I love me some mystery. Got a huge hankering for it. Thus, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite detectives from anime and manga.
#8: Yuusei Kondo (Eden of the East)
Detectives in anime and manga come in all shapes and sizes. The first entrant to this list fits into the “deadbeat” category, the kind who is grizzled and no longer has the idealistic dreams of defeating crime that they probably started out with.
Yuusei is one of the Selecao who was given a boatload of money with which to change the world. He ends up spending it all without finishing his mission. What a sucker.
Oh well, I like characters like that. Therefore, here he is!
#7: Leon Orcot (Petshop of Horrors)
Leon is from one of those severely underrated anime/manga that I often watch, Petshop of Horrors. He tries desperately to uncover the mystery behind the shop owned and operated by the enigmatic Count D.
While his character is not especially interesting, he’s okay, and without him the story wouldn’t be as good. Thus, he is here!
#6: Mitsuhiro Maniwa (Paranoia Agent)
Mitsuhiro Maniwa goes from soft-hearted detective to video game warrior in the Satoshi Kon-underhype vehicle Paranoia Agent (damn, this show was good).
Maniwa is a pretty simple, good hearted detective whose mind turns to mush as the episodes march on and the world in which the characters lives stops being black and white. The ideals that people live by come to the surface and become exaggerated in their behaviours, and Maniwa depicted one of my favorites: the idea that by being a copy you can be a super hero. It was an interesting character device that wasn’t as much a centrepiece of the show besides the episode or so that featured him in a main role. Good nonetheless.
#5: Yuuki Shinjuurou (Un-Go)
Another great character that epitomizes an often unemphasized archetype of detectives, Yuuki represents the “defeated detective”, the character that had to sacrifice his own reputation to get the job done. I love those characters, the ones who will become the villain for the sake of their duty. That’s exactly what Yuuki does and that’s why he is on this list.
Also, he’s a pretty darn good detective.
#4: Gesicht (Pluto)
Gesicht hails from one of the best manga ever (as declared by me), Pluto, which tells a story spinning off of the popular AstroBoy manga. Gesicht himself is one of the most elaborate androids ever created and investigates the assassinations of robots and androids around the world who are like him. Its a great story and one of the central points is the thin line between humanity and A.I. and where we begin to draw the line between living and existing. This is all shown through the lens of Gesicht and his struggles to both ascertain the culprits identity and also understand the meaning behind his own creation.
#3: Heinrich Lunge (Monster)
It only makes sense that a pretty kick-arse mystery show has a kick-arse detective. That being said, Lunge is definitely one of the more pitiful characters as well, as he eventually loses his family in his obsession to solve the mystery of Dr. Tenma and Johan Liebert. Even during all of that, you never see him break character and I sometimes wonder what he must be thinking. Either way, he is here.
#2: Kyouya Iida (Jiraishin)
Personal plug! I love this manga, and I love this character. It’s just… so dark! God, it’s great.
Kyouya Iida is a no-nonsense, gritty police detective who tends to solve problems with his sadistic nature and Glock pistol. He’s always the smartest guy in the room and you can never really tell what he’s thinking beneath his stony expression. He drives this great manga through each successive dark chapter and I… just love it. Yeah, that’s about it.
#1: L Lawliet (Death Note)
I mean, c’mon. Think about it. L is actually a great character. You can never really tell if he’s a genius or he’s just really, really lucky. I mean, I’m pretty sure he’s a genius. And then he goes and does something really stupid or awkward and you just feel sorry for the guy. Also, he represents the part of the show/manga when Light is still unsure of himself and his actions, when he is still impressionable and not entirely without qualms about killing. L makes him question what it means to kill and what it means to have a friend. Actually, L is what really drives Light over the edge of insanity as L represents everything that Light could’ve achieved as a positive force. Personality-wise they were different, but by potential, they were very similar. That’s why they had such a strong connection. You could see Light break character when he was with L. He wasn’t acting all the time.
Either way, L made this show/manga great. And we won’t speak about any more of that.
Alright, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day!