Dec 9, 2016
1 of 1 episodes seen
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In some ways I'm very conflicted about this release, but in others, I'm very happy because it's a different perspective of the series events, and a great way to celebrate 20 years for a great mystery anime.
I don't think this is a perfect special by any means, as there are things that could have been left out, and it doesn't come off as an obvious attempt at retconning or trying to portray that Gosho had this planned out, and that's part of my discomfort with this special. There are so many things that Gosho never would have introduced in the first episode, and it
just feels a little weird. The anime seems to be a mixed batch between anime canon and manga canon, and despite the fact that Gosho had been directly involved or "supervised" this special, I wouldn't be so ready to accept everything in here as canon.
Should you watch this in place of the first episode or as an introduction to the series? No, absolutely not, but it's a great treat for the fans, or at least I think... and if you're no stranger to the series, absolutely give it a go, because it's a good watch.
The story sets off a bit more focused, instead of just tossing us in like the original episode did, which was messy. I think this special does show us everything that was lacking from the early anime, and clears a lot of things up. Having a bit more with Gin, Vodka, and Shiho was nice, as well as the Karate tournament between Ran and Hina, however, there are other character reveals in this special that otherwise seem to contradict canon, don't make sense because of the technological advancements between 96 and 2016, or just should have been left out to reduce clutter. We didn't need to see "those" characters.
If you can get past that, this 1 hour and 30 minute special is paced very well, leading up to Shinichi's big shrink and his arrival to the detective agency. We are then treated to some defining moments in the series via recap, a couple anime original moments, as well as an end bit with Shiho changing Shinichi's status to dead. Episode One feels very concise, properly planned and properly executed. I'll give the story a 9/10.
The art and animation is nothing mind blowing, but there are many scenes throughout this special that look phenomenal compared to the TV anime's current standards. I'll always be a bit biased, as many people think this style looks hideous, but I've always had a soft-spot for the art in this series, and it's one of my favorite anime to look at. The series never really requires amazing animation, but it's certainly above average here and warrants an 8/10 from me.
Voice acting, again, is perfect. Detective Conan, if all else fails, has always had superb voice casting with many veterans in the industry. The soundtrack, however, hasn't really gotten better over the years. While the special did have inserts, like Unmei no Roulette Mawashite (OP4), and we got a brief intro featuring the very first opening in the series, the background music is still lacking, and has been for years, but at the very least it's well placed. It doesn't sound bad by any means, just that the standard they had set before was so much higher. 9/10 for sound.
Given this is basically an introduction episode of sorts, it's hard to rate the characters, but I feel that they have done good and portrayed an accurate personality for pretty much the entirety of the cast, even if showcased in a quick moment. Sonoko wasn't originally in the very first episode/chapter, but her appearance makes sense, and we see a little bit of her personality as a supporting character, because that's really what she does best. It also takes you back to a better time when characters like Ran actually seemed to have personality and weren't really forced to do the same routine after years and years of maintaining the status quo.
Fortunately, most the character cameos make sense, and even if you were to watch this as an intro of sorts, I don't feel like it would really spoil that much for you, and it may even shine some light on certain things, or at the very least provide a subtle hint. I think that's a good thing... but I'm still a bit conflicted on some of the scenes, like having the not Detective Boys play soccer and come across Shinichi and Ran. Unless I'm mistaken here, there were only two other incidents where they came across Shinichi, one in the Desperate Revival arc where they didn't know who he was, and they would have probably remembered him after such an impression, and the other when they were preschoolers in a non-canon ova. I don't like contradictions like this in a mystery anime, even if it's just the little things.
I'll give the character an 8/10 here, because even though it's Episode One, and a good special, I feel like some things were messed up, it was too convoluted, and Episode One, despite being very memorable was definitely not the best the early anime had to offer.
My personal enjoyment of the special was probably the best it could have been. In fact, this is probably my favorite moment all year for the series, be it anime, manga, or movies. With M20 being an upset in that it had nothing to offer aside from being a fan-service film, the manga's slow pace, and the anime being a mixed bag, it was nice to have something that I knew right off the bat I could be on board with. How could they mess it up? Well don't answer that, but thankfully, they did a pretty good job.
