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Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, Vol. 4: Destiny's Children
With the fourth volume of Mythical Detective Loki, the series starts its second half, but the show is still having trouble raising above the level of mediocre. In this volume some new characters are introduced and plans to kill Loki are revealed but the story really doesn't advance at all. A lot of the plots are a bit on the dumb side and though some of the humor works, a lot of it doesn't. While this isn't a bad show, it's not great either.
The Norse god Loki has been kicked out of Asgard and exiled to Midgard (Earth.) To make matters worse, he's been trapped inside the body of a young boy. What is a displaced god going to do? Why open up a detective agency of course! He starts the Enjaku Detective Agency with his companion Yamino, but since his offices are in a residential neighborhood, he doesn't get any business. That is until a young girl named Mayura Daidoji stops by in the first episode. She's always been fascinated by detectives and sort of forces her way into the agency. Together the three of them take on some pretty strange cases.
Mysteries aren't the only thing they have to worry about though. Loki made a few enemies before Odin kicked him out of Asgard, and some of them aren't satisfied with mere exile...they've come to kill him. Foremost among these is the god Heimdall, who can't defeat Loki by attacking him head on, so he comes up with some elaborate schemes to destroy his foe.
The comic relief of the series comes in the form of the god Thor. He's using the name Narugami (why? Loki uses his real name) and is just trying to make ends meet here on Earth. In addition to going to school (again, why?) he works a series of part time jobs, most of them with disastrous results.
Other Norse gods pop up as the series goes on. Freya, the Norse goddess of love, has been trapped in the body of a little girl and has forgotten her godly origins. She's living with Loki now, and occasionally changes back to her natural form and tries to seduce the god of mischief.
This disc starts off with a rather pedestrian episode. Odin has the three Norn sisters, the goddesses fo fate, plant a trap for Loki in the form of an evil flower that they send to Midgard. When Yamino finds the plant, he brings it to the flames of evil that Loki's collected over the years and it gains power. Enough power to turn Loki back into his natural form, if only for a while.
The next episode was one of the better ones in the series so far. After reading a manga about a canine detective, Mayura decides that the only thing keeping her from being a top-notch investigator is a dog. Not having the money to buy a dog, she eventually finds a likely candidate, a cute black puppy that fall out of the sky. When mysterious power outages strike the city, Mayura figures this is her chance to solve a mystery once and for all.
The power outages are being caused by Hati, the wolf that chases the moon. He's been sent to Midgard to kill Loki. He's not that easy to kill though, especially when Yamino turns into his natural form and the mysterious dog, Fenrir, reveals who he really is.
Another trap is laid for Loki in the next episode, when the Norn sisters set up a fortune telling operation. Naturally they tell people their actual futures, and soon Mayura ends up in their tent just as they planned. When Loki goes off in search of his missing companion, he finds someone he wasn't expecting; the god Odin.
The volume wraps with rather convoluted story. A friend of Mayura's is going to be married in her father's temple, and the Norns use the brides happiness as a weapon against Loki. I didn't really follow that part, but the upshot is that Loki has to fight some water dragons, with predictable results.
The plot seems to move ahead with this volume, but when all has been said and done, we really don't know any more than when the disc began. Loki still doesn't know why he was kicked out of Asgard, why Odin wants to kill him, or why other gods have joined his cause. There are a few hints given, but they don't mean anything to viewers. One of the Norns tells him to "look at your sin", but that doesn't really offer anything new.
Some of these episodes don't make a lot of sense either. Why did Odin go to so much trouble just to appear before Loki and tell him that his days were numbered. Loki knew Odin was pissed at him, and couldn't Odin just have appeared to Loki in his house? And why does Loki let someone who tried to kill him just walk away after beating their trap. You'd think he'd at least want to imprison them so they couldn't try it again.
Another thing that makes this series only mediocre are the fights. Battle scenes are expensive to animate, and the fights in this show are very short and over in the blink of an eye. The battle in the first show on this disc even happens off camera. A little more exspense would have made the show much better.
This volume presents episodes 13-16 on a single sided DVD that comes in a clear keepcase with a two-sided cover.
This disc offers a choice between the original Japanese stereo soundtrack and a 5.1 English dub. I alternated between tracks, switching every episode, and preferred the original language though the English dub is fine. Both tracks were clear and sounded very good. There were no dropouts or other defects worth noting.
This show is presented in full frame, and the image quality looks pretty good. There was some minor aliasing, but the lines were tight and the image was clean. A solid looking show.
This disc contains the standard clean opening and closing, a character art gallery, as well as a nice overview on Norse Mythology. There is also the second part of the interview with the Japanese voice actors Showtaro Morikubo (Narugami) and Romi Paku (Heimdall.)
This series has pretty much dropped the detective angle from the show, despite the title. That's not really all that bad since the mysteries were never that engaging, but it is surprising. This volume adds several characters to the mix, but unfortunately they don't add a lot to the show. The humor aspect works some of the time, but the action parts really fall flat. Even with these critiques, there are worse ways to kill time. This would make a good rental.