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WHO I AM

You can call me The Mask. In some sites, I'm also known as Detective Mask. I was born on April 12, 1990, making me 24 years old as of this time. I've been a theOtaku member for over 10 years already.

I'm a licensed teacher and I currently work part-time as an undergraduate psychology instructor. I'm a longtime anime fan, and my all-time favorite anime shows include Detective Conan (Case Closed), MAJOR, Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X), and Death Note.

Some other notes: I'm a loyal Detective Conan fan for over a decade already. I'm also a pro-wrestling otaku, mainly with WWE. I love learning about history and I have a soft spot for social psychology.

It's great to have you in my Cafe. Feel free to browse around. Take care and may you have a nice day!

20 Years of Detective Conan

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Since I'm probably one of the most vocal Detective Conan fans here in theOtaku, I think it's obligatory for me to make this post.

Way back in January 19, 2014, the very first chapter of the manga comics for Detective Conan (名探偵コナン) was released in Shonen Sunday. Twenty years later, the manga continues to stay strong, the anime still gets viewers hooked, and the franchise continues to expand further with successful movies, merchandise, and spin-offs.

I can't really say a lot at this point, since I've probably elaborated so much on why I love Detective Conan over the past years. (If you really wanna read it, you can go read Why I Admire Conan, Happy Meal Moments with Conan, and A Decade of Conan).

Let's just say that I wouldn't be who I am right now had I not crossed paths with the franchise. I've always felt that the year 2001 was a very significant year in my childhood, and much of it is because it is when I first became a Detective Conan fan.

Now, I've grown up a lot and I've become better than how I used to be. I became a psychology graduate, a teacher, an aspiring artist, a fluent speaker, a self-professed "detective of life", and a freaking board exam topnotcher. And a large part of this is thanks to Conan Edogawa. I probably can't imagine how my life would've been if Detective Conan did not exist at all. Now if only Conan grew up with me as well...

Anyway, happy 20th anniversary, Detective Conan! I wish everyone in the franchise the very best as they celebrate this landmark anniversary. I especially congratulate Gosho Aoyama on being able to make it this far.

To end this post, let me just say that though twenty years has passed, one thing will always remain. There will always be only one truth!

My Response to "House of 1000 Manga - Case Closed"

This is my (somewhat informal) response to the Ms. Shaenon Garrity's feature article "House of 1000 Manga - Case Closed" on Anime News Network. Because it's lengthy, I decided to publish it here as well.

I'm a Detective Conan fan for over a decade already, and I'm really thrilled to see a feature for this series here in ANN. It also seems fitting that this feature was released this month, when the series is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Here are my thoughts:

The casual juxtaposition of cute kiddie artwork and brutal crime scenes remains faintly bizarre no matter how long you keep reading, but it's probably a big part of why grade-schoolers like Case Closed: it's kid-oriented enough to feel safe, crime-oriented enough to feel dangerous.

I think Ms. Garrity really hit the mark with this particular quote.

I've tried reading other detective stories after becoming a fan of Detective Conan. But as you mentioned, this one is really unique in having such an unique yet charming mix of cartoonish art and graphic violence. This is what's admirable about Aoyama's work in Detective Conan, and it's an art style that I hope to emulate in the future.

Meanwhile, Funimation and Viz couldn't call the series Detective Conan because of the threat of a lawsuit from the holders of the rights to Conan the Barbarian, who has his own rival comic books.

I've heard this story several times, and I can't help but get angry at this. The idea that a comic publisher can actually extend so much of its licensing rights for the name "Conan", to the point that it can even stop an unrelated series with "Conan" in its title, is just irritating, selfish, and annoying for me.

But I guess the problem isn't so much about the title alone. The fact that so much of the names of the characters had been changed has been a source of frustration for me as well. If the issue was really with the Conan the Barbarian copyright, then why did the names have to be changed?

I once read that the Japanese licensing companies in charge of the series actually requested the Westernized version of the names so that it would somehow become the next Pokemon. Unfortunately, it didn't succeed as they hoped. I'm not sure if you can confirm that, though, since it was just something I read in another forum.

Still, I think the Westernized names became a factor in the lukewarm acceptance of the series compared to other shows. Jimmy Kudo was tolerable, since the surname wasn't changed. Rachel Moore was just wrong for me, though; they could've at least kept the Mouri surname instead.

This is why I dislike the idea of calling Detective Conan as Case Closed. The latter franchise has revamped a lot of important plot elements that you can really distinguish the two from each other on different factors.

But at least he has a lot of freedom, thanks to his parents being constantly out of town and arguably criminally negligent.

This is one plot element that somehow appears bizarre to me. But I'm not sure if this is a cultural thing, though, or probably a reflection of how Japanese people used to live in the 1990s. After all, MAJOR, another Shonen Sunday manga title which debuted in the same year that Detective Conan did, also depicted a 6-year-old constantly living alone in his house while his father was busy working as a professional baseball player.

Often these ideas go into mystery plots, of course, but he's just as happy to spend a page having Conan explain how to efficiently clean a room (start at the top and work down!), letting Anita talk about the differences between school lunches in Japan and in her own childhood in the U.S., or sharing a casual conversation between two characters who need a little development.

There's a chapter about that? I think I can really use that right now. Hehe...

The plot that builds the most slowly is the main one: the story of how Jimmy uses his identity as Conan Edogawa to track down the “Men in Black” who turned him into a six-year-old and, hopefully, find a cure...For readers eager for the solution to the mystery, this can be frustrating, but the only cure is to relax and enjoy the murder of the week.

