Posts Tagged ‘Detective Conan’

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Otakon 2013: 10-minutes with Yuzuru Tachikawa and Michihiko Suwa

August 19, 2013

narutaki_icon_4040 There was a special presentation at Otakon 2013 about the young animator and director project called Anime Mirai with producer Michihiko Suwa and director of the Death Billiards short Yuzuru Tachikawa. Over the weekend all of the shorts were shown in 3-parts divided up by year.

At this point, most people have probably seen Little Which Academia but may not know it was funded through the Anime Mirai initiative. Many more probably hadn’t seen Death Billiards until Otakon’s weekend. Once you have seen it however, it is impossible to forget. Many are looking forward to what Mr. Tachikawa will do next.

Mr. Suwa has a great history in the anime business as a producer for mega hits like City Hunter and Inu-Yasha, as well as the indomitable Detective Conan. He appeared at Otakon before in 2007 along with director Mr. Kenji Kodoma and presented the U.S. with its first look at Kekkaishi.

Anime Mirai started in 2010 and was renewed in 2012 and 2013. Studios have already been announced for the continuation of the project in 2014, too. Each year studios pitch ideas and are given the funds to make a short anime. These shorts are funded by Japanese government grants in the hopes of promoting innovation and young talent in the anime industry.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #152

January 13, 2012

I thought it appropriate to make Detective Conan: Quarter of Silence (movie 15) my first anime of 2012 and it set the year off right! In this case Conan takes on a bomber looking to destroy a dam but there is a lot more to this mystery in the small snowy town Kitanosawa whose residents have many secrets. The film starts off with a flashback many years in the past of a young boy being chased and falling down the mountain side. We then move to present day where Conan must first stop a threat to the Governor of Tokyo and a train bomb that leads them to Niigata Prefecture. We learn that the town of Kitanosawa was relocated five years prior when the dam building took place and it was not popular with many of the residents. The setting plays a major role in the film as it is small and fairly isolated and we have the added attraction of snow and all the dangers that come with it. We meet a group of childhood friends with a lot of complications between them and that boy on the mountain top, don’t count him out yet. Since there are multiple mysteries going on it keeps you guessing in good form. There isn’t too much romance in this film which is a nice break and I really enjoyed the friendship that The Detective Boys kindred with the injured boy from the mountain. This movie loves to push the limits of Conan’s skateboard from having him go upside down in a tunnel to its transformation into a snowboard which he uses to create an avalanche in the final tense climax. This in a very enjoyable addition to the franchise making me feel as if they are on a roll with the Conan movies!

I finally got to reading Twin Spica six through ten when I borrowed them from Narutaki. As I stated when I made this the manga of the month the story mixes the best of science fictions hopeful dreams of progress with the draw of excellent human drama. And it has not dropped off in the least. Although it is a story about space the main focus is the characters, their interactions, and their growth. We learn that everyone has at least one major secret that they are keeping from everyone. Some are huge, some are bizarre, some are very personal, and one is all three. But no matter how wacky anyone’s secret is Kou Yaginuma makes sure that it has an appropriate emotional gravitas. And so powerful moments are still effective. Marika Ukita’s angry loneliness,  Shu Suzuki’s carefree facade, Kei Oumi’s blitzkrieging energy, and even Asumi Kamogawa’s melancholy earnestness will always carefully play with your heart and mind without ever feeling manipulative. There is at least one story in each book that will make your earnestly well up with emotion while still having a light mood that prevents you from feeling emotionally blogged down. I am glad to see everyone is still growing. Marika Ukita clearly has had the most obvious arc of growth but everyone is moving forward at their own pace. I will say that chapter 10 ended rather unexpectedly for me. I thought something like that might happen but not at that point in the story. With only two books left to go this is a great time to start the series if you have not picked it up.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #136

September 2, 2011

Detective Conan movie 9: Strategy Above the Depths takes place on a luxury cruise line, but thanks to today’s technology they aren’t totally cut off from the outside world as the usual police are flown in to investigate. I found this aspect to be slightly disappointing actually, but they want to get in all those favorite faces. There is a lot going on on this ship including conspiracy, murder, and bombs. Since these movies are known for spectacle, these bombs go off creating havoc just as the killer is confronted. While this time around the audience knows the culprit from the beginning, there are still some twists as Conan tries to uncover the clues and motive. Knowing the answer beforehand allows you to follow Conan’s logic, but it takes some of the fun out of trying to deduce the perpetrator. And when most of the people are safely off the ship, an intense show down begins as Conan and Kogoro look for Ran on the fast sinking vessel. This Conan movie lands in the middle for me, not super great fun but certainly not a lame film either.

I got Hayate the Combat Butler volume 15 for my birthday but I never did talk about it. It is nice to go back to a long string of silly stories considering all the drama with Ruka Suirenji and doujin and how serious it has been recently in the manga. We get two really great Nagi chapters with her wandering around the mansion at night and her building RC cars. They are great little stories and the RC storyline has one of my favorite lines of all time, “An Otaku who lacks love and care is just a nerd.” Good Nagi and Hayate moments throughout. This volume also has two Fumi Hibino chapters. I usually think her chapters are funny but she is easily my least favorite Hayate character. It also ends with the beginning of a Hinagiku story which I am sure will make many people happy. But speaking of making people happy there is a Maria story and a little Maria fan service as well. Great volume all in all.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #135

August 26, 2011

The BEST series of the year is shaping up to be Mawaru Penguindrum. So far in the first 6 episodes Kunihiko Ikuhara has proven that Utena was not a fluke. The show has stayed as consistently excellent as the first episode and I look forward to a new episode every week. The animation, imagery, and direction remain high quality and imaginative every week. The Rose of Versailles style fantasy imaginary in episode 4 is just scrumptious. Also the laser guided slingshot is both goofy and bass ass at the same time. The plot remains mysterious but we are always getting enough information that we never feel that the show is spinning its wheels. I get the feeling that Ikuhara is more of an “I got this all planned out” sort of guy so it is more a matter of seeing the tale unfold then see him make it up as he goes along.  Kanba and Shoma’s antics in trying to find the Penguindrum are always amusing but retain a creepy vibe without either feeling hurting the other. That said I need to know what is going on with Kanba’s ultra shady deals. Ringo has that same mixture of very funny and very disturbing. I am curious how popular she is among the American and Japanese fans. Narutaki seems to think she would be insanely popular. I cannot disagree. And I know there is more to Himari than meets the eye. She is too innocent for a Ikuhara anime. There has to be more going to with her than you see on the surface. If you don’t have a moral objection to watching fan-subs then you need to watch Mawaru Penguindrum. Otherwise you should get this the second it gets licensed. Because it will get licensed. Fabulous Max!

The most anticipated arc in recent Detective Conan anime TV series was the London case, the 11th OVA happens concurrently featuring Ai and the detective boys back in Japan. It starts as just a cute mystery involving peanutbutter and jelly, a mistaken starlet, and kick the can. But the kids discover kidnappers in an abandoned building and things turn more dangerous when they themselves become trapped. The real treat for this OVA is seeing Ai’s smarts at the forefront since Conan is a world away. Her use of the cellphones as well as the detective boys badges is nicely done. It combines the kid antics at the beginning and a more tense situation later well. The ending has a couple of surprises in store, though nothing too earth shaking. A fun and nice OVA if not remarkable.

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