If you like bloody anime with loads of fighting scenes and non-stop action, then stop reading this blog post!
You know, one of the most interesting things about a CLAMP anime is that there is a lot of overlapping characters from their various anime and Clamp Gakuen is one of the best examples. Take for example, Ijyuuin Akira, the council treasurer. He’s actually my favorite character in the trio– the black-haired 4th grader is actually a star of his own manga, Onegai 20 Faces (Please 20 Faces). His kindergarten love interest, Utako is also in the said CLAMP manga. Other overlapping characters are Miyuki from Miyuki In Wonderland and Takeshi & Kentarou, the protaginists from another CLAMP anime Gakuen Tokkei Duklyon. These characters would be making similar appearances in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.
But what made Clamp School Detectives truly enjoyable for me are its amazing set of gifted young characters who behaved and carried the responsibilities of adults yet still possessed charmingly childish traits. The episodes would range from serious to fluffy with romance, action and detective skills thrown in.
The premise of the story is the adverntures and misadventures of the Clamp school detectives group. This was founded by the Clamp school student council president brainy blond and female lover, Imonoyama Nokoru. Although he apparently likes to keep an eye on the ladies, there was never a permanent one except maybe Casablanca, the much older female gangster who is his enemy. Nokoru is joined by Ijyuuin Akira whom I’ve mentioned above and Takamura Suoh, the Vice-President, who also happens to be a a very serious blue-haired ninja. Other permanent characters are the love interests of Suoh and Akira, the very young kindergarten girls, Nagisa and Utako.
If you loved Card Captor Sakura, then you’ll probably like the Clamp School Detectives (CLAMP Gakuen Tanteidan) as well. In this anime the trio of young detectives gets constantly swarmed by adoring fan girls as they live extraordinary lives.
The main characters Nokoru, Suoh and Akira have different personalities and strange quirks. For example, Nokoru who is the anime’s main protaginist described himself as a “feminist”, aside from being extremely intelligent and happy-go lucky, he also he a distinct trait for being bad at sports. As Suoh remarked, “Nokoru has zero sports ability and has bad motor coordination, he only becomes athletic if a girl is in danger.”
Suoh is a fifth grader, the most solemn of the bunch and he is also an heir to the Takayama family, a clan of ninjas who have sworn to protect leaders and important people in the world. Of the three, he is the most physically gifted, with death deyfing jumps and a genuis skill for any sport and fighting. He basically is the mother hen and most level-headed of the group, always concerned about the work to be done and the safety of everybody. He only loses his composure with Nagisa, his love interest.
Then of course, we have the terminally perky and innocent looking 4th grader Akira who also happens to be a genius chef. He actually teaches baking to a class of college women! However, as I mentioned earlier, he is also has a secret identity, the famous thief, 20 Faces. He also is very much in love with Utako Ohgawa, the assertive president of the kindergarten council and the sole person in the entire Clamp campus who knows his real identity.
The anime has a 26 episode run where the boys get their share of the spotlight. A more comprehensive synopsis of the episodes will be available upon demand. I will just indicate the particular character who was focused in the episode and my ratings for it. The highest rating is five stars.
01. Formation of the CLAMP School Detectives!- All three got the spotlight but Nokoru basked in it longer, 3 1/2 stars
02. Sleuths- All three had a moment, 3 1/2 stars
03. My Fair Lady- Nokoru’s fatal charm, 3 1/2 stars
04. Mr. Chef, Please Beware!- Akira’s cooking class, 3 stars
05. The Escape to Victory Part 1- Nokoru & Suoh’s bond, 4 stars
06. The Escape to Victory Part 2- Nokoru & Suoh’s bond, 4 stars
07. Please Wait Until Dark- All three had a moment, 3 1/2 stars
08. Notebook of the Ball- Nokoru’s Fairy of the Lake, 4 1/2 stars
09. You Are Deep in My Heart- Suoh’s Fall, 5 stars
10. Pretty League- Nokoru & Suoh’s Match, 4 stars
11. Fashionable Thief Part 1- Akira’s Secret Identity, 5 stars
12. Fashionable Thief Part 2- Akira’s Love, 5 stars
13. That’s Entertainment- All three had a moment, 5 stars
14. The Great Escape- Nokoru’s penchant for women, 5 stars
15. Once Upon a Time in China- All three had a moment, 3 1/2 stars
16. From This Land to Eternity-All three had a moment, 4 stars
17. Pretty Woman- Nokoru’s beauty, 4 stars
18. True Romance- Suoh’s unforgetable face, 5 stars
19. Someday, Somewhere- All three had a moment, 4 stars
20. An Elegant Bet- All three had a moment, 5 stars
21. Grand Illusion- All were given a spotlight but Nokoru basked on it longer, 4 stars
22. Unforgivable One- All were given a spotlight but Nokoru basked on it longer, 4 stars
23. Fake- All were given a spotlight but Nokoru basked on it longer, 4 stars
24. Duelist- All were given a spotlight but Nokoru basked on it longer, 4 stars
25. Subway Panic-All were given a spotlight but Nokoru basked on it longer, 4 stars
26. My True Heart to You- Nokoru’s moment, 4 stars
Clamp fanatics like me would have a kick out of seeing so many familiar faces in this anime and it’s really quite cute with all the young love going around. Some people though would sense yaoi undercurrents which is also another strong mark of CLAMP. Some older viewers (cough, cough) would find a couple of episodes downright silly and light, even I had to force myself to sit through a couple of episodes but all in all, the endearing characters caught my heart and and yeah, did I mention I’m a CLAMP fanatic?
This anime is all about pretty boys who could do anything and as an afterthought, the little girls they love.