Sunday, April 17, 2011

「犯人は・・・・・・・・・・人間です」

 「わけなんているのかよ?人が人を殺す動機なんて、知ったこっちゃねーが…人が人を助ける理由に…論理的な思考は存在しねーだろ?」
『名探偵コナン』

"I don't need a reason. I don't know about people's motives for killing others, but people don't need logical reasons for helping others."
"Detective Conan" 

I like Meitantei Conan ("Detective Conan"). I really, really like Meitantei Conan. You might even say that Conan made me what I am today. I started reading manga actively after reading Conan. I got to know Ellery Queen through Conan. I started reading Japanese detectives thanks to Conan. And yes, you might even say that it was thanks to Conan, that I started my current Japanese studies.

So to me, Conan will always be a special series. Going to the movie theater to see Tenkuu no Lost Ship (Lost Ship in the Sky") last year will always be a fond memory. Watching Shikkoku no Chaser ("The Raven Chaser") in my room with too many people was immensely fun. But it was also all part of a ritual I just had to do. Conan has influenced me, and by extension, events in my life too much (for a comic!) to consider just as a normal series you get easily in and out of.

So I lament the fact I can't go to the newest movie, Chinmoku no Quarter ("Quarter of Silence"), which was released yesterday. Breaking a two year tradition. This year luckily is the 15th birthday of the Conan animation, so in celebration to that, they made a new TV-drama special, so I at least had something to watch.

Two live action TV-drama specials were released earlier in 2006 and 2007, both starring Oguri Shun (Shinichi) and Kurokawa Tomoka (Ran). The first, Kudou Shinichi e no Chousenjou ("The Challenge Letter to Kudou Shinichi") was a story set some time before Shinichi turned into Conan, while the second, Kudou Shinichi no Fukkatsu!  Kuro no Soshiki to no Taiketsu ("The Revival of Kudou Shinichi! Confrontation with the Black Organisation") was a great story actually set after Conan had turned into Shinichi and as the title subtly suggests, the Black Organisation makes an appearance too. The first special was decent, but I really liked the second special with the Black Organisation, which had all the excitement you'd normally get only from a Conan movie.


This year's special, Kudou Shinichi e no Chousenjou - Kaichou Densetsu no Nazo ("The Challenge Letter to Kudou Shinichi - Mystery of the Monster Bird Legend"), broadcast last Friday, takes a step back in time and is set 100 days before Shinichi turned into Conan. Shinichi, Ran and Ran's mother are invited by Sonoko to visit a business relative's place, the Wakura family in the village of Juugoya. A local legend tells of a giant bird, a monstrous bull-headed shrike that, like the normal-sized version, has the habit of impaling its prey on trees for storage. The normal shrike usually impales small lizards and the sort on twigs, the giant monstrous type impales humans. Tree-shaped pillars have been erected all over town in the town, used for praying to the giant bird. The protagonists arrive just right in time for a big festival to appease the bird in a few days. Appearently, the bird is not too happy though, as people are found impaled on the tree-pillars one after another. It's up to the high-school-detective-not-turned-into-elementary-school-detective Shinichi to solve the riddle of the monstrous bird (hint: it is not a real monster bird killing people!).

I don't think I've ever discussed acting or something here before, but I'll make an exception. Mizobata Junpei and Kutsuna Shiori took over the roles of Shinichi and Ran for this special, but I really, really felt the two of them didn't set the characters as well as Oguri and Kurokawa. Especially Katsuna wasn't as much a Conan's Ran, rather a Kindaichi Shounen's Miyuki. Combined with Otsuka Nene's strange portrayal of Ran's mom (why would she need a funny character trait, suddenly?) made this special a bit harder to watch, for me, than the previous two. And this is ignoring the fact that I'm pretty sure that Shinichi hadn't seen Ran's mom for some time before she showed up in the manga, which would make her appearence/interactions with Shinichi here errm... impossible? Jinnai Takanori is luckily still there with his funny portrayal of Mouri Kogorou. A bit over the top, but he's convincing as a human-version of the cartoon.


The story itself was more Kindaichi Shounen, than Conan to be honest. Giant monstrous birds, small villages, local legends. Heck, it even had an old lady yelling tatari ja ("it's the curse!"). Even the trick to the murders, which was kinda too easy to see through, was more mid-Kindaichi-ish than Conan. But what made this special especially un-Conan-ish, was the dynamic between Shinichi and Ran. With Shinichi still his normal age and no sign of the Black Organisation, his relation with Ran is precisely the same as that of Kindaichi and Miyuki in the Kindaichi Shounen series. If you mention a live-action TV drama show featuring two high school students walking around in villages solving murders involving old legends with a romantic subplot, well, that's Kindaichi Shounen and not Conan.

