The sins of the fathers...
In a world powered entirely by steam, orphaned teenage detective Narutaki uses his wits to solve crimes and foil the plans of evil-doers, much like his deceased father. At his side are his friends and allies, including Goriki, a man-sized, thinking, feeling steam-robot, and Ling Ling (aka. Rin Rin), teenage daughter of Goriki's brilliant creator, Dr. Hsu. Narutaki's promise to uncover the truth of Dr. Hsu's disappearance sparked a partnership with Ling Ling that hovers just on the brink of romance, amidst mystery and intrigue on the streets of Steam City.
Doing their best to cause mischief and mayhem are a string of villains, varying from laughably inept to startlingly clever. The recurring enemies of truth and love are mostly people with a grudge against Steam City like the Phantom Knight and the Machine Baron, but there are those who harbor personal hatred, like Le Bread and Lang Lang (aka. Ran Ran). These last two are the doppelganger-style arch-enemies of Narutaki and Ling Ling, respectively, and they perform their villainous duties with very adult drive and determination.
With the flair of classic detectives, the Steam Detectives live by their wits and on the edge, seeking justice, love, and adventure on the misty streets of Steam City.
The detectives of Steam City are still solving new mysteries. Published serially in Japanese and English anthology magazines (Ultra Jump and Animerica Extra, respectively), the Steam Detectives manga is still being written. As of May, 2001, there are 8 volumes of manga, the first 3 of which have been released in the U.S.
Steam Detectives joined the Asamiya anime pantheon a few years ago, when it was used as the basis of a television series. I haven't seen the show yet, but I believe the stories are a mix of key chapters from the manga and all-new adventures created for TV. Hopefully, SDTV will be picked up commercially, but until then, I believe at least one fansubbing group is tackling the show.
As for music, the TV series naturally resulted in a few soundtracks containing background music and featured vocals. I have nothing but praise for the opening ("Kimi hoho-e minda yoru", v. elika) which uses heavy electric violins to add flair to an energetic hard-rock song. It is similar to the Silent Mobius opening in style and feeling, but ranking the two would be difficult.
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