If there's something just as clockwork as time and taxes, it's a yearly Detective Conan movie. This one was the 2019 movie (as they air during Golden Week in Japan, which is April, and then typically manage to get to other countries around October of that year. The past few movies have taken even longer to reach foreign shores).
While I certainly don't regret watching it, especially as a fan of the Kaito Kid-Conan Edogawa team up, there are at least two movies which does this concept better justice (movies 10 and 14).
And if you take Kaito Kid out of this movie, the story alone (and even the characters) would not have been able to carry such a strange and convoluted plot.
Is this about politics, pirates, Kaito Kid, Makoto, or Sonoko?
The movie isn't sure, either.
A woman is murdered in Singapore amongst Engrish speaking people (would it kill to get foreign voice actors who can speak the language properly for a nation where English is common?), and suspicion falls on Kaito Kid as his calling card is found nearby steeped in blood.
Meanwhile, Shinichi/Conan is unable to convince Haibara to let him have an antidote in order to accompany Ran and Sonoko (as well as Kogoro and Makoto) to Singapore to watch Makoto compete in an ultimate karate tournament.
Well, can't blame Haibara after the fiasco which had occurred during his school trip, as this occurs sometime shortly after that incident.
However, Kid needs his help...so Conan finds his way to Singapore in a rather unexpected (or perhaps not to the audience) way.
From there, things go about as expected for a Conan movie including obvious culprits, murder, and even a love side-story (only this time, it's between Sonoko and Makoto).
The Kid-Conan team up was what carried this movie from start to finish as the movie bounced between them and the Sonoko-Makoto happenings.
The plot was at first simple, but then became so twisted that it felt like even the movie's own writers didn't know where they wanted to go with it. The reveal also didn't do a very good job at wrapping up all the points and putting them together in a coherent manner. 4/10
The typical Conan-crew, though the shounen taintei (Detective Boys) only showed up briefly when Conan phoned Haibara for information on a suspect.
We also see Makoto again; Sonoko's boyfriend, in case anyone has forgotten (and considering how rarely he shows up in the TV show and even the manga...case in point).
Then, there are the antagonists who...uh...have overly complicated plans? By the end, it's a head-scratcher on their motives and conflicting goals with the same group they're using to complete those goals. The lead antagonist (especially to viewers who figure it out; it's not hard to do so) flops around more time than a fish out of water.
The characters are fairly uninspired. Leon is actually an interesting character to start with, but I feel like they could have shown him as a much more cunning character than what we saw. Sure, we saw plenty of his cunning, but it just feels like he could have been a lot more what with his ability for (criminal) psychology.
Everyone else performs just as we'd expect: Conan (and Kid) do most of the work, Kogoro spends most of the time drunk, ect. Makoto's dilemma could have been a rather interesting one if it was given some more time, but the movie was already stretched too thin to do so.
Nothing really new, here; lots of potential, but it felt unfulfilling for most of them. 5/10
Animation and Sound
Not too many complaints with the animation. There was a moment of flashing lights near the end in an "epic power up" moment during the climax (which was a little disorienting), but otherwise the animation was smooth and easy to follow as per usual for Detective Conan. There was no jarring CGI (which plagued a couple past movies), though the one thing which is preventing me from giving the animation full marks is the uninspired "tension" scene of the water-light show.
The show was rather pretty, but it wasn't pretty enough to be breathtaking and that section of the movie just felt boring. It was supposed to build tension, but I just kept waiting for them to move onto the next part; the animation (nor music) was able to do much for me there.
Animation was great aside from a hiccup here and there. 9/10
The sound...hoo-boy. This was a huge failure. The standard voice actors did fine, and the person voicing Leon really brought out the feel of his character. It's the "Engrish" I have a problem with.
They could have based this in Japan, or another country where English isn't (one of) the main languages, and gotten away witih the cringe-worthy Engrish. However, they decided to base the movie in Singapore (where English is one of the couple most common languages) and it was just super cringy.
If the characters weren't speaking in "Engrish", they were talking like the Singapore Detective was: In an attempt to not have it sound like "Engrish", it came off as very monotone, flat, and dull. It was pronounced properly, but sounded more like a child in elementary school reading a passage of information out loud from a textbook.
I breathed a sigh of relief whenever the characters switched back to Japanese.
Also, was not a fan of the ending song (a rarity, as the DC movies usually have awesome songs).
To be honest, the majority of the low rating is due to the "Engrish"...which was used far too often in the movie to forgive. 4/10
Wait...this is the Detective Conan movie which I heard beat out The Avengers at the box office in Japan?
For real? This movie?
