When a crime is committed that no one can solve. When the local law enforcement is standing around the crime scene looking baffled. Who do you call? Detective Conan, that's who! He's outrageously smart.
Outrageously plucky. And outrageously young. But that last part isn't going to stop the diminutive detective from catching the bad guy and getting the girl (no, wait, that second thing doesn't happen, because, ew, he's technically six years old.) Anyway, here are ten facts you need to know about Detective Conan:
10 He's Quite Literally A Manchild
Anime and manga are full of fan-favorite male characters who are adults but have the emotional maturity of toddlers. Not that we're taking any names (*cough* Goku. *cough* Inuyasha. Kochikame. *cough cough*). But in the case of Conan (also a fan-favorite character), the term is quite literal. Shinichi Kudo was a high schooler and a master detective.
After being force-fed an experimental poison by two villains, Shinichi finds his body reverting back to its six-year-old state. Now using the alibi Conan, Shinichi uses his detective skills to bring the men who fed him the poison to justice.
9 A Detective? Sounds like Sherlock Holmes. Is He Like Sherlock Holmes?
Okay, first of all, not every private detective in fiction is a Holmes ripoff...but yeah, Detective Conan was clearly inspired by Holmes. His name itself is a homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. There are also references to stories that Doyle wrote about his famous consulting detective littered throughout the series.
The creator of Detective Conan was also inspired by Ranpo Edogawa, a Japanese writer who is often credited with bringing mystery fiction into the limelight in Japan. So yeah, the Detective Conan series follows in the footsteps of some of mystery fiction's biggest names.
8 Is This Like A Kiddie Series For Tweens That Adults Won't Enjoy?
Conan may look like a toddler, but the cases he gets involved in are anything but childish. Almost every crime involves murder or attempted murder. There are kidnappings, criminal gangs, and desperadoes galore. And quite a few heartbreaking moments.
Also, since Conan masquerades as a child, a lot of the children he interacts with frequently become targetted by his enemies. This is most decidedly a series for mature audiences who can stomach the ample amounts of violence that the villains in the series frequently inflict on their victims.
7 Is There An Overall Plot The Series Follows?
Conan deals with a fresh murder or crime every other week. But there is still a bigger, overarching plot to the series as Conan seeks out the men who fed him the poison that turned him into a six-year-old. The culprits behind the act belong to a criminal group known as the Black Organisation.
It is this organization that acts as the primary antagonist of the series. Conan is concerned not only with hunting down the Black organization, but also concealing his true identity so the organization doesn't go after his friends and family.
6 The Series Uses Comic-Book Time
The Detective Conan series was written over a long period of time, literal decades. To maintain the central premise of the series, a man trapped in a toddler's body going, the writers made use of comic-book time in their stories.
It's the same tactic used by The Simpsons, where the show has been going on for decades, yet Bart, Lisa, and Maggie are still the same age. So the decade in which a Detective Conan episode takes place may change, with the accompanying upgrades in technology, but the age of the characters remain the same.
5 There's A Wierd Romantic Angle As Well
Once you set up your protagonist as a six-year-old, you'd think any possibilities of adding a romantic angle would go out the window. Alas, not so with this anime. Ran Mouri is Shinichi's childhood friend and love interest. Naturally, she doesn't end up romancing the tiny Conan but plays the role of a big sister for him.
Conan has often been on the verge of revealing his true identity to Ran, but things always get in the way. Ran on her part remains loyal to the memory of Shinichi and awaits his return.
4 He Takes Strange Precautions To Protect His Identity
Conan is to all appearances a mere child; as such, his deductions about criminal cases are quickly dismissed by the police. That is why Conan often has to resort to strange methods of relaying his deductions to the people in charge of the cases.
For instance, he uses his knowledge of ventriloquism to tell the police what he has found out about a particular case. On more than one occasion he has had to knock out members of the police force and relay his information as if it's coming through them.
3 He's Not The Smartest Detective
What do you do when you want to show up Sherlock? You bring in his elder brother Mycroft. Similarly, while Conan may be a detective without an equal, he is still only second best in the field behind his father, a famous mystery novelist.
Time and again, a seemingly unsolvable problem has presented itself to Conan, only for his father to solve the case with ease. However, his father has no desire to become a professional detective, preferring to focus his energies on his novels. In a similar vein, the series is full of characters who look ordinary or even weak, yet unexpectedly reveal some hidden talents or powers.
2 There's An Entire Club Of Tiny Detectives
Conan may be a detective, but he is also technically a child, and as such has made friends with many kids his own age. Five of these kids banded together to create the Junior Detective League. As the name suggests, the group, headed by Conan, frequently gets involved in solving mysteries around their neighborhood.
Conan has been shown to be quite protective of his team of tiny sleuths. They have also proven themselves to be a very useful team that have come to his aid time and again.
1 You May Know The Series As Case Closed
Sometimes fans get confused between Detective Conan and Case Closed, without realizing that they are both the same. The original manga was known as Meitantei Conan, which is a Japanese phrase. When it is translated to English, the title becomes Case Closed.
Western publishers of the manga and anime decided to keep the name as Case Closed instead of Detective Conan so western audiences wouldn't confuse the main character with any other famous Conan in western media.