CASE CLOSED: The Many Adventures of Detective Conan
Boy Detective Franchise Still Going Strong
Author: Andrew Nguyen
Source: FUNimation Entertainment, VIZ Media
Official Manga Site: websunday.net/conan (Japan), shonensunday.com/series/caseclosed (US)
Official Anime Site: ytv.co.jp/conan, conan-movie.jp (Japan), funimation.com/caseclosed (US)
Special Thanks to Jackie Smith
Shinichi Kudo is one of Japan’s most famous tantei (detective) due to his ability to solve even the most baffling cases. The press referred to him as the “Detective of the East” even though he is only a teenager. After finishing a date with his childhood friend Ran Mouri at a Tokyo amusement park, he inadvertently witnesses a shady deal between a Japanese businessperson and a mysterious man in black. But before Kudo can investigate further, he is ambushed and knocked out by another man in black. To eliminate Kudo while leaving no trace of their presence, the two men in black force-feed him APTX-4869, an untraceable experimental poison. Instead of killing him, the poison physically de-ages the teenager back to a 7-year-old child.
Acting on the advice of his neighbor, Dr. Hiroshi Agasa, Kudo goes to live at Ran’s house under the pseudonym “Conan Edogawa” (inspired by the writer Edogawa Rampo, who in turn based his pen name on Edgar Allen Poe). There Conan uses Ran’s father, Kogoro Mouri— a mostly incompetent detective— to solve the numerous cases that cross his path. To catch those responsible for his predicament, Conan works behind the scenes in the hopes of making Kogoro famous enough to receive a case dealing with the aptly-named Black Organization. He accomplishes this with the use of special devices created by Dr. Agasa; most often a watch armed with tranquilizer darts, and a bow-tie that can imitate voices. Conan will often knock out a suitable prospect with the darts, imitate their voice with the bow-tie, and then let that person take the credit once the case is resolved. Most of the time, Kogoro Mouri is Conan’s candidate of choice when solving a case.
While pursuing those responsible for his condition as Conan, Shinichi Kudo realizes the Black Organization would kill anyone who discovered he was still alive. He hides the truth from Ran to keep her out of danger. But despite his attempts to remain hidden from the Black Organization, several other characters in the series beside Dr. Agasa know Conan’s real identity. Most become allies in his fight against the criminal group. They include his parents— the renowned novelist and former detective Yusaku Kudo and the famous actress Yuikaku Kudo— as well as a fellow teenage detective prodigy from Osaka named Heiji Hattori. Perhaps his most important ally is Ai Haibara, secretly a former teenage scientist named Shiho Miyano who once was a member of the Black Organization. Ai created the APTX-4869, and is now in the same situation as Shinichi… for she took her own drug to kill herself after the organization murdered her sister, but reverted to a child instead. Now on the run from the Black Organization, her main goals are to bring it down and develop a cure for her and Shinichi’s condition.
As if all this crime-fighting was not enough, Conan must also endure the trials of being a kid again, including going back to elementary school. He often has to keep his three new school friends out of trouble as they play investigator as part of a club called the Detective Boys (Junior Detective League in the English version).
Created by longtime detective story fan Gosho Aoyama, DETECTIVE CONAN (名探偵コナン, Meitantei Konan) first started life in 1994 as a manga serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Sunday published by Shogakukan Inc. Two years later, the series made the transition to television with an animated program produced by TMS Entertainment and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation. The franchise also features ten direct-to-video OVAs (Original Video Animation) as well as manga and television specials. Some of these have been crossovers with other series, including a TV special that pitted Conan against none other than the master thief, Lupin the Third.
