Friday, August 23, 2019

Detective Conan Episode ONE (2016) - Part Three

One small mistake 

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.

Inside the Tropical Land's medical room during night Shinichi tries to tell police and hospital workers about how there was a guy smuggling weapons and two men in black who blackmailed him that then attacked him. The police tell Shinichi that he might be watching too many crime series for a kid and then Shinichi gets angry and tells him that he's a second-year high school student, to which everyone start laughing. Shinichi then thinks that it's all very weird. Everyone's reactions, the clothes and his own voice. It should be impossible. Shinichi sweats and walks over to a mirror and sees himself as a child mirrored on it - the harsh reality is out finally. This scene is pretty great with Shinichi almost saying that legendary Holmes line he also says to Heiji: "There is only one..." I really like that. It flows naturally with what's going on.
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.

As Shinichi sits behind a bush, Ran calls him over the phone. But because of his voice and body, he can't answer. Even if he wants to send a message, he'd never be able to explain the situation. Ran's words from earlier ring in Shinichi's head: "One of these days you'll get yourself in danger." 

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.

Ran walks with Conan hand in hand towards her home, the Mouri Detective Agency, and tries to call Conan by his name but he doesn't react much to it and seems to be in deep thought. Ran then asks him if there's anyone Conan is interested in but he says no. Then Ran says to him that she does have someone she loves, and Conan to tease her by saying if it's Shinichi but Ran doesn't immediately answer and Conan is shocked and then Ran says it absolutely is him. Ran says that despite all the bad things like being a geek and being very arrogant, Shinichi is also very dependable, brave and really cool, which makes Conan blush really hard.  Then Ran and Conan make a promise not to tell Shinichi that.
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.

Two months later background-character men in black along with Sherry, who appeared in the beginning of Episode ONE, are investigating the Kudo residence for any signs of life, because the person murdered by the drug could still be alive. In the apartment Sherry sees a card and a picture from Ran and from the photograph she realizes that the victim Kudo Shinichi they keep investigating on is the one on the news and one whom she'd seen through car windows once. In Shinichi's room she sees a box that has something on it written by Yukiko: "Shin-chan's kids clothes"; however the box is completely empty. Sherry gets a sudden flashback to her meeting with her sister Akemi Miyano at a restaurant. Akemi told Sherry that she had met a boy named Conan who's working in the Beika district, the same place where Sherry along with other black organization goons has been going to check up. Akemi explains that Conan seems very strange, calm and collected for a kid and Sherry realizes that Shinichi is still alive. Later, in the laboratory, Sherry notices that Shinichi Kudo has still been written as "UNKNOWN" instead of "DECEASED" because they never found his corpse. Sherry decides to overwrite the data of Shinichi Kudo into "DECEASED" with her signature and Episode ONE ending credits start to scroll in with Mune ga Dokidoki playing in the background.

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.

Detective Conan Episode ONE (2016) - Part Two

The Journey through Tropical Land

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | 

Inside one of the amusement park's towers, Ran is looking outside through binoculars as Shinichi brings her Coca Cola; this is one of the more known scenes of the series as well (Watch Movie 4: Captured in Her Eyes). Afterwards Ran and Shinichi run out as Shinichi starts counting down to zero and water starts to come out of ground in circles around them as Detective Conan opening 4: Unmei no Roulette Mawashite starts playing as Ran and Shinichi spend time in Tropical Land. The scenery is really cool, lovely and all the stuff about the really creepy looking mascots is really hilarious, like Ran running to hug one of them and a pink mascot grabbing Shinichi.
But most importantly I bet that everyone who watches this scene will get a sharp cold feel of nostalgia from listening to Zard and watching it all unfold.

Then Gin and Vodka, the two men in black, now reach Tropical Land to do business with the company president and also potentially get rid of laid out traps.

Shinichi and Ran then go to a roller coaster, the Mystery Coaster, line like they did in the original as Shinichi keeps talking about Holmes and about how Holmes can immediately identify traits from people by merely touching their hands; Shinichi playfully claims to demonstrate this by grabbing the hand of a woman who's in line to the roller coaster with her friends and saying that the woman is a part of a gymnastics team merely from the blisters on her hands, however Shinichi quickly confesses that he just saw unique bruises around her thighs that come from working with uneven horizontal bars as the wind was blowing up the woman's skirt. Then two other people come, a man with a woman all over him, and asks Shinichi and Ran to leave the other two women alone. The man and woman then kiss and Shinichi dreams of kissing with Ran until it's time to go travel the Mystery Coaster.

Gin and Vodka arrive to the scene and Shinichi just keeps talking with Ran about Holmes until she gets pissed off and tells Shinichi to shut up as she just wanted to enjoy the trip. After boarding the coaster Ran says that she just wanted to enjoy Tropical Land with Shinichi and that Shinichi doesn't understand her feelings, but then quickly says that she was joking about it and Shinichi gets all flustered. It's pretty funny to see Ran tell Shinichi that he won't get far as a detective if he falls to something like that., even though the part of looking forward to the trip was true.

Ran and Shinichi enjoy themselves on the roller coaster as Gin and Vodka are on the back seats of the same roller coaster while looking at the company president with binoculars; wondering if there are any traps. Gin sends a message to Chianti and Korn, two assassins of the organization, that there's no need to assassinate the CEO. As Chinti is leaving but Korn doesn't, she wonders if Korn just wants to ride the roller coaster, to which Korn starts, ridicilously enough, blushing.

On the roller coaster a drop of salty water suddenly drops on Shinichi's face while they're inside a tunnel and then bunch of other water start to get splashed all over the place and everyone wonders what's going on - this scene is somewhat censored from the manga as its one of the bloodiest cases in Detective Conan - then Shinichi looks backwards and Gin and Vodka look forward and they get to see a fountain of blood flowing from the neck of a person who's with a screaming woman next to her as the blood splurts even on Ran's face, and what's more, the victim is missing his head entirely.

