Case Closed redirects here. For the doujinshi, see Case Closed (Sherlock Holmes doujinshi).
|Name:||Meitantei Conan |
|Date(s):||1994 – ongoing (manga)|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
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Detective Conan is a shonen manga series by Aoyama Gosho that follows teenage sleuth Kudo Shinichi as he solves mysteries. In many countries, the series is also known as Case Closed, though most stories explaining why are debated and a bit apocryphal.
The manga, published by Shogakukan, began in 1994 and is ongoing. As of January 2020, it had reached 97 volumes. The anime, produced by TMS Entertainment, began in 1996 and is also ongoing; as of January 2020 over 960 episodes have aired.
In addition, 23 non-serial movies that are considered technically non-canon have been released so far as of January 2020, along with a crossover movie with Lupin III and 22 OVAs. Finally, a thirteen-episode live action television series and a four-part live-action TV special were released in the 2010s.
The North American release of the manga by Viz Entertainment is significantly behind the Japanese release—as of January 2020, up to Volume 73 is available in English. The Funimation English release is likewise only partially available and suffers from an expired license as of May 2018; the DVD sets only go up to Episode 150 and movie 6. Crunchyroll started streaming subtitled episodes in 2014, starting from episode 754, and now offers episodes the week they come out. Netflix also picked up episodes 748-799 for a time.
After an encounter with a mysterious criminal organization, he is dosed with a drug that was supposed to be fatal but instead has the unexpected result of shrinking him to a seven-year-old. Using the alias Edogawa Conan, he moves in with his childhood friend and crush Mouri Ran, without telling her who he is, and attempts to find a cure, keep the mysterious organization (referred to variously as the Syndicate, the Black Organization, or simply ''Them) from realizing that he isn't dead, and continue to solve mysteries. The series boasts a large supporting cast, and typically focuses on self-contained mysteries with limited suspect pools, though Kudo's struggle against the Black Org acts as a a recurring B-plot.
It crosses over with Magic Kaito, an earlier series by the same author that stars a criminal with noble motivations.
Detective Conan is a very long series, having started in 1994 and still ongoing with no end in sight. Despite this, Aoyama has stated that the entire manga timeline happens within less than a single year, likely due to the fact that letting Conan age would bypass the entire point of the plot.
A side effect of this is how technology progresses throughout the series, due to the fact that it is supposed to take place in the 'current time'. A good example of this is phones; in the beginning characters can only call each other with public phones and home phones (and Conan’s specially made ‘earring phone’ device), due to cell phones not being commonplace yet. Over the course of the series, many characters quietly gain flip phones, and later smartphones, as cell phones became more common in real life.
Crossover with Magic Kaito
Due to the fact that Detective Conan has been canonically crossed over with Aoyama's previous series Magic Kaito multiple times, the Detective Conan fandom is closely intertwined with the Magic Kaito fandom, and can be considered one larger fandom. As such, many works routinely include characters and scenarios from Magic Kaito, such as the unnamed organization and the Pandora gemstone, and may or may not be archived solely as Detective Conan works rather than crossover works. This intertwining is also reflected in the acronym DCMK, which is commonly used in reference to both series at once, and in the fact that Shinichi/Kaito is an extremely common ship within fandom.
Due to the large amount of canon pairs and implied/one sided crushes in the series, the Detective Conan fandom has a large number of ships to work with. The most common canon ships in fandom include Shinichi/Ran and Heiji/Kazuha, with Sato/Takagi as a less common choice. Conan/Ai (or Shinichi/Shiho) also maintains popularity, likely in part due to the fact that Ai was heavily implied to have developed a one sided crush.
The most popular non canon ship by far is Shinichi/Kaito, with over 1400 fics on Ao3 as of January 2020. Other common non canon ships include Shinichi/Heiji and Akai/Amuro.
Many ships make use of portmanteau format names, such as ShinRan (Shinichi/Ran), KaiShin (Kaito/Shinichi), and CoAi (Conan/Ai).
Due to the sheer scale of the original work, some pieces of fanon that made sense got circulated widely enough that they became regarded as near-canon by some people. These examples are from backtodc's tumblr and dcmk-resources livejournal:
- Kaitou KID (A recurring crossover character from Magic Kaito) having a rule along the lines of "Nobody gets hurt" for heists (It's possible that this came out of the Detective Conan movies, particularly the early, translated ones, in which KID is very nonviolent and rescues people a lot)
- The villains in Magic Kaito and Detective Conan are either the same group or related groups
- (In a more minor example) Shinichi is addicted to coffee
These and other pieces of fanon can cause confusion for people who begin reading fanfic before watching the entire series and then discover that, despite these things showing up in most or all of the fanfics they've read so far, they are not actually canon.
English Localization Changes
An example of an early Funimation adaptation, the Case Closed English dub was intended for Cartoon Network and featured localized names, including "Jimmy Kudo" rather than "Kudo Shinichi" and "Rachel Moore" instead of "Mouri Ran." The Viz Media manga translation initially followed Funimation’s lead, but stopped applying English names to new characters around volume 19, creating an odd mix of characters with English names (Jimmy Kudo, Rachel Moore), and characters who kept their original names (Toyama Kazuha, Hondou Eisuke). These changes were and remain controversial, especially with fans hoping for a faithful adaptation of the source material, and most fanworks generally use the original character names.
However, this dub is not without its support. Because many people did first find the series as children when watching it on Cartoon Network or through the Viz manga translation, they are accustomed to the English naming, and may occasionally use the English names in fanworks.
A full character list that includes each character's original and English adaptation name can be found on the Detective Conan Wiki.
Effects of Translation Lag on Fandom
Funimation had problems marketing the English dub of the anime (both due to the controversial localization and to the fact that a show that can be described as a 'murder mystery for kids' didn't fit into either the Cartoon Network block it aired in, or, arguably, the tastes of the larger anime fandom at the time) and eventually stopped releasing DVDs altogether. Although legal subtitled episodes are now available via Crunchyroll, they are from much later in the series. The Viz Media manga translation is nowhere near keeping pace with Japan, either—it's roughly a decade behind Japan.
As a result, the fandom has had to either import Japanese media and translate them by themselves, or rely on others' fan translations to keep up with the series. A group called the Detective Conan Translation Project was previously responsible for translating the anime, manga, and movies for fans, up until they stopped due to pressure from the rights holders. However, prior to more organized efforts, fans often had to search through multiple sites to find usable translations, or do the work themselves.
In the case of written fanworks, this resulted in a number of interesting discrepancies, such as various first names being given to supporting characters, various spellings of character names, and other inaccuracies that are easier to avoid now.
Another side-effect of all of this is that people who avoided or couldn't find the illegal translations were left with a more limited cast of characters, which is reflected in the number of fanworks available for said characters. This is especially true for later characters—while information about Hattori Heiji, Hakuba Saguru and Kuroba Kaito (all characters who appear in Funimation's licensed section of the anime) that would have necessarily been found through fan-translations is extremely common in older fanfiction, works about Eisuke Hondou, who first appeared not long before the former two characters met, are still comparatively rare. The same is true for characters that appear after him—the greatest amount of fanworks seem to focus on characters that appear in legal translations at some point.
- 【ＳＨＳ】 Stutter • MEP by ShatteredHopeStudios, June 6, 2012
- Taste Closed  by SBN3 - abridged series
- Cost of Freedom by MintChocolateLeaves: A Prison AU in which Shinichi and Kaito are in prison and need to escape/clear Shinichi's name.
Links and Resources
- Poirot Cafe: A fanfiction-oriented forum site.
- Save Case Closed: A community of fans who share the goal of convincing Funimation to continue the English dub of the series. Archived link, as the original site seems to be down.
- Detective Conan Yaoi LiveJournal Community: The title is self-explanatory.
- Detective Conan World: A Detective Conan fansite, with forums, a chatroom, and a huge and incredibly detailed wiki.
- DCTP: Formerly the home of a fan translation project, now, due to copyright claims, it's mostly forums and news.
- /r/OneTruthPrevails: The Detective Conan reddit.
- DCMK Secret Santa: A Tumblr based Secret Santa event for Detective Conan and Magic Kaito.
- Detective Conan fanfiction on FanFiction.net
- Detective Conan fanworks on Ao3