The new one Crunchyroll cartoon series Undead murderous antics may have an unfamiliar title, but don’t be fooled: this humorous fantasy murder mystery series captures the essence of the classic mystery story while remaining humorous.
Undead Murder Farce is based on Yugo Aosaki’s Undead Girl Murder Farce series of books, which consists of three books, the most recent being released in 2021. The story follows Tsugaru Shinuchi, the original half-oni fighting monsters. the last surviving creature of the so-called Great Purge, which drove mythical monsters out of the world. Tsugaru is approached by a strange maid carrying a head in a birdcage, and surprisingly, it can talk. The head belongs to an immortal named Aya Rindo, who asks Tsugaru to kill her or help her get her body back after an unknown foreigner steals it. From there, the series takes a dramatic turn, with Tsugaru and Aya forming a dynamic Watson/Holmes as they solve supernatural mysteries in turn-of-century Europe.
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On the surface, the series is rather stylized, in a modern way that contrasts well with its semi-historical setting. Tsugaru is an interesting character that mixes a lazy, laid-back feel with some serious combat skills. He is a big fan of bad jokes, constantly breaking them to try to make Aya laugh. Aya herself is excellent as the shrewd, observant detective, and she and Tsugaru have fun joking around with each other. Adding to the mix is Aya’s maid, Shizuku, who rarely speaks but hates Tsugaru. Of course, being an anime, there has to be some interesting fight scenes, so Tsugaru will occasionally exercise his oni muscles.
The first episode is quite different from the rest of the series, so participating fans should keep that in mind when watching. It primarily exists to provide the backstory of the characters, acting more like a prologue than a typical first episode. That’s not to say it’s bad, but the mystery-solving aspect is completely absent, and the Japanese setting will soon be left behind for that European setting. As a fantasy, Undead Murder Farce seems open to anything and everything, referring to fictional characters from the era alongside classic mythical creatures like vampires.
Overall, the series is a pretty fun ride and will have appeal for fans of every genre it incorporates. The mystery element is well done and well paced, with twists and turns common to classic locked room mysteries. Fans who are interested in trying out the series can watch Crunchyroll on Wednesday, July 5, when the first episode of Undead murderous antics will premiere, with new episodes airing weekly thereafter.