Furthermore, there is a DETECTIVE CONAN anime movie series with fifteen films to date. The events in the films are mostly in a separate timeline from the main manga and television series. All the movies have premiered in Japanese theaters in mid-to-late April and virtually all of them have been huge box office successes. Adding to the popularity of the DETECTIVE CONAN anime series and movies is the incredibly large Japanese voice cast, which includes many well-known names such as Megumi Hayashibara (NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, POKÉMON, COWBOY BEBOP), Shuichi Ikeda (MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM), Kappei Yamaguchi (INUYASHA, DEATH NOTE), Akira Kamiya (GETTER ROBO, SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO), Ryo Horikawa (DRAGON BALL Z, SAINT SEIYA), and Wataru Takagi (KITARO, TRANSFORMERS: BEAST WARS).
DETECTIVE CONAN has also ventured into live action with a trio of TV movies. The first of these, DETECTIVE CONAN: SHINICHI KUDO’S WRITTEN CHALLENGE (「名探偵コナン」１０周年記念ドラマスペシャル 工藤新一への挑戦状～さよならまでの序章（プロローグ）～, Meitantei Conan: Kudo Shinichi he no Chosenjo, 2006) celebrated the 10th anniversary of the anime with a tale of Shinichi Kudo (played by Shun Oguri) before he shrank to a child. The second movie, DETECTIVE CONAN: SHINICHI KUDO RETURNS! SHOWDOWN WITH THE BLACK ORGANIZATION (「名探偵コナン」ドラマスペシャル 工藤新一の復活！黒の組織との対決, Kudo Shinichi no Fukkatsu! Kuro no Soshiki to no Taiketsu, 2007) had Conan revert to a teenager. A third drama, DETECTIVE CONAN: SHINICHI KUDO’S WRITTEN CHALLENGE: MYSTERY OF THE LEGENDARY STRANGE BIRD (「名探偵コナン」 工藤新一への挑戦状～怪鳥伝説の謎～, Kudo Shinichi he no Chosenjo: Kaitori Densetsu no Nazo, 2011) aired this past April, and will launch a new live-action television series starring Junpei Mizobata as Shinichi Kudo.
Before DETECTIVE CONAN, Gosho Aoyama also created other series such as Magic Kaito (まじっく快斗, Majikku Kaitoo), which also ran in Shonen Sunday and dealt with the adventures of Kaito Kuroba and his double life as the Kaitou Kid, a famous international gentlemen jewel thief. In the stories, Kaitou Kid searched for a jewel that contained incredible powers with the intention of destroying the jewel to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. However, after three volumes, Aoyama halted all work on Magic Kaito and shifted his focus to DETECTIVE CONAN after it debuted to incredible success. But he soon brought several of the characters from Magic Kaito— as well as aspects of another early work called Yaiba (剣勇伝説YAIBA, Kenyuu Densetsu Yaiba)— to DETECTIVE CONAN. In the series, Kaitou Kid serves as one of Conan’s main antagonists, though he is harmless compared to the members of the Black Organization. Furthermore, Kaito’s father Toichi Kuroba was the acting teacher to Conan’s mother Yuikaku Kudo as well as a high-level member of the Black Organization who went by the codename “Vermouth”. Finally, Toichi was the original Kaitou Kid. In this capacity, he served as the rival to Yusaku Kudo during the elder Kudo’s detective days. Kaitou Kid has also appeared in the movies and has a good idea about Conan’s identity. Aoyama returned to work on Magic Kaito with the publication of the fourth volume of the series in 2007. The recent anime TV special MAGIC KAITO: KID THE PHANTOM THIEF (まじっく快斗: KID THE PHANTOM THIEF, 2010) dealt with the creation of the present Kaitou Kid.
From the beginning, DETECTIVE CONAN has enjoyed tremendous popularity at home and abroad. At present, the critically praised manga has 71 compilation volumes and has sold over 120 million copies. It is regularly listed among the top selling manga in Japan and has even appeared on the New York Times best-selling list of manga for October 2010. The anime version is currently in its 20th season, and has scored high rankings on Japanese TV as well as popularity polls in anime magazines. For the 15th anniversary of the anime, the series is available on video on demand in Japan. The popularity of DETECTIVE CONAN is such that the Japanese police have used the series as a promotional tool towards fighting crime. In Aoyama’s home town of Hokuei, Tottori, there are statues of the characters from DETECTIVE CONAN as well as a museum that focused on the author’s work. On the future of the series, Aoyama has hinted in interviews that he has already developed an idea on how it will end but will not use it as of the present time.