Highlights of the Episode had to be Jodie's English, the roller-coaster decapitation, done right, Ran's karate tournament, as well as the brief scenes with Shiho in the beginning and end. Gin and Vodka's anime original scenes in the beginning was also a great addition to this film and a better introduction than having them JUST be involved in a random murder. Anyways, 10/10 for me. Couldn't have liked it better. Sure, some flaws, but I can get past them. I won't brood over anything here. If it contradicts canon, fine, because sometimes, I feel like worrying over what isn't and is canon is just too much anyways...
Overall, I give Episode One a 9/10. I'd recommend any fan of Detective Conan that has been following the manga/anime to watch this special. Though because there is a certain character reveal, you may want to wait until the UFO case gets animated if you don't read the manga... (That'll be sometime around February 2017, probably). It's nothing significant, and even watching the special here will give a stronger introduction to that character when she reappears, though who knows what kind of impression they'll leave on us over time, or if they are even important at all.
Aug 25, 2016
829 of ? episodes seen
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While this may be a "biased" review, it is in my opinion that this anime/manga is a masterpiece... that is, at least up to a certain point.
As someone who picked up the series nearly 15 years ago, I am still attached to it, but that is not without my complaints, and I am not able to ignore the poor writing decisions that are present throughout the series. Though for the sake of avoiding spoilers, I will leave most of that out in this review!
Also, prepare for a long-winded review... but I feel that it's necessary to do this anime justice.
Do I recommend that you
watch Detective Conan. Yes and no.
I think if you are a fan of mysteries, particularly whodunnits, that there is simply no better anime out there. Kindaichi is an option that comes close, but I feel that it doesn't hold up in both the "plot" and the cases itself. Detective Conan has a mostly "fair" approach to the mysteries that are present in almost every case, so it's great for people who want to solve the cases alongside or before Conan (which is quite the task a majority of the time).
The plot is also very interesting, at least up to a certain point and has some phenomenal mystery underlying there as well. It's slow paced and generally follows several story arcs, but with the series shrouded in ambiguity, it always leaves you wondering what's coming next.
Why wouldn't I recommend this anime? Plain and simple... even if you don't like mysteries, I don't think that's a reason to warrant kicking Detective Conan to the curb... but the main turn off for people would be the slow developing plot, and the fact that the anime/manga seemingly has no end in sight, despite having just celebrated the anime's 20th anniversary.
The show has an episodic format, and because there is generally some unrelated case to the plot in each episode, it can feel very repetitive. The series has a "floating time-line", so we don't really have a proper sense of time and not even a year has passed in the anime/manga.
This is a series that for the normal anime fan, would be hard to binge. There's 892 episodes (as of this review), and I honestly can't recommend someone start this anime without following some important episode list. Almost half of the anime episodes are original content and not based on the manga and have absolutely nothing to do with the plot or character development either (which is the prime reason I recommend following such a guide). You'd have to be careful too since one little thing you may happen to read could spoil the entire anime for you, or at least a pivotal story arc.
Synopsis from MAL:
Shinichi Kudou, a great mystery expert at only seventeen, is already well known for having solved several challenging cases. One day, when Shinichi sees two suspicious men and decides to follow them, he inadvertently becomes witness to a disturbing illegal activity. When the men catch Shinichi, they dose him with an experimental drug formulated by their criminal organization and abandon him to die. However, to his own astonishment, Shinichi is still alive and soon wakes up, but now, he has the body of a seven-year-old, perfectly preserving his original intelligence. He hides his real identity from everyone, including his childhood friend Ran Mouri and her father, private detective Kogorou Mouri, and takes on the alias of Conan Edogawa (inspired by the mystery writers Arthur Conan Doyle and Ranpo Edogawa).
