Gone are the days when Animated Films or Television Series relied on explicit humour or too many fighting sequences. These days, these pieces of storytelling have a storyline that is even better than many normal films. A few acclaimed Japanese anime series like One Punch Man, Dragon Ball Z and Fullmetal Alchemist have set a memorable standard. The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited (animated series) that released on Netflix combines a gripping story, a captivating character arc, and more importantly some neat action sequences.
The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited (animated series) directed by Tomohiko Itō is a Japanese television series of 11 episodes that run for 23 minutes each. The series is inspired by the novel The Millionaire Detective written by Yasutaka Tsutsui. An adaptation from the novel has proffered a superior narrative to the anime series which makes it stand out from the rest. It involves two police detectives, Daisuke Kambe and Haru Kato and it is their story.
The Millionaire Detective (animated series) opens with the happening news spreading around the city, especially in the police headquarters. A wealthy lad from an influential family had come back to Japan to join the police task force. His name is Daisuke Kambe whose family, the Kambe Family, is counted as the richest family in Japan. They have so much wealth that their “Balance” is always “Unlimited” and thus the words in the title, “Balance: Unlimited.” There is yet another cop in the police department named Haru Kato who works in the Modern Crimes Prevention Task Force. Kato was earlier part of the first division but due to a past mishap, he was demoted.
In the first episode, Kambe and Kato cross each other’s path. Their companionship starts with a grudge, but they successfully solve the case. Kambe is impressed by Kato, and hence, the next day he joins the Modern Crimes Unit and becomes Kato’s partner.
The Millionaire Detective (animated series) further explores the partnership of Kambe and Kato, while both of them try to solve the mysteries of their past and overcome it. While the friendship slowly blooms, Kambe and Kato solve other mini-quests and crimes of the town, that keeps the storyline engaging.
Mild – Spoilers Ahead
Kambe and Kato – The True Hero is Flawed!
Kambe and Kato have their own set of flaws, that defines them and separates them from each other. Kambe is a millionaire but he doesn’t care for human lives while Kato is an idealistic police officer, for whom, even shooting a criminal, is a sin. He is overprotective of human lives due to a past tragedy.
Kato tells a careless Kambe, “that’s not the way a cop handles things. You’re no superhero. Infinite lives would not be enough.”
These two opposite forces create a balance in the whole series and thus their grudge and argument paves way for a lot of funny and gripping scenes.
Kambe’s methods of dealing with crime involve advanced gadgets, and if it doesn’t work, he just pays off to get the criminals. He owns a similar Iron Man’s Jarvis kind of AI, HEUSC, that helps him to do surveillance and track lawbreakers.
“He relies on machines, then it’s about the money in the end.”
Kato’s methods are traditional and more grounded. He hates how Kambe throws out his money to solve the cases. He often rages upon Kambe saying, “I hate methods that involve slapping people with wads of money.” The grinding between the two protagonists creates a wide gap that they are trying to fill up. Kato is over-emotional while Kambe is materialistic.
“You believe everything can be solved with money, and don’t care about other people’s feelings.”
They help each other to cure their flaws and create a balance in their character.
The Millionaire Detective (animated series) doesn’t really require a constant recurring villain as the tragic heroes carrying the narrative have enough flaws to redeem. Thus, the conflict of their journey is much more internal than it is external. The frequent horrors of their past weaken their character. It is the essence of a novel adaptation that works so finely on a character’s skin, graph and the backstory. Everything is visible in The Millionaire Detective (animated series). The characters of Kato and Kambe doesn’t look unrealistic for a moment, and this is really an achievement for an animated series when you know they aren’t real humans but computer-generated images.
The way their stories have been approached is very humane. It is not only Kato and Kambe but even the mini-quest throughout the series, is utterly realistic and not gimmicky in nature. The realism is what makes The Millionaire Detective (animated series) stand out from the crowd of other anime.
The Millionaire Detective (animated series) is fun and entertaining for people who like watching sensible animation stories. It does get a bit repetitive and monotonous in a few mid episodes but when Kambe’s past strikes the screen, the series catches up the grip towards the climax, from where you want to be able to push the pause button. A special mention for the post-credit music that is charmingly addictive.
If you are willing to binge an entertaining series on a weekend, do check out The Millionaire Detective (animated series).
The Millionaire Detective: Balance Unlimited (Animated Series) is streaming on Netflix.
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