REVIEW: ‘The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited’ is one of 2020’s Best Shows

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The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited

The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited Season 1 is a detective, sci-fi drama based upon the 1975 novel, Fugou Keiji, by author Yasutaka Tsutsui. The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited was produced by the studio CloverWorks and licensed by Funimation. The story follows the rise of Japan’s most unorthodox detective, Daisuke Kambe. Daisuke’s family is one of the wealthiest families in the world, and as heir to the Kambe fortune, he chooses to spend his money on gadgets and repairs to damage caused while he is fighting crime. Although the story is focused on Daisuke and his influence on the Modern Crimes Force, it is told through his relationship with his partner on the force, Haru Kato.

The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited Season 1 was a dazzling display of nuanced storytelling and high-octane action pieces. Where the show succeeds is in its patience and ability to keep the overarching plot shrouded in mystery as the detective duo solve crimes together. As each layer of their characters are pulled back, so do layers of the plot. 

I went into this show expecting a fun detective drama with a rich, Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark-esque detective and his sidekick. Instead, by the time the season reached its conclusion, I was left with something else. I got a sci-fi mystery in which relationships were tested and twists were so sharp it completely changed the framework of the show. Additionally, the kinship between Daisuke and Haru was more palpable and well-done than any relations in any show in recent memory. The first five and a half episodes are spent believing that an action, detective anime about two opposite personalities is all that the audience will get. Based on the quality of those first five and a half episodes, that would still be an amazing show. However, it is the final five and a half episodes from Season 1 where The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited sets itself apart as one of the best shows of 2020.

As previously mentioned, Daisuke Kambe comes from a rich family. Rich may not even cut it, as the Kambe clan is worth so much money it would make Facebook and Google look like small startups. This point is driven home each time Daisuke calls upon his AI butler, HEUSC, to pay for damages to property or to pay off leads. At his command, HEUSC can transfer any amount of money and will simply respond with, “Balance unlimited.” 

The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited

This leads to another of The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited’s strengths: action set pieces. During each action scene in the first five episodes, Daisuke and Haru manage to damage property across the city, wreck cars, and shoot off futuristic weapons that would make Iron Man jealous. Normally that would cause any member of the Japanese government (detectives included) to be terminated immediately. However, due to the Kambe’s standing with the Japanese government and the fact that Daisuke reimburses all damages at double the price, anything goes for the two heroes.

Where The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited also receives acclaim and praise is in the character development of both Daisuke and Haru. The strength of their characters alone would be enough to carry an entire show. Seeing how well they mesh together and inform upon each other makes it one of the best dynamics in all of entertainment.

Daisuke is a cold and calculating man in his mid-20s. During the course of the season, his motives for wanting to become a detective in the Modern Crimes division are unclear, much to the annoyance of Haru. As each episode unfurls, Daisuke is revealed to be cold and calculating only because of how focused and determined he is to make a difference. During episode four, “Nothing Makes A Man so Adventurous as an Empty Pocket,” Daisuke’s caring side is placed front and center, as the man, who the audience is led to believe only cares about flashy cases and dramatic arrests, spends his day off searching for a child’s lost dog. After that, the team behind Millionaire Detective does an amazing job of conveying his feelings of care, pride, and strength in his work through some dramatic reveals of the plot and how it intertwines with his family business’s dark past.

Haru Kato is a seasoned veteran of the police force and ex-member of the First Division (one of Japan’s special units of detectives and investigators). However, he was demoted due to a mistake made during a hostage rescue that Haru could not move past emotionally. Haru is idealistic, focused solely on justice and can be a bit naive in his pursuit of an ideal society. However, that makes him a role model for a few members of the First Division, and an annoyance for many others. He butts heads with Daisuke often, as Haru believes justice should be served as long as the rules are followed. Daisuke believes that money can solve everything so why worry about rules? Over the course of the season, Haru becomes a beautiful representation of how to deal with regaining one’s confidence and the ability to cope with self-doubt.

Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited is an absolutely amazing show any fan of anime, or detective shows, in general, must-watch. Twists and turns within the plot make the audience watch each episode with unbridled excitement as it is never a guarantee of what will happen next. The action in the show is gorgeous, the dialogue between characters is hilarious and the growth of Daisuke and Haru rivals any show I’ve seen. Do not miss out on one of 2020’s best shows. Do not miss out on a crime show the likes of which have yet to be seen. Do not miss out on the chance to see what money can buy when the balance is unlimited.

The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited is currently streaming on Funimation.

The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited is an absolutely amazing show any fan of anime, or detective shows, in general, must-watch. Twists and turns within the plot make the audience watch each episode with unbridled excitement as it is never a guarantee of what will happen next. The action in the show is gorgeous, the dialogue between characters is hilarious and the growth of Daisuke and Haru rivals any show I’ve seen.