Detective Conan: The Bride of Shibuya hits theaters Wednesday, May 18. This is an opportunity to come back to the history of this cult character inspired by Sherlock Holmes.
Detective Conan, a cult character created by Gosho Aoyama in 1994, landed in cinemas for the first time in France last year with The Scarlet Bullet.
This year, distributor Eurozoom is repeating the operation by taking care of the French release of the new feature film in the saga: The Bride of Shibuya.
The story takes us to Tokyo. The Shibuya district is in full swing for Halloween. Detective Sato is in a wedding dress in front of an audience of guests, including Conan of course! Suddenly, an assailant bursts into the room and Detective Takagi is injured while trying to protect Sato.
He survives her attack but this attack revives in Sato the memory of the detective Matsuda, with whom she was in love, killed during bomb attacks three years ago. At the same time, the perpetrator of these attacks escaped from prison. Coincidence?
To avenge his classmate, detective Furuya alias Toru Amuro goes in search of the fugitive who is setting a trap for him. Conan finds Amuro with a bomb around his neck in an underground shelter.
Amuro tells him that 3 years earlier, his comrades from the police academy met in Shibuya “Plamya”, a bomber. A disturbing shadow hangs over Conan and his friends. The crossroads of destinies is ablaze, Halloween turns into a rabid parade!
FROM MANGA TO ANIME
The original manga, published since January 1994, has 98 volumes to date. In total, more than 230 million copies have been sold worldwide. A real phenomenon!
The work created by Gosho Aoyama was adapted into an animated series in 1996. To date, more than 1000 episodes have been made. There are also 25 animated films featuring the little detective.
WHO IS CONAN EDOGAWA / SHINICHI?
Shinichi, 17, is an outstanding footballer as well as a die-hard Sherlock Holmes fan. Her father is best-selling author Yusaku Kudō and her mother is former actress Yukiko Kudō.
Both bequeathed to him the excellent spirit of deduction which has already enabled him to solve a large number of murder cases.
Since being rejuvenated by the poison given to him by two men in black, Shinichi has set out to find their criminal organization.
To go incognito, he forged a new identity as Conan Edogawa, and now lives with his friend Ran. To avoid arousing suspicion, Conan attends primary school like all children his age.
A FASCINATING HERO
With his classmates Ayumi, Genta and Mitsuhiko, he founded the Little Detectives club. In order not to put his loved ones in danger, Shinichi goes to great lengths to conceal his true identity from those around him.
Only a few hand-picked confidants, such as Professor Agasa, are aware of his strange rejuvenation.
Despite his predicament, Shinichi continues to solve all the crimes perpetrated in his entourage and it is an understatement to say that he has his work cut out for him.
Detective Conan compiles many references, from Sherlock Holmes to Arsène Lupin via Agathe Christie, Hercule Poirot or Jules Maigret.
The first name of the hero himself is a nod to the author of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Its name, Edogawa, comes from the master of Japanese detective literature, Ranpo Edogawa.
Note that curator Juzo Megure is a reference to our national Jules Maigret. As for Professor Agasa, he has a surname inspired by Agatha Christie.
In addition, the restaurant where the latter likes to eat is called “Colombo”, recalling a certain police officer well known to thriller fans.
WHY IS IT CULT?
For Pierre-William Fregonese, author of the book The Detective Conan Enigma (published by Pix’n Love editions), Conan “is above all an indescribable, surprising and original choral work, which has worked wonderfully for decades.”
For the writer, if the work had such a success, it is thanks to “Dozens of endearing and one-of-a-kind characters take turns accompanying the skillful Conan Edogawa to solve more complex cases, and understand crazy mechanisms. Touching stories, bloody stories, funny stories. “
According to the writer, Detective Conan, under his light guise, “yet offers a real reflection on society, its excesses and its unspoken. Unlike many classics of the detective genre, Gosho Aoyama is as much interested in the motive, its deconstruction, then in the ultimate repentance as in the stratagems murderers.
At the time of the final resolution phase, which has nothing to envy to the great hours of a Sherlock Holmes or a Hercule Poirot, criminals often realize that their motive was not good, sufficient or even recognized. We enter into the flaws of human psychology, the one that leads to the irreparable; redemption is still in suspense in this profoundly human work.”
Indeed, Detective Conan is a truly international phenomenon. It is the 5th best-selling manga in the world with 230 million copies. Volume 97 even topped the hit Demon Slayer in 2019.
“It is present in the life of the Japanese, all age groups combined. The work has entered the visual culture of the Archipelago, and is successful in many countries in Asia and Europe. If Detective Conan is a monument in Japan, it is also a successful series in France, the country of Superintendent Jules Maigret, and of the gentleman-burglar Arsène Lupin. Finally Detective Conan, it is more than a simple detective manga, It is especially a big familyconcludes Pierre-William Fregonese.
The extent of the phenomenon obviously does not stop at the manga. All films released in Japan appear in the annual Top 3 of the domestic box office! Another remarkable figure: the Conan films are present 8 times in the Top 50 of the most profitable anime worldwide, notably surpassing One Piece (4 times) or Dragon Ball (3 times).
THE BRIDE OF SHIBUYA, 25TH FILM OF THE FRANCHISE
After Chika Nagaoka for The Scarlett Bullet, it’s Susumu Mitsunaka’s turn to take charge of a Conan film. The filmmaker was absolutely delighted to be asked to take the reins of such a project.
“I first asked myself ‘why me?!’. At first, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do, but as I moved forward with this project, I thought it would be good if I managed to give a new dimension to Conan and the characters.
And then, watching more recent films, I realized how these were no longer intended for children, but for adults”he says in the press kit for the film.
For the director, the greatest difficulty consisted in learning the story in its outline, because more than one hundred volumes of the manga have already been published.
“I worked, watched the films, but I didn’t want to do too much either, I also wanted to be able to give my vision without being unnecessarily influenced. The film also had to be seen by everyone, even those who didn’t know not the Detective Conan universe before.”
THE VERY INVOLVED CREATOR
The author of the original manga, Gosho Aoyama, has been very involved in the project, as confirmed by the director.
“During our brainstorming, I could see that he was very effective in coming up with new ideas. One day, we were struggling to come up with a good idea for one of the scenes in the film. All it took was Mr. Aoyama racks his brains a bit so we can see the end of the tunnel”he reveals.
In a previous meeting, Aoyama had decided that Takagi and Sato would be the main characters and that there would be five members of the police academy altogether. Then, during another exchange of views, several ideas emerged.
“We said to ourselves, ‘in this case, the story should take place in Shibuya, right?’ To which Mr. Aoyama replied, “Excellent idea! Adopted!”. This gave birth to a very difficult scene to achieve… On this one, I was very angry with myself for having talked too much”confided the filmmaker with humor.
According to Susumu Mitsunaka, Gosho Aoyama also got involved in checking the storyboard, making many changes to the characters’ dialogues.
“He had already modified certain dialogues at the script stage. I understood that he was enormously attached to his characters and that he took great care of them. I was very happy to hear Mr. Aoyama tell me several times: “that’s interesting!”, or “excellent!”enthuses the filmmaker.
The Detective Conan series is available on DNA.