Usually when a show confounds my expectations it does it in a bad way. Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation (Crunchyroll) was the opposite: I initially thought it was pretty good but it just seemed to get better and better as the season progressed.
Rereading my initial review I think I made it sound a bit off-putting. (Who wants to watch a show in which the main character is a jerk?) Thinking it over I have come to the conclusion that Sakurako is a jerk in much the same way that Batman is a jerk. In fact the two characters have a number of similarities:
- Both suffered a childhood trauma that left them with a permanently dark outlook.
- Both live alone in a sprawling mansion cared for by a single devoted elderly servant.
- Both have teenaged sidekicks…and few other friends.
- Both use their special abilities to help people, but with a cold, intimidating manner.
- Sakurako helps people with her superb analytical skills instead of relying on punching ability or high-tech equipment.
- Batman lives in a huge dark dirty city where the authorities are mostly corrupt or incompetent. Sakurako lives in a pleasant town where the people in charge are well-meaning but naive and slow to recognize true evil.
- The series has more emotional depth and sophistication than a typical superhero show.
- Sakurako has a dog.
The only reason that I don’t give this series 5 stars is that it seems too short and ends rather abruptly. (Imagine a Batman series that ended by introducing the Joker but didn’t give him time to do much and left him on the loose plotting evil.)
If given another season or two to wrap things up properly this could be truly great.