possible to want the Poster to a Film and not the actual Film, this would be the one...
You gotta love the sheer chutzpah on display here!

Bruce Lee does not burst out of a grave and punch a weird-headed bat monster.  I wish he did, since the Film kind of really sucks.

The original is...still ridiculous.
Seriously, it took balls to lie this big.  Damn!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Holiday Flix: My Mom's a Werewolf

I was far too busy working on actual Presents for my Mother this Weekend, so this is just a late bonus.  Today's Film is My Mom's a Werewolf, a 1987 Comedy that I got last year.  I got a Set of 'Horror Comedies' that somehow included a Ritz Brothers Film, a Roger Corman Film (you know the one), 3 Films with Bela Lugosi and...Manos.  Yes, Manos: The Hands of Fate.  Someone apparently mixed up 'MST3K making the Film bearable by mocking it' and 'This Film is a Comedy.'  I got this last year- right after Mother's Day- and sat on the set until this Year.  I either do this one a day late, do it on Halloween (which it is set around) or do it next year.  Time to rip off the Band-Aid!  The Plot involves a neglected Housewife who runs afoul of a dark and mysterious stranger in town.  He turns here into a Werewolf- obviously- and theoretical-hilarity ensues.  If you ever wondered what Fright Night would be like with a Werewolf (and didn't see this Film) or what Teen Wolf would be like with someone facing down Menopause, you're in luck.  You also need to set new standards.  To find out if this is a forgotten gem or a forgettable pebble, read on...
Our Heroine is trying to keep our Household in balance and get some attention from her Husband.
Her Daughter, meanwhile, is hanging out with some girl who is *way* into Horror.  I think I know people like that.

She gets a warning from a Psychic, but ignores it.
Out during errands, the Wife runs across a mysterious man- John Saxon- who woos her with his hypnotic eyes.

Werewolves have 'Glamour' in this.  Why not?
He romances her while the Daughter watches, leading up to her being bitten on the toe.
Cue the end of the Movie.  Enjoy some fangs and fur for now.
This all takes place around Halloween and she is desperate for a cure.  If going to a Dentist and a Stylist doesn't help, nothing will.  Time to hide.
It all comes to a head the next night as the transformation gets more severe and Saxon returns to take her.
The Daughter and her friend try to be heroes and stop the creature, managing to stab it with some silver.
In the aftermath, the Parents reconcile and the Daughter is happy.  However, she's then told that she will transform, since she killed the Werewolf.

Another new Werewolf Rule and a Sequel Bait Fake-Out- nice!  The End.
A fun, but shallow Film.  My Mom's a Werewolf is a pretty dumb and silly Comedy.  It uses the Horror Elements pretty much solely for sight gags.  You got fangs- you go to a Dentist.  You covered in fur- go to a Stylist.  All of the shtick is pretty familiar and not that interesting.  The Acting is pretty broad and the whole thing is just plain silly.  On the plus side, John Saxon is great.  He gets one pretty funny bit where he deadpans as the two Teenagers pull out an array of Vampire stuff like garlic (which he eats), a cross and holy water (which he uses like After Shave).  He's the of course he's barely in the damn thing.  It's a pretty forgettable Film and bear in mind that I literally just watched it today.  On the plus side, it inadvertently connects this random Film Set, since it features the Poster for Deathrow Gameshow (for like 1/10th of a second).
Next time, a return to the '70s and '80s.  The trashier the better!  Stay tuned...

Animondo: Fantastic Detective Labyrinth

Too much Fantastic, not enough Detective.

...I guess...uh...about the right amount of Labyrinth?

Welcome back to Animondo.

Fantastic Detective Labyrinth is a weird little show. Set in a version of Tokyo mostly destroyed by a massive earthquake, and since renamed Kyuto, it focuses on the adventures of a genius boy named Mayuki, alongside his butler and maid, his schoolmates, and his contacts on the police force, as he helps the police solve unsolvable crimes.

That sounds like the setup for a quirky sort of detective show, right? A show about a genius kid who goes around solving crimes, just with a kind of weird setting? That’s what it sounds like this should be. And it is. It is. But it also isn’t.

