Fallen Hero is a case study of Trickster at its messiest. Once again, it was easy to see (and appreciate) what Erika Yoshida and Masahiro Mukai wanted to do, but never have intention and execution been divided by a gulf of such epic proportions.

In memories of childhood happiness as fleeting as the obligatory cherry blossoms, Hanasaki thinks back to the time he learned to ride a bike. In the not-so-rose-colored present, Kobayashi has at least grown accustomed to riding in the car’s back seat without blowing up half the interior, and he’s actually shaping up to be quite the useful teen detective/tool. Aside from such practical accomplishments, everyone’s busy being as much of a jerk as possible, with no likable behavior in sight. Kobayashi’s an emotionless cold fish, Inoue way too stuck up to contribute anything but reprimands, Akechi is unnecessarily cruel and Hanasaki is just as loud and tiring in his grief as he was in his genki-ness.

Check out my full review of Trickster, episode 9 over at ANN.