|Mystery Stories are my Waifu||2 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
This is my first anime review, so be nice. I know that most of it is rambling, but I'm hoping that, with experience, I will smooth it out a lot more.
The first time I ever watched this show, it was on Cartoon Network's [adult swim] programming block at 1:00. At the time, I was a junior high schooler who thought it difficult to stay up to 23:00, let alone 1:00. However, after I first saw this show, I stayed up at every opportunity I got just so I could get a quick glimpse of the show before nodding off. It was completely worth it to be tired the next day if I'd have seen one of the incredibly entertaining mysteries the night before. I have to admit that I've always been a bit of a mystery buff, going so far as to like the "The Cat Who..." series of books which are only about 10-15% actual mystery and the rest is slice-of-life. I don't often search out mysteries because I consider them to be a special delicacy to only be consumed on special occasions. After not watching anime for long, long time, this was one of the first that I decided to find streams of and watch again. It was lovely. Now, onto the actual review.
Assuming one who is reading this article either knows a little bit about the series or has at least read a couple pages about it, I won't bore you with the details of the plot. Suffice to say, if you are a person who wants to watch an anime for the "main plot" and hates "filler", then you will be sorely disappointed with Case Closed/Detective Conan. Most of the episodes are 1 or 2-part mysteries with little carry-over to the next episode and seeing as the show has been running almost constantly since 1996 for a grand total of 653 episodes thus far but it's only supposed to take place over a couple of months, continuity is not an issue in this series. Most, if not all, of the plot elements introduced in the first 2-3 episodes are promptly ignored in favor of a mystery-of-the-day format, with only brief touches-on in 4-5 more episodes for the next 50-ish. I only watched 58 episodes before I considered myself content at watching a decent chunk of the series, and besides, I personally found the last couple of episodes indicative of a creative change in the series that would make the show less entertaining, so for the purpose of fairness, I'm only going to count the first 58 episodes that I saw.
The raging issue for many is whether or not to watch the dub or the sub. I'll admit to being predisposed to watching subs because I consider many dub voice actors to be sub-par, but I have to say that the voice actors that they found for the English version aren't bad at all. That could just be nostalgia talking because I first saw the show in dub-form, but the I find the voices used by the English dub to be much more distinctive than the sub, even to the point of introducing more character to the individuals. The only people that I find the voices irritating for are the female lead, Rachel (who sounds like a side-character from every high school anime you have ever watched in your life) and the male lead's inner voice of his real teenage self (who just put very little effort into making sure emotions came across). Virtually everyone else, especially the head police detective, come across as having very distinctive voices, to the point where you can tell who's talking even if you're looking away.
Next on the agenda is covering the story-telling format. If you have ever read a Sherlock Holmes story, then you will know precisely what to expect from this show. The big difference between the two is that in Sherlock Holmes, the eponymous detective rarely stumbles across mysteries and has nearly all of them brought to him, while in the show, Private Eye Richard Moore arbitrarily brings along his daughter, Rachel, and ward, Conan, to crime scenes as a consultant. Considering this is a series where a teenage detective is poisoned with the intent to kill him, but instead gave him the body of a 3rd-grader, I'm not going to let anything like that pull me out of immersion. Anyway, the plots typically go like this: Mystery falls into Conan's lap, Conan searches out the clues covertly avoiding the police and Detective Moore, Conan reaches a conclusion and drugs Detective Moore with a tranquilizer and uses a voice changer to make it seem like Detective Moore is solving the crime. The original point to the last part with the tranq-dart was because he figured that nobody would listen to an 8 year old boy on a crime scene giving his opinion on what happened. However, by around episode 20, it seems that the lead police detective respects, likes and even listens to Conan giving him orders. At that point, Conan could just bypass Richard Moore altogether and tell the police how the crime was committed. As I am writing this, I realize that it's actually brilliant that he doesn't do that because it would mean blowing his cover, as the police would surely put it into the report that a child solved the mystery and the criminal organization would realize that Jimmy Kudo hadn't been killed by their poison. The big issue that I have with this series is that by around episode 50, it starts regularly falling into the trap of letting the audience know who the killer is ahead of time, which ruins any apprehension as to who the culprit was. That, along with the beginnings of episode fatigue, was the main reason I stopped watching and is the show's major downfall, as well as whenever the main plot is once again brought up in the series, as you know that Conan's situation will never, ever change or the show would end. Another negative part of this show, at least in my opinion, is whenever Conan has an episode with his friends that are his age. Inevitably, they act precisely like one would imagine children to act and screw up Conan's plan or just get in the way. I feel that the show's strongest format is when it is Conan working with the police and avoiding Detective Moore as much as possible, as I find him a bit grating, at best.
The music never really jumps out at you except with the opening and closing themes, and I found the opening theme especially grating to the point where I know exactly how far to skip to make it to the opening of the show (1:26). Because of my nearly equal distaste for the closing theme of the show, I actually didn't know that there is an epilogue segment showing what happened immediately after the arrest of the criminal after the credits sequence. I only realized this at around the episode-30 mark and I was horribly disappointed by that fact. Aside from the music, all sound effects are as they should be, but without a lot of punch behind any of them. All the sound effects are those you might have expected from late-90's anime, by now.
This show is a personal favorite of mine and even though it has some minor flaws, I think it adds to the charm of the series and once you get past the first 2-3 episodes and hit the meat of the series, it opens up wide in a very interesting way. One can actually skip those first few episodes and jump right into it, because the opening of the show begins with some narration of the basic premise, which I figure is pretty necessary, as not everyone is willing to go online and watch the first 3 episodes to better understand the rest of the series. Even though the series follows a pretty formulaic route, it typically surprises you with who the criminal is this week. The weakest point of this show, as it is with many mysteries, is that it is nearly impossible most times to piece together everything and solve the crime yourself given the clues before it is actually announced by Conan. While this adds some tension as you listen to Conan name off the clues in Detective Moore's voice, it also makes the show feel distant and makes Conan seem like either some sort of super-genius or he was just given a copy of the script of the episode and he skipped to the end to figure out who it was beforehand. Though it is to the great detriment of the immersion, I still have to give this show a 4/5. It's not a particularly smart show, but it is very entertaining for fans of mystery.