Detective Conan follows the adventures of a famous high-school detective who, after being forced to ingest poison, is stuck with the body of a 6 year old but retains the intellect of his 17 year old self. The long running history of the series may seem daunting to some, so we’ve written a quick guide for you to be sure of which characters to watch out for. Check out the usual suspects of Detective Conan here!
Shinichi is the titular protagonist. He is a famous high-school detective who has solved many cases, and frequently takes on a consultative role for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Force. He is highly intelligent and perceptive. An avid reader and Sherlock Holmes fan since his early childhood, Shinichi employs the techniques of his fictional idol to great effect during investigations. He is regularly seen to ascertain various details about people through the use of deductive reasoning, and has a penchant for the dramatic, often revealing the perpetrator of the crime in a deduction show.
No stranger to murder scenes, Shinichi has demonstrated a detailed knowledge of coronial practices and is able to accurately determine both the time and cause of death through quick examination of the victim's body. Along with this, Shinichi has also displayed a great breath of knowledge for countless subjects ranging anywhere from science to folklore to sports to history. All of these skills he uses to advance his deductions and solve the mysterious crimes he is confronted with.
Furthermore, his excellent memory and attention to detail have served him in good stead during investigations. Able to notice even the slightest of hesitations or inconsistencies in the testimony of suspects, Shinichi is a fearsome interrogator who deftly picks apart any lies he is told and sees through to the single truth.
He has a deep love for soccer, and keeps his physical shape in line with his mental acuity through training in the sport. Shinichi uses this training to great effect in situations where he needs to subdue an aggressive or fleeing criminal - he has been shown to deliver powerful shots with the ball that are capable of knockouts on contact, a move that has become his go-to throughout the series.
Despite all of these qualities, or perhaps because of them, Shinichi is somewhat arrogant and rude when the series first introduces him. His supreme belief in his abilities along with his single-minded pursuit of justice makes him somewhat reckless, at times resulting in his unwittingly placing himself or others in danger.
This was illustrated most powerfully in the opening scene for the entire series. Whilst on a date with his childhood sweetheart Ran Mouri at an amusement park, Shinichi caught sight of a clandestine deal taking place between some suspicious men, and left Ran behind in order to pursue them. Too focused on the deal to pay attention to his surroundings, Shinichi was ambushed by them and knocked unconscious. He was then force-fed APTX 4869, an experimental drug, and left for dead.
Luckily for Shinichi (and for us viewers), the drug manifested a side-effect: instead of poisoning him, the APTX 4869 de-aged him and shrunk his body to its 6 year old size. Taking advice from his neighbour and old friend Professor Agasa, Shinichi created the alias of Conan Edogawa for his new body so as to not alert his assailants to the fact that he was still alive. He is promptly placed into the hands of Ran and her father, the bumbling private detective Kogoro Mouri, on the pretext that he is distantly related to Professor Agasa. Conan decides to use his deductive skills to help raise Kogoro's professional prestige in the hopes of coming across any case that may relate to the shadowy men who poisoned him.
As Conan, Shinichi retains all of his formidable deductive abilities and sharp perception. However, since no one will take a child's suggestions seriously, Professor Agasa invents several gadgets to help compensate for Conan's child-sized form. Using the built-in tranquilizer function on his wristwatch in tandem with a voice modulator hidden in his bow tie, Conan puts Kogoro to sleep and impersonates him to put on amazing shows of deduction. He is also equipped with a belt that rapidly deploys inflatable soccer balls from the buckle, which, when used with special sneakers that can be toggled to enhance the power of his kicks, are capable of disabling criminals as if the ball was shot by the fully-grown Shinichi rather than the child-sized Conan.
Ran is Shinichi's romantic interest. At first glance, they could not be more different from one another. Where Shinichi is reserved, calculating and logical, Ran is warm, caring and emotional. Shinichi is best known for his deductive abilities; Ran is a champion martial artist known for her mastery of Karate. Friends since their early childhood, Ran and Shinichi care deeply for each other, to the point where Shinichi almost proposed to her before events got in the way.
Ran cares deeply about her loved ones, and is consistently shown to be kind and patient with everyone she meets. Attractive and lithe, she has drawn the attention of no small number of male admirers throughout the series, but has never entertained the idea of anyone other than Shinichi. When Shinichi is forced to assume the identity of Conan Edogawa to hide his true identity from his assailants, he lies to Ran that he is away working an important case in another country, with an unclear expected return date. Even though she was evidently pained by this development, she elected to wait for him to return, without making any demands for him to choose between his passion and herself.
The ace of her school Karate team, Ran's martial prowess cannot be understated. She is regularly shown destroying solid concrete blocks and dispatching enemies with single well-aimed kicks. With speed to match her power, Ran has been shown on at least one occasion to run headlong through gunfire. Despite her martial abilities, Ran is highly superstitious and often becomes completely paralysed with fear when confronted with anything even remotely supernatural.
