REVIEW: ‘Pretty Boy Detective Club,’ Episode 1 – “The Dark Star that Shines for You Alone Part 1”

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Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 1
Promotional image for Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 1

Pretty Boy Detective Club is a brand new Spring 2021 anime promising thrills, chills, and pretty boys being super cool detectives! A SHAFT production, this anime promises to be yet another solid Nishioshin adaptation, especially for fans of the author’s Monogatari series, which, naturally… I am.

Here’s the plot for these pretty detectives. Dojima Mayumi -a second year middle school student at Yubiwa Academy- is searching for something. That something is a star that she saw just once a decade ago. Thankfully, help is on the way in the form of the thoroughly mysterious -and definitely not official- Pretty Boy Detective Club. Known for their ability to solve any problem, whether self-made or found, the five members sweep Mayumi up into their world of beautiful danger, gorgeous excitement, and of course, incredible beauty.

There’s three rules to being a Pretty Boy Detective. First, be pretty. Second, be a boy, assumably cis, though hopefully, that’s all inclusive. And third, be a detective. Pretty straightforward… right? Well, let’s see in Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 1, “The Dark Star that Shines for You Alone Part 1.”

Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 1 kicks off with a purple haired pretty boy pontificating about Voltaire… as all middle schoolers do. However, there’s a point to his pontification, as he’s a boy on the hunt for something big, and it comes back in Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 1 once the plot kicks in.

It quickly becomes apparent that the members of the titular club are half the reason why there’s mysteries to solve. In fact, I’d say that they’re pretty much the entire reason why there’s mysteries to solve. Still, every detective needs a problem to fix, which is where Dojima Mayumi comes in.

Dojima Mayumi is a “gloomy girl”, as described by the series and by Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 1. Yet she has a dream: she wants to find a star that she saw over a decade ago, and is determined to fulfill her dream, no matter how childish her dream might be. Honestly, that determination is quite enchanting, which might be why I liked Mayumi so much from jump.

Don’t be fooled by Pretty Boy Detective Club’s title: it’s not just the boys that are pretty. It’s the entire anime from start to finish. The animation for Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 1 is absolutely beautiful. I don’t say that because SHAFT produces beautiful anime. I say that because it’s just true. Every inch of this show is dripping with style, from the unique uniforms of Yubiwa Academy to the backgrounds, which would make lovely wallpapers and screensavers. Truly, SHAFT must be throwing serious money at Pretty Boy Detective Club because it is downright lovely.

It’s hard to find something bad to say about this episode, largely because I found it such a delight. I really, really like all of the characters, really loved the animation, and found the background music quite delightful as well. Honestly, this premiere exceeded expectations and is really fun to watch. That being said, thee’s one little hiccup keeping me from the treasured 10/10 rating. That hiccup is Ashikaga Hyouta. Hyouta, while a cute kid, gets the lion’s share of fan service-y shots. They’re mostly on his legs, and always hit me in the wrong way, primarily because… he’s like, a literal middle school child.

His legs are such a plot point that he’s even nicknamed “Mr. Bare-Legs” because he always wears shorts, which Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 1 will not let you forget about. And while I don’t mind male fanservice in anime, I did find it off-putting that Hyouta’s legs were such a… thing. Hopefully, that’ll fade as the series continues.

Pretty Boy Detective Club definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I do suggest giving it the good three episode watch. At the very least, watch the second half of this premiere two-parter before you decide how to feel. I, myself, am hyped to come along for the Pretty Boy Detective Club’s adventures. Consider me ride or die throughout the entire cour, just to see how this story develops.

Pretty Boy Detective Club is now streaming on Funimation.

 


Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 1 - “The Dark Star that Shines for You Alone Part 1”
  • 9.5/10
    Rating - 9.5/10
9.5/10

TL;DR

Pretty Boy Detective Club definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I do suggest giving it the good three episode watch. At the very least, watch the second half of this premiere two-parter before you decide how to feel. I, myself, am hyped to come along for the Pretty Boy Detective Club’s adventures. Consider me ride or die throughout the entire cour, just to see how this story develops.