Detective Conan: Probably the longest running anime series at the moment, next to Pokémon. Full of murder, deductions, mystery, love and comedic situations. Detective Conan (or Case Closed in America) is the show that we all watched when we were kids but then eventually stopped. Here’s why we shouldn’t have stopped.
In a Nutshell
Shinichi Kudo is a 17-year-old high schol student and a famous detective from Japan. One day, after going to a theme park with his childhood friend and love interest, Ran Mouri, he witnesses and illegal transaction and is therefore attacked by some men who give him a poison to kill him. But instead of killing him, the poison makes him grow back to when he was 7 years old. To try to get his body back by catching this secret Black Organisation, Shinichi adopts the name “Conan Edogawa” and puts some glasses so no one will recognise him. He starts living with Ran and her father, Kogoro Mouri, who’s also a detective. From then on, Conan has to resolve murder cases along with finding allies that will help him along the way.
Meet the Characters
Conan (Shinichi Kudo) is probably the most intelligent person you’ll ever meet. He believes justice and good will should prevail above all. He’s very brave and won’t stop until he gets the culprit and makes sure that everyone’s safe. He’s in love with Ran and hates lying to her when he pretends to be Shinichi on the phone. Also, he’s sassy as f*ck and likes pulling this face a lot.
Ran is Shinichi’s best friend. She’s a nice, responsible girl, who has to take care of the house while his father is busy watching TV or sleeping. Even though she hurts from her love interest being away, she’s an incredibly strong woman. She’s very brave and won’t hesitate to put herself in danger to protect others. She does karate and will probably kick your ass if you bother her.
Kogoro is Ran’s father. He’s a private detective that used to work for the Beika police. Even though he hardly ever shows it, he really loves his daughter and he’s still in love with his ex-wife. He’s portrayed as being lazy, distracted, immature and not having very good observation skills for a detective. He hates Shinichi because he’s young and successful.
Heiji is Shinichi’s best friend and one of the few people who actually knows his real identity. Just like Shinchi, Heiji is a young detective. He lives in Osaka and he’s considered to be the best detective of the West, leaving Shinichi as the best detective from the East. Since they live away from each other, he doesn’t appear very often. Heiji is usually seen with Kazuha, his childhood friend. He often appears as a cold-hearted person who enjoys annoying Kazuha (*whispers* he actually loves her).
Agasa is a scientist that lives alone. He’s been a friend of Shinichi for a long time and he invents lots of gadgets to help him in his cases. Like Heiji and a few other characters, he knows Conan’s true identity and helps him investigate the Black Organisation. Among the inventions he’s created, there’s the stun-gun wristwatch, the special glasses with GPS, the voice-changing bow tie and the turbo skateboard.
*As you can see in the photo above, Detective Conan has A LOT of characters. Which is to be expected from a +900 chapters manga.
A Brief History of Detective Conan: The When, Where and How
Detective Conan is a manga created by Gosho Aoyama back in 1994. Before Conan, he created Magic Kaito, which currently works as a spin-off for DC.
Despite not being as known in the Western countries, Detective Conan is a complete hit in Japan. The manga is actually so successful that it currently stands as the fifth best-selling manga series of all time. As a result of that, there’s been lots of products released such as 19 movies, a large amount of OVAs and TV specials, live action TV series, videogames, audio CDs, toys, collectibles…
Why It’s Awesome
If after reading all the above, you still need more convincing I’m going to give you some.
Detective Conan is a great show for many reasons. First of all, it teaches the typical value any shonen animanga teaches: it’s all about friendship, love, being brave and doing the right thing. However, Conan/Shinichi is not your average shonen protagonist. And, despite looking like a childrens show, Detective Conan is actually pretty dark. I mean, if you just think about the fact that pretty much in every episode everyone dies and there’s a killer on the loose… Some episodes are actually really scary and you get so involved in its mystery that you just have to watch the next episode.
The art style is very true to Aoyama’s actual drawing, with the round ears and the pointy noses. The animation obviously gets better with time, so don’t get too desperate when you start watching. The soundtrack is plain superb and is already a classic for Japanese fans.
Yes, of course the show does have some issues, like the fact that it has SO MANY episode it looks like it’s never-ending. However, that’s also a positive factor if you end up getting obsessed with it since you can never get enough. And still, after 20 YEARS, Aoyama is still able to create intriguing cases with impossible M.O.s that are REALLY hard for the audience to deduce. It is entertaining because every episode feels like a challenge.
If you’re only interested in the main plot with Shinichi/Conan and the Black Organisation, you can check this list to skip all the fillers and non-APlot based cases. Even though it doesn’t look like it, the plot has advanced a lot and Aoyama recently revealed that he has already planned the ending. Yes, it’s long. But it’s worth it.