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The man with the plan

The Detectable ROSSMAN

Public Service Announcement: Never piss off manga artist and writer Gosho Aoyama. He knows over 300 ways to kill a person and get away with it (well, "get away with it" if the police detectives in charge of the investigation have never read or watched all of his series, Detective Conan).

Now on with the review. Never before have I reviewed something that I haven't watched in its entirety, let alone something I've only seen about 1/2 of its full run (at the time of publication). But Detective Conan is different than most of the shows I've covered here. As opposed to most anime that has a single plot running through the length of its broadcast life, Conan is all about the individual cases in each of the stand alone episodes. Well, not all about, but the main plot is pretty lame. Here, let me explain.

Detective Conan starts off with high school student Kudo Shinichi (a modern, Japanese Sherlock Holmes... go with me here) and his lifelong friend Ran (the girl to whom Shinichi also kinda loves) solving difficult cases while trying to enjoy their youths. Well, Shinichi does all the solving, and this really only lasts for one full episode. See, Shinichi accidentally stumbled into a transaction between two men in black (Gin and Vodka) and some nameless baddie, and he gets himself knocked out and all set up to be killed. The two black-dressed evil assholes then drug poor Shinichi with a new poison that their organization has developed (the APTX-4869 pill) and run away while they let him slowly die. But, instead of killing him, the poison actually makes Shinichi's body revert to that of his 7 year-old self! Now he must live with Ran and her alcoholic, retarded and rorikon of a P.I. father (Kogoro Mouri), and keep his identity as Shinichi a secret so that he can track down the black-clad crime organization that did the shrinking to him and hopefully find a cure. See, that set up is kind of lame, but what the writers do with it is ingenious!

Shinichi (now known as Edogawa Conan in order to hide who he is) sticks with Mouri when he goes out on cases (and when cases find him. Honestly, it's like Murder She Wrote or Hart to Hart: Mouri and Conan are murder-magnets!), and since Mouri is so incompetent, Conan is forced to figure out the mysteries himself and let Mouri take all the credit. It's all for the greater good, and Conan is smart enough to never let Mouri's bragging and egotistical ego ruin his plans. What's funny about Conan's deductions and crime solving at first (though it gets a bit old after a few episodes) is how the kid has to make people believe that "Uncle Mouri" is actually solving the murders. At first, Conan tried to leave the goober hints lying around, or he tried to point the poor slob in the right direction. But this got old fast and got him nowhere. So then he began using his mini-tranquilizer darts hidden in his watch (that his scientist neighbor friend created for him) to knock Mouri out, and then explain everything to the police and onlookers himself by using a voice-changing bowtie (also courtesy of wacky neighbor Dr. Asaga). Thus Mouri Kogoro got the nickname of "The Sleeping Mouri", since the fucker always looked like he was asleep to everybody when he was talking them through the crime... Cause he really was. See, sounds cute at first, but nothing ever really comes of it. I mean, sometimes Conan will get so into talking through Mouri's voice that he won't notice that somebody sees him doing it, but those instances never really go anywhere anyway.

So, if all that's retarded, you ask, why should I invest any time into such a 3,000 episode, 60 movie and 500 television-specialed series? Well, because the way the crimes (99.87% of the time, the crime is a grisly murder) are committed and covered up is ingenious (and get ready for me to use that word a bunch more times before this review is over). It seems that every horrible killing in Japan is done by people with IQs higher than Urkel's. All the criminals in the Land of the Rising Sun are Super Geniuses. But that's okay, 'cause Conan is even smarter than they are. Even when the criminals think they got every piece of evidence cleaned up, and they even have perfect alibis (some crims even try to use the Great Mouri and Conan as their alibis), Conan can see right through them like a grease-covered napkin. He's solved more closed-door murders in his show than I've even heard of happening in the real world (which would be none actually). And he's a bit conceited about his brainiac capabilities too (which is cool, mostly because it would have been hyper boring and lame if he was nothing but a goody goody).

Now, despite its incredible and violent crimes (seriously, Tokyo has got to have the largest number of disturbing murders in the world!) and its even more incredible resolutions, Detective Conan has one major flaw that haunts a good 1/4th of all of its episodes: those fucking annoying kids that Conan is forced to hang out with in order to bring in the 5-12 year-old Nielson (or would that be Yamamoto) Ratings. GYAAAAAH! I hate those moronic kids! See, once Conan moves in with Ran and her dad, he starts going to elementary school to keep up his charade. There he somehow gets involved with 3 of the most vexatious turds you'd ever want to slap around like red-headed stepchildren. The little girl is okay, but fatty and horse-face could have been shot in the back of their heads and I wouldn't have shed any tears. I actually would have applauded. Soon those little wankers see how smart Conan truly is, and then try to grab on to some of his grade school notoriety by starting up their own "Youth Detective Squad" or something just as gay. The crimes that they stumble into are just as horrendous as the ones that Conan detects his way through at Mouri's side, but the kids always try to ruin things by stepping in the evidence, pissing off Conan, or getting caught by the perpetrator of the misdeed. That gets old reaaaaaally fast.

But, there's one shining star that just about makes up for the kids' stupidity-filled chapters: the great Sonoko. God do I love her! Sonoko Suzuki is Ran's and Shinichi's rich friend who thinks that she's all that, mainly because she is. Whenever Conan and Ran fall knee-deep into a mystery and Sonoko is around, good things are bound to happen. It's always hilarious when Conan has to knock Sonoko out and solve the crime for everybody in her voice. I don't know why that tickles me like it does, but it does. I'm so simple to please. My favorite episode so far is the one where both Sonoko had to be used to solve the episode's crime, and the Kaito Kid showed up. My God, was it glorious!!!

