Trickster centers around Hanasaki, a young and enthusiastic member of the Boy Detectives club. He works under Akechi and helps solve mysteries and crimes in the city. His genuine obsession with the unknown is tested when he encounters Kobayashi. This mysterious youth possesses incredible powers, including the inability to die, which is ironic as that is the only thing he desires. Hanasaki invites Kobayashi to join the detective agency in return for discovering how to end the the immortal’s life.
Kobayashi seems to be constantly protected by an unseen force. No matter how he attempts to take his own life, he comes through unscathed. Hanasaki agrees to find a way to kill his new colleague, but hopes to instill the will to live before a successful method of murder is found. Kobayashi begrudgingly aids the Akechi Investigation Agency in their cases while serving as an indestructible force when needed. The cases vary, but it is soon revealed that an evil mastermind by the name of 20 Faces has an unhealthy obsession with Akechi.
20 Faces constantly seeks to “entertain” Akechi by placing the lives of others in peril. Their relationship is filled with twists and turns that are revealed late in Part 1 of the series. While trying to capture 20 Faces, various members of the agency are targeted and placed in extreme danger. Hanasaki discovers that his long lost older brother is unkowingly tied up in a shady business and hopes to rescue him. Hanasaki uncovers an act of betrayal and falls into the manipulative hands of 20 Faces. The cruel villain attempts to warp Hanasaki’s mind and turn him against his former friends.
The season culminates in a final encounter that will drastically change all involved. Hanasaki must decide the path he is going to take, while Kobayashi unearths feelings which have been long buried. Akechi and 20 Faces go head to head while the lives of many hang in the balance. No one will be the same after all is said and done.
Trickster was a fun change of pace to anime I have seen recently. The dark humor is refreshing and plays well against the serious tone the series presents at times. Kobayashi has some amazing one-liners that made me laugh out loud. Akechi brings the humor, while also serving as the grounding agent. The music is fun and exciting. Trickster shines in its ability to take the two main characters and flip their mindsets. The series shows how quickly someone can fall into despair, while also showing how to rise up out of darkness. The animation is smooth and matches the tone of the series.
Now to discuss where the show fell short. While Hanasaki’s arc is quite meaningful, his motivation is rushed and unclear. Without spoiling anything, he makes some choices that seem way out of left field. I get where the creators were going, but some pieces were just missing to make the changes warranted and believable. 20 Faces’ motivation for obsessing over Akechi isn’t the greatest… I’ll just leave it at that. Noro serves as the agency’s intelligence whiz, but she essentially serves no purpose besides fan service and over the top reactions… all while talking to the members through an electronic owl for some reason. Still not sure why that was even a thing. This is by no means an amazing series, but does warrant a watch when you have the time. I actually enjoyed Part 1 and look forward to seeing where the series goes because there is potential. The concepts for a deep and meaningful anime are there, but the execution falls just a bit short.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack comes with 12 episodes on 2 Discs. Episodes 1-12 are included in Part 1. The series can be enjoyed in English and Japanese. The extras are lacking in the box set as there are only textless songs and trailers included. If you’re interested in owning Trickster, head over to the Funimation online shop right here!
We received a free copy from Funimation for an honest review