In 2003, VIZ Media licensed the North American manga rights for DETECTIVE CONAN while FUNimation Entertainment acquired the distribution rights to the anime series, with a license for the movies following in 2006. Prior to appearing in the US, the series underwent several changes. The Japanese producers of the series requested the title change from DETECTIVE CONAN to CASE CLOSED in order to avoid copyright charges relating to either comedian Conan O’Brien or the character Conan the Barbarian. Overall, most of the changes to the show stemmed from making it more acceptable to an American broadcast partner. This included changing the names of nearly all of the characters (Shinichi Kudo became “Jimmy Kudo”) as well as several locations in the series. Furthermore, FUNimation used English versions of the opening and ending songs for a large portion of the episodes that they released and the first two movies, as well.
At first, VIZ and FUNimation coordinated their efforts on their early releases in terms of the names of some of the characters from the series. Eventually, as VIZ’s releases of the manga outpaced the releases of the television and movie series from FUNimation, the manga has mostly used the Japanese names and location for any newly introduced characters. However, a different track was used for the character of Ai Haibara when she finally made her first appeared in the English releases of CASED CLOSED. FUNimation used one name for the anime version (Vi Graythorn) while VIZ Media used a different name for the manga version (Anita Hailey).
To date, the first five seasons of the TV series have been released on DVD in the US along with the first six movies. Premiering on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim in May 2004, the CASE CLOSED anime series was not a rating success in the US. After forty-eight episodes it was pulled from the air, and there are no present plans of releasing the later seasons. However, the Japanese version still airs on television in America through NHK’s cable network TV Japan. The six movies have done better with the result that FUNimation has left open the possibility of obtaining the remaining movies. Company reps revealed that CASE CLOSED is one of the most fan-requested titles, so it may be only a matter of time until more volumes are released on Region 1 DVD.
Since 2004 VIZ Media has published the CASE CLOSED manga on a bi-monthly basis. 38 volumes have been released thus far, with the 39th scheduled for July.
DETECTIVE CONAN/CASE CLOSED Manga
Serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday since 1994. Compilation volumes also began in 1994 with seventy-one volumes published to date. The English language version launched in North America in 2004 with thirty-eight volumes released so far.
Author: Gosho Aoyama
Japanese publisher: Shogakukan Inc.
English publisher: Viz Media
DETECTIVE CONAN/CASE CLOSED Anime
The DETECTIVE CONAN anime series debuted on the Japanese television station Nippon Television Network System in 1996, with twenty seasons (and over 600 episodes) aired to date. The series aired briefly in the United States in 2004 as part of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Nineteen seasons have been released on DVD in Japan, while the first five seasons are available on DVD in North America.