After making their stop, the police and ambulance arrive and the corpse is taken out the roller coaster. As Gin and Vodka are about to leave claiming the victim got into an unlucky accident, Shinichi stops them and tells everyone that it was most definitely a murder and that one of the seven who rode the same coaster ride is the murderer. The men in black say that they're not staying around but inspector Megure appears, saying that he's happy Kudo Shinichi is on the scene to make the case easier, and then everyone else - including Gin and Vodka - get shaken up that a detective prodigy is there.
As the police inspect the crime scene, there is no signs of an accident or malfunction anywhere and the amount of damage clearly doesn't suggest suicide, however, the murder method is still unknown. Then due to Shinichi's suggestion, Megure let's everyone else except the 7 who rode on the Mystery Coaster leave the scene.

As Megure excludes Ran and Shinichi from the suspect list for the moment, there are five suspects who could have killed the victim on that coaster ride. The victim this time was the man who was making out with the woman earlier, which caused Shinichi to dream about kissing Ran. This moment is kind of interesting because it doesn't tell use the exact names of the suspects but instead we just call them by Friend A, Friend B, Lover C, and the Men in Black D and E. I think Gosho didn't want to reveal anyone's names because then he would have been forced to make the police identify Gin's and Vodka's real names, and things would have turned nasty if they tried to do that.
Note: this is the first time Shinichi meets Gin and Vodka.

The main problem with anyone else except the Lover killing the victim is that the Safety Guard must have been on so no one could move around, of course if the men in black tried to, they might have been able to pull something off as well as they sat behind the victim. Then Gin appears next to Megure and Shinichi and tells them that they don't have "time to stick around while you play detective." Gin's icy gaze shocks Shinichi; it's almost as if the man in black has killed countless people in the past without feeling anything.

The police then pull a bloody knife from the Lover's (Aiko's her name) purse but she claims it wasn't her. Vodka claims it's obvious that she did it and that now it should all be settled but everyone is  suspicious because the killer got caught too easily, then as Gin and Vodka try to leave, Megure asks everyone to hand their ID's for safety measure and things almost get bad with Gin about to pull a weapon on inspector Megure who comes to take the men in black's ID's, but Shinichi stops them as he has an announcement to make: The Lover is not the killer. The true killer is one of the victim's female friends that sat far in the front instead. After all, there's no way a person's head would be cut off cleanly with a mere knife and especially with a woman's strength. There's also a lot of suspicion in the knife being found in the Lover's bag when she could have easily gotten rid of the evidence beforehand.  Instead the knife was put in the Lover's bag beforehand. It's clear that the knife was not used for the murder but a steel wire and the roller coaster's speed was used instead. Shinichi demonstrates how the murder was done by showing how its possible to prepare a way to slide from the safety guard, how it's possible to use a hook and coaster rails and a noose to rip off the victim's head while doing it all in a pitch-dark tunnel; and unlike for anyone else, the friend is familiar with gymnastics so it's most definitely possible for her unlike for anyone else to pull off the crime. Shinichi also showcases his eye for details as the friend is missing the necklace she had before they entered the roller coaster. The necklace most likely being the place where she had hid the wire.

As Shinichi keeps presenting evidence the other friend of the victim appears and claims that one of the Men in Black could have easily pulled the crime off as well, as they sat right behind the victim, however, although Shinichi agrees that the two men seem very suspicious, the two of them tried to push to leave the scene even with the police present, making them even more suspicious. It all comes down to the fact that the killer knew that the victim was about to die, which is why they teared up and started to cry; the salty water which flew from the front horizontally to Shinichi's face could only have come from the friend of the victim, Hitomi. Hitomi explains that the victim, Kishida, and her were dating and loved each other before either of them had even met the other friend or the victims current lover, Aiko, but then he dumped her all of a sudden. So that's why she planned to murder him on a roller coaster as that's where some of her fondest memories of the victim are, such as that being a place for their first date and the murder weapon being the necklace she'd gotten from him, and of course even the reason why she put the knife in Aiko's bag was to frame her for stealing her loved one. The culprit is so mad at the lover that she throws her bag at her but the chubby inspector Chiba punches it out of the way. The case ends with Hitomi crying on the ground and Shinichi narrating: "Later, a large quantity of sleeping medicine was found in Hitomi's purse. It seems that after the murder she planned to follow Kishida-san in death by committing suicide. Two hours later, the necklace used in the murder was also located in the tunnel. The thread had been, as I had thought, swapped out for piano wire... and most of the pearls had scattered. The ones left basked in the setting sun, giving off a faint light. Almost as if they shed a long trail of tears."

As Shinichi and Ran leave the crime scene with the culprit caught, Ran keeps sobbing and thinks how crazy it is that Shinichi doesn't feel anything about a murder like that. The reason why he doesn't is because he's faced many cases with torn-up bodies in the past. Shinichi also does a pretty crappy job at calming Ran down but then he sees the two Men in Black and runs away. Ran's shoelaces stop her from going after him and Ran suddenly gets a horrible feeling, as if that she's never going to see Shinichi again.

While the first part of the special focused on introducing characters and a lot of set-up for the next parts, this second part of Episode ONE is definitely more focused on character moments with Shinichi and Ran finally visiting the Tropical Land amusement park, and it's also focused on giving an even more entertainingly presented quick case to the watcher compared to the Sewa mansion case in the first part.

Click to continue to the final part of my Episode ONE overview.

