Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
I’ve always been curious about the Detective Conan anime series but I’ll be honest and say I’ve never seen a single episode or movie before this one. Now normally I would never watch an anime movie without prior knowledge of the show or characters because let’s face it, this is not an art form that cares to pander to casual viewers. No my friends, you have to have done your homework or else you’re getting left behind!
Still, I’ve been wanting to broaden my anime horizons so to speak and this month, after a series of delays, Detective Conan’s latest film released and for the most part, there was a lot to enjoy with this pint-sized detective.
So let’s pretend for a moment you were like me and have no idea who this is or what he’s about. Well originally known as Cased Closed, Detective Conan (a manga that began way back in 1994 and has been adapted into everything from video games to live action episodes) tells the story of high school detective Shinichi Kudo (renamed Jimmy in English translations) who was transformed into a child while investigating a mysterious organisation. Using this to his advantage Kudo adopted the pseudonym Conan Edogawa and keeps his real identity secret to assist the police by solving crimes with the help of friends like his neighbour Dr Agasa, fellow teenage detective Heiji Hattori (Harley Hartwell) and a phantom thief called Kaito Kid, as well as a bunch of others.
With me so far? Okay, so The Scarlet Bullet (2021) is his latest mystery to solve. As Japan is preparing to commemorate the World Sports Games and disaster strikes the host venue as several industry leaders are kidnapped. So Conan and his friends race to discover who’s behind it all.
Now as I haven’t seen any of the others I can’t say where this film stands against the ones that came before. What I CAN say is I thought the animation was great. There was a solid blend of old school art styles meeting the more modern day “fluid” designs we’re now used to seeing. That said, the individual characters were a bit jarring to look at with their wide set eyes and somewhat disproportioned bodies. But I figured this was keeping in line with the original look of these characters, similar to what I’ve seen in Lupin III.
The mystery itself was interesting as Conan and friends have this sort of Sherlock Holmes vibe to the way they tackled their cases. Unfortunately the English subtitles were atrocious with incorrect pronouns left and right (calling someone him/he when the character was clearly her/she) and as any fan of the art form can attest to, using a white font is never a good idea because when it meets a white background you’re completely lost as to what is being said.
The movie ran a bit long for my taste as well and there were times when it struggled to keep my attention. But even with these flaws and as someone who have never seen any of the previous Case Closed/Detective Conan shows I came away from this entertained. With an action-packed conclusion that helps make up for any tedium that may have come before, The Scarlet Bullet may not be the best anime movie I’ve seen in recent years but there was enough here for me to see why the show and its characters has such a loyal fan base.
Sommer’s Score: 6 out of 10
So are you a fan of the Detective Conan series? Sound off in the comments. And you can check out more anime film content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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