The German website AnimeY has posted an English-translated interview with Gosho Aoyama, the manga-ka of long-running Detective Conan. He was a guest at last weekend’s Comic-Salon (June 15-18) in Erlangen, Germany. Aoyama has been writing the Conan manga for 12 years and previously did Yaiba (1988-1993) and Magic Kaito (1988-1994).
I am a fan of the Conan series because of its episodic structure, almost like Law & Order or CSI. But there are also developing romances within the police department and a criminal organization that pops up every so often. Almost every case gets solved in one or two episodes, even though frequently there is a three-part case or a manga-inspired special. Another thing is that when there can be anime-original episodes, which can be useful for when Aoyama is on vacation like he is now. One aspect I always look forward to when reading chapters/watching episodes is finding out the criminals’ motives, whether it be revenge for a lost love, business reasons, or simple ignorance.
Anyway, here are my favorite questions from the interview:
Question: How do you get all these ideas for crimes and constructions and how do you proceed with planning of these?
Aoyama: The story lines arise in discussions with my editor. I get these ideas during situations of normal course of life, for example by going to bathroom. Men always open the toilet lid and women do not. So you can make accessible if a man or a woman was on toilet. That is how my ideas begin.
I suppose inspiration can hit you at any time…and at any place.
Question: Does a planning already exist for the end of “Detective Conan” resp. is the number of the remaining volumes already known?
Aoyama: Up to now there is nothing fixed for an end or for remaining volumes. But I already have got an idea for the last scene.
There have been 53 volumes and about 570 chapters released so far and no real end in sight. But it has to end eventually and I can imagine what the final scene might be.
Question: Which message do you want to deliver with “Detective Conan”?
Aoyama: Whatever happens it is not allowed to kill humans. And do not give up.
Those are some good messages for a series that is regularly watched by Japanese families.