| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 |
Shinichi is sneaking around the outskirts of the Tropical Land amusement park as he follows the two men in black there, after all he had suspicions about them from seeing their cold-blooded eyes at the crime scene at the Mystery Coaster. He hears people talk behind a corner and goes to see one of the men in black, Vodka, meet up with the company president that's been mentioned since the pub many days prior. Shinichi looks surprised at what he sees and the company president asks for an item from Vodka while he pulls out a suitcase filled with money. Shinichi takes out his video camera to film the black trade and is surprised at seeing at least a hundred million yen in the suitcase. Vodka gives the man a film consisting of negatives and prints that prove that the company president is smuggling weapons. Then Vodka tells the man to stop doing bad things as Shinichi tapes the entire situation. The prez then starts to talk back at Vodka who gets aggressive and goes back at the man - saying that for a mere 100 million they are nice enough to not kill him and will be happy only with the man shutting his business down and disappearing to nowhere. Vodka lets out that they want the company's land to built a new lab on, however.
Then Shinichi hears foot steps behind him, only to see the other man in black, the silver-haired Gin, there with a metal object in his hand. Shinichi tries to run away but Gin smashes his head in with the object and the camera flies away as Shinichi crumbles to the ground bleeding. As Vodka tries to kill Shinichi, Gin stops him because of the police around. Gin picks up Shinichi's camera and then decides that they will use the Organization's newly-developed drug to kill Shinichi. As the drug is still new and in its prototype stage, the young detective will work as a perfect guinea pig - to see if the drug truly cannot be extracted from a corpse, making it so that it's an untraceable and in other words perfect murder weapon.
The two men dressed up in black leave and say their goodbye's to the detective on the ground. For a while Shinichi simply lays there until the drug finally kicks in and he starts to scream in agony; his body feels like its burning, his bones feel like they are melting and he finally passes out.
Dim lights fly around across the screen as Shinichi ponders if he'd died, but outside voices say that the person on the ground is still alive and breathing and that they have to call ambulance. Shinichi thinks that the drug must not work on humans at all since it was a prototype drug. He opens his eyes and sees multiple police with flashlights under the night sky. Then one of the cops ask whether the little boy can stand and Shinichi wonders why they call a second-year in high school a little boy, why his clothes seem so baggy all of a sudden and.. why in blue blazes can one officer easily lift him up... then he hears that the police are going to take a young elementary schooler of about the age of 6 or 7 to the hospital for cranial injuries, and Shinichi is still going crazy about what they are talking about.
At the Mouri Detective Agency. Ran arrives inside as Kogoro is drunk and drinking. Ran tells him that's why Eri left Kogoro and why Kogoro never gets any clients to do any detective work with. Kogoro ponders what happened to Shinichi and assumes that he got into an argument with Ran and tells Ran to forget Shinichi because "There aren't any good guys that are detectives, anyway." Kind of harsh words from Kogoro, now that I think about it. I bet he knows that he's not the shiniest shoe in the drawer.
The police and hospital personnel figure that because there are no lookouts for missing children, because the child tells crazy stories and because the child doesn't want to go home with them, they can only take him to a child-care center as it's likely that he'd escaped home. Then Shinichi runs out through a window, runs and runs. The police are after him and Shinichi runs away even faster while feeling like a criminal.
Not soon after the police get closer and Shinichi is forced to run away once more. Ran tries to call the Kudo residence's phone, but no one's there to answer; as Shinichi's parents have been out of Japan for 3 years, Shinichi lives there alone, but is still not answering the phone. Ran decides to leave to check for Shinichi at his house.