Detective Conan Episode ONE (2016) - Part One

"Thus, in order to obtain information on the men in black I came to live at Ran's home, where her father works as a detective. Even so, this old man's an unbelievably lousy detective! Unable to let that slide, I took the place of the old man, and using my natural deductive reasoning along with some gadgets Professor Agasa invented I went along, solving one difficult case after another."
- Edogawa Conan (Detective Conan episode ONE, 2016)

2016 and 2017 were crazy years. I graduated as a chef back then and have now moved onto university of applied sciences, and Detective Conan's anime (1996) got its 20th anniversary. To celebrate that the series got its 20th film, The Darkest Nightmare (2016), which was actually quite different from other Detective Conan films and I really did enjoy seeing it all, but also during those years we got the very beginning of Detective Conan fully remade into a one-hour and thirty minutes movie-length special with new scenes added to the story. That remake, Detective Conan Episode ONE: Chiisaku Natta Meitantei, was also written by the author Gosho Aoyama so it can very much be considered a canon remake that's done in the modern Detective Conan style. This post will be an overview and then review of the special and the post will be split into three parts because of it's enormous length of about 9000 words.

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

The Passage of Time - The Beginning of Detective Conan

It all begins as a woman walks into a laboratory. To the older fans of the series, we can easily see that this woman is the one known as Sherry. She's looking at corpses of lab rats that have died one by one until she sees something shocking; one of the lab rats has stayed alive from whatever she had put them through.

The scene transitions to the Beika Aquarium as our main character Shinichi along with Ran solve a case there; the case from episode 772: "The Kudo Shinichi Aquarium case." Shinichi says his legendary line: "We're like sharks. We pick up the scent of blood, proceed to the scene of the crime... and use every sense we have to draw out the culprit. And once they've taken bait, we sink our razor-sharp teeth known as "evidence" into them until they've given up. That's just what a detective does." And OPENING 1 Mune ga Dokidoki starts playing, instantly giving me nostalgic vibes. The Episode ONE opening also consists of all the scenes with Ran and Shinichi as children, taken from the manga.

After the opening Shinichi and Ran are shown leaving the aquarium and Ran stops sobbing (she's naturally afraid of dead people, sad murderers, supernatural stuff, and such) while the rain starts pouring down and Ran wants to run home but Shinichi stops her from doing that due to certain reasons - Ran wonders why and stops to put her jacket's hood over her head but as she does that her phone flies all the way to the sewer - and Ran didn't even know it was there! You see Shinichi had forgotten it there as he was coming up with methods the culprit in the Aquarium case could have used. Ran is mad at her new phone getting flushed down but Shinichi decides to not only pay for a new phone, some day, but also take her to Tropical Land, - "why such a cheerful-sounding place?" ponders Ran - a beautiful amusement park that's being built in Tokyo. Ran also pushes Shinichi to pay for all expenses at the Tropical Land if she were to win the Regional Karate Tournament - and easy task for her.

The scene transitions once more. Under the pouring rain a man enters a pub where a man dressed entirely from feet to the head in black suit are sitting and drinking. The man who just entered decides to give an envelope to the man in black, known as Vodka, who doesn't even try to check the contents in the envelop. Then the man gets an envelop as well, filled with money which he counts. Happy with what he sees, the man asks Vodka what his next job is though he's in for a surprise as another man dressed up in black sits to the other side of him and tells him that there's a rat who's been talking about the organization walking about. The man starts to sweat but plays it off and takes a drink and asks what type of alcoholic beverage it is. The answer according to Gin is "Rum, Cointreau and a bit of lemon juice. X, Y, Z. It's a drink called "This is the End." " Then the man gets all shaken up and decides to quickly leave the pub and walk into the rain as he tells the men in black to call him when they have a job for him. As this situation goes on and he leaves there's a pretty nice raw pub song OST playing, giving off some nice atmosphere to the whole situation.

Outside, the man runs into his car and looks behind shocked until he calms down and starts car up - only for him to stop as he puts the car key to the start and he starts sweating bullets, gathers up his energy to start the engine, put his seat belt on and then go up in flames along with the car as an explosion happens right after the man thought he was safe.

In the pub Gin and Vodka get a call to make them leave the scene immediately but they decide to take last sips of the drink and wonder what to do with the weapon smuggling data the man who just died gave them. The men in black then talk business about getting money, information and setting up traps on people as they head to meet someone at a place that Gin says is "too good to miss," which is probably the funniest line he's ever said in this series. And the scene fades away as Gin and Vodka still just drink in peace without saying a word...

The scene transitions to a morning day with slight amount of clouds and bunch of visible blue sky. Shinichi is sleeping overtime in his large house as the door bell keeps ringing; it's Ran and she's there to visit our main character. It's 11 a.m. and Shinichi wonders what she wants - they had planned to go to a certain place a while back but Shinichi had forgotten and decided to read mystery novels until late into the night. Then we get a nice scene with Ran washing the dishes after making the food and Shinichi reading the news and drinking coffee before they leave; Shinichi learns that the day when they left the Beika Aquarium a car near Beika Harbor had exploded the same night - and the case is still unsolved.  We even get to see the whole article about the case which really brings some life to the whole ordeal. And then Ran and Shinichi head out to buy a mobile phone.

At the city park a boy with freckles on his face, a girl with a headband and a darker skinned somewhat overweight boy are playing football. These three are of course three of the future Detective Boys, Mitsuhiko, Ayumi and Genta. The scene about them playing football is calm and relaxing until Genta kicks the football far away - right to Shinichi Kudo who takes the ball and starts bouncing it on his legs and head. As Shinichi is a former soccer player, he knows how to do all these cool tricks. Ran ponders about why Shinichi quit the soccer club but then we get a scene about Shinichi idolizing a fictional character, Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Shinichi tells Ran that he only practiced soccer because Holmes practiced fencing. To Shinichi Kudo, Holmes is a superhero; "Holmes is a famous detective that everyone knows! He's incredible! He's always calm and collected, overflowing with intelligence and refinement... and his powers of observation and deduction are top notch! On top of all that, his violin skills match those of a professional!"

