Friday, July 8, 2011


楽しんで ♥ ♥
『名探偵コナン 工藤新一への挑戦状』

My dear Shinichi
I am your fan.
I have been watching your work.
You are a great detective.
This white room is a present for you.
Have fun ♥ ♥ 
Detective Conan - A Challenge Letter for Kudou Shinichi

Yes, I know that lately posts have been very dangerously Conan-centric, but it's really all just a coincidence. I for one didn't even know the Conan drama was to begin this week until two days before the first episode,which was yesterday, on Tanabata. Planned on purpose because of the whole Ran and Shinichi thing? Maybe. Anyway, I plan to write something up for every episode of this new series. Because fanboys will be fanboys.

Meitantei Conan - Kudou Shinichi e no Chousenjou (Detective Conan - A Challenge Letter for Kudou Shinichi)
Episode 1 (July 7, 2011): Before he turned into Conan, the high school detective solved the mystery of the adultery murder!
Episode 2 (July 14, 2011): The locked room murder commited on air! Reveal the secret cursed by the psychic
Episode 3 (July 21, 2011): Murder Case in a Locked Courtroom! Reveal the Trick of the Hostess Murder
Episode 4 (July 28, 2011): Perfect Crime! Murder Notice at a Wedding, Reveal the Locked Room Poisoning Trick
Episode 5 (August 5, 2011): The Glamorous Murder Trick of the Actress who lost her Memory - Perfect Murder at the Summer House
Episode 6 (August 11, 2011): The Magnificent Murderous Kiss of Twenty Beauties! The Murderous Intent Hidden in the Murder Equation!
Episode 7 (August 18, 2011): Inheritance Murder Among Bloody Relatives! Reveal the Mystery of the Kidnapping Trick!
Episode 8 (August 25, 2011): A Woman's Determination, Revenge on the Molester! The Murder Trick hidden in the Security Camera
Episode 9 (September 01, 2011): Hattori Heiji and the Mystery of the Invisible Locked Room Murder Weapon! Deduction Battle between the Detectives of East and West
Episode 10 (September 08, 2011): The Mystery of the Body that Moved 200 KM Within An Instant! Reveal the Perfect Crime Scheme of the Evil Woman
Episode 11 (September 15, 2011): A Kiss Is the Reason for Murder, A Revenge Murder After 20 Years! The Mystery of the Perfect Alibi
Episode 12 (September 22, 2011): I Killed Her! 3 Single Murderers? Reveal the Mystery of the Fake Murder!
Episode 13 (September 29, 2011): Ran Dies! The Final Challenge of the True Criminal to the Genius Detective - Reveal the Mystery of the White Room

Like the name suggests, Meitantei Conan - Kudou Shinichi e no Chousenjou (Detective Conan - A Challenge Letter for Kudou Shinichi) is a series focusing on the cases high school student detective Kudou Shinichi solved before he turned into Conan. As the catch-copy for the series is mayonaka no Conan, hajimaru ("A nightly Conan is about to start) and the series is broadcast around 00:00, I suppose this is meant as a Conan-series meant for grown-ups rather than for children. Besides the main characters Shinichi, Ran, Kogorou, Eri and Sonoko, guest appearances by Hattori, detectives Satou and Takagi are planned (actually, Satou and Takagi already appeared in the first episode...). Different from the previous TV specials is that not all episodes are based on an original script, some episodes will be based on existing stories from the manga (I guess the ski holiday episode with Hattori, as that is the only story featuring Hattori where Kudou and Hattori don't meet directly!).

The first episode (subtitled "Before he turned into Conan, the high school detective solved the mystery of the adultery murder!") starts rather surprising: Shinichi, Ran and Kogorou wake up in a white room, stolen from Cube. The three have no memory of how or why they got in the room, but Shinichi finds a letter, saying the white room is a present to him from a fan. Then a computer display appears, asking for a password. The hint is a date, and Shinichi remembers that he solved a case on that date. And yes, this leads into the episode, and at the end of the episode, Shinichi inputs a code, that leads... into a second white room (of course asking for a new code which is related with another case). Hello, main storyline! So Shinichi will probably talk about old cases and move from room to room until somewhere around episode 7~8 and by that time the cases will probably relate with the main storyline, leading up to the finale, where a supercriminal with a grudge with Shinichi awaits. Or it might be more original.

Anyway, the main episode starts with the murder of a cameraman of his sister-in-law/lover. Using an alibi trick, he tries to deceive the police, but luck has it that high school detective Kudou Shinichi and childhood friend Mouri Ran were visiting the nail salon on the floor below the apartment of the victim, so Kudou mingles in the investigation. Of course. How did the cameraman create the trick and can Kudou find the evidence to catch him? I was overall pretty happy with the episode. A bit bland for a series opener maybe, but it's a classic Conan-ish inverted story and really not bad at all. Could well have been a three file (chapter) story in the manga.

The setting was a bit light on the Conan-atmosphere though. That is to say, the story was Conan-like, but the main characters were... not really like they are in the original. Takagi and especially Satou should be more capable detectives, while Mizobata's Shinichi is still not as good as Oguri's (more cocky) Shinichi. But maybe something that will change as the series progresses.

What was most surprising was that the series seems to keep distance from the original manga and the previous TV dramas. As seen in the logo, the Meitantei Conan part is much smaller than the Kudou Shinichi part and while the previous TV dramas used music from the TV animation, this series mainly uses original background music (except for a superspecialawesome guitar remix of the Conan main theme! Must. Have. Soundtrack). Heck, the word Conan wasn't used once in this episode actually (you do see him very briefly in the opening though)! The previous dramas all started with "this happened, xx days before I turned into Conan", or something like that, with a voice over by Takayama Minami (Conan's voice). That wasn't used here, nor the sarcastic thought voice overs used in the previous dramas (being an artifact of the anime, where thoughts spoken out loud are pretty normal, and most of Conan's text in the manga are thoughts anyway). It certainly made this drama feel more like a 'normal' drama (rather than based on a manga/anime), and I suppose this series can be seen without prior knowledge of the series.

The series' main body consists of the cases Kudou solved in the past, but I'm not sure what to expect from the whole white room thing. Why are Kudou and Ran chained to each other (while Kogorou is free to move)? When does the whole white room thing take place? Can it be this is after Kudou has turned to Conan, meaning he used the temporary antidote again? Will it somehow connect to other plot points in the manga's story? Not much too go on from the first episode, so I'll just have to wait...

The next episode: a murder on a TV set commited by a... psychic (played by Drunk Dragon's Tsukaji)? Might turn out to be very good!

Not sure if I'm going to watch the series live again though. Time-wise, it's perfect, coming on 17:00 here, but finding stable streams is rather troublesome. Yesterday's try out with Keyhole TV was not really optimal, with jerking images and me missing parts of the dialogue because of the sound quality....

Original Japanese title(s): 『名探偵コナン 工藤新一への挑戦状』 サブタイトル「コナンになる前の高校生探偵が、不倫殺人の謎を暴く!」
Date & Password: 2010.06.24; アイシテル

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