Because the show spends an inordinate amount of its time not on any sort of detective work, but on a whole load of “what the hell is going on here” in the form of strange supernatural battles between Mayuki’s butler Seiran (with associated fighters) and the servant of the person responsible for setting up a lot of the strange crimes Mayuki is solving. Almost every episode features at least one bizarre little half-martial arts, half-supernatural powers fight scene that just feels strange in context of everything else going on and the tone of the rest of the show. One moment we’re in the middle of a kind of weird detective show, with the gathering of clues, the confronting of the suspect, and the appeal to the suspect’s better nature, the next moment, boom, we’re in a something you’d more expect to see in a battle anime.

Sorry, busy. Got a review to write.

What makes the sequences stand out so much, I think, is how little they actually relate to the story of each case. Mayuki usually has everything all wrapped up, and the story of the case is complete. Then, he’ll get knocked out or something when the suspect goes nuts, and the butler and his transforming fighters will come into play. Sometimes they’ll fight the episode’s villain, but other times they’ll engage in a fight with the series’ villain’s servant. In neither case does it really work. It just feels disconnected - the story feels done, and then, whoops, there’s a little bit more and the only way it relates to what’s going on is that either the suspect suddenly went nuts because hypnosis, that’s why, or because we’re watching a fight with someone that is secretly behind everything but who has been barely involved in the episode so far.

There are cases, to be fair, where things tie together more properly. In particular, there’s a mid-series case that actually focuses on these villains as opposed to just saying they were behind the crime someone else committed, and thus justifies the big fight (and also actually involves Mayuki in the confrontation...kind of...rather than having him just be knocked out without even getting to see the real bad guy - kind of difficult to build drama around your hero and your villain when the hero keeps, y’know, not getting to actually recognize the villain’s even there despite being portrayed as an awesome detective).

So that's where Light got all his ideas.

Also, to be fair, the action isn’t bad. It’s not going to blow you away like some of the better action anime out there, but there’s some decent fight scenes across the series. Their biggest flaw, aside from how little they seem to relate to the rest of the show in the early going, is that they’re fairly repetitive - the show doesn’t really have enough ideas to use with them, and saves all its better ones for the end (which, to be fair, you probably should - your ending episodes should be your best - but it just features so much of this stuff across the board that it probably should’ve used some of the better stuff up front, or just done less of these to begin with).

It’s also fairly notable that in the large majority of action scenes across the show, the heroes do not look spectacularly capable. Most of the time, in fact, they go in with a two-on-one advantage and, at best, really struggle to succeed. I think this is another artifact of how the show sets up its action scenes - because they’re generally focused on the heroes versus the main or secondary villain of the show, rather than minor henchmen or the like, the heroes don’t really get a lot of “hero moments” (some, but not many) where they can show off how good they are. It still feels fine that they develop and improve later on, and they end up in a better place than they started, ability-wise, but early on it feels like they’re honestly too weak.

The cases vary in quality, and none are up to par with, say, Detective Conan or a Kindaichi series, but they can be fun. They tend to be low on actual detail, though - this is a show about the adventure of being a detective, not a show about the actual cases and evidence as such. It’s about encounters with criminals and the great detective vs. criminal mastermind concept, and not about putting together a solid proof. Similar to Trickster, this uses the detective concept more as a framing device than an actual’s just that Trickster feels like it does a better job of that.

It’s also progressively less about detective work at all as the show goes on. After about the halfway point of the show, Fantastic Detective Labyrinth starts to concern itself far more with the secrets of Mayuki and Seiran’s families than with any cases - indeed, it almost completely drops the case concepts for the latter half of the show. While there are still episode plots, they tend to be more concerned with Mayuki’s relationship with his friends and the mystery behind why the main villain of the show wants what he wants...there simply are no “controlled criminals” anymore. There are still some minor “cases” in a couple of the episodes, but they’re simpler things and generally more incidental to what’s actually going on.