Wada Hina, a karate expert like Ran
As Shinichi finishes talking about Holmes to Ran, a woman screams for help as her purse was stolen. The thief runs through the streets and gets knocked over by a girl named Hina Wada, then the man pulls out a knife and Wada also gets serious, unarms the man and uses karate to overpower him. Ran tells Shinichi that Hina doesn't just seem strong, but that she is strong, as Ran knows her very well.

Then Ran's best friend, the girl-from-a-ridicilously-rich-family Sonoko Suzuki, the 2nd daughter and one of the heirs to the Suzuki Financial Group, makes her appearance as she narrates a cringe worthy line about love and rivalry between Ran and Hina, and most likely something about a love triangle with Shinichi thrown there as well. Then Sonoko suddenly grabs Ran by the arm and takes her to the Suzuki residence to enjoy a rare feast.

In the Suzuki residence, Sonoko's parent's, Tomoko & Shiro Suzuki, are having a meeting with two rich-looking people, an older man, Sewa Takanori who is visiting the Suzuki's along with his wife. Sonoko's father, Shiro, explains to Sewa that Ran's father, Kogoro, is an ex-cop and now a detective so the man could talk to Kogoro about what they had been discussing with the Suzuki's but he declines and then Shinichi butts in to ask what the problem is. According to Sonoko's father Sewa and his wife are about to arrange a party but as Shiro is in the plans of arranging an opening day of his jewel exhibit consisting also of Sonoko's Uncle Jirokichi's  "Black Star"-jewel (we know who's going there; see Magic Kaito episode 6: Black Star) at Beika Museum the very same day, the Suzuki's don't have time to attend, and the reason why Sewa needs help from someone is because he's gotten a threatening letter which is ordering him to cancel the party. The letter says that if the party is held, someone will lose their life.

That's when Sonoko takes the stage and introduces Shinichi, who's right next to her, as a very valid candidate to take Kogoro's place - Sonoko even says that Shinichi might do a better job than Ran's old man! Shinichi also tells that he can help but Sewa declines and is about to leave with his wife, but the wheelchair he's bound to goes out of control! Shinichi jumps in but Ran quickly brushes him out of the way to help Sewa and grab the falling vase, but Sewa seems to be angry at Ran or his wife.

This whole ordeal seems suspicious to Shinichi and Sonoko's father, Shiro, is worried about his suspicious gaze towards Sewa, but the situation calms down as Ran gets a present from Tomoko Suzuki; a new super lightweight karate suit without baggy sleeves created by the Suzuki Financial Group's fabric manufacturer (Even though Shiro Suzuki is overweight, he's a fan of martial arts). The karate suit even has "Shinichi LOVE" imprinted on it - by the proposition of none other than Sonoko herself. Sadly Ran cannot use the lucky suit in her regional karate match due to regulations on many things during the matches - uniforms included.

The long day is heading towards its end and Shinichi and Ran missed their chance to get her a new phone that Shinichi promised to purchase her because of the Beika Aquarium incident. Ran heads home and Shinichi promises to buy her a phone some other time. Even though it's getting really late Ran suddenly realizes she forgot her wallet at the Kudo residence so they have to head back. After finding her wallet she goes to say bye to Shinichi who is immersed in crime novels at the house's libary.

At this point I believe it's good to take a break from this overview in order to explain something about our main character. Shinichi Kudo's parents are extremely famous and often spend their time overseas throughout the series; it's been three years since they moved away and Shinichi lives alone in the Kudo residence, but his parents do visit him often. His mother, Yukiko Kudo, is the famous ex-actor Fujimine Yukiko who always pampers her son, and his father, Yusaku Kudo, who's first name translates into "masterpiece," is one of the world's most famous mystery authors; he's even the author of books that have gotten adaptations in which Yukiko has acted in lead roles during her hey-day's. Even though Yusaku is near-sighted, as unlike Shinichi who plays to need glasses as Conan, Yusaku does need them, Yusaku is very keen-eyed when it comes to crimes and has helped the police to solve many hard-to-solve cases. What makes Yusaku notable however is that it wouldn't be hard to say that he's the smartest character in the entire Detective Conan universe. He is in fact so good at what he does that he might, in mere moments with far less information than others, solve what takes other characters exponentially longer to figure out. Because of Yusaku's influence Shinichi has gotten into mystery novels and because of that the Kudo Residence's library that Yusaku used to use as his work space when his son was a young child is a multi-story room filled with nothing but thousands of crime and detective fiction novels that Shinichi has also read throughout the years. 
Shinichi's father, Yusaku Kudo

While in the library Ran brings up Shinichi's parents and then teases him about how his own mother must have been Shinichi's first love but Shinichi gets flustered and remembers back to the kindergarten days when he met Ran who hated him back then. But before Shinichi gets to answer Ran a large explosion-like sound can be heard from outside the building and Shinichi immediately knows who it was. Professor Agasa, his neighbour, destroyed his building once again and as he gets hurt Shinichi and Ran go to his house and Agasa explains that he's made a Personal Mobility Rocket that he's going to use to get rich. Keep wishing, Professor.

At the same time Mouri Kogoro, Ran's father, is at their home, the Mouri Detective agency, at night, and talking on the phone in an aggressive manner as he's trying to do important things like drinking beer and solving magazine games. The one Kogoro is shouting at over phone is Eri Kisaki, Kogoro's wife who is also Ran's mother. Kogoro and Eri are always bickering which is why they're not together during the beginning of the story. Ran's mother, Eri, is also a known lawyer. This time Eri is calling Kogoro to tell him to get his shit together because he hasn't worked at all the whole month; as Kogoro is a private-detective, he needs requests. Which he never gets before he becomes the sleeping Kogoro in the future. Then Eri and Kogoro get into more arguments as Ran arrives home and goes to make some food.

