Review of the movie “Detective Conan the Movie: Scarlet Bullet”

The original manga started serialization in “Weekly Shonen Sunday” in 1994, and TV anime started broadcasting in 1996. In 1997, the first movie “Clockwork Skyscraper” was released, and the whole history of the “Detective Conan” series is a little less than 30 years.

After a one-year release postponement because of the novel coronavirus, the latest movie (24th movie), “Detective Conan the Movie: Scarlet Bullet,” has finally been released at theaters.

This time, the story reveals a big incident that occurred before the Tokyo tournament of “WSG (World Sports Games)”, the world’s largest sports festival.
At the opening ceremony, the opening of the “Vacuum Superconducting Maglev”, which boasts a maximum speed of 1000 km / h, was announced. However, an incident occurred at the party venue where the tournament sponsors gathered. The top executives of each company were abducted one after another.
And the content of this case was very similar to the “WSG serial abduction case” that occurred in Boston, USA 15 years ago.

Conan, who start the case investigation, decided to cooperate with FBI agent Akai Shuichi and other members (Jody, Camel, Black) ,who are secretly investigating because it was once under the jurisdiction of the FBI. At the same time, Akai’s mother, Mary, and her daughter, Sera Masumi, who belong to the British spy agency “MI6”, also started the investigation.
In addition, Akai’s younger brother, Haneda Shukichi, and his beloved one, the policewoman of the Metropolitan Police Department, Miyamoto Yumi, will be involved in the incident for some reason, and the “Akai family” will unexpectedly assemble.

The above is the outline of this movie. The highlight is still “Akai Family Gathering”, but it is only one good thing about this movie.
It has a spectacular uniqueness, with the detailed depiction of the characters that charms the core fans, and the essence of solid political suspense, yet the balance of each element is very good.
Even time limit suspense of “Case Closed: The Time Bombed Skyscraper”, “Case Closed: Captured in Her Eyes “, “Case Closed: Countdown to Heaven”, “Detective Conan: Quarter of Silence”, “Zero Enforcer”, and others will be included, and it will entertain the audience in every corner.

In this article, we will introduce the charms of the movie “Detective Conan the Movie: Scarlet Bullet” from the perspective of a serious fan while avoiding spoilers.

The story of “world specifications” tailored to the Akai family
First of all, one of the advantages is the basic story structure of this work.
Speaking of Conan movies, the setting of “location” is clever every time. “Strategy Above the Depths” happens in a luxury liner, “The Lost Ship in the Sky” on an airplane, and so on, so the suspense element is enhanced by setting the situation, but this time it is “SCMaglev”. It is called the “Japanese bullet” because of its maximum speed is 1000km / h.

If you are a fan, this “bullet” is a hint for you. Conan is called the “silver bullet” by Vermouth from the Black Organization as a threat that destroys the organization itself, which was also the name originally given to Akai. In short, the word “bullet” is reminiscent of Akai.

And, in order to involve Akai and the FBI, past incidents of WSG at the U.S. is brought out as part of the settings.
By setting “Sports Festival in Japan”, it is possible to develop a story that is conscious of the world while being set in Japan. The inevitability that not only the FBI but also MI6 will move is based on the idea, “dignitaries from each country assembled in Japan.”

In addition, the need for the FBI to move is strengthened by leaving the former FBI Director as a key member of the WSG. This work is a magnificent story in which the Conan & FBI & Akai family all together challenge one case, and the setting of this part is created well.

Also, from the time of the opening, it has been made completely different from the past work, and it will surprise audience.
This work starts in Detroit 15 years ago, and a part of the WSG serial abduction case is drawn along with the blues harp played by street musicians. English staff credits emerge there, and an overseas movie-like opening sequence unfolds.
The production that is clearly conscious of the “overseas” makes us feel a challenging spirit is significantly different from the past movies.

In this way, “Scarlet Bullet” shows the tense beginning, but the situation setting of the SCMaglev is also composed well.
Incidents occur both inside and outside the train that moves at a 1000 km / h speed, and the highlights of Conan, FBI, and the Akai family are shown at the same time. Further details will be spoilers, so we will not tell it, but the speedy development that each character solves multiple cases and links them brings entertainment and exhilaration to the story.
It can be said that this is a good example of both the propositions of recent Conan movies, “character showcase” and “strength as a story”.

Reality-oriented script by Sakurai Takeharu
The greatness of the setting comes from the skills of Takeharu Sakurai, a scriptwriter of the popular dramas “Aibo” and the movie “Zero’s Enforcer”. It is interesting that his participation, who specializes in criminal stories with elements of political suspense, creates a social drama atmosphere.

For example, during the story, some lines warn against slander on the internet that “America is tough for those who succumb to terrorism”, and “It is an era when others who have no interests attack in a bundle”.
There are also scenes where the FBI says, “Thieves should be eliminated”, and Conan confronts the difference in beliefs with, “Even thugs don’t deserve to die.” It is also a part that clearly shows the difference between the American stance in the gun society, which is opposite to Japanese, and many moments depict various problems of modern society in “Detective Conan”.

