Trickster (Fall 2016) – The Prestige

Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery, Psychological, Drama
Director: Masahiro Mukai
Writer: Erika Yoshida

When you watch some anime and you look at the cover, the synopsis and think, “Well, this looks promising. I wanna try this one”. All of that is just the first impression at the beginning of the episode. The rest of all is just boredom that you have to push yourself. Consider that to immediately drop the anime. Well, in a nutshell, “Trickster” falls into the category. It’s an anime I’ve put this in my ash and start to watch it when I last saw and found it dusty.

This is not an action with psychological, thriller, or shounen but this is nothing more than an anime. It fails in terms of storytelling and enjoyment. It’s just a bunch of teenage kids playing as a spy like spy kids. Nothing else to compare to some of your favorite.

The story consists of three phases: the pledge, the turn, and the prestige. But, nothing without a goal for the prestige. This is not Christopher Nolan’s stuff or anything that relates to him. The narrative style is pretty similar to that but fails at the prestige. First of all, the story focuses more on Yoshio Kobayashi, someone without identity, a past, a friend. He has mysterious powers when approaching something or touching someone, they will hurt. The story will walk, walk, and walk away until it meets with one of the supporting character, Kensuke Hanasaki. He is a member of Kogorou Akechi’s detective club.

When they both meets, Hanasaki promised that one day, he would kill Kobayashi just as Kobayashi wanted to eagerly in demand but eager to die. The beginning seemed like a filler from a collection of detective stories that trying to complete the mission given by their client. To the turn, we came by the antagonist called “the twenty faces” whom, for no apparent reason, want to play with Akechi. It’s not plot holes because the story runs continuously. It will explain the backstory of each character.

The prestige fails miserably when the story wants to build its tension. They provide a bit of suspense and twist at the climax too. But, we never know what happens next. Spoiler alert, is Nakamura captured or not? Did Akechi and the twenty faces die or just disappear? Why doesn’t anyone care about them when before the climax, it just focuses more on these two characters? No one knows because this makes everything in torn. There would never be the prestige and conclusion.

Nothing I could just say with the art. It doesn’t look unique or nothing. However, it’s also an irony when two big studios that created “Sweetness & Lightning” and “D.Gray-man” have no intention of working on this one. There is no intention at all to put a lot of effort or feeling to do this thing. Could not they make an anime like that or are they just being driven to do it? There’s nothing more I can say for the art, visuals, and animation because there was nothing.

For the soundtrack, I’m going to give a little great shoutout on this because GACKT exists in this anime. “Kimi dake no Boku de Iru kara” and “Tsumi no Keishou: Original Sin” aren’t too memorable but is quite catchy rock songs. “Unmei Dilemma” and “1HOPE SNIPER” by Azusa Tadokoro are either same. GACKT also fills the voice of the twenty faces. It’s put a great expectation but not too memorable, along with other voice actors. Daisuke Ono as Kogorou Akechi looks promising. But, he doesn’t show too much like the characters he’s filled in. Azusa Tadokoro also, in addition to singing the opening and ending songs, she also fills the voice of Nao Nakamura.

The characters are just beyond too far when it comes to development. Everything is just as good as on the introduction at the beginning, the pledge. Kobayashi, Hanasaki, Akechi, the twenty faces, Inoue, all look reliable at the beginning. However, this show always deviates from the main story. You can say that the beginning of the story focuses on the relationship between Kobayashi and Hanasaki. Well, the main focus often runs and moves from one character to another.

At the turn, the story focuses more on Akechi, the twenty faces, and their backstory. Until later, the author drops the not-too-shocking twist. The development characters are the worst of all. You can see when watching this anime until the end. The characters are always out of characters and it has bad scripts. As in the relationship between Kobayashi and Hanasaki are forgotten in the middle of the story. they both promise a thing. It’s just beyond my expectation where I’m more expecting something like “Beyond the Boundary”. It has the same premise about two main characters continuously but the anime can still be seen from the other side. It’s not like this anime forgot everything.

The pace is bad. It means it’s so hard to keep it up with the story, the characters, and everything. To be honest, the first impression is just promising at the pledge to the turn phase where everything slowly begins to disappear. It loses the sensation of being able to overcome your anxiety. Nothing interest in the conversation, the characters always disregard their roles and two big studios that failed to attract any attention. My rant is not enough to put away this thing. But, I just feel pity for them and me. I mean, I didn’t really feel like that.

“Trickster” is a great anime at the beginning but it fails miserably in the middle and the end. It’s weird with this review because I used three stages from Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige”. But, it looks like it does and this anime fails to tell the way it does. The plot twist is sassy, the characters are always out of character and lost their role. Two big studios that make a mediocre animation, have a bad pace. The characters development is so bad. There’s nothing more I can say about this but it’s not as bad compared to “In Another World With My Smartphone”. Both of them has the same level of what something bad always worse.