Ran is especially protective of Conan, who reminds her of a young Shinichi. She treats him with affection, and sees him as something of a kid brother. She will fearlessly leap in to shield him whenever it is apparent he is in danger, and, at least in the earlier parts of the series, becomes extremely worried when he goes missing. In later parts of the series, she seems to have resigned herself to his many oddities and sometime adult behaviour. Although she has several times suspected that there is more to Conan than meets the eye, she remains blithely unaware of his identity as Shinichi, as each time she is about to uncover the truth, Shinichi has somehow managed to contrive an excuse to convince her otherwise.
Ran’s father and owner of the Mouri Detective Agency, Kogoro is the stereotypical anime middle-aged man. That is to say that he is characterised as cheap, quirky, lazy, slightly lecherous, and generally hopeless. His favourite pastimes are drinking and following the news on his idol goddess Yoko Okino. Once an active officer (though not a very competent one) on the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Force, he is implied to have left the force during events that caused him to accidentally graze his wife’s leg with a gunshot. As a private detective, his bumbling and incompetent ways are still apparent, and his agency only received sparse business until Conan appeared and began to build up his reputation as a legendary detective.
During investigations, Kogoro displays almost no deductive abilities. He often jumps to the wrong conclusions and makes baseless accusations without making even rudimentary examinations of the evidence at hand. In most cases, his presence at a crime scene is merely so that Conan can effectively use him as a mouthpiece to solve the crime. With the use of the tranquiliser darts built into his watch, Conan will put Kogoro to sleep, and hide himself near Kogoro’s sleeping body to speak through his voice-altering bow-tie. Because of this, he has been given the nickname of 'Sleeping Kogoro' - a reference to the fact that he tends to solve crimes whenever he appears to be in an unconscious state. Oddly enough, Kogoro does not seem to find the fact that he has no memory of solving most of the crimes suspicious in the slightest, and is more than happy to claim all the credit for them.
Although he mostly exists for a comic relief function, Kogoro’s character has evolved and been given more depth with the progression of the series. Kogoro has shown the ability on several occasions to solve cases on his own, albeit with some surreptitious prodding from Conan, and has consistently demonstrated a keen sense of justice and morality. He is also highly skilled in the martial art of Judo, having once been the ace of the Judo club during his university years.
As a running gag in the series, Kogoro is eventually given the moniker of the 'God of Death' by inspectors in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Force, because he always tends to find himself involved in, or first to respond to, a murder scene.
Professor Agasa is Shinichi's neighbour and close confidante. The first to learn of Shinichi's plight, it is Professor Agasa who suggests that Shinchi assume to Conan alias in order to misdirect possible reprisals from the mysterious organisation that poisoned him. The Professor poses as Conan's distant relative, and has on many occasions proved to be an invaluable ally in Conan's adventures.
He is a talented inventor, having created many gadgets for Conan to help compensate for his child physique. These include the power-enhancing sneakers that allow for Conan to kick with the strength of an adult, a stun-gun wristwatch equipped with a tranquiliser dart, a voice-altering bow-tie, a solar-powered turbocharged skateboard that can keep pace with cars, and a pair of glasses with built-in zoom and tracking functions.
In cases where Kogoro is otherwise incapacitated or simply not present, Agasa will generally act as Conan's mouthpiece, miming everything he is saying.
Sonoko Suzuki (Suzuki Sonoko)
Sonoko is Ran’s best friend. Being heiress to the immensely wealthy and powerful Suzuki Financial Group, Sonoko is sometimes characterised as shallow and arrogant. However, she is generous with sharing the perks her family’s influence affords her, often bringing Ran, Kogoro, and Conan along to exclusive events – though this usually involves her bragging about it to them at any opportunity. Sonoko fits into the stereotypical bimbo role. She is vain, impractical, sometimes annoying, and mostly exists in a fantasy world of her creation.
In spite of all this, she does care deeply about Ran, and is often her first point of contact when it comes to talking about boy issues and other life problems. She does possess some cunning and intelligence, evidenced by the fact that she is sometimes able to arrive at a crime’s conclusion by connecting the clues that Conan draws her attention to. In most other cases, she is used as Conan’s other deductive mouthpiece when Kogoro or Professor Agasa are not present. Like Kogoro, she does not seem to find the fact that she lost conscious to be at all suspicious, and readily claims the credit for solving the crime on her own. As a result, she has given herself the nickname ‘Sonoko: Deduction Queen’.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the many characters that have been introduced throughout Detective Conan's long history. Stay tuned for more articles on recurring characters and the mysterious Black Organisation !