The scene then transitions to the men in black, Gin and Vodka, driving Gin's Porsche 356A through the highway in the darkness of the night. Vodka ponders why the company president they'll be meeting in the near future chose a very specific place - of course the Tropical Land amusement park - as a place or their meeting. Gin assumes the company president might think that the men in black won't cause problems there due to the place being crowded. Vodka then wonders that the meeting at the Tropical Land might be a trap and reminisces how one of the men in black, Bourbon (who is their greatest intel gatherer), has said that the company president has been hanging around with some suspicious people. Gin then gives Bourbon praise but tells Vodka that they'll be beating the enemy at their own game once they know what they are up to.

Note: all these people with alcohol -brand code names (Gin, Vodka, Bourbon) are part of the unknown organization nicknamed the men in black that this overview often mentions.

The days go by and during one day the Regional Karate Tournament which Ran intends to win finally happens. Ran makes it to the finals and Sonoko and Kogoro are happy and Kogoro brags how Ran's inherited her strength from him (fair enough Kogoro is stronger than most people). Then Eri says that she hopes Ran won't become like Kogoro but there's nothing to worry about as she also inherits Eri's will and smarts.
Nearby the tournament arena Shinichi is on the phone with inspector Megure and decides to head to a crime scene. Then Mouri Ran and Wada Hina start to fight in the finals with a lot of karate action shown. Ran falls down once, then twice, until Sonoko gets pissed and starts to shout and give Ran motivational speeches. At Wada Hina's side the karate group consists of men who laugh at Sonoko - well, all except one of them known as Makoto Kyogoku (see DC Episode 153).
Ran gets up and sees Shinichi apologize to her from afar as he heads to a crime scene. This gets Ran very mad.

Under the thunderstorm and lightning, Shinichi arrives at a large manor. The owner of the residence is none other than the man in a wheelchair that Shinichi met at Suzuki family residence. The one who was there with his wife and talked about getting a threatening letter because of the party, man named Sewa.
Then inspector Megure explains that a murder has happened and Shinichi walks into the room telling them that he already knows who the murderer is. Sewa then soon remembers Shinichi.

That is when the first scene of the series happens as Shinichi walks towards the old man, Sewa, who's bound by a wheelchair.
In the mansion there was a murder which happened in the mansion's third-floor's guest room while rest of the people in the building were right in the middle of a party. The victim was identified as the president of Beika Bank, a middle-aged man named Yamazaki. Yamazaki was stabbed while laying on a bed and the murder scene was a locked room as the key to the room was in Yamazaki's pocket.  The only way inside the crime scene room was through a balcony window that's visible straight from the courtyard. That means that the culprit had to have sneaked through the balcony, killed the sleeping Yamazaki who was tired from the party and then the culprit must have also left through the way they came from. However the problem is that there were no footprints under the window and all the rooms around the guest room were locked up, meaning the culprit had no way to jump from nearby. So Shinichi comes to one conclusion; the culprit jumped to the balcony from after entering from a window about five meters away and then walked through the foothold and jumped to the balcony; making the culprit someone who knew the construction of the mansion well and someone who could move freely around the mansion during party without raising suspicions. There's no one else but the master of the house, Sewa Takanori himself. Shinichi tricks Sewa to fall from his wheelchair and then stand up as he remembered that Sewa used his supposedly-broken leg to stop the wheelchair back in the Suzuki residence. That means the leg was healed a long time ago and he was only pretending to be unable to move for some reason. After Shinichi catches Sewa, he poses for the cameras in the iconic scene seen in all the Detective Conan movies and the next day his face is on the newspapers.

"HIS NAME IS KUDO SHINICHI, With reasoning skills rivaling those of an adult, Top-Ranked Crime Solving High School Detective Solves Mystery Behind A Locked Room Murder" - words like that are all over the front pages of the news as Shinichi walks home the next day and listens everyone talk about how awesome he is - nothing else could make Shinichi happier than everyone praising him! That's something to brag about. Then Ran appears and tells Shinichi how she's annoyed because Kogoro doesn't get cases because everyone talks about Shinichi always. Shinichi answers her that it's not because of him but because of Kogoro's lack of talent as a detective to which Ran answers with a heavy fist that pierces through concrete walls.
Ran and Shinichi walk through the roads and Shinichi brags about all the fan letters he'd gotten from girls. Though the one he likes the most is obviously Ran herself. The scene with him looking at Ran without any background music playing is pretty neat.

I found the last scenes interesting: Ran tells Shinichi that if he keeps poking his nose in of these days he'll be in serious danger, to which Shinichi answers with a nonchalant "maybe." Then Shinichi tells Ran that he doesn't want to write about detectives but he wants to be one who solves all the suspensful cases. Obviously this scene is going to be used for when the eventual transformation happens.
Then they remind each other about meeting at Tropical Land amusement part at 10 o'clock the nect day. At the same time we can see Yusaku and Yukiko in a car filled with books in disguises; they don't want to ruin Shinichi's and Ran's time together as they seem happy walking outside, so for now they're going to leave without meeting Shinichi.

Click to continue to part two of my Episode ONE overview.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Animal Instincts - The Greek Coffin Mystery (1932)

"Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise"
- Frank Ocean

I am tired after reading this little piece of work... In a damn good way, though! It's the first time ever that a book has ever fallen from my hands - I literally was on the John while reading the book and then, when the final revelation came, the book just fell from my hands and I was sitting there shocked down to the bones with my eyes closed for a good 10 minutes until I managed to continue reading, albeit really slowly, with a lot of re-reads of those few pages. How, why, what... Those types of questions filled my mind. Queen really got me this time and I'll be proud to make a post of this novel for my 50th post milestone on this blog.

"Ungentle reader, you now have in your possession all the facts pertinent to the only correct solution of the... problem. ...I say with all good will and a fierce humility: Garde à vous, and a pox on headache!" - One of the greatest lines and works of a Challenge to the Reader that I've ever seen, most certainly; you can theorize to your hearts content, you will be trapped, you will be shocked - and THAT is actually a promise straight from an extremely optimistic and almost arrogant author known as one of the greats from the Golden Age, Ellery Queen, on one of his greatest works: The Greek Coffin Mystery.

