Length: 110 minutes
Director: Chika Nagaoka
Cast: Minami Yakayama, Wakana Yamazaki, Rikiya Koyama, Shuichi Ikeda
Release date: In theatres 22 April (Singapore)
2.5 out of 5 stars
Just like the title suggests, Detective Conan the Movie: The Scarlet Bullet moves at a frantic, breakneck speed with little preamble and pauses for breath.
Initially slated for release in April 2020, the movie was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be released in Cathay Cineplex theatres around Singapore on 22 April.
It revolves around the protagonist Conan Edogawa's (voiced by Minami Takayama) investigation into a series of kidnappings around the launch of the World Sports Games and the release of an avant-garde bullet train.
Launching straight into the premise, the movie starts with the opening ceremony of the World Sports Games in Tokyo, which you might say is similar (or exactly the same) as the Olympics.
In conjunction with the announcement, the world's first Vacuum Superconducting Maglev is unveiled to the awe of Conan and his friends. But suddenly, the lights go out and havoc reigns, with Conan going into detective mode and trying to figure out the cause of the blackout and why one of the WSG's sponsors suddenly disappears.
As the chase ensues, more sponsors are kidnapped, and Conan observes a pattern in these kidnappings. In pursuit of them, Conan often does an Inspector Gadget, pulling out handy gizmos like a motorised skateboard that moves as quickly as a car, and a badge pin that acts as a walkie-talkie.
It doesn't help that his deductions, often made on the fly and rattled into his smartphone while zig-zagging through dangerous situations, are often made with obscure references and names which are quickly forgotten.
There is also a brief background introduction as to how Conan, who is actually a genius teenager, was shrunk into a pre-teen's body by mistake, and now he has to live with it permanently with a family who doesn't know that their son is a genius detective.
Kinda confusing if you don't follow the Detective Conan comics, which is serialised on Weekly Shounen Sunday and has sold more than 230 million copies worldwide, for those who are not fans and are interested in getting to know the series better.
There are a gamut of characters whose roles are tough to remember if you don't follow the comics.
Conan's trusty partner is Ai Haibara (Megumi Hayashibara), a little girl who is most often with him on the phone, feeding him information on blind spots and orchestrating his actions from afar.
There are different points of view happening while Conan pursues the main plot; one involving a comrade and FBI sharpshooter, Shuichi Akai (Shuichi Ikeda), who can apparently (and absurdly) shoot across thousands of kilometres and hit his target in a moving bullet train.
Absolutely ridiculous, yet a defining theme and key feature of Japanese anime.
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