Crystal Blaze

"Crystal Blaze" (aka "Glass Fleet"), which made its debut appearance in Japan on April 8th, follows the S&A Detective Office as they attempt to uncover a mystery involving crystallized victims. The story takes place in the near future somewhere in Asia. The detective office is comprised of Shu, the head boss and ex-cop, his brother Akira, and two high school girls Manami and Ayaka.

Two episodes in and I'm not quite sure what to think. I was expecting a cool and crisp detective/mystery story (maybe a little like "City Hunter" meets "Speed Grapher," but got a quirky take instead. Characterization follows the basic template -- the lazy and care-free boss, the all-around good brother, the timid smart girl, the loud and obnoxious girl, the gay friend, and the mysterious woman.

Animation isn't totally revolutionary or fresh or even without flaws, as one might expect from the stunning stills. The soundtrack is above average, barely noticeable and forgettable. The OP and ED songs are nice standalone pieces, however they feel just a bit disjointed from the actual anime.

But rather than get too far ahead of myself, "Crystal Blaze" may turn out to be a worthwhile light detective story. I'm hoping that character and plot development will over turn all its other mediocrities.

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