Story - 10
While the synopsis doesn't do the series justice at all, because you really need to experience it for yourself, it is an interesting concept, and the antagonists provide some much needed tension in the series to give us a break from your case of the week format. The plot "progression" in the first 120 episodes or so is rather slow, and doesn't really take off until Episode 129 with a new character introduction and someone connected to the main plot.
After this point, the plot picks up, we are introduced to a plethora of great characters, and easily the best arc in Detective Conan. I think to see Detective Conan's potential, it is required to watch at least up to episode 345, since that, imo, is the peak of the series. I think that both the anime and the manga qualify as a masterpiece until this point, and that's not just for the plot, but that everything is just coalesced so nicely at this time.
Detective Conan is an absolute time commitment since the way it is structured basically requires that you watch a majority of the manga-based content, as each episode may include small clues or hints to the plot or characters. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but if you can't dedicate the time to getting into the plot (since you don't even really get started until 100+ episodes in) - I don't recommend watching it. As of Episode 650 or so, Gosho is especially good at weaving in small clues/hints in almost every case, making most canon cases required.
What's bad about it?
The problem with the story is that for fans that have watched 800 episodes or even just mystery fans in general, may find it a bit predictable. There is a pattern to the author's madness, and the main issue is not with the case mysteries but the recurring character tropes and plot progression. After 345 we aren't really treated to anything "new" and Gosho tends to follow a similar pattern when starting a new "arc".
The way everything comes together is generally positive, and I have to say for how bat-shit crazy things can get, Gosho manages to pull off the plot with flying colors... most of the time. If nothing else, you have to give him credit for creating so many creative murder tricks.
As I've mentioned before... it's slow. Sometimes we are waiting years for anything to happen, and that's all with the manga being consistently published and the anime airing almost every Saturday. This can be a huge mood killer, and for about seven years we were treated to an arc that had not much going for it.
Things are possibly looking up, and some theorize that the end is in sight (I don't), but really, I think this show should have ended a long time ago. Can it live up to its past? It can't. It's really not possible. It's not even nostalgia, as almost every single aspect of the anime has decreased in quality (though this is not applicable to the manga, and I really recommend reading it as well, or in contrast to the anime).
Realistically I'd have to rank the story in pieces:
1-128 - 8
129-175 - 8
176-345 - 10
346-424 - 8
425 - 504 - 9
505 - 646 - 7
647-783 - 7
Art and Animation - 7
Detective Conan has a very recognizable, and a very "dated" art-style. The art for the most part is very pleasurable to look at. Of course, because it looks so old, this may be a turn off to fans.
Does it get better? It's really all about preference, but objectively speaking, I think the anime peaked at a certain point, much like the plot, as it starts off rather "weird" with large heads and especially large ears, then progressively starts to look more "normal", and then it becomes full on digital and becomes incredibly spotty.
Some people prefer the new anime style, and while I do like it (especially the movie art/animation), the anime has a bad habit of looking great one episode, and then absolutely horrendous the next.
Whether it be because of the increased amounts of rather unnecessary "censorship", terrible shadowing, or character movement, or just the color palette changes, I think the anime only got worse over time. If you pick up the series, you'll have to get used to the constantly changing art-style, though I don't think it can really deviate much from where it's at right now.
Detective Conan is not really a series that has stunning animation, and is simply because it's not necessary. It's a mystery/whodunnit first, so there isn't a ton of action, as even such confrontations are mostly a battle of wits. When the animation needs to be good... it can be? It's again, like the art, spotty, so if you are looking for quality animation, you probably won't get it. Though they have a Detective Conan movie every year, all of which have pretty damn nice art/animation.
Sound - 9
Katsuo Ohno delivers for a majority of the anime, bringing a very "jazzy" feel and is the perfect fit for the soundtrack.
I think the background music in DC is nothing to scoff at, and even the later OSTs and music post say, 2007, can feel repetitive, or "uninspired" still sounds good to the ear.