I made a review on Ellery Queen's the The Dutch Shoe Mystery earlier this year and found it to be entertaining but not too special in the modern days, although the hospital setting for that story is very intriguing. I definitely understand how much the trick done in that story has inspired and been utilized in modern mysteries all the way to Ace Attorney, Detective Conan, Kindaichi and Danganronpa manga and game franchises.
However for this one we'll be talking about an entirely new kind of beast that you don't see every day as there is no mere one trick here that can be used as a trope to shock the readers, no, this is a one single long story that has been professionally crafted.

To put it simply The Greek Coffin Mystery (1932) - TGCM for short - is a traditional golden age detective novel which is even hyped by the author Ellery Queen, the writer name of one of the greatest known orthodox mystery writers, to be one of Ellery's (the character's) greatest cases - TGCM is a case that deserves to be called a well-written story due to the meticulous amounts of planning put into the story and how everything comes together. While it's not a work of perfect synergy, it does a good job to make it all flow together from the very beginning. The story takes place during Ellery's earlier years so the character Ellery, in the "present" of when the book was published, didn't want to publish the story until the fourth book because he himself felt that it was one of his weaker cases, which is quite opposite from reality. Ellery obviously had later thought of how he saw himself constantly messing up during the case instead of the case itself, basically he saw the trees but not the forest. In the novel he's a novice on the crime scene but he has still managed to make a name for himself, still, he's going to have to put in work in order to make the police and his father, the leading inspector Richard Queen, to accept him as part of the investigation squad. The same policemen and attorneys from the earlier stories are all present as well from the muscular inspector Velie and his squad to the district attorney Sampson.

The story begins with a funeral. The words 'tense atmosphere' are brought up multiple times by the story and characters in the beginning - the tensity is in the air up to the point when the coffin is buried as the funeral goes on, but no one is shedding tears. The presentation of the case in this book seems somewhat more gruesome than usual. by the way. The funeral is due to a man named Khalkis, a rich person who was known to handle art. The Case of Khalkis, a name it's given despite Khalkis dying a supposedly natural death, is due to the fact that during his funeral his new testament was stolen. Although there was only a five minute time frame between when the metal box in which the testament is in was last seen and when it was gone from the safe. The case begins with inspector Velie under Queen investigating every nook and cranny - every person who was in the funeral and even the ones who did not attend were listed and everyone's still in Khalkis's house which' area happens to be locked from outsiders; everyone is known and investigated multiple times, however... The metal box is never found. Due to it being locked and with only one key existing there are not many ways to get rid of the testament (such as flushing down the toilet), so the case is pretty well handled in both its limitations and its ridicilousness due to this metal box disappearing impossibly.
Ellery Queen appears on the scene. The police think of him as more of a nuisance during this time in the past when the case took place, and he makes a deduction: if the person who claimed that the testament was still in the safe between those five minutes, and the testament really was stolen then despite the butler of the house not seeing anyone go to the room, then there is only one place where the testament should be, and that place is...! Well, the coffin of Khalkis. As the coffin is lifted from the grave the police medical worker assistant happens to smell something off. Almost as if there was no embalming used on the corpse? On top of the body of Khalkis they witness as rotten corpse of another person who was strangled to death with some kind of rope, and to Ellery's surprise, there's no metal box to be seen, and that's the basis of the story with many twists to it.

When you look at the story structually, you have a book that contains over 400 pages, has a slightly smaller font than the usual novel and quickly in the pages goes expertly over events that would make a novice writer intentionally write chapters about to fill the pages; in the hands of a bad writer this would easily be over 600 pages. You have such an information packed story planned to such lengths and it only focuses on the important aspects of the case so much that it has to be pointed out. There are actually four answers to this case and it's bound to shock any reader at the very end. A complete opposite of Queen's own Kill as Directed work which was a mediocre-at-best short novel that stretched out every little detail.
As I was reading the story the third answer has an important detail that can only be figured out by people who are in possession of certain equipment - an equipment that many had in the past but barely anyone has anymore - so I was kind of down in the mood due to that fact being the way to expose the culprit, even though I was shocked by that one already, but the book did not disappoint in the end as it went beyond my expectations of how shocking it can be.
This is truly an impressive piece of work but not in a way that everyone can appreciate it, no sir, as it has nothing to relate to - you can't get emotionally attached to the events or the characters; emotional impact is sadly a likened to always be a sign of "good writing" for most people these days despite that not being true, sure you all know the drill. What makes this story so impressive is the plot weaving and handling of more and more raw information one after another.

So. TGCM is a grand murder symphony, it's a tale about a certain stolen painting and the lives that disappear with it. It's a story that - and I will take liberties of coming up with this kind of solution to how this story originated from what Queen mentions of the story and his fans in the Challenge to the Reader page - Queen created specifically for the fans who claimed that they could 'easily' see right through his plot weavings of the previous stories.

Note: It's preferable to read at least one other Queen work before this one though, for multiple reasons that I will not talk about here, not many of them are exactly spoilers but reading at least The Dutch Shoe Mystery before heading to this one is an advice that I will give to all the Ellery Queen fans in the future.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Rating all Dragon Ball/Z/GT/Super openings and endings

I've been on my 48th post on this blog and been thinking of what type of filler content I'd want to put in between the 48th and 50th post as I already know what type of mystery novel I want to talk about on that milestone, so I came up with this ranking post of all Dragon Ball opening and ending songs from the television anime series, and I'll write about them as I re-watch my childhood. Now is also a good time to talk about the series as Dragon Ball Super: Broly film  that aired recently was an amazing experience, Dragon Ball FighterZ has been paving its way with hardcore fighting gamers and is heading onto Nintendo Switch, and the newest game, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot created by CC2 gaming studio (after they dropped out from Naruto franchise since it flopped with Boruto) will be a full-on action RPG, hopefully similar to Legacy of Goku II which is possibly the only good Dragon Ball related RPG type of game. Actually I recently wanted to do this post after watching people compare Bleach and Gintama endings on YouTube. I honestly believe that Dragon Ball has some of the best ones even if you do leave nostalgia out of it (which I won't when ranking these, the nostalgia factor elevates all the songs and scenes for me).

