Monday, February 25, 2013

DaWaRou Posts: Detective Conan

After coming back from a nice relaxing weekend at my Dad's place and not even giving a flying fuck about the Oscars, I think it's about time for a blog post! In addition, I just finished my first week back at school and so the illustrious life of a community college student still living at home is once again mine to live. Hello ladies and gents, I'm John Cortez and this is my fourteenth post for...The Broken Infinite.

So, when you're an anime fan for...about ten or so years you tend to run into a lot of different series and you tend to know what you like if you still like anime after ten years. During that time you inevitably come across long runners, series that can last anywhere between 100 and 800 episodes with no signs of stopping any time soon. Now I know people out there who can't stand long runners be honest it's not hard to understand why. Long runners are...well looooooooooong. They require time, energy and a great deal of devotion to keep going episode after episode in a series that's not quite ready to end yet...or at any point in the near future. Now some series like InuYasha and Naruto can become particularly aggravating after a certain period of time while others like One Piece seem to benefit from the fact that they just go on forever and ever. Today we're going to look at my personal favorite long runner besides One Piece, Detective Conan!
The plot is this: Seventeen year old super sleuth Shinichi Kudo can solve cases that baffle the much beleaguered Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department but one night while out with his childhood friend and sort of girlfriend, Ran Mouri, Shinichi witnesses a mysterious transaction go down involving a man in black, a man he'd previously seen begging to leave the scene of a crime he'd just solved. While eavesdropping on the conversation, Shinichi fails to notice the other man in black sneak up on him and knock him out. The men in black, later identified as Gin and Vodka decide that instead of shooting him they want to go the long way around getting rid of the teen detective by poisioning him with an untested drug that's "supposed" to give him a heart attack and leave no traces in the body. Shinichi being the protagonist of an otherwise realistic show does not die as they think and expect him to but instead wakes up to find that his body has now regressed in age to that of a seven years old. His next door neighbor, a mad inventor named Dr. Agasa informs Shinichi that he must never reveal his identity to anyone least the men in black come back to finish the job. When Ran comes to the Kudo Mansion looking for him, Shinichi quickly comes up with the alias Conan Edogawa and promptly moves in with her and her father Kogoro, a rather dimwitted and defective detective himself. Why does he move in with the Mouri family, you ask? Well Agasa reasons that with Kogoro being a "professional" detective himself, cases related to the men in black are bound to roll in at some point or another and so Shinichi will then have a chance to get the drug and return his body back to normal. Along the way though Shinichi ends up back in grade school and inadvertantly making friends with three children, Ayumi Yoshida, Genta Kojima and Mitsuhiko Tsuburaya who call themselves the Detective Boys and travel around the city and Japan solving cases with lots of help from Conan. As to be expected though with long runners many more characters are introduced and mysteries about the Black Organization begin to unravel one by one. Will Conan ever become Shinichi again?

So...yeah, I really like this series. It's the single shonen long runner besides One Piece and Yugioh I find myself capable of marathoning, though in the future I'd like to add more series like it. But before we get down into the good and the bad, lets get into how it looks and sounds! The art of Detective Conan is actually rather good. It starts off looking decent in the earlier seasons but later on it begins looking great which just goes to show how loooooooooooong it's been running. The voice acting is amazing and there's so much music attached to this series it'd be mind blowing but then you realize that series like Bleach also have lots of music attached to it, again because of how long it's been running..

 So...if Detective Conan really suffers from anything, I'd say it's repetition and overall length. The show, running for a length of 600+ episodes and 800+ chapters is prone to reusing murders frequently as well as being prone to filler episodes but for the most part even  the regular canon cases can be counted as filler to an extent. They do very little to move the ongoing plot along and while each season does have episodes that move the plot along, they're few and far between so if you're looking for an anime with an advancing plot line each episode, you're looking in the wrong place with this series. Another "flaw" of the series might be episodes or chapters focusing on the little kids the Detecetive Boys.
Yes, these little kiddies can get rather bothersome in the early episodes and even in some of the later episodes as they're generally just a bunch of nosy kids that Conan, for some reason, can't seperate himself from. During the early episodes, they're rather quick to jump to conclusions and seem to think of Conan as their group grunt or the one in need of detective training when it's really the other way around. They have a bad habit of belittling him and making rash and stupid decisions but, you know, kids. Another SUPER major flaw is the treatment of the character Ran Mouri.
While Ran isn't the most intelligent character of the series, often needing to be brought up to speed during the mysteries but still being able to follow them easily enough she does have other merits that lie outside the realm of obsessive detective knowledge. Martial Arts, specifically karate. Ran is not only the captain of her school's Karate Team, not ONLY does she PUNCH A HOLE IN A CONCRETE TELEPHONE POLE, she's also, I believe, at the national level. And yet her martial arts skills are hardly utilized throughout the series.

But if you can get past those you'll see that this is a really good series. The majority of the characters are unique and interesting, the murders are creative and the culprits are, more often than not, well justified in their murders or just victims of circumstance and poor communication. Since the series is a long runner, it takes full advantage of that and is made to be an overall episodic series with plot important episodes thrown in every now and then. We don't get too much or too little, just the perfect amount.

Well that's it from me this week. I'll probably update this more over the course of this week but I've got go to bed early so I can wake up even earlier! Night all! Thanks for joining me! DaWaRou~!

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