First episode date
8 January 1996
Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Viz Media Shogakukan Asia Victor Gollancz Ltd (#1–15 only)
January 19, 1994 – present
Case Closed (1996), Detective Conan: Private Eye in the Distant Sea (2013), Lupin III vs. Conan (2013)
Gosho Aoyama, TMS Entertainment, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation
Animax, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Nippon Television Network System
Dragon Ball Z, Black Cat, School Rumble, Hell Girl, Kenichi: The Mightiest
Case Closed, also known as Detective Conan (名探偵コナン, Meitantei Konan), is an ongoing Japanese detective manga series written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama. It was serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday on January 19, 1994, and has been collected into 91 tankōbon volumes. Due to legal considerations with the name Detective Conan, the English language release was renamed to Case Closed. The story follows an amateur detective who was transformed into a child while investigating a mysterious organization, and solves a multitude of cases while impersonating his friend's father and other characters.
- Original video animations
- Television special
- Video games
- Audio CDs
- Live action drama
- Other related media
The series received an anime adaptation by Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and TMS Entertainment. The anime resulted in animated feature films, original video animations, video games, audio disc releases, and live action episodes. In 2009, a television special titled Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan was aired featuring characters from Lupin III.
Funimation licensed the anime series for North American broadcast in 2003 under the name Case Closed with the characters given Americanized names. The anime premiered on Cartoon Network as part of their Adult Swim programming block but was discontinued due to low ratings. On March 2013, Funimation began streaming their licensed episodes of Case Closed; Crunchyroll simulcast them in 2014. Funimation also localized the first six Case Closed films, while Discotek Media localized the Lupin III crossover special and its film sequel. Meanwhile, the manga was localized by Viz Media, who used Funimation's changed title and character names.
The tankōbon volumes of the manga have sold over 150 million copies in Japan. In 2001, the manga was awarded the 46th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category. The anime adaptation has been well received and ranked in the top twenty in Animage's polls between 1996 and 2001. In the Japanese TV anime ranking, Case Closed episodes ranked in the top six on a weekly basis. Both the manga and the anime have had positive response from critics for their plot and cases.
Shinichi Kudo is a high school detective who sometimes works with the police to solve cases. During an investigation, he is attacked by members of a crime syndicate known as the Black Organization. They force him to ingest an experimental poison, but instead of killing him, the poison transforms him into a child. Adopting the pseudonym Conan Edogawa and keeping his true identity a secret, Kudo lives with his childhood friend Ran Mouri and her father Koguro, who is a private detective. Throughout the series, he tags along on Koguro's cases, but when he is able to solve one, he uses a tranquilizer needle to put Koguro to sleep, and impersonates his voice to reveal the solution to the case. He also enrolls in a local elementary school where he makes friends with a group of classmates who form their own Junior Detective club. While he continues to dig deeper into the Black Organization, he frequently interacts with a variety of characters, including his professor friend Dr. Agasa, Ran's friend Serena, a fellow teenage detective Harley Hartwell, his parents, and many other characters.
Kudo later encounters an elementary school transfer student, Ai haibara, who reveals herself to be the creator of the poison that made him small. She too had ingested the poison, but she is no longer affiliated with the Black Organization. During a rare encounter with the Black Organization, Conan helps the FBI plant a CIA agent, Kir, inside the Black Organization as a spy.
In 2007, Aoyama hinted he had an ending planned out but does not intend to end the series yet.
Case Closed was conceived in 1994, during the rise of mystery genre manga due to the publishing of the Kindaichi Case Files series; the first chapter appeared in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday on January 19. Aoyama cites the stories of Arsène Lupin, Sherlock Holmes and the samurai films by Akira Kurosawa as influences on his work. When scripting each chapter, he ensures the dialogue remains simple and spends an average of four hours for each new case and twelve for more complicated ones. Each case spans several chapters, and is resolved at the end where characters explain the details of their solutions in simple terms; a database consisting of all the cases from the manga was launched in 2007.