The "problem" is that the background music went from phenomenal to "good" and it just got complacent. We aren't really treated to too many unique or rare tracks anymore, and the new movies only bring forth one or two tracks (of about 40) that are even really worth listening to. That "jazz" feel is mostly gone after a certain point, and it feels very synthesized and can't live up to the past. I don't think anyone would tell you that the music gets better, it doesn't.
The openings and endings are personally hit or miss for me, but I think there are a lot of great ones. Mai Kuraki, B'z, Garnet Crow, and a few others make multiple appearances in the series, and Minami Takayama (from TWO-MIX and Conan's voice actress) can be heard singing OP 5 and some of the insert songs, which are to me, unrivaled.
Detective Conan's cast of voice actors is absolutely phenomenal, and some of the best I've heard in anime. They have such a wide range of talented actors, and it's been a consistently good thing about this anime. There is nothing bad to say. The English dub actors also did a good job, but pale in comparison to the original actors.
Minami Takayama, Kappei Yamaguchi, Megumi Hayashibara, Shuuichi Ikeda, Rei Furuya, Mami Koyama, Akira Kamiya, Noriko Hidaka, Yuko Miyamura... what more can you ask for? Atsuko Tanaka (Motoko Kusanagi's VA) also recently jumped in.
Character - 8
This is a mixed bag, as I think that most the characters serve their purpose, and are developed extremely well throughout the course of the series, some are left to rot, do not develop, or we are again, left to experience recurring tropes among multiple characters.
The worst among this is the "romance" that Gosho ever so loves, even going so far as to (jokingly?) call Detective Conan a love comedy. Is it a rom com? Hell no, but even sometimes you have to wonder...
The problem, mainly is that despite it being a rather juvenile approach to romance, is that the romance between our characters is far too stretched out with next to no result. It's pretty much the same from point a to b, and even if such a confession were to happen, nothing really changes. Gosho also seems afraid to reach a conclusion since he, unfortunately, likes to treat the romance at times as character development (it's not really...).
We are also treated to characters who seem to exist as nothing but a love interest, or were literally just created to stall plot progression so we can now have another pointless love story that Gosho can fall back on at any point when he needs to.
There is some light in the darkness here... but it's few and far between, and even for one of the couples that I think was well developed, once they actually reached a "climax", they are basically the brunt of sex jokes and comic relief... not necessarily a bad thing all the time, but extremely disappointing.
Over-saturation is also a thing, and it really can't be helped. Each arc we are introduced to several new characters, and getting to the backstories of our main cast, or even older recurring characters either doesn't seem to happen or takes absolutely forever.
Some characters can be really spotty. Ran, who I appreciated until a certain point and lost interest, doesn't seem to serve as anything more than a plot device at the moment, and it's such a shame that Gosho won't let her develop beyond being Shinichi's love interest. There is so much wasted potential here, and Kogoro, our other main character introduced right at the start gets next to no development throughout the series, nor does he progress through his relationship with his wife (who he is still married to, but they live separately).
Conan, himself, has most of his development at the start of the series, where he changed drastically after being shrunken, doesn't really "develop" after this point, but we are treated to some phenomenal characters 100+ episodes in.
Enjoyment - 10
This gets a 10 from me, simply because I have put up with it for so long and have taken hardly any breaks from it, nor have I ever really thought that the anime completely failed to entertain me. There are so many great moments, cases, and reveals that blew me away, and the only problem is after you experience it once, you just can't get the same feeling again, which is why anyone picking up this series NEEDS to avoid spoilers.
For that first time though, there is nothing that can really rival it for me, and Detective Conan, despite it's 20 year run, has pretty much always been there for me.
As a whole, I love watching the episodes each week, and have rewatched/re-read the series quite a few times, and I think doing that for such a massive series just accentuates how enjoyable it was for me.
Overall - 10 (realistically, 7)
Detective Conan is a unique breed in anime. While it is a "Shonen" anime, it's unlike almost everything else out there and provides some compelling mysteries and plot, which is something that can easily be recommended to adults and kids the same.
The anime never gets "bad" - the biggest problem the anime has is that it just can't live up to its former glory. That rings true when you look at the old character interactions, the first couple arcs, the soundtrack, or the art-style/animation changes.
