Detective Conan: A Show Older Than Time

By Vidhi Gupta

Scroll to the end for the TL;DR.

Detective Conan or Case Closed follows the story of a High School Detective, Kudo Shinichi, who on a date with his childhood friend, Mouri Ran, witnesses a mysterious deal take place. As a result, he is knocked unconscious and given a drug which turns him into an elementary school student. While the manga started in 1994, the anime started in 1996. The show itself is long because of the amount of fillers it has. Discarding those, watching it shouldn’t take that long. Having just aired its 1000th episode, I cannot even begin to emphasize on how brilliantly connected this show is.

It starts with Conan getting used to being an elementary school student and how adjusting to life with the mind of a 17-year-old could be… difficult. He constantly has to remember that since he is now a 7-year-old child, he cannot know more than his age. Although it was incorporated at a steady pace, in the more recent episodes, it is almost like a joke now. Being a complete Sherlock Holmes fan (that is where the name ‘Conan’ came from as well), the show is full of quotes from the original series, including, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth!”

Coming to the plot, the story advances to incorporate intelligence agencies like the FBI, CIA and the Japanese Special Forces and one of my favourite characters, Akai Shuichi, Kudo Yusaku (Shinichi’s father) and Kaito Kid. Along with such agencies, the show never once imposes the fact that Shinichi as Conan is always right. It always gives important character developments and backstories which piece the show into one string. While I cannot say it is exactly realistic in a sense, it also never ceased to amaze me. Though it is the external story with the Black Organization that keeps the thrill of the show alive, the deductions that are made by Conan through Mouri Kogoro (Ran’s father) are no less than amazing.

The Black Organization appears pretty early in the show and are introduced as the main antagonists. Like any typical syndicate, they also use code names but, in the form of alcohols and liqueurs. Each member’s revelation came steadily with just the right amount of suspense. I never once felt that the show was being dragged or was slow. The biggest and most hyped (rightfully) revelation was probably of Bourbon, when perhaps the first time, all the main characters came together in one arc. The Organisation itself has ruined quite a number of families as a whole, not to mention the Akai family, but the Miyano family as well. After killing the parents and the elder sister, the lone survivor, Miyano Shiho (Haibara Ai), becomes the second most important character after Conan and the Akai family.

Since it is classified as Shounen, we can say without a doubt that Shinichi has some very interesting rivals, be it in Detective work or challenging his deduction skills. Both Hattori Heiji and Kaito Kid are considered to be geniuses of their areas. Shinichi is famous in the East whereas Heiji has a similar reputation, if not fate, in the West. On the other hand, Kaito Kid is a magician who has earned the reputation of being the most notorious yet ‘noble’ thief in Japan. Kaito Kid constantly pushes Shinichi/Conan to his wits end by performing miraculous tricks claiming that a magician is the one who creatively fools people, while the detective only follows them, always one step behind.

A common concern I have heard often is that because the show itself is very old, the animation might be very bad as well. While I can’t really deny that, according to the times it was made in, I guess it was better than most other shows, or as good as them. TSM Entertainment is one of the oldest and most famous animation studios in Japan, having animated shows like Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Hamtaro, Sonic X, etc. So, if you like the animation of these shows, Detective Conan is a must try. Anyway the animation keeps on improving and adapting to the latest animation style. The recent animation is as good as any new generation anime.

What brought out these realizations most is probably the music and not just the openings, but the suspenseful music that sometimes got rather creepy. That would be more true for the initial episodes as well because not just the animation, but the music and its quality improved a lot throughout the series.

TL;DR- 9/10, would have given a ten, but still too many revelations have to be made, so let’s hope there is no case of an anticlimax! If you can survive the emotional trauma of Naruto and the intensity of Demon Slayer, then this show is for you!

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