One tough cookie

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“Yakushiji Ryouko no Kaiki Jikenbo” or “Ryoko Yakushiji’s Strange Case Files” is an anime which started life as a light novel. The 13-episode show aired in Japan last summer.

Ryoko, who comes from a rich family, is a cop with the Tokyo Metropolitan Department. But she’s not just any cop. At 27, she is a superintendent who heads a department, can speak several languages, is universally feared by the bureaucrats and can solve the weird cases that often come her way. She is also a crack shot and can take on the baddies with her fists and feet if need be.

She’s also imperious toward her underlings, thinks nothing of going shopping in the middle of her shift, wears skimpy suits and shamelessly uses her family’s influence.
Her dad heads JACES, one of the major security firms in the country where many police bureaucrats apply to after retirement. She holds this over their heads in order to get her way. Thankfully, she is on the side of the little guy and hates fat cats who abuse the system.

She also likes her much put upon assistant/shopping bag holder. This Watson-wanna-be to her Sherlock is Junichiro Izumida, 33, who narrates the series. He fears and respects her but doesn’t get the massive hints she gives him that she really, really likes him. What a doof.

Called Izumida by everyone, he is a decent and hard-working cop whose wits are not as sharp as Ryoko’s. But he can fight as well as her. He is not a career police officer so he does his job whether it annoys a bureaucrat or not.

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The show is reminiscent of “X Files” because the cases Ryoko tackles include man-made horrors and regular creatures with an unfortunate effect on humans. Case in point. One episode deals with a cricket whose chirping drives people to kill themselves.

Ryoko is also aided by her French maids, Lucienne and Marianne. Fellow superintendent and rival, Yukiko Muromachi, often trades insults with Ryoko but once or twice helps her. Not that she’d ever admit it.

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