I don’t blame you for not watching Kirumin because you can’t understand it, but that’s still kinda lame

Me and a few other guys have been watching this show all by ourselves. Not like we really have a choice–a show like Kirumin doesn’t captivate viewers in huge numbers here the USA, and on top of that not much of it is translated. So since most of you can’t really watch and comprehend the show, it’s probably worth it to lay down what makes each episode a good time.

Kirumin is simply solidly entertaining. Between inspired writing, cuter-than-cute character designs, and fairly solid production values, it’s pretty a well put together package. Since it’s a year long series (for kids, I think) it takes things slow. There is an underlying plot hinted at from time-to-time, but it’s not important yet. In fact, the show has only just addressed its full title–Animal Detectives Kirumin–a cour and change into itself with the three main girls and two main guys starting up a amateur detective agency.

If there’s one thing the show is not short of, it’s creativity. The way in which the girls combine their powers and solve cases is always amusing and oftentimes quite clever. The cases themselves are often focused around cute and harmless things–common themes are lost pets, missing property, the odd missing movie star and maybe an animal is acting weird every now and again.  More often than not the case will have something to do with animals, and the girls will find that they understand “the feelings of animals” better by the end of the episode. The solution to the mystery is pretty clear early on, but watching the process of the girls figuring things out and using their heightened senses is very entertaining and cute. Things tend to come an explosive conclusion, which is where a lot of the surprises are.

But more simply than that, the show is just so darn cute. Look at these girls, they’re just adorable! Kirumin has some of the best character designs I’ve seen in a while. Perhaps because it’s a kids show, the girls’ wonderfully fluent hairstyles alone are adorned with more childish flourishes such as heart-shaped locks of hair, bunny-shaped hair ornaments and good old fashion hair ribbons. Beyond that we have immensely sparkly eyes with levels of detail that give Paul “Otaking” Johnson’s five tones of shading a run for their money, incredibly cute casual outfits as well as school uniforms, and impressively round cheeks that manage to remain consistently rosy. On their faces, of course. What were you thinking?

But real cuteness isn’t just skin-deep–you have to be cute on the inside as well, and these girls have appropriately cute and childish personalities to match. Mikogami Riko (the center one, and main character) is spunky, driven and very competitive. She’s one of those girls that can take on “the boys” (as is sometimes said with a hint of sexism in across various anime.) Rimu (glasses) is obviously the more bookish type. She’s nerdy, and has a knack for photography and journalism. Their older sister, Nagisa has that classic mixture of sternness and sweetness that most onee-san have, but is also quite reserved and has a tough time dealing with men.

We then have Kanon (rendered lovingly here by Nyama) voiced by Tange Sakura (!!) who is a scheming vampire who just moved in from overseas. She’s friends Riko and Rimu during school time, but outside of class she will at times try to foil their plans from the shadows. There’s also two boy characters–Ken and Tamao–who are part of the Kirumin detective agency, and are always a main fixture in each of the cases. Ken is your typical hotblooded boy, and often butts heads with Riko, while Tamao is the nerd, who actually has Coke bottle glasses (Rimu’s glasses are just swirly.) There’s some other characters too, such as the three girls’ slightly eccentric parents, Kanon’s mom who thinks she’s a member of Cat’s Eye along with her her lazy and bubbling pretty-boy subordinates, and a mysterious man named Parse.

It’s worth noting that the tension between Ken and Riko is pretty hilarious, and is made even better by the fact that Kanon has a crush on Ken, which makes for a cute love triangle.

The show looks pretty good, especially considering its year-long runtime. While not always consistent, the characters are always rendered fully and never really look half-done. Good attention is always paid to the details. The colours are bright, full and cheery, and match the equally bright and imaginative backgrounds. There’s really nothing much in the way of noticeable animation shortcuts, but at the same time each episode doesn’t look like this. Special mention should be made of the opening, which is really great and well composed, especially considering it’s made primarily of animation loops.

So yeah, Kirumin. It’s a neat show. Much in the same way that Zettai Karen Children was the under-rated, year-long kids show that was I was pushing  a few years ago, Kirumin is the what I want people to seek out now. Of course, Zettai Karen Children was actually translated. I mean, we did our best, and I can only hope those other groups out there are giving it their all. But some of it is out there in English, so watch it!