The story revolves around Heizou Hasegawa who is the chief of the Arson Theft Control division which consists of a small group of people charged with keeping the peace and stopping criminals at night, when people sleep in their beds.
The story is episodic, too episodic I might say, and a bit repetitive, following the archetype of “describe the setting> reveal the problem > hero action > consequences> hero thoughts” but nonetheless it is very well written and enjoyable, offering many points of view through the perspectives of the different characters.
The art’s good as well. It was set on traditional Japan so every bit was great especially the soundtracks. It’s like I’ve been to Japan after listening to that opening song. It was damn great.
The content of Onihei’s individual stories also deserves recognition; the show could easily get away with embedding moderately complicated mysteries in each episode that Heizo solves with his wit and experience, but that would be playing it far too safe for a show with the kind of flare that Onihei has. During the Edo period, where laws are obviously more lax and authority less omnipotent, the number of “unique” crimes that are committed are at a tremendous volume—so with all the ethical dilemmas that naturally spawn from these situations, it would be a dumb oversight not to turn some of it into serviceable food for thought. With poetic lines of dialogue such as:
“At times we do evil things when intending to do good; And at time we do good things when intending to do evil—such is life.”