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ABOUT ME

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 wandering teacher striving to enhance my skills. I'm also a longtime anime fan, and my all-time favorite anime/manga franchises include Detective Conan (Case Closed), MAJOR, Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X), Silver Spoon, 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.

The Otaku Teacher

10. It's been a while since I've posted here. So I decided to it "Top 10" style -- in the way it's supposed to be done, saving the very best for last.

9. I managed to finish my first semester as a teacher. It was pretty tough, but I still managed to pull it off.

8. I'm still teaching this semester. This time, it's Developmental Psychology and -- wait for it -- Entrepreneurship for Tourism. And I know, it's odd.

7. The latter course is expected to have a SWOT analysis, a business plan, and a feasibility study. And since I never had this course in my college life, this is gonna be pretty tough. Hopefully, I get through this without sounding very ignorant to students.

6. One sign that you're getting older: You finally have an anime specialty shop in your city after years of waiting, yet you couldn't make yourself buy what you wished you had bought when you were a teenager since you're a freakin' adult already.

5. Detective Conan plushie? Too old for it. Detective Conan figurine? Same thing (but under consideration). Detective Conan poster? Same thing, plus I like my bedroom poster-free. Man, I'm old.

4. There was a Detective Conan watch for sale, which would've been great except for the fact that it could hardly tell me the exact time. And isn't that what a watch is for?

3. So I finally have a scanner at home, after years of wishing for one to scan fan art and stuff. And yet, I haven't even scanned one yet -- unless if you count my childhood painting as a "fan art".

2. The other day, I had a really long walk under the heat of the sun in search for a shortcut. I messed up along the way, causing me to get lost for a brief period of time before finally arriving at my destination. And Google Maps showed that it was a really, really long walk. But that story's for another day.

AND NUMBER ONE...

1. This year marks my 9th year here in theOtaku. Less than a year from now, I'll be marking my 10th anniversary in this site. Good grief! It's amazing how time flies.

That's all for today. HAVE A NICE DAY!

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!