Detective Conan is a notoriously long series, in manga format and anime, that has over 80 volumes of manga, and over 800 episodes of anime. Oh, and did I mention it’s still on going?? Yeah, for any anime fan a 100+ series seems daunting, but trying to get into Detective fucking Conan? Impossible! Well friend, I say it’s not impossible and in this post I’ll tell you the low down on how to tackle this monstrosity of greatness, and if you should even watch it, in a way that won’t make you go crazy.
- Go Slow
There is no reason for you to catch up. There just isn’t. The biggest mystery that can be spoiled for whenever the manga ends is the identity of the Black Organization’s boss, and even then I don’t think it will be that big a deal to be spoiled. Gosho Aoyama, the creator of said series, has stated that he never thought Detective Conan would be so popular and has put the Black Organization’s boss in the first volume of the manga. To this day no one has been able to guess who he/she is.
Detective Conan isn’t like One Piece, Naruto, Attack on Titan or any mainstream anime. There’s a limited amount of fanbase around it, and even then the amount of people who talk about episode to episode or chapter to chapter is even smaller. There’s not hype train that makes you feel like you’re not part of the conversation. And even if you wanted to be part of the conversation I’m sure the fans of Detective Conan are so much nicer than fans of the big three who love to broadcast spoilers the day they are released.
Also, you’re trying to tackle an 800+ anime, like any marathon you need to pace yourself. It’ll take you a real long time to catch up even if you wanted to be in the conversation, so you might as well go at your own pace and soak it up rather than trying to get through as much as possible in as little time. It took me around three years to catch up to the anime, and that was when it was in the mid 600s to 700. Trust me, Detective Conan is better to binge watch than to watch week by week.
2. Canon, or Completest?
Like any long running anime there are filler episodes, and sometimes seasons of filler, but unlike most long running anime the filler episodes are almost on par as the canon ones for the most part. They’re not as good, but they’re just as entertaining. Also, I bet if you didn’t look up what was filler and what was canon you wouldn’t even know the difference.
Now if you did want to skip fillers because you wanted to stay true to the source material that will cut out a ton of episodes for you to watch and in a way a much faster way to catch up. Now I bet you’re wondering how to find out which episodes are canon, and lucky for you there is a website that is dedicated to Detective Conan. They have a list of every episode, details what each episode’s case is and how it was played out. It tells you when a new character was introduced, or when Shinichi’s romantic subplot advances. It tells you when a black organization plot happens, and even tells you what volume and chapters the episodes cover. Yup, sounds like an anime fan’s wet dream doesn’t it? If you’re interested then I’d highly recommend you visit their site http://www.detectiveconanworld.com/wiki/
Still not convinced in trying out Detective Conan? What if I told you that this is a very episodic series? If you’re reading the manga you can literally read any volume and it wouldn’t matter. If you wanted to hit all the big beats of the story then look at the website I talked about early and only watch/read the black organization stories because that’s what’s mostly driving the plot.
You can watch all of the black organization episodes and then go back to watch any of the other ones for fun. You can watch the whole series out of order and still understand where the plot stands. The only thing the show really references are characters they met before, other than that you can start on any case and you’ll understand what’s going on.
Detective Conan takes place in the real world, and one of the coolest things this series does is take you all across Japan. Not only that but some of the mysteries heavily use Japanese mythology, culture, and their own language (puns). Essentially, it’s like a free culture class 😀 Of course it’s not the best way to learn about Japanese culture, but I learned a lot on how the Japanese act, what their social customs are, and much more than I thought I could learn from an anime. But of course this isn’t a substitute for an actual class on Japanese culture, but let’s say this is a teaser or the appetizer to a bigger dish.
What’s astounding about this anime, is the fact that it has been going on since 1996! The manga has been going on since 1994! And as naturally as someone who draws for that long their style tends to change, and so does animation. You literally can see when animation has gotten better, and I find that absolutely fascinating. Not many people may, but Detective Conan is a living timeline of how animation has progressed. If you compare episode one to the latest episode you can easily see just how dramatically different they are. Not only does the animation quality improve, but when it does the style starts to change. Their faces aren’t as round, their noses are more pointed, and before long it’s pretty cool to see where the style has ended up. I know it’s something little, but how cool is it that Detective Conan is like a history for animation?! 😀
If you’re still on the fence about Detective Conan then I’d say watch a movie or two. Detecive Conan has twenty movies, and two movies where he crosses over with Lupin III. These films are self contained and are not canon, but it gives you a taste for the characters, and how the anime plays out. If nothing else you can just watch the films and get plenty enjoyment from them, especially when the cases get bigger and bigger, and maybe more ridiculous, as the movies go on.
7. Rare Repetition
When it comes to a monster of a series such as this then there are going to be concerns about quality. Like wouldn’t cases start to repeat themselves after 800 episodes? And if that’s what you’re thinking then that’s a very fair concern, but one that you shouldn’t be concerned about. While there may be cases similar to each other, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the same case actually used twice. Their either in different location, new characters, a new twist in how the murder was committed, there is always something makes a case stand on its own.
No not that type of diversity, genre diversity! Not a huge fan of mysteries? Well Detective Conan has some of the best romance plots I’ve seen in anime. Not into that? There are episodes just about good old fashioned adventure, comedy that can have you in stitches, and even horror episodes that are almost sadistic. It makes fun of the old cheap films like Godzilla, and even gives you an inside look at various jobs. Detective Conan has something for everyone, and I think everyone should at least try it once.
Hopefully I have enlightened some into actually trying out this fun ride, and I’d like to end this post by listing some of my favorite episodes:
Episodes 1/2 (Just so you can get to know the characters and start the plot)
22/23 (serial murder on a boat)
34/35 (scary isolation serial murder)
57/58 (Holmes enthusiasts unite!)
76 (magic 😉
128/129 (basically the next big plot point, plus introduction to one of my favorite characters)
And that’s a good start. To be honest there are just too many great episodes to choose from, but these are definitely my top favs in the beginning. Hope you all enjoy, and don’t forget to comment and like. Oh, and if you’ve already dived into Detective Conan why not leave your story and what made you start it?