The Detective Is Already Dead started off as one of the most highly anticipated Summer 2021 anime. From there on, many viewers were ambivalent, finding that the hype died before we even found why the detective did, but halfway through, things are coming together… After all, the hype had to start from somewhere. So, is The Detective is Already Dead based on a manga or a light novel, and is it completed or ongoing?
The Detective Is Already Dead, also known as Tantei Wa Mou Shinideiru, is based on a light novel written by the Japanese novelist Nigoju and illustrated by Umibozu. Since it commenced publication in 2019, 5 volumes have been published, 2 of which are already available in English. The light novel is ongoing, so you can expect more in the future.
As of November 2020, a manga adaptation began serialization. So far, there are three tankobon volumes, meaning that the manga of The Detective Is Already Dead is ongoing as well.
Both manga and light novels are generally well-received, justifying the hype about the anime. The light novel, in particular, won the 15th MF Bunko J newcomer award when it started serialization in 2019. So, did something go wrong with the anime?
All in all, The Detective Is Already Dead seems to have solid worldbuilding, mingling mystery, fantasy, and sci-fi elements in interesting ways. To make this work, however, proper exposition is needed; you have to give the viewers a real taste of what it's like to live in such a world, as well as interesting characters to follow.
The 12-episode anime isn't the worst out there. It definitely has its moments, but, sadly, the main character, Kimizuka, is entirely forgettable as is the case with many generic anime protagonists who are mostly there because they start off being just as clueless as the audience, allowing us to learn through them.
Siesta and Nagisa after her, dream of becoming detectives but their motivations aren't that clear and, quite frankly, they seem to fall into the manic pixie dream girl type, being mostly there to take the main (male) character away from his uninteresting life into an adventurous one, while the fanservice and harem elements don't do the anime any favors.
Of course, most of us still want to find why Siesta died, if she died at all, or if there's something going on more complex than we can possibly imagine. In that case, taking a look at the manga and light novel can provide a fuller experience than the anime alone.