The police are doing a heavy chase with cars under the rain and Shinichi runs in Beika city now, wondering how easily he gets tired now from running in comparison to what he can normally do. Shinichi then ponders what exactly has happened and remembers the drug he was given. That must be it. Then all of a sudden a truck almost drives over him and he falls to the rainy road. Shinichi then gets to his house in a bad mood and tries to open the front gate, but fails to reach that either. Then Professor Agasa, his neighbor makes a scene and appears outside. Shinichi tries to tell Agasa who he is but Agasa thinks he's Shinichi's relative instead of the person himself. No matter what he does, Agasa doesn't believe. He even tells Agasa the truth about how Agasa thinks he's a genius inventor but only makes junk and how he even has a mole in his butt. Yet Agasa thinks he's lying and tries to take him to the cops. Shinichi has no other choice now than to shows off his deductive reasoninig skills - explaining in full how he immediately sees that Agasa came from "Columbo" restaurant across the street, and Agasa finally succumbs.
Agasa lets Shinichi into his house and then Shinichi explains about how it all happened. Even though Professor Agasa Hiroshi is knowledgeable of many things, he thinks it's all still scientifically impossible to shrunk people and he doesn't think he has a way of turning him back.
Because their clothes were dirtied from the mud and rain, Agasa and Shinichi both change uniforms - this time Shinichi puts on his old school uniform, the one he's known in all media to wear - the blue suit with red tie and white undershirt.
Agasa explains that if they got a hold of the drug he might be able to make an antidote, but Shinichi can't tell anyone else that he's been shrunk, because he's supposed to be dead and might put everyone else under danger if he were to reveal he's alive.
Ran arrives at the room and Shinichi tries to hide. Ran meets Agasa who trie to trick her about Shinichi's whereabouts. Shinichi runs behind his father's work bench and finds Yusaku's glasses there but because of their powerful lenses he hits his head on the drawers and Ran hears him. Shinichi manages to plop the lenses off the eyeglasses and Ran goes to him and looks at him and immediately thinks he looks cute. Agasa tells Ran that he's the relative of a distant relative of Agasa's and then Ran starts asking the boy questions; how old are you? "six!" what's your name? "my name is Shin- um..." Shinichi looks behind at certain books and notices two names of famous authors: Conan Doyle an Edogawa Ranpo and he immediately comes up with his real name: "Conan! My name is Edogawa Conan!" Crap! I said that without thinking! The name he had chosen for himself is foreign but he has to come up with some lies, like how his father is a huge mystery fanatic.
So this is how we have introduced the young boy named Edogawa Conan into this series. Professor Agasa asks Ran to take Conan with her to the Mouri Detective Agency and live with her because Conans parents were hospitalized due to an accidents but because he's an old man he doesn't feel comfortable taking care of their child. Then Ran ponders about what Kogoro would say and Agasa runs away with Conan to explain him how the men in black will most certainly come to the house to check out any signs of life. And it's definitely for the better for Edogawa Conan to live in the Detective Agency because that way he might be able to find more information on the people who tried to do him in.
At the doorsteps to the Mouri Detective Agency Conan seems to break and starts to tell Ran about the truth but then Kogoro runs out of the building and falls to the ground. Kogoro starts to wave for a taxi and tells Ran that it's his first direct request in six months; a rich person's daughter was kidnapped by men dressed in black. Conan immediately gets a gut feeling that these might be the ones he's after. That's why he and Ran get on the taxi as well and Conan has inner monologue about the men in black: Just you wait, men in black. Because once I've tracked down your whereabouts, gotten a hold of that drug and gone back to my normal body... I'll expose every one of your crimes!
The actual story of Episode ONE ends there and we go through scenes of what happens in the series while Conan narrates; we see him riding a dog, Ran beating a man who tries to attack Conan with a baseball bat, we see bunch of future characters from the actress idol Okino Yoko, the gentleman thief Kaito Kid, the detective of the East, Hattori Heiji along with the legendary lines of there only being one truth, Conan talking with Heiji of multiple things; epic remade scenes of episode 49, episode 76, episode 78, episode 128, episode 223 are bunch of some of the legendary older cases with remade scenes.
