Case Closed, also known as Detective Conan (名探偵 コナン, Meitantei Konan?) in Japan and other countries, is a detective manga and anime series by Gosho Aoyama which has been published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine since 1994.
The series depicts the cases of a young private detective who was inadvertently turned into a prepubescent boy by a certain criminal organization. Even with his body shrunk, he continues to solve many cases and is struggling to solve the mysteries of the criminal organization responsible in order to return to his normal body.
The English manga names will be used, with the Japanese original in brackets at their first mention. Japanese names are in Western order, with the family after the given name, with the exception of Edogawa Rampo (Edogawa being the family name).
The story starts by introducing 17-year old (initially 16 years in the manga) high school student Jimmy Kudo (Shin'ichi Kudo) who is a genius savant, and his childhood friend and crush, Rachel Moore (Ran Mori). Jimmy treats Rachel to a trip to a theme park named "Tropical Land" and encounters a murder. After easily solving the case and showing off his detective skills, he notices two mysterious men wearing black. Telling Rachel to go on home, he tracked the men to a meeting place and witnesses an illegal deal. However, one of the men in black (known only as Gin) notices him and knocks him out. Instead of directly killing him, the two men in black give him an untested experimental poison named Apotoxin-4869 (APTX4869), which was supposed to not only kill Jimmy, but also leave no trace of poison in Jimmy's body. However, Jimmy wakes to find that he is still alive, but has now been shrunk, and his age reverted back to that of about his six year old self.
Following the advice of Dr. Herschel Agasa (Dr. Hiroshi Agasa), Jimmy hides his real identity, lest the men in black find out that he is alive. When Rachel asks for his name, Jimmy spots books by Arthur Conan Doyle and Edogawa Rampo and comes up with the name "Conan Edogawa". Agasa says that "Conan" is a relative of his, but that he is too busy to take care of a young child, and suggests that Conan go to live with Rachel, and both Conan and Rachel agree. Conan feels that by living with a detective, he may be able to amass clues that would lead him to the people who poisoned him.
However, Rachel's father, Richard Moore (Kogoro Mori) is an inept detective and Conan always solves mysteries in his stead, while he gets the credit. As Conan appears to be just a boy, police do not pay any attention to him. Conan instead uses Detective Moore by putting him to sleep with an "anesthesia gun-watch" and pretending to be Moore by using a voice changer disguised as a bow tie. These gadgets and more are made by Dr. Agasa.
To maintain his cover, Conan goes to Titan elementary school (Japanese: Teitan Elementary School (帝丹小学校, Teitan Shōgakk)) and has made friends with three children at the school, George Kaminski (Genta Kojima), Mitch Tennison (Mitsuhiko Tsuburaya) and Amy Yeager (Ayumi Yoshida) who form the self-styled "Junior Detective League" (少年探偵団, Shōnen Tantei-dan) (Detective Boys in the Japanese anime and manga). Although Conan feels profoundly self conscious playing with them given his true age, the foursome have numerous adventures of their own and the trio have proved capable assistants to the detective for their age.
Jimmy was able to find out that Gin was working for a huge international crime syndicate, known as the Black Organization. In addition to Gin, other major members and operatives of the Black Organization that appear later in the story include his partner Vodka, Vermouth, Kir, Chianti, Korn, and a mysterious "boss" who has only been mentioned so far. Jimmy also meets the inventor of the APTX4869 and former member of the organization Shiho Miyano (codename "Sherry" within the black organization), who was also turned into a child after she took her own drug in order to escape the organization. She later lives with Dr. Agasa under her new alias, Ai Haibara.
Later on in the series, Jimmy meets with his parents, Booker (Yusaku) and Vivian (Yukiko) Kudo along with Harley Hartwell (Heiji Hattori), a rival detective from Osaka who later becomes his good friend,  and Harley's childhood friend Kazuha Toyama. Another recurring character is the gentleman thief known as the Phantom Thief Kid (Kaito Kid) , who also appears in Aoyama's other manga, Magic Kaito. Aside from the Black Organization members, he is the only person that Conan seems unable to catch, and neither realize that they are both after the same bad guys for different reasons.
Case Closed has the format of classical mystery fiction, with such classical set-ups as the "Sealed Room"-type murder case, and cases with a limited number of suspects. It also includes the wrap up of the case and conclusion/solution of the case as in typical crime fiction.
Most episodes are self-contained, especially in the anime, which uses an episodic format (though multi-part episodes abound). Occasionally there are also long story arcs.