If you're looking for a solid mystery anime, Detective Conan should undoubtedly be on your list. If you don't want to start it because it's length... you can find a "guide" of sorts and trim it down to a little over 300 episodes. That's still a massive amount, but I really do think its worth it. Don't binge it and burn yourself out though!
Aug 23, 2016
1 of 1 episodes seen
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Having enjoyed this movie, there are still some rather glaring issues, at least for me, and I had to go into a different mindset, as with all Detective Conan movies, because if I didn't, I probably would have been much more "upset" after watching it.
So this movie essentially amounts to being a "fanservice movie", and that's not necessarily a bad thing, as I do believe that while the story and character progression can feel rather cliche (because it is), I think that at the very least it's executed well and the movie has enough to offer in terms of solid enjoyment.
First of all, I
think the route that the movie takes is a bit different for Detective Conan, and I've actually wanted to see a movie like The Darkest Nightmare for quite some time. That is, a Black Organization movie without some underlying mystery completely unrelated to the plot. That's what this is, and despite it being predictable because the movie isn't canon (since we can all see how it's going to essentially end), it's still nice to see the movie not get bogged down by a sub-par mystery plot.
Because it's not a typical Detective Conan movie, and this will be a huge turn off to many fans... that being said, most the movie mystery plots have been extremely lackluster for the last several movies, so I think this is a nice fresh of breath.
This also gives us an opportunity to see certain scenes we would have never ordinarily seen in the manga, since drawing a lot of action would take far too many panels/pages, and Gosho Aoyama tends to keep things mostly on the more "logical" side. It's nice to see some outlandish action once in awhile, permitting it doesn't transfer over into the manga (Kaitou Kid vs Makoto case *cough*)
The plot of the movie is rather cliche. The focal point is not so much around the "main cast" but other characters, predominantly our female movie character lead, as well as Bourbon and Akai.
Curacao, has obtained a NOC list, outing Riesling, Aquavit, Stout, and Bourbon/Kir as spies, but before she is able to relay information regarding the full list, she is branded an amnesiac.
Conan, Ai, and the rest of the Detective Boys find her in an amusement park after washing up, and for a small portion of the movie they are walking around with her, and she slowly gains her memories back through the course of this movie.
Naturally the status quo must be maintained so nothing regarding Bourbon/Kir happens, and Curacao dies at the end of the movie, despite regaining her memories since the DBs apparently had a large impact on her and she wanted to save them. This was a given since nothing "important" can really happen in something that is not manga-canon. (I can't even consider it a spoiler, anyone who has followed the series to this point should have seen it coming a mile away).
Of course, they, at least for awhile, try to shroud Curacao's identity from us, and I do have to say it was quite a genius idea to build off of the Rum hype and try to treat her as a suspect, but it's really only something that's going to fool gullible fans.
I also think that it's a bit cruel to tease the "first appearance" of such an important individual and only have them appear by a masked voice, which was also to be expected...
And to go on a little bit of a rant here... I think it's a terrible idea to introduce 3 spies and to quickly kill them off. Even though it's non-canon, the amount of BO spies in the series at least compared to known "antagonists" isn't much of a difference, and to have a code-name to me has come across as being an "important" member. This makes the BO out to be rather incompetent, much more so than they've already shown to be, even if that is all for the convenience of the plot.
Anyways... nothing special about the plot. It's very generic, to the point where I don't even really have much to say about it. The movie itself has a lot of redeeming qualities, so let's get on to that.
Art and Animation: 9/10
Judging from previous movies, I have to say the Darkest Nightmare, mostly, looks quite stunning for a DC movie. It has solid art all the way through, and the animation is very pleasurable to look at, especially when there needs to be good animation. It doesn't come across as cheap, which is more that can be said about DC's current anime art, which can look absolutely horrendous.
Character designs for the throwaway BO members certainly made them feel like throwaways, but I feel that the character design for Curacao was very acceptable and she has one of the better designs we've seen, much better than Irish from M13...
