WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 1 of The Detective Is Already Dead, "Attention Passengers: Is There a Detective on Board," now streaming on Funimation.
The Detective Is Already Dead made its much-anticipated one-hour premiere in both Japan and the US this week. The story follows a junior high school student named Kimihiko Kimizuka, who has a tendency to find trouble wherever he goes by being at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people.
Kimihiko's "unique talent" for attracting danger catches the attention of a world-traveling detective known only as Siesta, who decides to make him her unwilling sidekick on their first case together involving a plane hijacking.
Within the first ten minutes of Episode 1, The Detective Is Already Dead wastes no time in making references to two of pop culture's most iconic detectives, Sherlock Holmes and Batman. The first shoutout to Sherlock comes in the form of Siesta and Kimihiko meeting their first criminal, a hijacker on a plane known only as "Bat" (Koumori in Japanese). When getting acquainted, Siesta introduces herself as a detective and Kimihiko as her sidekick "Watson," an obvious reference to Sherlock's best friend and flatmate, Dr. John H. Watson. She further elaborates that both she and "Watson" were born and raised on Baker Street, a reference to Sherlock's and Watson's flat in London located on 221B Baker Street. (It is also the location of the Sherlock Holmes Museum in real life.)
The hijacker's codename "Bat" is also a reference to the DC Comics character, Batman. Ironically, Bat has more traits in common with the iconic Batman villain known as The Riddler, as he challenges Siesta to deduce the real reason he decided to hijack the plane in exchange for not killing the pilots and passengers. It's during this sequence that Siesta demonstrates her Batman-like qualities -- she knew ahead of time when and where the hijacking would take place before Bat even set anything in motion.
Siesta even manipulated Kimihiko to be at the right place at the right time with the right gadgets in order to assist her in capturing Bat -- something he didn't realize until after his life was put in danger and he remembered the gadget case he was forced to bring aboard the plane. When Siesta gets around to using the Kimihiko's gadgets, it is immediately revealed she designed them specifically for defeating Bat, indicating she knew his weaknesses in advance. The entire plane hijacking sequence reveals the extent to which Siesta makes advanced preparations and how she uses Kimihiko in a similar capacity to how Batman uses Robin.
In the aftermath of the plane hijacking, Siesta reveals more Sherlock-like qualities -- namely in the form of bunking with Kimihiko in his apartment like Sherlock did with Watson. She also reveals more eccentric traits, like her weird fixation on pizza and her inability to respect personal boundaries or the privacy of others. This last one is more noticeably demonstrated by her possession of a master key that allows her to enter any home she pleases or deems appropriate for a case she's working on. She also possesses a genius-level intellect that allows her to meticulously inspect every crime scene with impeccable detail, finding significant evidence in seemingly mundane objects.
While The Detective Is Already Dead Episode 1 does little to establish its story's premise and how that ties into the title, it does do an excellent job establishing its two main characters and the dynamic we can expect from them moving forward. Fans of Sherlock Holmes and Batman will especially enjoy the references to these two iconic heroes, both in the characterization of the two leads and in the references they drop.