Production Studio: TMS Entertainment and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation
North American Distributor: FUNimation Entertainment
Original Creator: Gosho Aoyama
Chief Director: Kenji Kodama
Producer: Masahito Yoshioka, Michihiko Suwa
Story Editor: Junichi Iioka, Masatomo Sudo
Music: Katsuo Ono
Character Designer: Junko Yamanaka, Mari Tominaga, Masatomo Sudo
Producer: Barry Watson, Daniel Cocanougher
Executive Producer: Cindy Brennan Fukunaga, Gen Fukunaga
Translation: Clyde Mandelin
ADR Director: Caitlin Glass, Chris Cason, Christopher R. Sabat, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Eric Vale, Mike McFarland, Tyler Walker
Script Supervision: Jeremy Carlile
Script: Andrew Rye, Christopher Neel, David Haynes, Matt Chancey, Sean Michael Teague
Conan Edogawa: Minami Takayama
Shinichi Kudo: Kappei Yamaguchi
Ran Mouri: Wakana Yamazaki
Kogoro Mouri: Akira Kamiya, Rikiya Koyama
Ai Haibara/Shiho Miyano: Megumi Hayashibara
Pr. Hiroshi Agasa: Kenichi Ogata
Ayumi Yoshida: Yukiko Iwai
Genta Kojima: Wataru Takagi
Mitsuko Tsuburyara: Ikue Ōtani, Ai Orikasa
Heiji Hattori: Ryo Horikawa
Kazuha Tomoya: Yuko Miyamura
Inspector Meguire: Chafurin
Sonoko Suzuki: Naoko Matsui
Eri Kisari: Gara Takashima
Miwako Sato: Atsuko Yuya
Wataru Takagi: Wataru Takagi
Nizaburo Shiratori: Kaneto Shiozawa, Kazuhiko Inoue
Kaitou Kid: Kappei Yamaguchi
Yusaku Kudo: Hideiyuki Tanaka
Yuikaku Kudo: Sumi Shimamoto
Jodie Starling: Miyuki Ichijou
Shuichi Akai: Shuichi Ikeda
Gin: Yukitoshi Hori
Vodka: Fumihiko Tachiki
Vermouth: Mami Koyama
Conan Edogawa: Alison Viktorin
Jimmy Kudo: Jerry Jewell
Rachel Moore: Colleen Clinkenbeard
Richard Moore: R. Bruce Elliot
Vi Greythron: Briana Palencia
Dr. Herschel Agasa: Bill Flynn
Amy Yeager: Monica Rial
Mitch Tennyson: Cynthia Cranz
George Kaminski: Mike McFarland
Inspector Joseph Meguire
Serena Sebastian: Laura Bailey
Harley Hartwell: Kevin M. Conolly
Kristen Thomas: Gwendolyn Lau
Eva Kaden: Julie Mayfield
Miwako Simone: Kate Oxley
Henry Wilder: Doug Burks
Nizaburo Santos: Eric Vale
Phantom Thief Kid: Jerry Jewell
Booker Kudo: Randy Tallman, John Swasey
Vivian Kudo: Laurie Steele
Gin: Troy Baker
Vodka: Kyle Herbert
DETECTIVE CONAN/CASE CLOSED Anime Movies
Production Studio: TMS Entertainment
Japanese Distributor: Toho Co.
North American Distributor: FUNimation Entertainment
• DETECTIVE CONAN: THE TIME BOMBED SKYSCRAPER (名探偵コナン 時計じかけの摩天楼, Meitantei Konan: Tokei-jikake no Matenroo, 1997)
US Release: CASE CLOSED: THE TIME BOMBED SKYSCRAPER (2006)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: THE FOURTEENTH TARGET (名探偵コナン 14番目の標的, Meitantei Konan Juuyon banme no Tagetto, 1998)
US Release: CASE CLOSED: THE FOURTEENTH TARGET (2007)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: THE LAST WIZARD OF THE CENTURY (名探偵コナン 世紀末の魔術師, Meitantei Konan Seikimatsu no Majutsushi, 1999)
