I finally got around to watching the Detective Conan oneshot J-drama this past Thanksgiving weekend and it made me realize how exaggerated the anime really is. For example, Mouri Kogoro’s passion was about as over-the-top in the drama as it was in the TV show. The special follows Shinichi’s final case before he gets shrinks into Conan Edogawa.
Okay, here’s the setup:
Shinichi Kudo decides not to go on a school trip because he thinks it’s a waste of time until he receives a challenge letter that forces him to go. The letter told Kudo that one of his classmates will be kidnapped during the class’ boat tour of a lake. He tries to case the place but Sonoko gets seasick and he and Ran have to take care of her. She says she’s fine so they leave her alone but before Shinichi leaves, he tells her to lock the door from the inside. Unfortunately that precaution doesn’t work because Sonoko gets abducted.
That night Shinichi gets another challenge that states the next classmate will disappear at exactly noon the next day. Despite all the police protection that is set up around the students, Ran is gone after a temporary blackout. Now Shinichi has to save both girls before a bomb blows both of them up at midnight. How will he find them and the culprit in time?
The drama definitely felt like a two-hour special of the anime in that there were crucial pieces of evidence or clues that were not revealed or explained until Shinichi told the culprit they undertook the crime. The climax had a couple similarities with “The Timed Skyscraper” with Ran being abducted and tied up near a ticking time bomb.
Fans of the series will get a kick out of it for sure because they’ll get references to things like Kogoro’s affection for Yoko Okino. In fact I was told by my brother, who was watching TV in another room, to tone down my chuckling in the first half. The kidnapper used some clever tricks to create alibis but eventually Shinichi saw through them. Personally, I didn’t solve the case until the revealing but I had suspected that particular character (along with an initially suspicious red herring) from the beginning. Also, the chemistry between Shinichi, Ran, Kogoro and Sonoko seemed more natural than in the anime because the actors were reacting to each other and not the action on a screen.
A few disappointments for me dealt with not enough Megure and sound effects. The lack of screen time for Megure was understandable because the actual case took place far from Tokyo but there were these small sound effects that played whenever, say, Sonoko poked Ran. As an audience member, I don’t prefer being played to but then I realize that I’m outside the intended audience for this special, i.e. Japanese children and their families.