As we (dcfc) have previously reported, Detective Conan will be adapted into its first live-action drama series. Named Thursday Mystery Theater – Detective Conan: A Challenge Letter to Kudou Shinichi, the drama will be aired on Japanese broadcasting networks YTV and NTV from July 7, 2011 onward. Following the television special that aired in April this year, Kudou Shinichi will be played by Mizobata Junpei, while Mouri Ran will be played by Kutsuna Shiori.
The Detective Conan manga by Aoyama Gosho started serialization in Weekly Shonen Sunday (published by Shogakukan) in 1994. An anime adaptation that started in 1996 celebrates its
Mizobata Junpei as Shinichi and Kutsuna Shiori as Ran
15th anniversary this year, while the movies that have been released annually since 1997 have also gained great popularity. For live-action adaptations, there have been two television drama specials where Oguri Shun played Shinchi, and one television special where Mizobata Junpei played Shinchi.
The live-action drama series this time will be set three months before Shinchi turned into Conan. Each episode starts with Shinichi, well-known as a high school detective, receiving a letter that challenges him to stop a potential murder. Each case is resolved within one episode, and the drama will be targeted at adults. While the previous three television specials all had original storylines, materials from the manga will be included this time. The cast from the third television special is kept; Mouri Kogorou will be played by Jinnai Takanori, Kisaki Eri by Ohtsuka Nene, and Suzuki Sonoko by Akimoto Sayaka. In addition, another popular character—Shinichi’s rival, the great detective of the west—Hattori Heiji will have a live-action actor for the first time.
This is the first time in three years that Mizobata Junpei is taking a starring role in a drama series. “I’m more confident compared to three years ago, but I’m also more worried since the pressure on me is larger this time. There are a lot of fans of the original series, but I want to make this character my own, and let others think that Kudou Shinichi=Mizobata Junpei,” said the actor. “The highlights of this drama include the surprising sides of Kudou Shinichi, the daily lives of Shinichi and Ran, and many other things that couldn’t be included in a two-hour television special. It’s a late-night drama, but since it’s the summer vacation, I’ll try my best to make it a series that both adults and children can enjoy,” Mizobata said enthusiastically.
The drama series keeps the cast from the third live-action television special.
Kutsuna Shiori, who plays Ran, said many people approached her after the television special aired in April. “It really reminded me all over again just how popular Conan is. I’ll continue to play Ran in the drama series, and the pressure remains, but I’ll do my best!” the actress said, all set to give it her all.
“I’ve watched it—The Mystery of the Strange Bird Legend! Somehow it feels like a story from Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo(laughs),” said Aoyama Gosho, author of Detective Conan. “It’s true that Mizobata-kun is handsome and Shiori-chan is cute and pretty, but… I pointed to the screen lots of times, shouting “Hey, aren’t you guys a little too lovey-dovey?!” (laughs). In the manga, the relationship between the two hadn’t developed that far at that time, but well, I guess this version worked out too (laughs).” Besides commenting about the third live-action special, Aoyama also talked about his expectations for the upcoming drama series. “It’s the first drama series, but it seems like they’ll also be doing cases I wrote in the manga, so I’m really excited! I’d love to see Heiji in real life, but besides the Kansai accent, what’re they gonna do about the dark skin? (laughs)”
A scene from the third live-action television special, The Mystery of the Strange Bird Legend
The Detective Conan drama will start on July 7, airing every Thursday at 11:58pm.