These openings and endings will be from the Japanese television version of the OG - Z - GT - Kai - Super series of Dragon Ball, meaning no video games, dubs, movies or such, only the long-running series on television will be counted along with some specials.

Dragon Ball Openings

Dragon Ball

Opening 1 - Makafushigi Adventure.
Two versions, one song. The song kicks off in a funky manner. Very nice visuals and adventurous feel on both versions of the opening. Shenron and character models look really damn good and the colors are beautifully thick. The opening song is always amazing and the opening feels long, like a journey you go through. Probably one of the best openings out there. Dang.

Dragon Ball Z 

Opening 1 - CHA-LA-HEAD-CHA-LA.
This has 3 versions and Kai with this song, everyone knows it. Very iconic when the logo and the "fly away" kick in as Goku and Gohan fly on the flying nimbus. The original Z animations are nuts for this; gohan running on Shenron, the ice breaking, Goku powering up and Gohan running with Shenron coming from the clouds upwards.

Opening 2 - The Gohan opening. We gotta Power.
This is one of my absolute favourites and it's gas in dubs too. The animations right from the start look amazing. The song is Dragon Ball HARD if you roll with the games. Showing Gohan as SSJ teen then transitions beautifully to adult Gohan, Gohan with Goten and other characters are shown beautifully, Gohan and Videl on that car is funny, 18, Trunks, etc are shown. But when that fucking beat drops when you thought it was over at the same time as the television screen of Mr. Satan explodes and the Great Saiyaman makes his appearance. GOTTA POWER -- NO-TEN P-KAN - - RA-MEN ROPPAI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GODLIKE!

Dragon Ball GT

Opening 1 - Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku
Don't do this to me dog. Two versions of this. Almost crying watching this one.
Goku with Ultimate Shenron in his blue suit, the song... builds up so beautifully. Feels like three beautiful songs in one opening. Chills. Why does this look so good. Trunks with the blades.. Pan greatness.

Dragon Ball Kai

Opening 1 - Dragon Soul
This opening has 4 versions to it and sounds exactly like you'd expect a good DB opening to sound, DOKKAN DOKKAN PARADISE! It has that real good vibe to the song. I don't dig this era of the digital DB art (broly is fire tho) but the visuals in this opening are really damn good, no doubt. That face-off with Vegeta and Goku is my favourite part of it.

Opening 2 - Kuu-Zen-Zetsu-Go
This one starts different out of all the DB openings. It's not exactly what you expect a DB opening to sound like anymore but the song is not bad. The beginning has some vibe to it, feels like it would explode at first but it doesn't but the first 30 seconds sound amazing honestly. The visuals look nice but uninspired; they go through many different events that happen in Buu saga in this opening.
I'm not going to raise the score but those first 30 seconds sound different from usual and I dig it a lot.

Dragon Ball Super

Opening 1 - Cho-Zets☆Dynamic!
The opening has 4 versions to it. The song instantly kicks to gear with the nostalgic sun from the OG along with the logo with Super slapped onto it. The way the characters are shown in this is very Dragon Ball and the song is as well. The song is very feel-good and it's definitely a solid combo.

Opening 2 - Limit-Break x Survivor
Opening has two versions. Action starts right off the bat as the first frame is Goku and Jiren clashing with a punch. The way the characters are shown with the other characters from other universes hidden in dark as our main characters are shown completely is pretty cool. The song is very instrument heavy but still fits DB well. This opening brought in the hype when you started watching Dragon Ball Super every week, waiting for the Crunchyroll serves to stop crashing. The opening is pretty good.

Dragon Ball Endings

Dragon Ball

Ending 1 - Romantic Ageru Yo
Bulma themed ending with 4 versions. Some cover pages from the manga are animated as well, elevating the whole thing a lot. The opening has some really nice looking scenes. The song is very old school and has a really nice vibe, I dig it a lot.

Dragon Ball Z

Ending 1 - Detekoi Tobikiri Zenkai Power!
This is one of the weirdest endings of an anime you can find and it popularized the main character running in the ending cliche every anime loves to use now. The song is weird as hell, but very catchy after you listen to it couple of times.

Ending 2 - Boku Tachi Wa Tenshi Datta
The song kicks off with the hype right from the start. The opening shows Gohan walking casually while waving to his friends and then starting to run to see Goku with the angel wings at the end. The song is amazing.

Dragon Ball GT

Ending 1 - Hitori Ja Nai
The ending shows Goku, Trunks and Pan traveling through the lands, rivers and flying on dragons. The song is great and the ending has this feel-good atmosphere to it.

Ending 2 - Don't you see!
The song begins with master Roshi on a turtle. The song oh my gosh the chills. RIP Zard GREATNESS. The visuals of showing the cast are great and varied and the song elevates this to new heights. This is one of the most fantastic endings out there DON'T YOU SEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This ending is absolute gas.

Ending 3 - Blue Velvet
Dragon Balls break out of being stoned. The characters are shown in a really good way in this ending. The song is very different from what you'd hear people normally listen but damn I forgot how hard this ending goes. The song feels raw as fuck, they don't really use these types of tunes for shounens.

Ending 4 - Sabitsuita Machine Gun
Mini Goku appears and starts walking and it shows Goku's GT forms while at the end he looks back to walk to his friends as a grown up. The song itself is amazing, it's by Wands but sounds like B'z, good shit. The visuals on the other hand leave much to be desired.

Dragon Ball Z Special (2008)

Ending 1 - Orange Hero
The pencil color art style is pretty cool. The song has some vibe to it I can see many dig this ending a lot, it goes pretty hard and the visuals look great.

