A new season of anime is starting up this January, and with it comes the usual selection of shonen series continuations, remakes, adaptations, and mobile game tie-ins. There are some notable bright spots in the mix, though — both reliable favorites and promising new titles. Among them is a light novel adaptation for fans of detective stories and cute boys called The Case Files of Jeweler Richard.
The series comes to us from the team of writer Nanako Tsujimura and artist Utako Yukihiro. If you’re thinking the art looks like it came straight out of an idol-boy series, that’s probably why. Yukihiro is the creator of Uta no Prince-sama and did character designs for B-PROJECT, two front-runners in the field of cute boys singing for your amusement. There are no idols to be found in Jeweler Richard, though: just British detectives and jewelry crimes.
Our protagonist and audience association character is Seigi, a college student who ends up working with British jewelry appraiser Richard Ranashinha Dvorpian. But Richard appraises more than just the items: he’s also able to discern a lot about the item’s owner. This leads to Richard and Seigi working together to solve jewelry-related crimes.
A similar light novel series, Biblia’s Case Files, followed this format, but with antique books. Biblia was gentle and engaging, punctuated by its heroine’s love of books and desire to educate people about their hidden depths. It saw some success in its live-action adaptation (which you can watch subtitled online). Watching it is one of the most chill and calming experiences you can hope to have, even while the series keeps you guessing. If Jeweler Richard is anything similar — and judging by the description, it likely is — we have this season’s cozy show all locked in.
Not only that, it’s got some killer talent behind it, too. Richard is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai, the voice of Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy; and Seigi is voiced by Yuuma Uchida, who’s currently riding high as Eren Jaeger in Attack on Titan. Not too shabby.
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There are good names behind the scenes, too. The musical composition is being handled by Mariko Kunisawa, whom we have to thank for the calming cup of tea in anime form that is this season’s Ascendance of a Bookworm. Sealing the deal is the promise of a sweet waltz by way of an opening theme, brought to us by Nagi Yanagi (formerly of the musical act Supercell).
Anglocentric titles aren’t an uncommon sight in Japan these days. Manga and light novel readers, especially older women, can’t get enough of imports like Sherlock and Jeeves & Wooster. (There have been official manga releases of both, with the latter even overseen by the estate of P.G. Wodehouse.) There was even an Agatha Christie anime 15 years ago.
Handsome British protagonists are well-liked, doubly so if they happen to be a detective of some sort. Stories like Jeweler Richard are letting Japan bring the tropes home and put their own spin on them. Judging by the trailers so far, we’re in for a treat — we’ll know for sure come January 9.