A typical Conan episode begins with the main cast (usually either Conan, Richard, and Rachel,Conan and Rachel with recurring characters or Conan and the JR Detective League, or occasionally both groups together) arriving at a location and meeting several new characters. One of them eventually turns up dead, and the others are all possible suspects. Conan investigates (usually clandestinely) and uses various tricks to call the adults' attention to the different clues, usually in such a way that they will not suspect that he recognized them as being pertinent to the case. Eventually, Conan will discover some important clue that will confirm his suspicions of who the killer is; however the viewer will not be told the conclusion he has reached. At this point, Conan will wait until Richard and all the suspects are in the same room and then knock Richard out with a dart from his watch which has a tranquillizing substance on the tip (occasionally, when Richard is not around, he will use another character). He then impersonates Richard's voice with his bow tie, so as to make it look like Richard is the one who solved the murder (this is why Richard is called "The Sleeping Richard," or "Sleeping Moore" in the manga, because he always seems to be sleeping when he solves a mystery). At this point, the viewer is informed of Conan's deduction along with the characters themselves. The explanation usually starts with an explanation of how the murder was committed, ending with "Richard" revealing the killer's identity. The killer will usually deny it and point out that there is no proof, at which point Conan calls his/her bluff and reveals that he has found conclusive proof. At this point, the killer usually confesses and gives him/herself up, though occasionally they try to make a break for it. Either way, the story ends with... Often the final scene involves some sort of gag (usually involving Richard doing something stupid) to lighten the mood.
There are a few cases when the killer's identity is already known, however, he/she usually has an alibi of some sort, and Conan must figure out "how" they did it.
At the end of each episode, a hint is given as to how the following episode's murder is committed, and is shown on the screen.
In Japan, a new theatrical movie of Detective Conan is released every year in April during Golden Week. Also, regular appearances of one-hour specials as well as the yearly two-hour New Year special define the series. In international countries outside japan, these specials have been cut down into individual episodes runninng from four to six parts in order to meet a thirty-minute time slot.
While Gosho has not specified when he will end the story, he mentions having a finale in mind.
Viz Media publishes Detective Conan manga in English as Case Closed for American audiences. The comic uses the original right-to-left format and the English anime names for the main characters while it uses the original Japanese names for the minor characters.
Many references to other detective literature can also be found for fans of detective novels, and also includes a Detective Encyclopedia, where many characters of detective, mystery, and crime literature and film are profiled. In America, currently, there are 22 books.
The anime version is produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha and has currently aired 500 television episodes (as of March 17, 2008) and eleven movies in Japan, and is still running on Japanese television today. It airs Mondays at 7:30 p.m. on Nippon TV, and is also broadcast in Japan by the anime CS network, Animax, who have also aired the series across its networks in Southeast Asia and East Asia (including its English language network in Southeast Asia, where its English adaptation stayed true to the original, retaining the original name Detective Conan, as well as each of the characters' original Japanese names and dialogue). In July 2003, FUNimation announced that they licensed Detective Conan for a release in North America, to be released as "Case Closed" due to legal issues concerning the name Conan (Conan the Barbarian, although Conan can be considered a regular name as in Conan O'Brien). In the United Kingdom VIZ's releases are published by Gollancz Manga with the same naming conventions. Because of the long Japanese tv seasons, the show has also been able to air 500 episodes as well.
The tenth movie, Private Eyes' Requiem was announced on December 15, 2005 and was released on April 15, 2006, debuting at the number one position in the Japanese box office and remained there for three consecutive weeks. As of May 28, 2006, it has earned $25.8 million in the Japanese box office.
The latest series in the franchise is a live-action TV drama, which premièred in Japan on Nippon Television on October 2, 2006. It served as a prequel of the current storyline, starring Shun Oguri as Shin'ichi Kudo (Jimmy Kudo), Tomoka Kurokawa as Ran Mori (Rachel Moore), and Takanori Jinnai as Kogoro Mori (Richard Moore).
Episode 2 of the live-action TV drama premiered on December 17, 2007, With added characters such as Yu Kashii as Shiho Miyano, Sasaki Kuranosuke as Gin, Tayama Ryosei as Agasa, Fujisaki Nao (Conan) and Shibata Kyoka (Haibara).
Since 1997, a movie based on the series is screened during the Golden Week of Japan. Because of the series' general popularity in Japan, most of the movies are number one in box office rating at début, if not for several weeks. The list of movies screened so far include:
|#||Japanese Title||English Title||Year||Box Office Gross (¥)|
Meitantei Konan Tokei Jikake no Matenrō
|Case Closed: The Time-Bombed Skyscraper||1997 (English dub: 2006)||(n/a)|
Meitantei Konan Jyuuyon banme no Tagetto
|Case Closed: The Fourteenth Target||1998 (English dub: 2007)||1.05 billion|
Meitantei Konan Seikimatsu no Majutsushi
|Detective Conan: The Last Wizard of the Century||1999||1.45 billion|
Meitantei Konan Hitomi no Naka no Ansatsusha
|Detective Conan: Captured in Her Eyes||2000||2.5 billion|
Meitantei Konan Tengoku e no Kauntodaun
|Detective Conan: Countdown to Heaven||2001||2.9 billion|
Meitantei Konan Beikā Sutorīto no Bōrei
|Detective Conan: The Phantom of Baker Street||2002||3.4 billion|
Meitantei Konan Meikyū no Kurosurōdo
|Detective Conan: Crossroad in the Ancient Capital||2003||3.2 billion|
Meitantei Konan Gin-yoku no Majishan
|Detective Conan: Magician of the Silver Sky||2004||2.8 billion|
Meitantei Konan Suiheisenjō no Sutoratejī
|Detective Conan: Strategy Above the Depths||2005||2.15 billion|
Meitantei Konan Tantei tachi no REQUIEM
|Detective Conan: The Private Eyes' Requiem||2006||3.03 billion|
Meitantei Konan Konpeki no Jorī Rojā
|Detective Conan: Jolly Roger in the Deep Azure||2007||3.2 billion|
Meitantei Konan Senritsu no Furu Sukoa
|Detective Conan: Full Score of Fear||2008||To be screened|
To date, Detective Conan/Case Closed has 22 Opening themes and 29 Ending themes in Japan. Most of the themes were sung by Giza Studio singers or groups.