US Release: CASE CLOSED: THE LAST WIZARD OF THE CENTURY (2009)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: CAPTURED IN HER EYES (名探偵コナン 瞳の中の暗殺者, Meitantei Konan Hitomi no Naka no Ansatsusha, 2000)
US Release: CASE CLOSED: CAPTURED IN HER EYES (2009)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: COUNTDOWN TO HEAVEN (名探偵コナン 天国へのカウントダウン, Meitantei Konan Tengoku e no Kauntodaun, 2001)
US Release: CASE CLOSED: COUNTDOWN TO HEAVEN (2010)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: THE PHANTOM OF BAKER STREET (名探偵コナン ベイカー街（ストリート） の亡霊, Meitantei Konan: Bekaa Sutorîto no Boorei, 2002)
US Release: CASE CLOSED: THE PHANTOM OF BAKER STREET (2010)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: CROSSROAD IN THE ANCIENT CAPITAL (名探偵コナン 迷宮の十字路, Meitantei Konan Meikyuu no Kurosuroodo, 2003)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: MAGICIAN OF THE SILVER SKY (名探偵コナン 銀翼の奇術師, Meitantei Konan Gin-yoku no Majishan, 2004)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: STRATEGY ABOVE THE DEPTHS (名探偵コナン 水平線上の陰謀, Meitantei Konan Suiheisenjoo no Sutoratejii, 2005)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: THE PRIVATE EYES’ REQUIUM (名探偵コナン 探偵たちの鎮魂歌, Meitantei Konan: Tanteitachi no Requiem, 2006)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: JOLLY ROGER IN THE AZURE (名探偵コナン 紺碧の棺, Meitantei Konan Konpeki no Jorii Rojaa, 2007)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: FULL SCORE OF FEAR (名探偵コナン 戦慄の楽譜（フルスコア), Meitantei Konan: Senritsu no Gakufu, 2008)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: THE RAVEN CHASER (名探偵コナン 漆黒の追跡者（チェイサー), Meitantei Konan: Shikkoku no Chaser, 2009)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: THE LOST SHIP IN THE SKY (名探偵コナン 天空の難破船, Meitantei Konan Tenkuu no Rosuto Shippu, 2010)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: QUARTER OF SILENCE (名探偵コナン 沈黙の１５分, Meitantei Konan: Chinmoku no Kuota, 2011)
LUPIN THE THIRD VS DETECTIVE CONAN (ルパン三世 VS 名探偵コナン, Rupan Sansei vs. Meitantei Konan, 2009)
DETECTIVE CONAN OVAs
SHONEN SUNDAY ORIGINAL ANIMATION/ DETECTIVE CONAN SECRET FILE
SHONEN SUNDAY ORIGINAL ANIMATION is a series of OVAs (original video animation) released each April to coincide with the latest DETECTIVE CONAN feature film. The OVAs have also been collected in four DVD volumes entitled DETECTIVE CONAN SECRET FILE (名探偵コナン シークレットファイル).
• 1- CONAN VS KID VS YAIBA: THE GRAND BATTLE FOR THE TREASURE SWORD!! (コナンvsキッドvsヤイバ 宝刀争奪大決戦!!, Konan tai Kiddo tai Yaiba Hootoo Soudatsu Daikessen, 2000)
• 2- 16 SUSPECTS!? (16人の容疑者!?, Juurokunin no Yoogisha!?, 2002)
• 3- CONAN, HEIJI, AND THE VANISHED BOY (コナンと平次と消えた少年, Konan to Heiji to Kieta Shonen, 2003)