Yup, you hit the mark once again. But it can't be helped; it's been 20 years already since the manga began, and in the real world, Conan should have been a grown-up already by now.

This is actually part of my frustration with the series. There is a lack of physical development in the characters, yet there is a clear presence of technological advancement in its contexts. This is a bit disappointing and illogical for a detective series that is supposed to have utilized logic as its primary asset. At least, that's what I believe.

He's one of the manga artists I'd most like to meet. If someone here has met him, and he's super boring, don't tell me. I prefer the mystery.

Same here. Even if he ends up being boring, I wouldn't mind meeting him at least once in my life. Partly because I'm a bit boring myself (hehe...), but mostly because he has created the series that has become one of the most significant influence in my life, even until now. It has its faults, but Detective Conan will always have a special place in my heart.

I'm Featured!

So I got a pleasant surprise today. My Case Closed eCard got featured in the main page of the site today.

I never thought that would happen, considering that this was intended to be a submission for a Beatles eCard challenge.

But I have to admit, I myself liked this card. It feels warm and the background really gives me that 1960s feeling, which is quite appropriate for a Beatles-inspired eCard. Heck, I never thought I'd be able to produce something like this at all.

I hope you enjoy this card too.

Gold Mine!

So I played around with the Wayback Machine to look at old archives of Internet websites. In particular, I browsed on archived pages of the now-defunct DetectiveConan.com. Back then, it was a fan site that was privileged to have acquired a domain name that made itself look like the official website for the series. (At present, the fan site itself is closed and the URL now redirects to the FUNimation website for Case Closed).

But going back to the web archive. The site had a section wherein you can send your thoughts and messages to Gosho Aoyama, the creator of the series. Being an avid fan who happened to be a newbie of the Internet at that time, I decided to send my own message in the site, hoping that Mr. Aoyama would be able to read it. When I saw my message posted online, I was delighted like the 12-year-old kid that I was back then.

And now, thanks to the powers of the Wayback Machine, I've managed to recover that message that I posted more than 8 years ago, for everyone to see. And here was that message:

Mon, 24 Mar 2003 19:10:02 -0800

Hello Gosho. I'm Jess from the Philippines and I REALLY like Detective
Conan. I like the story, the cases that you make, and the intelligent
and
handsome Shinichi Kudou.
Thank you Gosho for creating Detective Conan.

(Source: Gosho Aoyama - DetectiveConan.com (April 1, 2003 archive))

Admittedly, it was simple. But hey, it brought back memories of how much I loved the series as a young teenager fresh out of puberty. And it just reminded me how much I admired Shinichi for being intelligent and handsome and how I wanted to be like him. I believe I've accomplished the intelligent part; not sure if I've accomplished the handsome part.

As to whether Mr. Aoyama did get to read it, I don't really know. After all, it was in the English language and this wasn't actually an official website. It would be cool if he actually got to read it. Or who knows, he might be reading it here now. But that would mean he's read the other stuff in this World. Gasp!

Ah, good times. Now, I gotta catch up on the series!

A Decade of Conan

I've been wanting to write this months ago, but I didn't seem to have the time to do it then. Before this year ends, I wanted to make sure that this post is written down.

All of you probably know by now that I am a Detective Conan fan. The question is when I became a fan. Well, it all began in 2001, when I was first saw the anime series in a local TV network in the country. Though it didn't actually impress me at first, I eventually started to like the show, particularly its plot, and grow into a huge fan of the series. That's why when they pulled the plug on Conan during that year, I was disappointed and I hoped that I would be able to see it again soon.

Luckily for me, they brought it back a year or so later. And a few years later, I also learned how to use the Internet, which allowed me to enjoy and express my fandom even further.

I actually gave much detail about my Detective Conan fandom in a lot of my previous fanwords, most notably Why I Admire Conan. So let's fast forward to why I'm posting this now.

As you may have noticed already, it's 2011, and just a few days left before it becomes 2012. This means that I have been a Detective Conan fan for 10 years already. Let me repeat that: TEN YEARS!

This is one reason why this year is special for me. This year marked a decade of my Detective Conan fandom, which is a really significant anniversary for me. And looking back, I'm often amazed at how things have evolved. Just ten years ago, I was an 11-year-old uninspired elementary student who eventually found a new inspiration through this anime series. Now, I'm a 21-year-old psychology graduate with a noble desire to be a teacher soon, while having the most absurd desire of running for President decades from now. And, interestingly enough, these goals and desires of mine was partly thanks to Conan.

If it weren't for Conan, I couldn't imagine what I would have become today. I probably wouldn't have been a psychology graduate, since that was partly motivated by Conan. I wouldn't have enjoyed doing research, which I got from Conan's resourcefulness. I wouldn't have aspired to be a teacher, which was inspired by my desire to impart what I know to others. When I look at today's youth, I don't see a human being incapable of reason; I see individuals who each have the capability to be like Conan/Shinichi, and this becomes my motivation to be a good teacher to them.

If there's one thing that I really need to do at this point, it's to catch up with the series. Seriously, I'm way behind the plot of the series. New characters have emerged and new twists have taken place. And considering that there's over 500 episodes of the series and over 70 manga volumes, I still have a lot to watch or read on.

At this point, I'm just happy that it's been 10 years already. Ten years of being a fan of the Detective Conan franchise. Ten years of having Conan/Shinichi as the imaginary friend and brother that I never had. Ten years of having Conan as a significant inspiration in my life, along with my other inspirations.

Thanks for everything, Conan. I hope that this continues as we approach a new year.