You can't go wrong with a detective series.... Is the kind of short-sighted thinking that brought the world Midsomer Murders. Thankfully, Yakushiji Ryoko No Kaiki Jikenbo (or Yakushiji Ryoko's Supernatural Case File, if you prefer your titles in English) is a very different kettle of fish.
This series introduces us to the world of Izumida Jun'ichiro, a police lieutenant whose job it is to 'babysit' his boss, the beautiful, smart and fiesty Yakushiji Ryoko of the show's title. It all seems like a cushy enough job given her preference of clothes shopping to doing much in the way of actual police work, but unfortunately she seems to have the rather nasty habit of running into supernatural cases as though they were an everyday occurence. In this first episode, a simple shopping trip turns into an investigation after a man mummifies and explodes before their eyes, and not so long later a second, similar incident occurs. Unfortunately, Ryoko is more interested in settling a score and upsetting the applecart than discovering the truth, although luckily for her the two seem to be somewhat connected.
Given the subject matter of the series, it seems pretty clear that this is going to be one of those shows that lives and dies on the strength of each story arc. With that in mind, this opening episode is a rather average effort, that introduces the main characters and their traits and relationship well enough, but without expending too much effort on actually making for a gripping case to investigate. If they're going to try and built up the show on the personalities of the main duo alone, then this show looks likely to fall flat - Mulder and Scully they aren't, and The X-Files this ain't. Still, at least the episode's cliffhanger was intriguing enough, suggesting that there might be some more life in episode two and giving me a lifeline to hang on to before writing off this series before it's even begun.
In closing though, Izumida will have to be the winner of the "stupid comment of the week" award - After seeing a man age, mummify and die before his eyes before exploding, what words spring forth from his lips? "Hang in there!". Err... I think it's a little late to be offering up that particular piece of advice, but thanks for the effort.