Case Closed became the 21st longest running manga series with over 966 chapters released in Japan. The individual chapters are collected into tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan; the first volume was released on June 18, 1994. Gosho Aoyama's assistants have also written an anthology series of Case Closed which are released irregularly.
Viz Media announced its acquisition of the series for North America on June 1, 2004. Following Funimation's localzation, Viz released the series as Case Closed and took their character names to keep consistency between the two mediums. Viz Media released the first volume on September 2004 and began releasing digital editions in 2013. Gollancz licensed and distributed 15 of Viz Media's volumes in the United Kingdom before ceasing publication of manga. (Viz Media has since re-released them.) In 2014 Shogakukan Asia began their own English localization of the series for Singapore. The manga has also been localized in other regions such as China, France, Germany and Indonesia. (Localizations in Scandinavia ceased one by one, Finland being the last in 2013, when the publisher shut down the entire manga division.)
The anime version of Case Closed is produced by Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and TMS Entertainment. Over 800 episodes have aired in Japan since the anime's premiere on January 8, 1996, making it the fifteenth longest anime series to date. Initially, Shogakukan collected and released the episodes on VHS video cassettes between June 1996, and October 2006. Four hundred and twenty-six episodes were released on VHS until Shogakukan abandoned the format and switched over to DVDs, starting over from the first episode. For the fifteenth anniversary of the anime series, the series was made available for video on demand. Case Closed is later broadcast in North America on NHK's cable network TV Japan. Crunchyroll began simulcasting the series in October 2014.
In 2003, the first 104 episodes were licensed by Funimation for distribution in North America, under the title Case Closed because of legal considerations. The Case Closed anime has also been released in other languages such as French, German and Italian. Case Closed debuted on Cartoon Network as part of their Adult Swim programming block on May 24, 2004; no more than 50 episodes were licensed from Funimation due to low ratings. The Canadian channel YTV picked up the Case Closed series and broadcast 22 episodes between April 7, 2006, and September 2, 2006, before taking it off the air. Funimation made the series available with the launch of the Funimation Channel in November 2005; it was temporary available on Colours TV during its syndication with the Funimation Channel. A separate English adaptation of the series by Animax Asia premiered in the Philippines on January 18, 2006, under the name Detective Conan. Because Animax were unable to obtain further TV broadcast rights, their version comprised only 52 episodes. The series continued with reruns until August 7, 2006, when it was removed from the station.
Funimation also released DVDs of their dubbed series beginning August 24, 2004. Initially, the releases were done in single DVDs and future episodes were released in seasonal boxes; 130 episodes have been released in total. The seasonal boxes were later re-released in redesigned boxes called Viridian edition. Funimation began streaming Case Closed episodes on March 2013. Hanabee Entertainment licensed the series for distribution in Australia.
Twenty feature films based on the Case Closed series have been released. They are animated by TMS Entertainment and produced by Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Nippon Television, ShoPro, and Toho. The first seven were directed by Kenji Kodama, films 8–15 were directed by Yasuichiro Yamamoto, and films 16 and onwards have been directed by Kobun Shizuno. The films have been released in April of each year, starting in 1997 with the first film, Case Closed: The Time Bombed Skyscraper. The twentieth film, Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare was released on April 16, 2016. The second film and onwards were the top twenty grossing anime films in Japan. The revenue earned from the films funded Toho's other film projects. Each film was adapted into two film comics which were released in the fourth quarter of the same year. Funimation released English dubbed versions of the first six films on Region 1 DVDs between October 3, 2006, and February 16, 2010.