Ironically, these are actually the show’s strongest episodes. Freed of the case structure that it never managed particularly well, the show’s able to do much more with the cast of characters that it has and to start making their interactions more detailed. We start finding out much more about Mayuki, his friends, and especially Seiran and his family during this latter half of the show, and there’s a few more comedy-focused episodes that have more fun with the characters. The show becomes something different, a more modern fantasy adventure show with just a slight nod towards the detective side, and I’d rather it have gone the other way...but at least it finally picks a focus and sticks with it, and that does make the show better.

Kind of. There is the weird bit with the sandworms.

Darn it, sleeper, quit awakening!

It’s just strange...for all that it’s set in a world with overt supernatural powers and where Tokyo’s a wreck of a city after a giant earthquake and all, the introduction of gigantic sandworms still feels like it comes out of nowhere. It feels pretty spectacularly unnecessary, too...the show proves quite capable in its final couple of episodes (and a few early on) of using reasonable environmental dangers to build tension, so it really didn’t need giant worms that spat out smaller worms. It feels like a joke, which isn’t what you want when it’s coming alongside one of the moments the show really wants to be dramatic.

I don’t want it to sound like I hate Fantastic Detective Labyrinth. It’s actually a fun little show at times, just a very flawed one. While I’ll criticize its pacing, cases, and weird grafting of supernatural battles onto the end of mystery and suspense plots, I have to complement it on its cast of characters, who are mostly complex and interesting, and generally easy to like and want to watch.

Take Mayuki, for instance - it’d be easy for him to fall purely into the perfect genius trope, always correct and always knowing and doing the right thing, but he really doesn’t. He knows much more than you’d expect a boy his age to know, and he’s good at putting things together, and he’s got some sort of supernatural insight ability going on, but there are still holes in his knowledge and in his ability to sort through information. He misses things sometimes and often needs some help from another character to get him looking at things the right way - he’s clearly the smartest character in the show, but not in a way that makes the other characters look stupid. Besides that, he’s prone to trying to prove himself in ways that can get him into trouble, and is particularly vulnerable to peer pressure. He badly wants to be liked and to prove he’s as good as the other kids, and in the manner of a lot of us growing up, he discounts his good qualities and focuses on how he’s different, and how he sees that as a negative. More than once, these tendencies put him in harm’s way. The late-series episodes in particular do a strong job with showing off Mayuki’s flaws and vulnerabilities, and how his friends help him through despite himself. In the end, when we get to see whether Mayuki finally can truly stand on his own in the most critical moment, it does feel earned.

Similarly, Mayuki’s butler and guardian Seiran started out feeling like the confident, never-failing, ever-present guard and mentor...but as the show goes on, a lot of cracks in Seiran’s armor show up, and it becomes clear that he has doubts and fears about how he’s handling things and doesn’t really feel like he knows what he’s doing, but puts on a brave face for Mayuki. He ends up being very interesting by the show’s midpoint, as he’s increasingly shown struggling and looking for other people to help Mayuki due to his doubts about his own suitability for the job. I don’t think his story is as strong as Mayuki’s, for reasons I’ll get into later, but he’s an interesting character all the same.

Unfortunately, while characters are one of the show’s strongest points, they aren’t perfect either. There’s a lot of characters on the show, and while they’re explored decently enough, some just aren’t involved as fully as it feels like it should be.

Mayuki’s friends on the police force, for instance, spend a lot of time not fully involved in the plot. Midway through the show, they have a couple of their strongest episodes, showing their commitment to helping Mayuki find out what is behind the mysteries in his life and supporting him like he’s supported them.

...then they virtually disappear from the show for multiple episodes in a row.

There are smaller moments, too...during the first real confrontation where Mayuki and Seiran face off with the show’s primary antagonist, the detectives are shown searching for Mayuki, and there’s a good amount of drama to whether they’ll figure out where he is or not.

Then they get there after everything’s already happened and just get to hear the wrap-up.

Don't worry. Whatever it is, no matter how interesting, it won't end up mattering to the show.

It just tends to feel like they should be more involved than they are. The show kind of tries to keep them separate from the supernatural, which is fine at first, but it goes on too long - at a certain point, as involved with Mayuki as they’ve been, they really need to end up getting more intertwined with his life than they are. There are a few moments in the later episodes where they really help out (one of them, sadly, being the bit with the sandworms), but by and large, they’re there just to provide a way out of a supernatural situation for the non-supernatural characters, and they don’t really accomplish much - which is sad, because they’re really fun characters that I wanted to see more involved.

