Even if you’re not sure who Edogawa Ranpo is, his name may be familiar to you. One reason for that is the name itself — a “Japanization” of “Edgar Allan Poe” (say it aloud!) that mystery writer Taro Hirai chose for himself.
Outside of that, his work has inspired a multitude of adaptations, especially those involving Detective Kogoro Akechi and the Boys’ Detective Club. Trickster, Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace, and Chou Shounen Tanteidan NEO all draw from his works, and shows like Detective Conan and Bungou Stray Dogs contain both namesakes and notable influences. It’s fair to say that Edogawa Ranpo was as much an influence on the history of Japanese mysteries as Edgar Allan Poe himself was on the history of English-language mysteries.
Most recently, Mirai Nikki creator Sakae Esuno has decided to delve into the world of Ranpo interpretations, launching a new manga series in Shonen Ace called Detective Akechi Is Berserk. The series will bring Ranpo’s legendary detective back to life. Well… in a manner of speaking.
The protagonist of the series is Mayumi, a middle-school-age orphan living with her aunt and uncle… until they’re murdered, that is. She originally decides to find the killer herself, but in the end, she’s not alone. Due to an unusual circumstance, she finds herself aided by the ghost of the legendary Detective Akechi himself!
In most cases the help of a master detective would be pretty cool, all things considered. But judging by certain shots from the manga and the title itself proclaiming that he’s “berserk,” things might be a little more difficult than advertised. In Ranpo’s original works, Akechi was an eccentric genius who was a master of disguise, judo and dealing with the supernatural. It seems that eccentricity may be in overdrive after his death.
Detective Akechi Is Berserk debuted in Shonen Ace on March 25, and the adventure continues for the foreseeable future.
Are you an Edogawa Ranpo fan? What do you think of this latest incarnation of Kogoro Akechi?