Original video animations
Two original video animations (OVA) series were produced by TMS Entertainment, Nippon Television, and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation. The OVA series Shōnen Sunday Original Animation are yearly mail order episodes available to subscribers of Weekly Shōnen Sunday. The first Shōnen Sunday Original Animation was available in Weekly Shōnen Sunday's 26th issue in 2000, with eleven OVAs released as of 2011. The first nine episodes of the OVA series were later encapsulated into four DVD volumes titled Secret Files and were released between March 24, 2006, and April 9, 2010. The second OVA series, entitled Magic File, consists of yearly direct-to-DVD releases. The first Magic File was released on April 11, 2007, and contained four episodes from the anime series. The subsequent Magic File OVAs contained an original plot with background ties related to their respective Case Closed theatrical films, beginning with the twelfth film Detective Conan: Full Score of Fear.
A two-hour television special titled Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan (ルパン三世VS名探偵コナン, Rupan Sansei Vāsasu Meitantei Konan) was produced by TMS Entertainment, Nippon Television, and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and aired on March 27, 2009. It was first announced in the 9th issue of Weekly Shōnen Sunday in 2009. The plot follows Kudo as he investigates the death of the Queen of Vespania while Arsène Lupin III from the Lupin III series attempts to steal the Queen's crown. The special earned a household record rating of 19.5 in Japan. VAP released the special on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on July 24, 2009. The special is followed by Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan: The Movie which takes place after the television special.
Case Closed's expansion into the video games industry followed behind its foray into animation. On December 27, 1996, Detective Conan: Chika Yuuenchi Satsujin Jiken was released for the Game Boy. Since then, 20 games have been released with Detective Conan: Kako Kara no Zensōkyoku Prelude set for Spring of 2012 for the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable. Currently, the majority of the games have only been released in Japan, though Nobilis has localized Case Closed: The Mirapolis Investigation for the PAL region. All dedicated Detective Conan games released for the Game Boy, Sony's consoles, the WonderSwan, and the Nintendo DS have been developed by Bandai. Banpresto developed the Case Closed titles on the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance while Marvelous Entertainment developed Case Closed: The Mirapolis Investigation.
Katsuo Ono composed and arranged the music in the Case Closed animation; his works have been released on several CDs. Two image albums, comprising several songs sung by Japanese voice actors of the characters in the animation, were also released. Several theme music were performed by pop musicians such as B'z, Zard, and Garnet Crow. The first four theme music were released by Universal Music Group and all releases thereafter were by Being Inc.
Live action drama
Four live action drama TV specials and a TV series were created by Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and TMS entertainment based off the series. The first two specials aired in 2006 and 2007 featuring Shun Oguri portraying the teenage Jimmy Kudo and Tomoka Kurokawa as Rachel Moore. The third and fourth TV specials aired in 2011 and 2012 featuring Junpei Mizobata as Jimmy and Shioli Kutsuna as Rachel. The cast used for those TV specials were used for the television series which aired between July 7, 2011 and September 29, 2011.
Other related media
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Weekly Shōnen Sunday and Weekly Shōnen Magazine, the two companies collaborated to publish twelve biweekly magazines consisting of chapters from Weekly Shōnen Sunday's Case Closed and Weekly Shōnen Magazine's Kindaichi Case Files. The magazine ran between April 10, 2008, and September 25, 2008.
Shogakukan have also produced many books spun off from the series. Fifty volumes of a film comic series were published in Japan between June 1996 and August 2000, covering the first 143 episodes of the anime, though some episodes were skipped. Five additional film comics entitled 5 Juuyou Shorui (5重要書類?, lit. 5 Important Documents) were published between July 2001 and January 2002 and covered selected episodes between 162–219. Thirteen official guide books were published between June 1997 and April 2009. Shogakukan has also published novels, digest books, educational books, and puzzle books.
In North America, Score Entertainment published the Case Closed Trading Card Game on June 29, 2005. The game entails the use of three customized decks of cards, which players buy and collect. Representing characters, events, and objects in Case Closed, these cards are used by players to fulfill certain conditions to solve a case and win the game. Certain cards are used to foil the progress of the player's opponents. An English unofficial guidebook to the series titled The Case Closed Casebook: An Essential Guide was published by DH Publishing Inc. on March 25, 2008.
