As we continue into this fourth episode, we can see how Conan has become such an extremely popular series in Japan. While the stories are not particularly deep, the mysteries are easy to understand and try to solve without relying on trivial knowledge or having a strong background in science or other fields. Conan having a dual identity with Kudo Shinichi means that kids from elementary through to high school can enjoy the series as well as parents watching the show with their kids. The only warning for parents would be that since this is a mystery show relying quite heavily on murder mysteries and crime, there is some violence and blood in the series.
This fourth episode involving the treasure hunt plays on every kids (and many adults) desire to go treasure hunting and going on an adventure to find something that no one has found or done before. One strength of this show is that we get to watch Conan work on solving a mystery without having to compete with adults for information or otherwise being pushed to the side as an "annoyance". Likewise, we see the characters of Ayumi, Genta and Mitsuhiko develop a little more clearly into who and what they really. Genta's general cluelessness, Mitsuhiko's trivia and attention to detail, as well as Ayumi's perceptiveness and sweetness all start to show more in this episode. Likewise, Conan develops more and more into the "suiri-otaku" or mystery lover that he is.
Another major plus for this series is the music. Well suited to the action and having a good range of different melodies, it does a good job at enhancing the overall story being told in the episode. While the animation quality still isn't the best (it is after a TV series), there is still some good detail overall. The voice acting in this series is truly above par with the voice actors delivering their lines well within character and not sounding as though they are merely reading their lines.
Perhaps the main weakness in this episode is the lack of credibility for certain aspects of the story. Really now, are robbers going to hold off of stealing back a slip of paper which leads to their hidden gold? Likewise, the use of aural markers in the music when a major clue has been uncovered is a little annoying from time to time. Even so, the overall premise to Conan makes for an above-average start to a series which will be very popular with people of all ages.
- JN, 00.05.10