Oh, and we mustn't forget about Ai Haibara and Shinichi/Conan's parents. Firstly, Ai is a mysterious 7 year-old girl who mysteriously shows up at around episode 130 and totally fubars Conan's world. How she got there and who she really is is one of the greatest plot twists in the show, so I won't ruin it for you. I will talk about Shinichi's parents though. His dad is a world renowned mystery novelist (where Shinichi got his love of all things Sir Arthur Conan Doyley), and his mom is an ex-model or movie star or something. Well, Shinichi/Conan's parents (along with Dr. Asaga) are among the handful of people who actually know what happened to the boy, and whenever mom and dad come into town (i.e. whenever they're not book signing around the world, which is of course like always) they screw with their kid's mind something fierce. I love those episodes (although they are few and far between). Either Shinichi's dad will wait until his son explains away a whole mystery and then step forward with a crucial piece of information that totally negate's his heir's claim, or the two 'rents will costume themselves up and test their son's detective skillz with a madcap made-up crime of their own. Ingenious!!

Throw into the whole mix lots of Japanese pop star cameos and a bunch of special guest spots including the previously mentioned Kaito Kid and Shinichi's equivalent from Osaka, Heiji Hattori, and you have a pretty good anime stew. Plus, it is beyond amazing that with each crime you have anywhere between 3 to 10 new characters, each with a unique character design and you have one giant and impressive roster of people to keep straight in your head. Honestly, I can't think back to the first 50+ episodes and remember who did the crimes! I can still remember how they were done, just not who. That just adds to the replay value... If I ever find the time to rewatch this whole thing once I eventually do get through it.

*Deep breath... Almost done* Now on to the crimes themselves. Detective Conan has two main kinds of wrongdoings that need to be dealt with: First, there are the "who-dunnit" crimes; Then there are the "how-the-hell-did-they-do-it" crimes. The who-dunnits have a pretty big sized cast of prospective baddies (where the evilest-looking one is not usually the perp), and Conan has to solve the whys, the hows and the whos before the wrong person is dragged down or before Mouri makes a total ass of himself. The how-the-hell-did-they-do-its are pretty fun to figure out too. These are crimes in which we know from the beginning who did the misdeed, but they have great alibis that Conan must crack. Sometimes it's just amazing to see how that kid thinks. I wish that I was that bright when I was his age... Or now. Man, I would have found out who's been stealing my PB&J sandwiches out of the office fridge long before I had to resort to filling one up with a heavy laxative and locking up the restrooms (turned out it was Carl, and yes, he did beat the shit out of me for that when he deductively figured out that it was me who laced the sandwich with poop powder... By reading the name on the lunchbag).

Anyway, it's all good.

In the end I find that I must give Detective Conan 35.777231 Points of Sherlocktitude out of 39.000001. It was (actually, "is" should be the correct word seeing as I've still got over 140 episodes and 4 movies to go before I'm done with it. And for all I know it may still be running on Japanese TV!) a fun show that really made me think, but they never did kill any of those dicky little kids..... Yet. Christ!!! Why won't they kill off those snot nosed punks?!?! I highly doubt that annoying snot nosed Japanese kids would even like them! And, come to think of it, isn't Detective Conan a bit too bloody for kids anyway?! A good percentage of the murders consist of beheadings, shootings, stabbings or other bodily manglements. Why even cater to the kiddy crowd? Ergh!!

Old man of the sea
The Guilty as Charged SKIPPER

Arrrrrrrrrr. Thanks be to Detective Gonad and all his deductive skills. I've gotten away with murder in the OJ sense of the word since I started watching that little runt run around playing policeman like that.

This here Skipper has actually been able to perpetrate the perfect crime time and again thanks to this educational show that the Rossman made me watch. Arrrrrrr. I now know how to cover me tracks better than a cow with a broom stuck up its ass.... In the sense that the broom would brush away its tracks.... The Skipper isn't weird or anything.... Arrrrrrrrrrr.

I have actually killed people and made it look like suicide in a locked room. I've set up numerous apparati to kill my enemies (and sometimes friends just to test out some theories) while I was miles away. Arrrrrrr. I've even blown up entire buildings to get at a slippery asshole, and still walked away scott free while the police smiled and patted me on the back. Arrrrrrrr.

Now my only fear be that some American wanker will get a hold of Detective Gonad and release the fucker on American TV... Then the shit will surely hit the fan for the Skipper. Once those keystone cops see how my mercy killings were actually performed, the Skipper will have to lay low in Guatemala for a few years again. Arrrrrrr. And they have the scurviest women in the world there. Lots of crabs.. Lots of crabs.... It be a bleak future for the Skipper if this cartoon ever makes it here.

I'll be giving this show a thumb up. It was more instructive than all my three years of formal schoolin' put together. Arrrrrrrrrrr.

Free to go
The Always Innocent SATAN

Man am I torn! See, I really love this show for all the horrible ways in which mortals are slaughtered throughout its run, but all the nice people who do the deeds are always caught by that pint-sized prick, Conan. I love how the cases inspire morons like the Skipper to go on killing sprees, but they also encourage Sherlock wannabees to solve the so-called crimes. Why can't my side ever catch a single break? Why, God, whyyyyy?!?!

I'll give Detective Conan a thumb up and one down. It was good bloody fun, but also disappointing to know that the good guys would never win.