It's funny. I'm not the type of person that would sit in front of the TV all day, watching CSI series, but somehow, "Detective Conan" really changed that outlook.
'Detective Conan" is about a teen detective by the name of Shin'ichi Kudo (known in the dub as Jimmy), who has a charismatic skill of solving crimes that leave the police force and its leading investigators baffled and astounded. One night, when Shin'ichi is at the amusement park with his childhood friend Ran Mouri, he whitnesses two strange men dressed in black carrying out an illegal trade. While watching, he's accosted from behind by one of the men, forcefed a drug intended to kill him, and knocked out.
When Shin'ichi wakes up, he finds that the drug didn't kill him, but has caused his body to shrink down to the size of a seven-year-old boy. Shin'ichi confides in his neighbor, the crazy scientest Hiroshi Agasa, who informs him not to tell anybody else about his condition for the safety of those around him and provides his with gadgets to help him around, such as a bowtie that can duplicate any voice and a wrist stun-gun used to put people to sleep. Shin'ichi then goes under the alias "Conan Edogawa" to conceal his identity. In order to get information about the men responsible for his small body, he lives as a surrogate brother to Ran and helps out her father, Kogoro Mouri, who is a mediocre detective with poor deduction skills.
Following Kogoro on cases assigned to him, Conan tries to help behind the scenes any way he can. The problem is that no professionals want to listen to a kid's advice, so "Conan" deducts as other work. After balancing out all the evidence, he gets everyone's attention through knocking Kogoro out with a stungun, hiding behind him, and dupliicating his voice while explaining the case.
While not that popular of an anime in North America (despite finding a fair audience among Americans), Conan has a great amount of success in Japan, spanning more than 450 episodes(and STILL GOING!!), 55 tankoban, 10 movies, and 16 OVAs.
At first I thought this anime wasn't all that interesting and was poorly animated (stopped thinking that after finding it was made in 1996), but after watching the dub more on Adult Swim, I got more attached to the characters, storyline, and everthing that made the show so admirable. For two years I watching both the English and Japanese versions, bought merchandise, and tried to work my way up to the current story development in the manga.
Leaving off the personal experience bits I thought about putting in, I'll get to the qualities that make "Detective Conan"such a favorite to the Japanese and other nationalities as well.
Now starting with the artwork, I'll have to go out on a limb and say that it can take some adjusting to at first, with the pointy, "barely-there" noses, the round eyes, and "jug ears" and all the other oddities in the art. It'll eventually grow on you, nonetheless. Also, the artstyle advances to higher quality in both the anime and manga as animation methods and improve as well as Aoyama's drawing skills, so the artwork still is able to better itself.
The background music for the series really gives it that "classic detective drama" feel. It's a combination of jazz, some saxophone jams both slow and quick, as well as some themes that play in the background on occasion. It sets teh atmosphere and tone for the format and purpose for the playing of the episodes.
The cast of characters starts to build thoughout the series, from the tough but sensitive Ran and the overconfident Kogoro to the brooding Ai Hiabara and the individual members of the Metropolitan Police Force. All of them have distinct personalities that may not develop quickly, but are interesting to explore while watching this long series.
The cases, murder cases, suicide cases, puzzles, kidnappings, and cases involving those men in black and their organization, are so brilliantly laid out. You just want to watch every darned bit of the episode to see the conclusion. The way Shin'ichi uses his logic in each episode just makes one think, "Whoa. This show's amazing." And the series can get somebody hooked with just deductions alone. However the episodes play out in almost the same format, kind of like Law & Order, with the same episode formula, but different twists and clever setups in the cases that keep viewers coming back for more every time.
Overall, "Detective Conan" is all that and a bag of chips, being possibly my ultimate favorite as well as the favorite of many other fans. It can be a bit boring for those that hate being overloaded with details, but mystery fans and intellectuals are bound to love it.