In the epilogue scene we see a woman, later known as Vermouth, driving around New York, heading towards a drama shooting scene and then goes to help another person with a code name, Pisco, out later in Japan. We can see Vermouth looking at her phone while driving and her inner monologue about wanting to meet Shinichi Kudo who's on the news, however instead of focusing on that she notices the FBI agent Jodie Starling following after her with a mysterious man in the back. Vermouth manages to escape in traffic lights but the man tells Jodie that he knows where Vermouth is going: Japan.
This third part of Episode ONE is of course the most different out of them all. It's basically, aside from Gosho's style, what makes Detective Conan stand out from the crowd with how the watcher gets introduced to Edogawa Conan. If you were to write this on paper it'd be quite wacky to read, wouldn't it? Supernatural drugs and police chasing a child and all that other stuff. It's great.
My thoughts on the special
The first time I saw Episode ONE I was absolutely blown away. The perfected scenes, all the ways they managed to hit the nostalgia strings; the great nostalgic opening with the manga panels and Mune ga Dokidoki playing there as well as it playing during the ending credits, the nostalgic scenes of Unmei no Roulette playing in the background as Ran and Shinichi spend time in Tropical Land. This special is a dream come true to any real Detective Conan fan. There are so many characters present that make cameos in a fanservice-like manner you'd expect from a movie but here there's a layer of substance behind everything in comparison - the cameos are integrated into the story in such a way that if you know what happens in the story later, you can tell that what they say and do all plays a part in what happens and why they happen; Yukiko and Yusaku appeared for a second and their cameo showed us the car filled with books because of Yusaku and we see their disguises that they wanted to troll Shinichi with that are going to be useful in the "later" episodes. Moments like seeing Shinichi get brutally caught and beaten up by Gin, as well as the Conan transformation and character moments, were absolutely amazing to see in HD.
There's so much to go on in this and the animators, and Gosho, clearly went all out. I can't imagine how long it must have taken to put this script together because they had to pick a ridicilous amount of scenes that have to do with a huge number of characters and the animators even managed to even add some surprising ones at times from many of the smaller cases. Albeit being short and simplistic beginning cases, for the Sewa mansion case with the stabbed Beika Bank CEO and the Tropical Land case with the beheading, both of these cases were made possible to figure out by paying attention to what the case characters were doing and wearing. The Sewa case is still very gimmicky but the Tropical Land case is really well presented; it's somewhat emotional (with the culprit in anger throwing their bag at the victim's lover being nicely done to make a point out of the situation, as well as the accompanying OST being great), the setting for the case is interesting, there are many characters in a really short amount of time and if you pay attention to two things it shouldn't be hard for a newcomer to this series to figure out the killer.
The OST used in this special is unsurprisingly fantastic. I love many of the tracks just as much as always, Ran's theme always gets me going, and wish that they had used couple more of my favourite tracks from this series (M1-M4 OST), HOWEVER, I think they did a fantastic job at stopping the background music every time it was necessary, especially with Men in Black scenes, or Shinichi looking at Ran romantically. The added scenes to Gin and Vodka really drive home the tensity of what's going on. We finally hear why the hell they rode that roller coaster (they expected a trap), the bomb assassination pub scene was great as well. I like how forceful the men in black were in this episode and the extra frames of a Special with Vodka walking and the two of them about to pull a gun on Megure and them sitting at the pub and them attacking Shinichi, whatever it is, it's all done really well. Same goes with all the heartwarming scenes with Ran and Shinichi being together, being at the amusement park, leaving the aquarium, you name it. I think the moment with Ran telling Shinichi that Yukiko, Shinichi's own mother, must have been his first love was pretty cute (since Yukiko is an ex-actor).
The comedy was alright, all the jokes from chapter 1 were funny like Ran punching through the concrete pillar and Shinichi laughing like a maniac from getting so much press presence after solving the Sewa case and getting to the news. I think I really appreciate how well the comedic moments go with the consistency of these characters.
