Psychic Detective Yakumo at a Glance

Just gonna sit there and watch it burn?

When I was abroad, I only heard non-American songs twice. Twice! It was crazy. And I heard that Eminem/Rihanna song incessantly.

Not that that actually has any relevance, although it does allow me to segue into my main issue with this episode – the truly stupid final scene, wherein Yakumo and Haruka¬† just chill out on top of a burning building. Or, maybe I should say, wherein Yakumo suggests they make a break for the roof, and Haruka’s only issue with it is that the staircase is on fire, not that perhaps it would make more sense to, I dunno, break a window and jump to the on-burning outdoors. There’s no dramatic attempt to leap from the roof either. They just… chill. And Yakumo lets Haruka see her dead sister. Uhhh…

I suppose that perhaps the biggest problem with this scene was that it didn’t appear in the original. So it isn’t as if they can just say, “Well, we just wanted to a faithful adaptation.” Nope, they just threw it in there. And that was far, far from the only thing changed.

Yakumo doesn’t just tell Haruka he knows about her dead sister in the manga; he also is able to tell her where a ring of her mother’s is that her dead sister hid years ago. And that bit at the end of the episode when he tells Haruka that her sister doesn’t blame her for her death? That happens in this scene as opposed to after the case in finished. There is also no indication that Haruka had thrown the ball over her sister’s head intentionally. Haruka is understandably upset by all this stuff Yakumo is telling her since she’s figured him for a fraud, and so storms out. She ends up calling home at the behest of a friend, and on a whim mentions the hidden ring. It is only after her mother finds it that she goes back to Yakumo and they set out for the hospital.

Other changes: Haruka is in the room during the card cheat. And only two people went to the abandoned building, not six, and definitely not Haruka; the two who went were a couple, Miki and Kazuhiko. The hospitalized friend passed out in the building, not in the middle of class; in general, that whole scene in the haunted building is completely different from manga to anime. Yakumo’s special eye gets revealed much sooner. The detective is a lot friendlier and doesn’t say anything misogynistic. There’s only one murder victim, and she was a classmate of Haruka. The building isn’t a school building, but some kind of hospital or mental asylum. Haruka and Yakumo go to the building and get attacked there; Haruka isn’t attacked in the school hallway.

Further, Yuuichi, who is murdered in the anime, is the murderer in the manga. He killed a girl he’d been dating who got pregnant, although not in the way he thought he did – he hit her, she passed out, and he assumed she was dead and threw her body in a cellar and locked it. She actually died of starvation as a result. Kazuhiko, the other guy killed in the anime, is actually killed by Yuuichi because he had a picture placing Yuuichi near where he ended up burying the girl’s body. He called to ask Yuuichi about why he was near there, and so Yuuichi shoved him onto train tracks and told their teacher that he’d seen him jump. Yuuichi is arrested when he tries to strangle Haruka on the roof of a building… that isn’t burning.

There are some other changes as well, in varying degrees, but to go on would be simply exhausting.

Some other reviews had expressed surprise at the fact that the original novels have already been adapted into a TV series, a movie, and a manga based on what they saw in this episode. Well, the answer is pretty simple now, isn’t it? This is extremely different from the source material, and it suffers quite a bit for it. In fact, it only bears a passing resemblance to the manga, and then primarily due to the shared characters and the very, very basic outlines of the story. The crime is different, the victims are different, and the culprit is different. I’m not feeling terribly positive about this show based on how its performed so far.

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