The criminal’s motive is also quite tasteful, including the line on the flyers “The chain of sorrow is now accelerating”, which makes the viewer think more even after watching.
In the first place, it was planned to draw an event that clearly reminds us of the Tokyo Olympics, and to hit the story that “a bloody incident will occur before the opening ceremony” at the time of the event (originally scheduled to be released just before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics). So, when you look at the actual event, you can see that it is a very aggressive project.

Nowadays, the Conan movie is recognized as a festival movie that is sure to be a big hit, but the story of this work, while preparing a showcase called “Akai Family Gathering”, is taking a lot from the real world.
In addition to the moments from above, the tricks used by criminals to cause terrorism involving the general public also use medical expertise. Also, there are some small stories such as “USMS (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and FBI are not on good terms, so it is difficult to ask for information.”

It may seem like “creating a place for the Akai family to play a more active role”, but in “Scarlet Bullet” a story linked to the real world is unfolding more than ever.
As a result, it can be said that it is noteworthy that there is a profound feeling.

The tag battle full of characters’ love is hot!
However, it is wonderful that it covers the development that entertains the fans while incorporating such realistic elements. It’s not just about making the Akai family appear, it’s also preparing tag battles in various ways.
Not only Conan and Akai, but also Conan and Sera, Sera and Mary, Akai and Haneda, and other popular characters appeared together in several joint battles can only be seen in this movie.

For example, when Akai (Okiya Subaru) is waiting for Conan in front of Dr. Agasa’s house, and a scene where they hold a “strategy meeting” while driving, a brother-sister confrontation between Akai and Sera, etc. We want to avoid the details because it is better to watch, but even in casual scenes, many things will delight fans, and make them say, “this interaction is hot!”.
In addition, in the scene where Conan and Sera form a tag team, a thrilling offense and defense are drawn in which Conan faces a case resolution while exchanging a search from Sera who is convinced that Conan’s identity is Shinichi.

Also, the way of drawing the early members Conan, Ran, and Haibara is exquisite. The exchange between Shinichi (Conan) and Ran, who became lovers after confessing feelings on a sunny day, has become more intimate, and it should be deeply emotional for fans who have followed the series for many years (Well prepared “Ran!” and “Shinichi!”).

Furthermore, in this work, the cooperation between Conan and Haibara explodes. Conan’s overwhelming trust in Haibara was shown many times, and while Haibara grumbles, “You’re treating me bad”, and she is practically Conan’s best companion. It is nice to see the strong love of the creators for their characters.
Although it is a small part, the scene where Haibara wears Conan’s spare glasses has a special meaning for fans.

Originally, in “Pisco Arc” (comics volume 24), in which she fell into distress of desperation, Conan handed her glasses to Haibara, saying, “If you put it on, they won’t catch you.” Since then, Haibara often wore glasses in serious times such as the important moment (volume 42) when Jody and Vermouth confront each other, but this time it was set to prepare in advance so that an unexpected situation occurred in Conan.
Haibara, who has a tragic past, gradually finds her place, which is an important highlight of the “Detective Conan” series, but in this work, that awareness can be felt here and there.

It is a nice moment for fans to see a lot of interaction between Ran and Haibara when Haibara tossed Ran and bothered him, and both of them were concerned about Conan’s safety, and the initial communication failure (Haibara Ai rejected Ran). We can say, that for the first time in the movie two of them shown grown up enough to overcome their problems.

Check out the richness of facial expressions drawn by director Nagaoka Chika
The balance between the depiction of each character and the folding of the suspense action is an exquisite work, but we think that Nagaoka Chika, who debuted as a director with “Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire” is just as important as Sakurai’s script.
She is a creator who brought out the new charm of Suzuki Sonoko with “The Fist of Blue Sapphire” and was acclaimed for her delicate psychological depiction and her loving production of the character. In this work as well, you can see many “character exquisite facial expressions” unique to the director Nagaoka.

For example, Ran’s embarrassed expression when she calling Shinichi, the smile that Yumi’s kindness and strength coexist with while watching over Haneda and expressing her unwavering affection, and Akai and Haneda in poses – all character move lively and their facial expressions are rich.
Personally, we were particularly surprised by Haibara, and perhaps because of the depth of the tag battle with Conan as mentioned earlier, each of her facial expressions is really rich. The main story is about the Akai family, but we think the visual that everyone will remember is “Haibara Ai”.

Also, the wonderful collaboration between the director Nagaoka and scriptwriter Sakurai is shown in the scene where Jody talks about the witness protection program.
Her parents were killed by the Black Organization Vermouth, and she has a history of accepting approved protection programs. That’s why talking about approval protection programs is also traumatic for Jody. Her expression on her face makes shows her sadness and anger, yet she determines to move forward.
This is just an example, and the character and story still show a wonderful fusion in the play.

About action, there is a tremendous showcase in the second half of “Scarlet Bullet”, and you will be surprised at the theater. We hope that you will enjoy the all details of the new Conan movie, which is a wonderful work with all the spirit, technique, and physical strenth.

(C) 2020 Aoyama Gosho / Detective Conan Production Committee