It was such a passionate shoutout that I had to beleive it was the main topic.

You see now, ladies and gentlemen, here is the crux of the issue. After a whole 5 episodes, almost half of the season, I still cannot tell you with any degree of certainty what the main topic of Pretty Boy Detective Club is. The best I can do, I’m afraid, is to tell you what it is not about. And it is not about a high school detective club.

I actually forgot to mention this last week. I had it in my notes, underlines and all and somehow, it never made it to the post. I’m not entirely sure how that happens. It’s just the type of show Pretty Boy Detective Club is.

On a completely different post, one of my readers left a general comment about how, even though show not tell is a great rule for a visual medium, they loved how Monogatari was basically just exposition. And I understand what they mean. I’m using this anecdote, of course, because both are from the same author and the writing style is very similar.

In a way, Pretty Boy Detective Club does the same thing. It’s very wordy. There are these scenes that are framed like a stage monologue and fourth wall breaks that endlessly go over events. In the most dramatic moment of the episode this week, Soutouin and Rai had a confrontation that amounted to waxing philosophical on the nature and interpretation of beauty. The verdict, even if beauty cannot be seen by the eye, it simply cannot be invisible. That’s what makes it beautiful.

Now tell me, dearest readers, how am I to explain this. How exactly can I put it into words? This isn’t exposition. The characters might be describing what’s happening on the screen and their personal circumstances but that’s not actually the point here, is it? No more than any individual event was the point of Monogatari. And that’s what’s great, that’s what my reader was explaining. It’s an exposition on the text for a story of subtext and the uselessness of it is part of the point.

Stories like these happen between the lines, possibly even beyond them. When done right it’s exhilarating and transformative. It can mean a thousand things and allow each person to draw forth their own meaning. A chameleon able to please one and all. When done wrong it crumbles into a mess of nonsense and wasted time. So this is the great gamble we take with Pretty Boy Detective Club. At the end of the day, which will it be. I still don’t know but that fact that I still want to find out is a good sign.

Oh and, the thing I hadn’t mentioned last week. Reasonable Doubt is a fantastic name for a casino. Brilliant even.

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2 thoughts

  1. That stage scene with Soutouin monologuing had light flashes that weren’t good for my eyes. Contentwise, I felt they were throwing rhetoric at each other to show neither of them quits. But at the same time, the show’s dancing between two metaphors that might be expressed as “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” vs. “beauty is in the heart of the behoder”. And they’re taking the “eye” part literally, I think, which is why Myumi has good eyes. (They should invoke the Grecian Urn: is seeing truth, seeing beauty?)

    In any case, I agree, what’s really going on is going on “out of sight” (there, another visual metaphor).

    This episode is also the first time the constant talking wore me out. I’m sometimes having this problem with this author; the writing’s consistently smart, but depending on the direction maybe, the repetition can wear me out, or alternatively it goes by too quickly and I’m losing the thread (and the meaninglessness wears me out). I’ve had this strongly in monogatari (at times), but until this episode, I didn’t have the problem here.

    All in all, my least favourite episode, so far (but still really good).

    And I agree: Reasonable Doubt is a great name for a casino.

    1. I quite liked this episode. Maybe one of my favourites but it’s a little difficult for me to properly rate these on a scale.

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