Existing fans of this show probably already know what to expect, just from the title of the post. I have found that this show, Heaven’s Memo Pad, is a criminally underrated, not to mention rarely spoken of, anime. I stumbled upon it, once, and never looked back, as it lodged itself in my mind with a fantastic story, amazing visuals, and unforgettable characters.
What is Heaven’s Memo Pad?
Narumi Fujishima isn’t your typical high school student. He’s never really fit in and has become increasingly more isolated from his fellow classmates. But he’s not alone, and when Ayaka, the sole member of the Gardening Club, introduces him to the reclusive girl who lives above the ramen shop, Narumi enters a whole new secret world. Alice is a NEET, someone who is Not Employed, being Educated or in Training, but as Narumi quickly discovers, that doesn’t mean that she does nothing all day.
In between tending to her small army of stuffed bears, Alice is an expert hacker and a very exclusive private detective. To his surprise, Narumi finds himself drafted as one of the strange-but-elite team of associates that Alice has assembled from her NEET acquaintances. Together they’ll battle gangs, thieves, murderers, and drug lords. And in the middle of it all, Narumi will find his life changing forever!
Heaven’s Memo Pad follows a small group of characters, in particular Narumi, a somewhat introverted young boy who has recently transferred into a new school, and Alice, the brilliant shut-in detective, and poster character of the series. In a double-length first episode, we get to meet a vast majority of the characters, including Tetsu, Hiro, and The Major – the three other members of the NEET detective agency, as well as The Fourth, a friend of Alice and leader of the powerful Hirasaka gang.
With a colorful cast of characters, beautiful visuals, and a soul-stirring soundtrack, Heaven’s Memo Pad quickly begins dealing with a variety of serious real-world issues, such as murder, depression, suicide, drug abuse, domestic violence, cartels, gang wars, social anxiety and much more. Though the initial themes and setting of the show seem almost too bright, funny, or tame to be properly handling these issues, it manages to get down-to-earth relatively quickly.
The characters are well-written, realistic, and experience a lot of growth over the run of the show. The dark content is made somewhat more bearable, especially at the beginning, with some nicely-written bits of comic relief, though that slowly dies down as the show progresses. With an intelligent story driven by well-written narrative and beautifully directed scenes, the show has so much going for it, all leading up to the final few episodes, which left me, at least, in tears.
I think a lot of people see the first episode or two, and get turned off by the lightness, the delicate touch on serious, gruesome matters, and leave to watch elsewhere, maybe something like Psycho-Pass, which features a faintly similar first episode, but in a much darker tone. People who have done that, however, are missing out, for sure.
If you like dark, murder-mystery type shows, if you enjoyed Psycho-Pass, GoSick, or Ergo proxy, then this show will very likely resonate very well with you. Even if you’re not a fan of mystery, the characters, art, and music are more than enough reason to watch the show. But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what some other Anibloggers have to say:
Despite the innocuous start and some general silliness from the characters in the early story arcs, Heaven’s Memo Pad dives headlong into some fairly serious and dark issues. Despite ostensibly being about a detective, the story makes it clear that some issues have no easy answers and both the characters and the audience will need to come to terms with this by the end of the series run. The final arc makes me cry every single time.
NEET detective was an interesting premise at the time. I felt like the way the story was presented could’ve been handled better. It sounds like I’m bagging the show, haha, I agree that it’s good though.
So, there you have it! If you’re looking for a nice mystery-type show with some great character focus, beautiful visuals, and an emotion-packed story, give Heaven’s Memo Pad a watch. Also, don’t forget to leave your thoughts about the show down in the comments! After all, that’s the NEET thing to do.