The Case Closed manga has sold over 140 million volumes in the world making it the seventh best-selling manga series. In Japan, individual volumes frequently appear on the lists of best-selling manga. Case Closed was the 19th best selling manga in 2011, with 2,120,091 copies sold. Nikkei Entertainment magazine published a list of top 50 manga creators by sales since January 2010, in its September 2011 issue; Gosho Aoyama, the author of Case Closed was ranked 16th, with 3,320,000 copies sold. It was the 17th best selling manga in 2012, with 2,430,572 copies sold. In 2013 Case Closed became the 24th best selling manga, with 1,966,206 copies sold. It won the 46th Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen category in 2001, and respondents in an online poll for Japanese citizens in their mid-twenties voted Case Closed as one of the top three manga they wanted to continue running in publication. The first volume of Case Closed appeared thrice in the top ten selling lists, right after its premiere, the same volume has also appeared in the Diamond Comic Distributors's ranking list. Later-published volumes have appeared on the New York Times Manga Best Sellers lists. In France, the series was nominated for the Angoulême Festival Graphic Novel award among the Japanese selection. In the United States, Case Closed received praises from Mania. com's Eduardo M. Chavez and IGN's A. E. Sparrow for its stories—telling the mysteries and how they were unfolded by the investigations of Conan and gang. Sparrow called the style of the series a mix of Scooby-Doo and Sherlock Holmes, while Chavez believed the manga had appeal to readers of all ages. The series ranked on About.com's top continuing manga series of 2010, under the title "Best Underappreciated Gem: Shonen" category.
The animated adaptation of the series was also popular in Japan, appearing in the top six of Japanese TV Rankings at various times. The television series ranked among the top twenty in polls conducted by anime magazine Animage from 1996 to 2001. It also placed better than twenty-third in polls for the top-one-hundred anime conducted by Japanese television network TV Asahi in 2005–06. The series received considerable airtime in China; it was the second most broadcast animation there in 2004. Several of the franchise's films were nominated for awards in their home country. The ninth film was nominated for the feature film category at the 5th Annual Tokyo Anime Awards, and the next five films were nominees for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year in their respective years of release.
Melissa Sternenberg from THEM Anime Reviews reviewed and praised for its dark animation and plot. ActiveAnime's reviewers commented on complex character design and the "spirit" that the series has, indicating that fans of serialized mystery shows would rather enjoy it. The series is also said to better suit the more matured audience. In the United States, the dubbed series faced several negative reactions toward its changes to localize the content for North American audiences. Jeffrey Harris of IGN found it pointless to change the names of the characters, and Anime News Network's Carl Kimlinger said that the changes of certain Japanese cultural references rendered several parts of the mysteries and their investigation illogical. The voice-overs proved to be a mixed bag for Carlo Santos, who reviewed the first DVD release of Case Closed for Anime News Network; he said that while the main characters sounded like "real people", the secondary ones "[came] off as caricatures". Lori Lancaster of Mania.com described Case Closed as "a clever series that had mysteries at every corner", noting the "bizarre" and "interesting" nature of each case. IGN's Chris Wyatt was positive to the manner the cases were set up, relating them to Agatha Christie's "closed room" mysteries. He described the series as "Inspector Gadget meets Law & Order but in an anime style." His colleague, Harris, however, expressed annoyance with repetitive elements in the show and the contrived methods the series uses to keep Conan's identity a secret from certain characters.
In 2006, the Japanese government used Conan in campaigns to help promote crime awareness among children. Targeting the same audience, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs used Conan and his friends in two pamphlets: one to promote the ministry's mission, the other to introduce the 34th G8 summit held in the country in 2010. Several characters in the series featured in the sixth installment of the Anime, Heroes and Heroines commemorative stamp series issued by Japan Post in 2006. Aoyama and his creations are celebrated in his hometown Hokuei, Tottori; a museum with exhibits of his work is located there, and several bronze statues of Jimmy Kudo, Conan Edogawa, and Rachel Moore are installed in various locations throughout the town.