Anime Review: Fuuto Tantei – The Crime And The City REDUX

You want to mess with Fuuto?
You’ll have to face its protectors!
Kamen Rider W was one of the most celebrated in the masked heroes’ franchise during the Heisei era. And it is no surprise that it receive the first proper anime adaptation in the franchise. It’s not the gag type or deformed OVA type, but a fully fledged 12-episode anime based on the sequel spin-off of the main tokusatsu series: Fuuto Tantei. And oh boi, if there’s a correct way to start the adaptation process of this celebrated franchise, then this is the bestest way to do it.

Kamen Rider W’s main story has concluded in the tv series with the downfall of the Museum and Foundation X’s plan thwarted…for the moment. The series later received a spin-off about the events after the tv series called “Fuuto PI” (Fuuto Tantei), detailing the cases that Shotaro and Phillip investigate after the tv series. New threats, new comrades, and a mysterious beauty that holds the “Joker” Dopant memory appear before the two-in-one detective. And now Shotaro has to solve the riddles that threaten the city as well as those in his heart as well.

The adaptation was handled by Studio KAI – a relatively new studio founded in 2019. And in 2020, they reported a massive loss in profit. So in 2022, entrusting a very crucial project to the studio is a big undertaking. But Toei has shown that they knew what they were doing, and the series was done in a gorgeous fashion. We can definitely say that the series was in good hands.

After the events in the tv, Fuuto has been relatively peaceful. However, Dopant crimes still happen and Shotaro and Philip are still running their detective agency with Akiko. One day, a beautiful and mysterious girl appeared before Shotaro, and just as fast as she appeared, she vanished without a trace. Shotaro was dumbfounded, and later shocked when he discovered the girl might be involved with a Dopant crime. But little did he knew that behind that incident is a whole other plot that might be just as sinister as the Museum’s.

Overall, the adaptation follow the original work really closely – that is to say, the manga. The cases are usually 2-3 episodes long, which gave about 4 full cases in season 1. It’s a decent pace to be fair, however, the story didn’t really pick up until AFTER those cases, and the anime only manage to establish the base premise as well as some information on the villains and their plot. It is understandable that the studio and the exec wanted to err on the side of caution and not jump the gun with too many episodes, but the anime feels like the middle point of the tv series: really well done cases but not enough for a climactic conclusion. Still, the cases/arcs are adapted very well. The story flow naturally, not too fast or too slow, and the fight scenes are mixed in reasonably. It really feels like watching the tv series but just in anime form.

Fuuto PI obviously includes the main cast of Kamen Rider W: Shotaro, Phillip, Akiko and Terui, as well as some side characters that act as informants in the tv series. The main addition to the cast is of course the “bijin-onna” Tokime – the mysterious “witch” that appeared before Shotaro and later joined the team as an “investigator”.

Tokime’s origin and past is shrouded in darkness, and the only thing that she has on her was the broken “Joker” Memory, which, of course, heavily ties her to Shotaro – the owner of the Joker Gaia Memory. It’s also revealed that she has some history with the main villain of the series – Bando Yukiji. It’s a very typical type of damsel-in-distress that Shotaro usually encountered before, but Tokime isn’t simply just a client or suspect. She resonates with Shotaro more deeply. There is something about her that attract him to her stronger than other girls that Shotaro ran into before. Tokime is like a kid when it comes to the whole Kamen Rider stuff – with her being surprised and curious about many things, which makes her pretty cute. She is also a bit childish and wanted to feel like she belong, since she didn’t have anyone before. And that sentiment sparked a lot of characterization in herself, as well as the main cast of the series.

Shotaro is still the self-proclaimed “hard(lf)-boiled” detective from before. But he has a more mature aura about him compared to the reckless detective we saw before. It could also be due to the artstyle making everyone looks very “mature” compared to the live action version. His detective skills have also improved and he seems to have his head on his shoulder most of the time. What hasn’t changed is, of course, his luck with women, his “hard-boiled” attitude and of course, his compassionate heart for his comrade and justice. It’s very cool to see a more mature Shotaro – who is very level-headed in required situations but can still be a klutz when the comic relief call for it.