In the U.S. version, the original songs were translated in English while featuring the same melodies. Only the openings "Mune ga Doki Doki" and "Nazo" and the endings "Step by Step", "Hikari to Kage no Roman", and "Kimi ga Inai Natsu" were dubbed in English, while in foreign countries, seven of the original Japanese themes have been dubbed.
As of August 2007, Detective Conan is airing on Yomiuri TV (producing TV station), NNS TV stations, and TV Miyazaki on Mondays at 7:30 p.m., after Kekkaishi, which is also from the same comic group. While its ratings have declined over the years, it is still one of the highest rated anime on Japanese television.
There have been unconfirmed reports that the Fox Network (pre-Fox Box) considered licensing the series at one point,renaming it Conan's Capers, but decided not to as it was thought to be far too violent Indeed, there are many situations that involve disturbing homicides, such as human corpses, dismembered bodies, and in a very few cases, even murdered children. (In the very first episode of the anime, the young man, Kishida, is beheaded on a roller coaster, with actual graphic detail and gore. The anime version has gouts of what appears to be intense light spouting from where Kenneth's (as "Kishida" is known in the English anime) head was.
In every other part of the world, in the many countries where Detective Conan was released and aired, the name "Detective Conan" (or the literal translation of it), remained intact, including the anime TV network Animax's English adaptation. Detective Conan has aired in Turkey, Argentina, Chile, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, China, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and other nations.
Cartoon Network began broadcasting Case Closed as part of their Adult Swim programming block on May 24, 2004. Although a family series in Japan, the mature content of the crimes portrayed prevented it from gaining prime time exposure to its proper audience. Also, one glaring example of an inaccurate translation was an episode where TNT was discounted as the cause of an explosion because of the lack of burnt gunpowder smell or traces of gunpowder (which hurt the series' credibility) - originally, it was the mention and doubt of dynamite instead of TNT. Only 50 episodes aired in the United States, and in January 2005, Adult Swim announced that it would not purchase additional episodes due to low ratings. They gave back the rights to the series later that year, and it has now debuted on a syndicated FUNimation Channel programming block airing on CoLours TV on June 19, 2006. However, episodes are still being released on DVD, though no news has been given on renewing the license for additional episodes. Up to only 80 episodes (83 by English numbering) have been released.
FUNimation's English dub of Case Closed made its Canadian television debut on YTV's Bionix programming block on April 7, 2006 at 10:30 p.m. Beginning on June 2, 2006, Case Closed was still part of the Bionix block, but it had been airing at a later timeslot of 12:00 a.m. The reason for this, however, is likely not so much because of low ratings (as was the case on Adult Swim), but because the station needed to meet their annual Canadian Content quota by airing a certain amount of Canadian programming before 12 a.m., effectively leaving the series out of the main line-up. After broadcasting 21 episodes, YTV has since stopped airing Case Closed, with its final broadcast at 12:00 a.m. on September 2, 2006.
FUNimation's English dub of The Time-Bombed Skyscraper was released to DVD on October 3, 2006. Unlike the series, the movie left the original animation entirely intact with no translations except for the opening title and ending credits. The opening title was replaced with an English version. The original Japanese credits were changed from a tour of Tokyo and recap of the movie to an endless loop of fire engines and police cars with their lights from the final scene with the credits displayed over it.
FUNimation's English dub of The Fourteenth Target was released on November 20, 2007. Due to the americanization of the majority of the character's names, many of the explainations for names have been changed to completely random bits of information(For example, instead of Santos' name, Santos says he is one of three children.)
The series was also later dubbed and translated into English by the anime television network Animax for broadcast across its English-language networks in Southeast Asia (including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and several other countries in the region), with Animax's unedited dub staying true to the original, retaining the original name Detective Conan as well as the original dialogue and each of the character's original Japanese names. Animax, whose founders include the studio behind the production of the anime series, TMS (along with other studios such as Sunrise, Toei and NAS) has also aired the series in its original network in Japan (in Japanese), as well as its other networks worldwide, including Hong Kong and Taiwan (where it was aired in Chinese).
At the 5th Annual Tokyo Anime Awards competition, the ninth Detective Conan movie, Detective Conan: Strategy Above the Depths, won the Feature Film category, together with Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Heirs To The Stars.[
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