There were not really any moments where I felt that the art was mediocre. The setting of the amusement park is rather colorful, and the palette in general was much more pleasing to look at. Even down to the character clothing choices, I felt that this movie really had some good art to look at, that is if you are a fan of this rather dated style. It all comes down to personal preference...
Gosho's keyframes also looked quite good, and it was nice seeing Jinpei Matsuda, even if it was an extremely random return. It's always nice trying to spot them, and thankfully they didn't stand out too much. This was another point that showed me truly how nice the art was.
One last bit... I really liked the intro. It was a good stylistic change and I'm glad they did something different. It was nice to look at, and I probably enjoyed this simple recap/introduction more than I should have.
Having watched the Korean DUB, and not the Japanese, I will probably change my review up as I see the "official" release.
The OST was a little better than average in my opinion. DC soundtracks have been rather abysmal for the last several years, and there were certainly some good tracks here, but in the end it did feel repetitive at times, and not a lot of really unique music came out of it. That being said, of the good tunes, they certainly had some memorable ones, notably the pursuit scene, fight scene, and even a rather "James Bond" esque tune that played when Vermouth was in the cafe. The soundtrack was good, it just wasn't anything more than that...
Sound effects for this movie were quite nice as well, though I have to say that nothing really shined, it was just felt a little plain, but well placed.
One of the absolute best things about Detective Conan's anime is the voice cast. It has one, if not the best voice casts in anime, and many notable and praiseworthy CVs. I can't really "judge" the performance seeing as how I haven't seen the Japanese release, but I can guarantee it'll be nothing short of amazing.
Again, nothing special, since the focus of the movie is around Curacao, and she has a basic 180 turn in personality. No matter what you do, when you introduce a character that you know is going to die by the end of the movie, you can't try and produce a sob story or a death for dramatic effect. It doesn't work, at least for me...
Maybe because it was inevitable I really can't fault it, but the motivation seems a bit weak, but who knows how strong her ties to the BO really were. The quick scene with Vermouth, Rum, and Curacao strapped to the table may have just been there to help illustrate this.
Akai and Bourbon's characters were handled rather well, and it was nice to see the fight scene, something that likely won't ever happen in the manga. Was the grudge brought up at all? I don't think so, but Bourbon's hatred towards Akai was captured quite nicely here.
Ran, Sonoko and Kogoro could have just as well not been there at all this movie and it wouldn't have made a difference. That's a minus for me, as I do like seeing characters portrayed like the "old days", since recently the movies like to introduce their own characters and only focus on Conan.
With such a large cast, this is forgivable, since you can almost wonder at times, who isn't in this movie?
It's a solid fanservice movie. It's paced well, it's great to look at, the music is nice, and the character performances are all there. Was it predictable? Sure, but it was nice to see such a BO centric movie. While I will say that they are far more ostentatious than they should ever be (much like M13), it was fun. I had fun. That's what matters in the end. I don't think you have to "turn your brain off" or anything of that sort, but I do think that given the movie's concept and how otherworldly it is for this franchise, you have to go into it with a different mindset... and if people still bitch after being given what they've asked for for several years, I really don't know how they can be satisfied...
The Darkest Nightmare delivers. It has a unique premise (but only for a Detective Conan movie), good art and animation, and is all around fun to watch. There will certainly be some replay value for this one.
The story and characters are nothing special, so if you're not a fan of Akai or Bourbon, or didn't get invested in the whole Curacao debacle, I can completely understand why someone might not like this movie.
Perhaps an 8/10 is a bit high seeing as how the movie has a rather shoddy and generic plot, which should be one of the most important things to look at, but I think proper execution for a concept that has been so overdone can make all the difference. Did it have proper execution? That's up for debate, but seeing as how I consider myself rather picky and was expecting much worse than what we got... yea, I think it was good.
Give it a go at the very least. It's one of the few Detective Conan movies that I endorse, but I also recommend being somewhat caught up with the plot to fully understand what is going on.