Phillip is still pretty much the same. Although he looks more “bishounen” in the anime. He still looks quite young, pretty similar to the live action. Furthermore, he seems to have regressed to a more cheerful state in terms of learning about human’s emotion. Him being jealous of Tokime was actually hilarious (and also fujoshi fuel). Even so, he’s still clever in most situations and of course, still willing to fight when the time calls for it.

Akiko and Terui is super cute here. Akiko is pretty much the same from the live action – cheerful, energetic and madly in love with Terui. Terui, however, seems to have gone to a beauty salon cause he looks fresh as hell. He’s still awkward in some situation but for the most part, he’s still the cool guy with a hot heart – ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice. And he’s also very strict.

Fuuto Tantei did quite an amazing job in this department. Even though Studio Kai was pretty new and their track record are pretty normal, they really gave the windy city a major glow-up. The characters are well designed, and their animation are crisp and fluid. The attention to details is also pretty amazing, there’s not many in-between frame that you can criticize, aside from super far away frames that noone can really make out the details. And the guys doing the series really know how to provide fanservice, as some of Tokime’s scene are very beautiful. Not the devilish sexy kinda way but rather a mysterious seductive way, which kinda explains why Shotaro is helpless before her. The CGI parts were also very well done. Sometimes switching between 2D and 3D is a bit janky but it’s definitely not a huge issue.

And the most important part: the fight scenes. And I must say, they are perfect. They feel much more dynamic than the live action version because they can use the skip animation frame technique to deliver a more “snappy” feel to the action, especially melee attacks. And of course, out of W’s form, only Trigger is heavily projectile-based, and even his bullets look well done. The Heat staff attacks is amazing, the fires are very well done, and the impact from the hits feel very heavy. They communicate the heaviness of the hits really well since Kamen Riders have ridiculously high strength. And they are fast too! Of course with the exception of Accel Trial because, well, he’s basically semi-Flash, W’s movement and jumping around feels really quick and fluid. Extreme’s combat was pretty amazing, although he is still quite OP. One of the best highlights of the series is the henshin sequence – and the Cyclone/Joker sound effect really bring out the nostalgia. The scene copies almost 1:1 the first henshin of W with great sound and visual effect.


We’ve mentioned the character design above so let’s dive into the suits. The design is super faithful to the original tokusatsu suits, with the chest plate being a bit more blocky to simulate armor. The surface details and the “sheen” on the suits are very well done. You can see the simple yet pronounced lines on the armor, and there are some exaggeration compared to the toku version, such as Fang’s blades are longer and bigger. The Hardboilder looks pretty sick as well, considering it’s pretty much a perfect CG render of the actual bike.

The Dopant designs are manga accurate and the coloring is pretty good. The effects in the anime from their abilities looks appropriate as well. It really bring out the character of the Dopant compared to the manga. Of course, that’s the main attraction point of the anime: to give life to the characters.

First of all, yes Fuuto Tantei uses all of the official jingle and sound effects from the tv series. When you heard the Cyclone – Joker announcement, the wave of nostalgia will sweep through you like the wind of Fuuto city. Aside from the amazing sound effects, the OST for the series is great as well. The opening is mostly an instrumental song with a lot of brass instruments like trumpet or sax. It’s very hype and give a hint of classical noir feel to the series while maintaining a modern beat. The ending is an upbeat ballad that has a hint of comedic to it and play into Tokime and Shotaro’s hilarious relationship. Overall, the original sound effect contribute a lot to the enjoyment of the series, and it’s great that they kept them in.

If there’s anything to criticize in the series, it’s that the original voice actor of the original cast didn’t return for the anime. Instead, we get the voice actors from the game Kamen Rider: Memory of Heroez. Still, the voice acting is very good. As expected of Japanese seiyuu, they captured a mature Shotaro and Phillip perfectly.

Fuuto Tantei/Fuuto PI is a great start for the Kamen Rider anime adaptation. It’s an interesting story with beloved characters that can be adapted closely to the manga without making many changes. The animation is beautiful and contains a lot of callbacks to the tokusatsu shows as well as the og sound effects add up to the experience. Fans of the original live action will definitely be pleased with this adaptation. However, it was too short to deliver a meaningful climax and at best is just a prime starter to the actual crux of the story. Hopefully a continuation will be green lit because this can be the start of a Kamen Rider animated saga.

Check out more recommendations: