Detective Conan

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Case Closed redirects here. For the doujinshi, see Case Closed (Sherlock Holmes doujinshi).

Name: Meitantei Conan
Detective Conan
Case Closed
Abbreviation(s): DC
Creator: Aoyama Gosho
Date(s): 1994 – ongoing (manga)
Medium: manga, anime
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Detective Conan is a shonen manga series by Aoyama Gosho that follows teenage sleuth Kudo Shinichi as he solves mysteries. In several English-language markets (particularly North America), the series is also known as Case Closed, allegedly because the original title conflicted with the Conan the Barbarian trademark.

The manga, published by Shogakukan, began in 1994 and is ongoing. As of February 2022, it has reached 100 volumes. The anime, produced by TMS Entertainment, began in 1996 and is also ongoing; as of February 2022 over 1030 episodes have aired, along with 24 non serial theatrical films, 22 OVAs, and two crossovers with Lupin III.

Canon Overview


After an encounter with a mysterious criminal organization, main character Kudo Shinichi 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.

Floating Timeline

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.

Fandom Overview

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).

Longstanding Fanon

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.

Localization Issues

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, the Funimation 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 and a Fragmented Release 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 and start from episode 754. The Viz Media manga translation is nowhere near keeping pace with Japan, either — it's roughly a decade behind Japan. On top of this, while Bang Zoom Entertainment has started creating a new dub, they've only covered the newer movies so far, with no indication of dubbing the older movies or TV episodes.

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 and see material that hasn't yet been officially translated. 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.

Example Fanworks

(See also the Magic Kaito page, due to how many fanworks intertwine the two.)




  • The Case of the Hidden Epidemic by MirrorandImage: A long-form casefic with background ShinRan and Heizuha, posted 2009
  • Miracle by mangaluva: A gen oneshot exploring Shinichi's tendency to attract death, posted 2015
  • a study in scarlette by kittebasu (chanyeol): A mix of casefic and sickfic with a KaiShin pairing, posted 2015
  • Riddle in Reverse by Ninthfeather: A gen, two-part (incomplete) series focusing on Kid's rival, teen detective Saguru Hakuba, featuring government conspiracies, Identity Porn, and Time Travel, posted 2016-2020
  • Cost of Freedom by MintChocolateLeaves: A Prison AU in which Shinichi and Kaito are in prison and need to escape/clear Shinichi's name, featuring background ShinRan, KaiAo, and Heizuha, posted 2017-2021
  • Life Is by helloitstrash: A domestic HeiShin oneshot, posted 2018


Links and Resources