Case Closed (US title), also known worldwide as Detective Conan, is an ongoing Japanese detective manga series written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama. It was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday on January 19, 1994, and has been collected into 94 tankōbon volumes as of December 18, 2017. Due to legal considerations with the name Detective Conan, the English language release was renamed to Case Closed. The story follows an amateur detective who was transformed into a child while investigating a mysterious organization, and solves a multitude of cases while impersonating his friend’s father and other characters.
The tankōbon volumes of the manga have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, making it the fourth best-selling manga series. In 2001, the manga was awarded the 46th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category. The anime adaptation has been well received and ranked in the top twenty in Animage‘s polls between 1996 and 2001. In the Japanese anime television ranking, Case Closed episodes ranked in the top six on a weekly basis. Both the manga and the anime have had positive response from critics for their plot and cases.
Case Closed was conceived in 1994, during the rise of mystery genre manga due to the publishing of the series The Kindaichi Case Files; the first chapter appeared in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday on January 19. Aoyama cites the stories of Arsène Lupin, Sherlock Holmes and the samurai films by Akira Kurosawa as influences on his work. When scripting each chapter, he ensures the dialogue remains simple and spends an average of four hours for each new case and twelve for more complicated ones. Each case spans several chapters (except for a handful of shorter cases that only span one), and is resolved at the end where characters explain the details of their solutions in simple terms; a database consisting of all the cases from the manga was launched in 2007.
Case Closed became the 22nd longest running manga series with over 1000 chapters released in Japan. The individual chapters are collected into tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan; the first volume was released on June 18, 1994. Gosho Aoyama’s assistants have also written an anthology series of Case Closed which are released irregularly.
Viz Media announced its acquisition of the series for North America on June 1, 2004. Following Funimation’s localization, Viz released the series as Case Closed and took their character names to keep consistency between the two mediums. Viz Media released the first volume in September 2004 and began releasing digital editions in 2013. Gollancz licensed and distributed 15 of Viz Media’s volumes in the United Kingdom before ceasing publication of manga. (Viz Media has since re-released them.) In 2014 Shogakukan Asia began their own English localization of the series for Singapore as Detective Conan. The manga has also been localized in other regions such as China, France, Germany and Indonesia. Localizations in Scandinavia ceased one by one, Finland being the last in 2013, when the publisher shut down the entire manga division.
Jimmy Kudo (Japanese: Shinichi Kudo) is a high school detective who sometimes works with the police to solve cases. During an investigation, he is attacked by members of a crime syndicate known as the Black Organization. They force him to ingest an experimental poison, but instead of killing him, the poison transforms him into a child. Adopting the pseudonym Conan Edogawa and keeping his true identity a secret, Kudo lives with his childhood friend Rachel Moore (Ran Mouri) and her father Richard (Kogoro Mouri), who is a private detective. Throughout the series, he tags along on Richard’s cases, but when he is able to solve one, he uses a tranquilizer needle to put Richard to sleep, and impersonates his voice using a voice changer to reveal the solution to the case. He also enrolls in a local elementary school where he makes friends with a group of classmates who form their own Junior Detective club (Detective Boys). While he continues to dig deeper into the Black Organization, he frequently interacts with a variety of characters, including his professor friend Dr. Agasa, Ran’s friend Serena (Sonoko), a fellow teenage detective Harley Hartwell (Heiji Hattori), various police detectives from different regions, and the Kaito Kid.
Kudo later encounters an elementary school transfer student, Anita Hailey (Ai Haibara), who reveals herself to be the creator of the poison that made him small. She too had ingested the poison, but she is no longer affiliated with the Black Organization. She soon joins the Junior Detectives. During a rare encounter with the Black Organization, Conan helps the FBI plant a CIA agent, Kir, inside the Black Organization as a spy.
In 2007, Aoyama hinted he had an ending planned out but does not intend to end the series yet.