After a year of postponement, the 24th film in the “Detective Conan” series, “The Scarlet Bullet,” finally hit theaters nationwide on April 16. I’m sure there are many people who were excited about the opportunity to finally see the new film.
However, there is one concern. In the less than 30 years since the original “Detective Conan” series was released, the story and characters have grown in scale and complexity.
The original comic series will soon reach its 100th volume and the TV anime series will reach its 25th anniversary, making it even more interesting, but as is the fate of a long-running series, it is now becoming difficult for beginners to get into the content.
However, it would be a shame to let that put you off. In order for you to enjoy “Detective Conan: the Scarlet Bullet”, this article will explain “five things you must know”. I hope you find it useful as a guide when watching the film.
Point:1 Who is FBI undercover agent Shuichi Akai?
The main selling point of “Detective Conan: the Scarlet Bullet” is the gathering of the Akai family.
Some of you may be wondering, “What is the Akai family? So, let’s start with a review of this part. First, let’s talk about the central character, Shuichi Akai.
In the original story, he first appeared in volume 29. Initially, he was a mysterious “friend or foe”, but in the later chapters of Kudo Shinichi & Mouri Ran drawn in Volumes 34-35, he was revealed to be an FBI agent.
Later, as the volumes progressed, more and more details were revealed about him, such as “he had infiltrated the Black Organization, but his love (Miyano Akemi, Haibara’s sister) was killed by a Black Organization Gin,” “he is an excellent marksman and has a sharp mind,” “he is currently hiding his true identity and disguising himself as Okiya Subaru, a graduate student who is Dr. Agasa’s neighbor,” and “he and Conan have built a trusting relationship through encountering many incidents, and now he is a good friend and a reliable companion.
In the movie version, he played an active role in the 18th movie “Dimensional Sniper” and the 20th movie “The Darkest Nightmare”. In “Dimensional Sniper,” it was suggested that Okiya Subaru’s true identity was Akai Shuichi, which shocked fans.
In “The Darkest Nightmare”, he had a direct confrontation with Amuro Toru (Furuya Rei), a public safety police officer who also infiltrated the Black Organization (Akai was hated by Amuro because he was involved in an incident that killed his best friend).
In “Scarlet Bullet,” a case involving the FBI’s past unfolds, and Akai is forced to take action.
Point:2 About the “Akai Family” in this film
One of the major highlights of “The Scarlet Bullet” is the coming together of the “Akai Family” with Shuichi Akai as the eldest son. The family consists of father, Akai Tsutomu, mother, Sera Mary, first son, Akai Shuichi, second son, Haneda Hideyoshi, and first daughter, Sera Masumi.
The father, Akai Tsutomu, is deceased and was a member of the British secret intelligence service MI6 (as was Mary).
There are still many mysteries about this family, but here are the parts that are known.
Mary, who is currently working for MI6, is as small as Conan in size.
Haneda Hideyoshi is a professional Shogi player and the lover of police inspector Miyamoto Yumi.
The youngest child, Sera Masumi, is a high school girl who attends Teitan High School like Ran and Suzuki Sonoko.
The reason why each of them has a different surname is presumably because of an incident their father was involved in.
Incidentally, Haneda seems to be the only one who knows that Akai is alive. Mary, on the other hand, lives with Sera.
Therefore, even though they are family members, not all of them are aware of each other’s current situation. For this reason, the “Akai Family Gathering” in “Scarlet Bullet” is an extremely rare “incident”. It’s a must-see for fans.
In addition, recent Conan movies have been closely linked to the original story, and there are many patterns of “new facts being revealed in the movie,” such as the suggestion in “Dimensional Sniper” that the true identity of Okiya Subaru is Akai Shuichi.
There is a good chance that new facts about the Akai family will be revealed in this film, so fans’ expectations are rising.
Incidentally, Sera seems to be convinced that Conan’s true identity is Shinichi, and the battle between the two will be the key to “The Scarlet Bullet”.
→Next page: Point:3 Akai’s fellow FBI members also play a big role!