The voice acting was good as always as well - Conan made me laugh while he was coming up with his age and name - and the ending remakes of the older cases, especially the multiple Heiji Hattori ones as he's my favourite character, were a great addition due to the really heavy moments that deal with detectives who would kill or let a suspect die. It makes me want to re-read those cases again.
The animation of this special was really good. The character models are beautiful and the weather changes and setting changes scene to scene are noticeable and have a lot of variety, it's not something you often see in anime. It's just an enjoyable watch as it doesn't feel like the story drags on in place and time; because it actually does not, there is a clear flow of time noticeable in this that takes us through many days in the lives of Shinichi and Ran. Personally to me the most impressive thing, aside from all the effort they put to making this, was how naturally this whole thing flows. Must of course be because Gosho Aoyama was writing this, but honestly... The way how we foreshadow, days before these things even happen, the trip to Tropical Land and also foreshadow Shinichi to buy Ran a new phone because of the Beika Aquarium case - actually which fails because they go to the Suzuki residence and meet up with the Sewa's who are the party holders and the husband is obviously the culprit later on. Aside from just foreshadowing cases there are many other things that we see of course, Yukiko & Yusaku with their set-up, Gin & Vodka talking about the trap or mentioning Bourbon's impressive investigation skills, Vermouth being chased by the FBI, and many little things that play a later role either in this special or in the series. This episode is actually a really perfected piece of fiction for what it does. It's a fantastic animated romance and slice-of-life movie-length episode with a side of mystery; we can see Shinichi and Ran spend a lot of time together and get to understand just how normal it is for these two to live as if they already were married without any qualms about it. Shinichi's arrogant personality, Ran's physical fitness with Karate, Conan's regrets, it's all done in such a heavy way in this special; I could feel the weight of what was being said and done. For example I loved how they added that Shinichi was reading the newspapers about the bombing incident in which the car of one of the organization rats exploded and the perpetrators were still not caught. This brings the world into life and reminds us why this series is so good - instead of being just episodic or just overarching, there are actually all kinds of things actively happening at all times out there, in the past, present and the future, and there are many things to get interested in when it comes to this particular fictional universe. I cared least about the Sherry moment additions but they were still nice to see I guess. It was cool to see the moment when she saw the children's clothes having been taken as that was to the watcher/reader of the series before but now we actually see what Haibara was talking about.
Detective Conan is usually substance above character moments, as it's a mostly collection of countless short stories there is usually no time to stop for a breather in the volumes. Episode ONE condenses the slice of life moments into a beautiful craft to give fans something more from the different genres the series has, but in a way that doesn't feel out of place in the series and the moments are still filled to brim with content but are heavily focused on character moments and connections. Everyone has a family and acquaintances, and even rivals and enemies.
Although being a spoiler-filled special this managed to put some of the prequel cases into a neat timeline (it starts with the aquarium case -> builds to the Sewa case -> then we get the Tropical Land case. It's interesting to be noted that we don't see anything of the Aquarium case, then the Sewa case is easy to solve with one hint and the Tropical Land case has two+ hints to the victim along with other suspects, so Episode ONE basically builds up nicely to be more intense).
Lastly, Episode ONE obviously does not contain any grand murder symphony cases that would make it worth watching through a movie-length special if you're looking just for well-crafted mysteries; the two major cases in the special are built-up to well and they are short but presented nicely and in an entertaining manner unique to the series. It seems that the Mystery Coaster case was way better than I remembered; the way it presented the crime, foreshadowed the culprit in couple clever ways and utilized the overarching characters in ways that the new fan actually would suspect the men in black was entertaining, and all of that it did in a short time frame no less. This special is about the series's characters and presenting the beginning of the story in a linear timeline in a spoilerish manner. This should thus be watched by anyone interested in learning more about what type of characters the cast of Detective Conan are and what exactly happened, or any Detective Conan fan wanting to feel nostalgia and to see a great movie-length remake of the beginning of this great series.