That isn't to say the movie is a complete flop (and I haven't seen the Avengers movie so I personally can't compare them); I unfortunately can't fully discuss what really made it so bad in terms of the plot without spoiling the entire thing, but I will say that the end antagonist was obvious and the motives were boring and sort of a "where did that come from?" sort of thing.
Of course, the movie carried high ratings due to the Kid-Conan team up. It's always awesome watching those two having to work together...and again, I feel like that combo is what carried the entire movie on its back from the starting line to the finish line.
Ran getting a piece of the action also helped out...but honestly, if you want to see a much better Conan-Kid team where things make more sense and isn't just complicated for complication's sake, then I'd recommend movie 14.
The Conan-Kid combination was the saving grace of this movie, and had Haibara caved and given Conan the antidote (and Kid not been framed and thus involved), it's doubtful the movie would have been as successful as it was since it would have had to rely more heavily on the Makoto-Sonoko happenings.
Another saving grace of the movie came in a small form: Conan's Singapore alias.
More specifically, the use of "Arthur" as his name.
One can say that it fits in with being a parallel of his name (especially when he explains where he got it from), but I also believe that it might be a little nod to the fans of the series as "Arthur" is a common name in Detective Conan fanfiction (typically as the child of Shinichi and Ran, though sometimes used otherwise).
Even I've used it, so it was really cool to see that appear in the movie.
Besides the Kid-Conan combo and that little nod with "Arthur", none of the scenes of the movie truly stand out to me (okay, there are a couple more scenes which do, but they involve spoilers so I'm not going to mention them).
It was fun to watch, and I would suggest it to other Detective Conan fans, but don't ask me to try to explain all of the plotlines or the ending; even I'm scratching my head over a couple unexplained plotholes (which again, I can't go into as that's super spoiler territory).
I'd suggest movie 14 over this one (or even movies 10 or 8).
So, definitely a worthwhile watch for fans...but many of the previous movies did a much better job. I mostly enjoyed the movie, but I can't see myself watching it again or giving it too much more thought. 5/10
One of the best Detective Conan movies for sure. Truthfully, I stalled around episode 500 of the main series. But the movies I make certain to watch. Hopefully all the eng dub haters out there eat some of their words for the quality of the english voice acting in the Japanese dub. LOL. I always say, the voice acting could be good, could be bad. Unless you speak both languages, you are not qualified to make that call. My favorite line was "Someone pushed me in the back!"
I digress, this movie is freaking epic.
After first hearing about this movie, I had a pretty good feeling about what I was getting into: it will be really weird, but a little fun. For one, I had no idea how a movie set outside japan will be done, let alone it being focused on a character I almost forgot about. However, with it being another Kaito Kid movie, I felt assured that we would at least get some fun moments thrilling heists and goofy not-Shinichi moments. And sure enough, that's exactly what I got (warning: long review full of spoilers).
To start with, this movie looks really good! Whether it’s because of how much effort they put into the art style and animation or I’ve just gotten used to the old style while re-watching the series, this is definitely one of the best looking movies in the series. The luxurious setting of Marina Sands Bay really makes it possible for some beautiful eye candy. The animation during intense scenes is insane and over the top (as is the norm with these movies).
Kaito Kid returns and he needs Conan’s help! Having been rivals for nearly 23 years, it’s always fun to see them working together. The pacing of this movie is also really good. Everything moves at a snappy pace when it needs to, only slowing down either to reflect on the case or for some much needed down time. My favorite scenes are definitely Kaito’s heists as these are the scenes where the most action is going on.
Lots of high praise, for sure. But unfortunately, this movie does have some faults I can’t ignore. While the mystery is interesting, there were some bits that were a bit hard to follow. It also doesn’t help that the villains aren’t particularly impressive. The central antagonist is just so blatantly bad. For the real culprit, I had a hard time understanding how he was able to manipulate everything to his favor. The only other villain I can enjoy is the one who just wants to fight Makoto and he barely gets any characterization.
The other weak point for me was Makoto and Sonoko’s subplot. It’s got its moments, like Sonoko going out her way to help Makoto get back into the tournament, when she gets attacked as well as the secret of Makoto’s bandage. My only problem was this whole drama that develops between them. I don’t really think it was necessary. Also, I’m not a big fan of how the main antagonist... uh... “hypnotizes” him to not fight and stuff until the end. That was just weird.
So yeah, weird stuff. But overall, the pros out way the cons (just slightly). If you love Kaito Kid and really cool action, then you’ll totally dig this film. Who knows? Maybe you might like Makoto and the villains more than I did. For me, I would probably put this movie between Movie 9 (Strategy Above the Depths) and Movie 1 (The Time-Bombed Skyscraper). A very fun movie, despite its flaws. Check it out if you’re interested.