Point:3 Akai’s friends, the FBI members, are also very active!
There are three FBI agents who are working with Akai in Japan (although unofficially, they are in hiding in order to pursue the Black Organization). They are also very active in this film, so if you know the basic situation, you will be able to get into the story smoothly.
The first is Jody Sterling. Her parents were murdered by Vermouth, a member of the Black Organization, and after being placed in an authorized protection program, she followed her late father’s wishes and became an FBI agent.
She worked as an English teacher at Teitan High School for a while, and through that she became acquainted with Conan and Ran. She is also the former lover of Akai Shuichi.
And Andre Camel. He is Akai’s subordinate and is skilled in driving. In the past, he and Akai made a mistake when they were chasing the Black Organization, and he is determined to get revenge.
The one who unites them is their leader, James Black. He is a cool-headed man with a keen eye for observation.
The three of them are chasing the Black Organization under the guise of being on an extended vacation in Japan.
In “The Scarlet Bullet,” the characters are involved in a case in Japan that is very similar to a series of abductions that took place in the U.S. and was under the jurisdiction of the FBI. In addition, the former director of the FBI also appears in the film, so the story is very relevant to them as well.
Point:4 What is the current relationship between Conan (Shinichi), Ran and Haibara?
The relationship between Conan, Ran and Haibara is one of the most important things to understand before watching “The Scarlet Bullet”.
Shinichi and Ran were childhood friends and had feelings for each other, and finally decided to tell each other their feelings and start dating.
Since Shinichi still can’t return to his original form as Conan (and can’t reveal his true identity), they became lovers, albeit via a long-distance relationship. With this premise in mind, it should be easier to understand their relationship, such as in the phone scene between them in “Scarlet Bullet.
In “The Scarlet Bullet,” Conan and Haibara’s joint play is also well depicted. In the past, Haibara was almost in love with Conan, but now she seems to have changed to become just a good friend.
As the story unfolds with this in mind, it would be more enjoyable to review the history of the two in the background of the buddy-like scenes.
In the beginning, Ran and Haibara did not have a good relationship because Haibara was jealous of Ran. However, Ran’s straightforwardness melted Haibara’s heart (Comics vol. 31), and now they are able to get along without any conflict. In this work, the interaction between Ran and Haibara is closely portrayed, which is deeply moving for the fans.
Point:5 A powerful staff that even connoisseurs can enjoy
Before watching “The Scarlet Bullet”, it would be a good idea to know the “personalities” of the staff.
First, let’s talk about the director of the film, Nagaoka Chika. After gaining experience in TV animation and theatrical series, she made her directorial debut with the 23rd film “The Fist of Blue Sapphire”, which was highly acclaimed for its detailed psychological depiction.
She has a deep understanding of the characters and her skills are on full display in “Scarlet Bullet” as she directs Suzuki Sonoko, who had a strong image as an energetic character, to show unprecedented expressions as she struggles with her relationship with her boyfriend Kyogoku Makoto.
Be sure to pay attention to the details, such as Ran’s embarrassed face, Haibara’s relieved smile, and Yumi’s calm and composed expression.
And then there is the screenwriter, Sakurai Takeharu. He is the author of the popular TV drama series “Partners” and the social phenomenon “Zero the Enforcer”. He is good at writing detective stories , so his writing about the FBI has strengthened the element of political suspense.
The clash between Conan’s conviction to “arrest without killing” and the FBI’s conviction to “eliminate threats as a priority” and the socially conscious dialogues included in key parts of the story are a treasure trove of compelling words. The good chemistry between director Nagaoka-san and Sakurai-san is also a major weapon in this film.
Another fun feature of Conan the Movie is that the original writer, Aoyama Goshou, participates in the storyboarding. This time, too, his handwriting is used in storyboards for important scenes. We hope you will enjoy it as well.
“Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet” Film Information
In theaters nationwide from April 16, 2021 on the Toho network.
(C) 2020 Aoyama Goshou / Detective Conan Production Committee