Detective Conan article published in Animerica Extra Vol. 3, No. 2, January 2000
This article was written by and is copyrighted to Patricia Duffield and may not be reproduced in part or whole without permission.
Gosho (both long o's) Aoyama's Mei Tantei Conan (Detective Conan) has been a smashing success. Currently at twenty five volumes, this Shonen Sunday series includes a lengthy hit TV show, three movies, and lots of merchandise in its claim to fame. Though the pint-sized hero may suggest this title's for kids, the complex plots, brilliant deductions and graphic murders definitely make it a series for adults.
The story begins with teen detective Shinichi Kudo helping the police solve a murder. The next morning, Ran Mori, friend, classmate and captain of the karate club, isn't as pleased with Shinichi as he is with himself. Shinichi's putting her father, a P.I., out of work. "It's not my fault; it's because of his lack of skill..." Punching a hole in a nearby power pole in response, Ran claims it doesn't really upset her. She chastises Shinichi for quitting soccer; he could have become a national hero. Shinichi only played soccer to build his reflexes to become a great detective, like Sherlock Holmes. Besides, he has fan letters from lots of girls who like him as a mystery geek. When Ran suggests he go with one of his fans to the amusement park tomorrow, he scrambles to placate her.
The next day, Shinichi's still rambling about how cool Holmes is and demonstrates by taking the hand of a woman in line. "You do gymnastics," he says, explaining that the woman's hand has calluses you'd only get from gymnastics. A rude but amorous couple in line cause his thoughts turn romantic. Ran teases him yet still holds his hand on the rollercoaster's first hill. Their fun is short lived. When they enter the coaster's tunnel, something drips on Shinichi from in front then splashes on him from behind. When they emerge, the amorous man behind Shinichi has been beheaded. Though a bloody knife is found in the girlfriend's purse, Shinichi concludes it's the gymnast from the seat in front of him who killed the man. Not only would the gymnast have the skill to reach over Shinichi to put a piano wire noose around the man's neck, but she was crying when she did it: it was her tears that dripped on him in the tunnel. The gymnast confesses.
As they leave, Shinichi notices the suspicious men in black, who had also ridden the coaster, sneaking behind some buildings and tells Ran he'll see her later. Following the men in black, Shinichi stumbles across an official getting blackmailed. One of the men in black hits him from behind and force feeds him a deadly new drug. When Shinichi wakes up, the official is dead, and the park guards are calling him "sonny." The drug didn't kill him; it shrunk him! Shinichi escapes the guards and gets help from his neighbor, the inventor Prof. Agasa. When Ran drops by, Agasa claims Shinichi is a distant relative and Shinichi borrows his alias from two great mystery writers, calling himself Conan Edogawa. Agasa asks Ran if she'd look after the boy, explaining to Shinichi that he'll have a much better chance of tracking down the men in black --and an antidote-- if he's living with a detective. Ran's happy to help because Conan is so darned cute.
As the series continues, there are plenty of mysteries to solve. Conan secretly helps Ran's all but inept father, aided by various Agasa gadgets. No gadget can help him adjust to the trials of being vertically challenged, however, especially when no one ever listens to you. Of course, there's also the difficulty of watching Ran miss him when he‘s right there beside her. Will Shinichi ever find a cure? Pick up the series and find out!