If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Welcome, denizens of the dork!
Many of my generation have fond memories of staying up past bedtime (with the volume turned low so the parents couldn't hear) to watch Adult Swim, or more specifically, the anime on Adult Swim. It reminded us of our Saturday morning favorites of Pokemon and Digimon, but with blood and swearing. I am, today, a bit of a mystery nut, with a special fondness for Sherlock Holmes, Monk, and Psych. The show that fostered this love is a little known anime from Adult Swim, Case Closed. (Yes, I know it is Detective Conan in Japan. I grew up with Case Closed, so that's what I'm calling it. I will also use the dub names of characters.)
Never heard of it? Not surprised. Generic plot summary: Teenager up-and-coming detective Jimmy Kudo gets too close to capturing a mysterious crime organization, and they try to silence him by giving him an experimental poison that killed the test subjects. In a million-to-one chance (gee, how many times do these happen in entertainment!) instead of killing him, it deages him to about six years old. He enlists the help of his mad scientist neighbor who gives him the idea to invent a fake identity, Conan Edogawa, and live with his so-not-a-girlfriend childhood friend Rachel Moore, because her dad Richard is a detective. That way they can learn more about the evil criminals who attempted to murder the shit out of him. Sadly, he finds the guy is a lazy drunk who barely takes cases anymore. So he gets the guy a good reputation by going on cases with him and either cluing him onto who did it, or using a stun watch (mad scientist) to make him fall asleep, then use a bow tie voice changer (also mad scientist) to fake his voice solving the crime. It works, and the guy gets famous. Etc, etc.
Now, the episodes where he hangs with his 1st grade friends bore the shit out of me, but the murder mystery episodes are great. About half are your average who-done-its (except made of win sauce), but the other half are less 'who did it?', but 'how the hell did he do it?'. The characters are incredibly likable and some of the episodes are so interesting in both set-up and reveal that I can name off both at the drop of a hat. Sadly, the animation is so-so to bad, especially when it comes to faces. There are a few you will see every few episodes. The voice acting is pretty good for an old dub, R Bruce Elliott as Richard Moore being my favorite. You can even hear some of today's stars in there, like one with freaking Vic Mignogna!
You're probably wondering now whether this old mystery is worth the $21.49 from Amazon, right? Well it has the first 26 episodes, which at about 83 cents an episode, is a really good deal in the anime DVD market. It has some meh special features, like a character spotlight on Conan and a gadget special with his electromagnetic sneakers (Rule of Three invoked! Mad scientist.). The case is meh, and my favorite episodes are definitely Tragic Valentine, Moonlight Sonata Murder Case Parts 1 and 2, Smooth Sailing Parts 1 and 2, and Lights, Camera...Murder. Overall, I would highly recommend this to: old fans of the show and an anime fan who is also a mystery nerd. But not an either or situation, trust me.
I must depart you daring delights!