Dragon Ball Kai

Ending 1 - Yeah! Break! Care! Break!
The digital art is really prominent in this one but it doesn't look bad by itself, just not my type of style. The ending shows many different scenes in the series up to showing SSJ Goku from behind. The song is nice.

Ending 2 - Wings of the Heart
The animation flow as Goku flies with Shenron in this ending looks really good. The girly song might be some people's cup of tea but the ending feels really short and doesn't really manage to do much. Disappointing.

Ending 3 - Never Give Up [international opening]
7/10, it's good to hear some English Dragon Ball songs these days

Ending 4 - Dear Zarathustra
This is my most memorable ending from DB Kai. You can immediately feel the song right from the start. Everyone being in a photograph is neat. There's not much animation in this ending but it's a good one.

Ending 5 - Junjo
The ending begins with showing most of the cast and then it transitions to Goku flying to some spot in the middle of a sea with SSJ Majin Vegeta waiting for him, Goku powers up and starts throwing fists with Majin Vegeta. So simple, so good. The song sounds pretty amazing as well. I'd rank this +1 if the art wasn't digital. The

Ending 6 - Oh Yeah!!!!!!!
Goten and Trunks sleep in weird positions and wake up as Piccolo looks after them. This entire ending is about Goten and Trunks turning to Gotenks. The song is pretty amazing again with some different vibe to it. I'd say this is less likely to get +1 if it wasn't digital than the previous, but it's almost as good as ending 5.

Ending 6 - GALAXY
Immediately you can notice how this uses the remastered versions of the beautiful old art and makes it clean. This has the best use of color out of all the endings. The song is alright to good but there is no animation. It's kind of conflicting what to give this.

Ending 7 - Don't Let Me Down
Kid Goku adventures remade in this but without animations. It's a very nostalgic ending and has a lot of great frams from OG Dragon Ball and couple scenes from end of Z. No animation but it's the only ending that does this. 

Dragon Ball Super 

Ending 1 - Hello Hello Hello
The ending has a pretty average start with showing off that digital Toei art style but the rest of the ending is not bad. There's actually some animation and everyone gathering to watch the falling sun is pretty nice. The song is alright, has some good parts to it.

Ending 2 - Starring Star
This ending uses some old tropes from the OG endings and openings with everyone on cars. The song has some good parts to it but its mediocre.

Ending 3 - Light Pink
Sakura leaf ending for DB right down to the song style. The ending is split into two screens which is pretty cool. The song is good but the idea behind the ending is very lackluster. Looks good enough.

Ending 4 - Forever Dreaming
The ending is just Goku moving forwards on Flying Nimbus while the song keeps that Wowowowow tune going. It's not a bad song but I don't care for the ending.

Ending 5 - Yoka Yoka Dance
This ending isn't about animation but the way all the characters are shown makes this ending very packed. I actually really like how this is done, the art style looks great and the ending is pretty fun. The song isn't something I'd listen to but it fits this ending perfectly. I like how those Zeno Guards are there as well.

Ending 6 - Chaofan MUSIC
I don't know what to say about this ending. Chipmunk begins, then the song begins, the lyrics are really weird but the way the dude sings is really good. The ending also looks nice enough but it ends all of a sudden.

Ending 7 - Aku no Tenshi to Seigi no Akuma
This is one of the best endings of DBS, the comic book format ending. It looks really fucking good, the colors are great and it actually feels like pages from the manga with a lot of random stuff happening. The song is great as well and kicks off perfectly at the mid point. The only problem is the lack of animation. Would have been cool to see with that style.

Ending 8 - Boogie Back
First Bulma ending since the OG. Naturally one of my favourites as well. The song is very smooth and the singer sounds great. There's not much to talk about the animations though.

Ending 9 - Haruka
The song for this one is so good brah. It's Tournament of Power ending showcasing all these characters one after another in groups. The ending is very simple but does what it sets out to do pretty well.

Ending 10 - By a 70cm Square Window
The best ending of DBS. I used to pump all the dubs and remixes I could find of this a lot when the anime was airing. The song goes super hard right from the beginning and then all of a sudden - very melancholic feel and then it feels like you're at a rock concert. It ends leaving you wanting more. Very good ending. I'd be surprised if this doesn't give some chills to DB fans with it starting with kid Goku and then Goku running while showing all those past friends and opponents he's faced.

Ending 11 - Lagrima
This song is really good and this ending has some of the best color palette for a Dragon Ball ending out of all of them, only surpassed by GT's endings. The character models look pretty damn good and this ending has some vibe to it. There is some heavy potential in this song if it was a little lower pitched most of the time. The lack of animations make it a bit worse than an 8.

All in all I believe I can say that Dragon Ball Z has my favourite opening with Gohan and GT has my favourite ending with Zard coming in strong. If you didn't know, Zard has some of my favourite songs in Detective Conan. The singer, Izumi Sakai, sadly passed away in 2007 at the age of 40. Her voice is miraculous. 

Zard created nothing but fantastic and beautiful songs during their career, including:

- Unmei no Roulette Mawashite
(Detective Conan opening 4)
- Hoshi no Kagayaki yo 
(Detective Conan opening 15)
- Glorious Mind
(Detective Conan opening 21)
- Ai wa Kurayami no Naka de
(Detective Conan opening 22, made along with Naifu)
- Ashita o Yume Mite 
(Detective Conan ending 17)
- Kanashii Hodo Anata Ga Suki
(Detective Conan ending 24)
- Shojo no Koro ni Modotta Mitai ni 
(Detective Conan: The Fourteenth Target ending)
- Natsu o Matsu Sail no Yo ni
(Detective Conan: Strategy Above the Depths ending)
- Tsubasa o Hirogete
(Detective Conan: Full Score of Fear ending)
- as well as songs for Slam Dunk and other series. Go listen to them, they're all fantastic.