Even Seiran is also at the heart of a somewhat underexplored moral quandary in the show. His particular fighting style involves using some kind of supernatural power and/or hypnotic suggestion to change two other people’s personalities and bring out hidden fighting abilities (one of them is Mayuki’s normally-klutzy maid, the other the older sister of one of his classmates), making them able to take on Byakko, the supernaturally-powerful servant of the show’s behind-the-scenes antagonist. Such transformed fighters are called “Aya.” These two fighters of Seiran’s don’t appear to be aware of anything that happened while they were “transformed,” and don’t appear to be aware that they can transform at all, in fact - while this isn’t entirely clear in the early going, an episode late in the series makes this pretty explicitly clear.

The show does show how they were chosen, but it only pays lip service to the moral questions. Seiran himself expresses doubts at his training and the morality of the method he has to use, and the two girls do agree to help him protect Mayuki during a moment of crisis...but at the same time, it’s not like he explains to them that he’s going to transform them into supernaturally powerful martial artists with magical hair and nail-claws, respectively, and continue doing so for years to come. (Admittedly, it’s not like he has time to explain in the situation, but still, it doesn’t seem like he ever told them later, either.)

It’s a moral quandary that could be quite interesting - Seiran’s power is, based on the above, pretty questionable morally...but it’s definitely being used in the service of good. It enables him to save Mayuki time after time...but only by putting innocent civilians in harm's way after powering them up and hypnotizing them? What does it mean, ethically?

To be fair to the show, it does introduce another character who served as one of these “Aya” in the past and appears to have memory of that time and reminisce about it fondly....but that appears to be in contrast to how Seiran’s particular Aya concept works, and the show doesn’t really seem to address why. It’s odd - all the other Aya on the show, past and present, appear to be aware of their nature. Only Seiran’s two Aya appear to be unaware of what they are, and he’s the good guy! Kind of seems like something you should talk to people about, dude.

Also, please give them some clothes. Seriously.

Similarly, the show does a pretty poor job of explaining Mayuki’s powers for a large portion of it. In part, this is to preserve the mystery, but during a couple of (otherwise pretty strong) episodes in the middle of the series, Mayuki’s abilities more fully awaken. Everybody looks pretty impressed and sort of stops what they’re doing, and acts like this is the most important thing in the series, but...for the most part, it isn’t entirely clear what Mayuki actually accomplishes in these moments other than glowing brightly for a bit, briefly stopping a fight in unclear manner, and then passing out.

His powers are insight-related, so it really seems they could’ve done this more strongly - say, have him shout insights to Seiran and company that help them in battle? Instead, he just kind of glows and looks important and everyone just kind of focuses on that...then usually he passes out and the villains just decide to leave, even though now they’re in the exact same situation they were in before.

Suffice to say...Mayuki’s “awakening” moments, which should be highlights of the series, tend to actually be among the weakest moments...with one major exception, which is thankfully in the final episode - if you’re going to get it right only once, I guess the ending is a good point to do it!

Without going further into spoiler territory, the final confrontation is genuinely interesting and has a very different focus than I was expecting it to have judging from the way the rest of the series went. It has a neat concept, and while it certainly doesn’t lack standard anime glowy power auras, it isn’t a fight in the traditional sense, which was a nice change.

Overall, Fantastic Detective Labyrinth is just uneven. It has a lot of good and interesting concepts, a lot of fun characters, and a lot of possible focuses for episodes and the overall show concept, but it doesn’t honestly do the best job of using any of that. It’s a detective show...but with pretty basic cases that end abruptly. It’s a fantasy show...but it doesn’t really explore its fantastic concepts. It’s a character-driven show...but it often leaves its characters aside.

It is not, overall, a bad’s just one that struggles to reach its full potential.

Dubbed or Subbed?: To the best of my knowledge, Fantastic Detective Labyrinth is only available subtitled, and this is done perfectly well.