Gothic mystery collides with Norse legend
when Loki’s on the case.
I was pretty stoked to check out Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok simply based on my love of Norse legends, and episode one did indeed turn out to be a worthwhile venture.
We open with a creepy doll in an abandoned clock tower. Well, actually we open with some cool artwork in the credits, complete with scenes of night, floating feathers, and other bits of gothic imagery such as the moon and a spiderweb, not to mention a pretty rockin’ theme song. Then we get to the doll, immediately after which we meet Mayura, a teen with a love of the paranormal. After hearing about the haunted clock tower she skips school in order to investigate. What she finds is said creepy doll, laughing and floating above her head. Mayura starts to run away, but after thinking about all the fame and fortune this doll could bring her, she instead takes it home. (Always a bad idea to take home creepy dolls from haunted places, imho.) Her dad has just helped a businessman exorcise his bad karma when he notices that Mayura is home. (That’s all that we see of dad in this episode. Bye dad!) Mayura is in her room when a black cat jumps through her window, picks up the doll in its mouth, and runs away. She immediately runs outside to look for the doll.
Then we switch over to a boy and his butler lamenting the lack of business for their agency. (Hey, I know this song and dance!) Flash back to Mayura: in the midst of her search she finds a detective agency. Lured inside by the dreamy guy doing yard work whom she assumes is the detective, Mayura is instantly creeped out by the spooky accoutrement in the building such as organs(?!?) in jars, tiki masks, and a snake. She makes her way down the hallway where she finally meets the detective in question, Loki, who appears to be a young boy. Mayura describes the doll, but her babbling manner causes Loki throw her out. Even so, Loki and his butler (named Yamino) set off in search of the paranormal evil that Loki sensed had come into contact with Mayura. They discover her looking for her doll near the clock tower. Yamino, using what looks like a tuning fork, grabs Loki and sets off at a run to find the supernatural source of power that he’s picked up. Mayura goes the other way and finds the doll.
Long story short (too late, I know) Loki and Yamino find an old woman who used to work at the manor next to the clock tower and she tells them that the place burned down and the little girl who owned the doll died in the fire. Loki realizes that Mayura is in danger and runs to her aid. Meanwhile Mayura went back to the top of the tower at the doll’s request (again she must have been wearing her bad idea jeans) but then the doll turns psycho and begins to attack her. Loki and Yamino burst in on the scene, Loki armed with a cool crescent moon staff thing, and the battle commences. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, but you can probably guess the outcome.
I liked this episode. It was a bit dated, which was obvious from some of the music and a few scenes of the artwork, but on the whole it seems to be holding up rather nicely. I like the characters and am interested to find out more of their stories, particularly Loki’s (and I want to see how close to Nordic legend the anime gets). The opening titles were much darker and more serious than the actual episode, but I have faith that the darkness will develop as the series continues. (I do love my gothic anime!) It’s kind of funny how when you begin watching anime you find something that seems totally unique and unlike anything else, then as you keep watching more and more series you see familiar tropes and character types take shape. The serious young man/boy paired with the charming butler/magical servant has popped up a couple of times now, and I see several similarities between this series and Black Butler besides just the two main characters. While I’m 99.9% sure that I’ll never find another anime pairing that I love as much as my dear Ciel and Sebastian, I enjoy getting a taste of my beloved Black Butler’s predecessors. Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok has some interesting elements to add to the anime mix, and I hope to see more of its darker details in the near future.