• 4- CONAN, KID, AND THE CRYSTAL MOTHER (コナンとキッドとクリスタル·マザー, Konan to Kiddo to Kurisutaru Mazaa, 2004)
• 5- THE TARGET IS KOGOROU!! THE DETECTIVE BOYS’ SECRET REPORT (標的は毛利小五郎!!少年探偵団マル秘調査, Hyooteki wa Mori Kogoro!! Shonen Tanteidan Maruhi Choosa, 2005)
• 6- FOLLOW THE VANISHED DIAMOND! CONAN & HEIJI VS KID! (消えたダイヤを追え!コナン·平次vsキッド, Kieta Daiya o Oe! Konan, Heiji vs Kiddo, 2006)
• 7- A CHALLENGE FROM AGASA! AGASA VS CONAN AND THE DETECTIVE BOYS (阿笠からの挑戦状!阿笠vsコナン&少年探偵団, Agasa Kara no Choosenjou! Agasa vs. Conan & Shonen Tanteidan, 2007)
• 8- THE CASE FILES OF HIGH SCHOOL GIRL DETECTIVE SONOKO SUZUKI (女子高生探偵 鈴木園子の事件簿, Joshi Koosein Tantei Suzuki Sonoko no Jikenbo, 2008)
• 9- THE STRANGER FROM 10 YEARS LATER (10年後の異邦人, 10nen go no i Hoojin, 2009)
• 10- KID IN TRAP ISLAND (2010)
• 11- SECRET ORDER FROM LONDON (ロンドンからの秘指令, Rondon Kara no hi Shirei, 2011)
GOSHO AOYAMA SHORT STORIES
• WAIT FOR ME (ちょっとまってて, Chotto Mattete, 1999)
• THE WANDERING RED BUTTERFLY (1999)
• THE SANTA CLAUS OF SUMMER (夏のサンタクロース, Natsu no Santa Kuroosu, 1999)
• DETECTIVE GEORGE’S SPECIAL CASE (探偵ジョージのミニミニ大作戦, Tantei Joji no Minimini Daisakusen, 1999)
• THE TEN PLANETS IN THE NIGHT SKY (夜空に飛び立つ１０個の惑星, Yozora ni Tobitatsu Juuko no Wakusei, 1999)
• PLAY IT AGAIN (プレイ・イット・アゲイン, 1999)
• THE MYSTERIOUS MURDER PLAN (謎の殺人計画, Nazo no Satsujin Keikaku, 1999)
DETECTIVE CONAN MAGIC FILE
• DETECTIVE CONAN MAGIC FILE (名探偵コナン Magic File, Meitantei Konan Magic File, 2007)
• DETECTIVE CONAN MAGIC FILE 2: SHINICHI KUDO— THE CASE OF THE MYSTERIOUS WALL AND THE BLACK LAB (名探偵コナンMagic File 2 ～工藤新一 謎の壁と黒ラブ事件～, Meitantei Konan Magic File 2 ～Kudo Shinichi Nazo no Kabe to Kuro Rabu Jiken～, 2008)
• DETECTIVE CONAN MAGIC FILE 3: SHINICHI & RAN— MEMORIES OF MAJHONG TILES AND TANABATA (名探偵コナン Magic File 3 ～新一と蘭・麻雀牌と七夕の思い出～, Meitantei Konan Magic File 3 ～Shinichi to Ran・Maajan Pai to Tanabata no Omoide, 2009)”
• DETECTIVE CONAN MAGIC FILE 4″ OSAKA OKONOMIYAKI ODYSSEY (名探偵コナン Magic File 4 ～大阪お好み焼きオデッセイ～, Meitantei Konan Magic File 4 ～Osaka Okonomiyaki Odessei～”, 2010)
• DETECTIVE CONAN MAGIC FILE 2011: NIIGATA-TOKYO SOUVENIR CAPRICCIO (名探偵コナン Magic File 2011 ～新潟～東京 おみやげ狂騒曲～, Meitantei Konan Magic File 2011 ～Niigata ~ Tokyo Omiyage Kapurichio～, 2011)
DETECTIVE CONAN Live-Action TV Specials
• DETECTIVE CONAN: SHINICHI KUDO’S WRITTEN CHALLENGE (「名探偵コナン」１０周年記念ドラマスペシャル 工藤新一への挑戦状～さよならまでの序章（プロローグ）～, Meitantei Konan: Kudo Shinichi he no Chosenjo, 2006)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: SHINICHI KUDO RETURNS! SHOWDOWN WITH THE BLACK ORGANIZATION (「名探偵コナン」ドラマスペシャル 工藤新一の復活！黒の組織との対決, Meitantei Konan: Kudo Shinichi no Fukkatsu! Kuro no Soshiki to no Taiketsu, 2007)
• DETECTIVE CONAN: SHINICHI KUDO’S WRITTEN CHALLENGE: MYSTERY OF THE LEGENDARY STRANGE BIRD (「名探偵コナン」 工藤新一への挑戦状～怪鳥伝説の謎～, Meitantei Konan: Kudo Shinichi he no Chosenjo: Kaitori Densetsu no Nazo, 2011)