Of the three TV specials, I think this one was the weakest. The second special is the best, no doubts about that, and while this TV special had a better detective plot than the first TV special, it misses the Conan feeling the first did had. The characters and acting was more Conan-like in the first special than in this one. It's too bad though. While I like the original two Kindaichi Shounen live action series, I have to say that the feeling in that series was quite different from the manga, with more emphasis on humor and a bit of Tsutsumi Yukihiko's distinct directing style. The first two Conan specials with Oguri in the other hand, really felt as a part of the Conan-franchise. This third special feels like an extra I don't really need.

Hopefully, I'll be able to see Quarter of Silence before next year's movie is out =_=.

まさか・・・『踊る』の青島!?

Original Japanese title(s): 『名探偵コナン ドラマスペシャル 工藤新一への挑戦状~怪鳥伝説の謎~』

11 comments :

  1. i think judging the new sets of casts were not that good to say..i know for sure that oguri shun and tomoka kurokawa made a trademark on us for being the first shinichi kudo and ran mouri,but we cannot judge the new sets..at first,i'm less interested for new drama,but today,they are all changed,as i watched the new drama series and movie 3 as well..they are portraying ran and shinichi...i regret what i said in the past...today,i'm watching every episodes of it..that makes me really interested for the two..every time i'm watching them,they are getting better and better together with the story..this drama only proves that they are gaining popularity after their movie 3,inside and outside Japan..the effects for the drama and for the episodes are really like into the truth..it's awesome.no one can ever tell that its was just a simple effects;great editing,story and effects..combined with Junpei and shiori..they are so cute together..i hope you could watch that.. and of course,i will not forget the previous series of DC,.where it was all started..:)

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  2. Half-way through the TV drama series, I have to admit that both Mizobata and Kusana grew more into their roles compared to the TV special, but the series has been hampered with a slew of not-interesting stories. Having recently re-read all of the manga really makes the general dullness of the TV drama stand out, with few stories that really capture the charm of the manga (exception: episode 3).

    As someone who mainly reads Conan because of the mystery stories, it's just a bit disappointing.

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  3. its not dull..even i watch it man times,it will never be dull,being a scriptwriter,i admired the stories,the editing,the effects..its not disappointing but for you knowing not the inside of story doesn't know that,i think..eventhough,i have not read the manga,it will be that awesome,.that's not shocking to know that you not interested,coz you read the manga already..it s0 much interesting for me,that even me,cannot predict what will happen next

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  4. i'm watching the live action drama..every episode is totally great..no offensement to you,mr.admin,but don't ever say that the episode 5 and the remaining is dull,if worst,shouldn't be that you??i think that's too much..wat's the reason of you making this blog or this account??..to just express the negativities of the show??.though i'm grateful for the pics that you have..i'm not just comfortable for what you said..but sorry,for being hot,i think..are you a japanese???maybe not...in fact,i'm happy that i searched this site for having featured detective conan movie 3 and live action,but after reading your comments,made me so dissapointed..i have japanese friends,they always tell that this drama is worth watching for, a big break for japanese television ..well.arigatou!

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  5. 名探偵コナン - 工藤新一の電子はchousenjoは全くすごいです...あなたが番組を批判するは理由を考えることができない..

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  6. Look, if you like the show, you like the show. It's not like I have any problems with that (so not sure why people would seem to have problems with me not liking the show).

    I do give my reasons why I like or don't like an episode every time. If you look at those points, and you don't agree with me there, that's fine with me. But it's not like I just rant about the episodes without any reason or anything... It's just what I feel about the episodes, when I compare them to every detective I've read/seen until now (which is why I said episodes 5 and 8 were bad, as I've seen similiar tricks done much better in other stories, and why I thought episodes 3 and 6 were OK).

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  7. gosh..i just like the detective conan live action drama..its so good....

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  8. cant wait to watch the next..the ratings of the show are really increasing....

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  9. kyaa..ran and shinichi....whats with the reaction...made me cry...hope its thursday to watch episode 12...

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  10. its going to end...i'm so sad..after i watched episode 12, i almost cry..i'm going to miss this drama series..i hope there will be season 2 for this with the same sets of casts...what will be the end???...can't wait...

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  11. I still haven't had the time to watch last and this week's episodes ^_~ I'll just watch those episodes together with the finale in one run. Skimming through the episodes did make them seem interesting though.

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