Aoyama Goushou Tanpenshuu
Released Year : March 17, 1999 to December 22, 1999
No of Episodes : 7
Genre : Adventure
Plot : GOSHO collection reveals the origin of the smash hit “Detective Conan.” “GO” into his world, and we will “SHO” you SEVEN romantic and exciting stories created by GOSHO AOYAMA. WAIT FOR ME (30 min.) A genius inventor, who is still a high school student, has a girlfriend two years older than him. One day, he invents a time machine and attempts to go two years back into the past, to become the same age as her. However, it is she who ultimately uses the machine to travel through time! TEN PLANETS IN THE NIGHT SKY (10 min.) Meet Baby Conan! Yukiko Kudo is looking for her missing husband. The only clue to find him again is to decipher a mysterious message left for her. Their baby, Shinichi Kudo, one who later becomes the famous high school Detective Conan, will at this age already be offering some important hints for her. THE WANDERING RED BATTERFLY (7 min.) A handsome detective, Yusaku Kitakata, receives phone calls from a mysterious woman day after day, with a new case each day. He of course solves them one by one. But the biggest mystery is who is this mysterious woman? PLAY IT AGAIN (30 min.) Thanks to the mystical powers of a Cherry Blossom Tree, a 70-year-old man with a secret sword technique goes back into the past and becomes the same age as his granddaughter. While enjoying his youth for the second time around, he notices that a player is after his granddaughter. SANTA CLAUS IN SUMMER (30 min.) Keisuke, a young man of 17, accidentally activates the Earth Destruction System. The destiny of the Earth now depends on whether he can stop the system within 24 hours. However, suddenly amnesia strikes him and he forgets the pin number to stop the system. The time is running out... DETECTIVE GEORGE’S SPECIAL CASE (30 min.) A girl is fleeing from men in black. She runs into a detective agency and discovers that the detective there is a super-miniature-size, cool dude. He risks his life trying to solve a case for this client. Will they come through in the end? MAKING OF DETECTIVE CONAN (7 min.) Do you know how to make animation? Everybody wants to see the workings of an animation studio. Based on the concept of Detective Conan, the three sub-characters visit the animation studio of Detective Conan. This episode will surely catch the hearts of Detective Conan fans! [The actual animation is also involved in this special.] (Source: TMS Entertainment, LTD)
Our Review : Aoyama Goshou is best-known for ‘Meitantei Conan’, a detective manga series that already spans over 17 years of serialization with more years to come. But his magnum opus didn’t come out of nothing – for years, Aoyama experimented with his drawing style and storytelling techniques in order to create a most successful combination. We can see that in Magic Kaito and Yaiba – but Goshou is also responsible for a set of short stories that he made during his first years as a mangaka. And here we have an adaptation of these short stories – ‘Aoyama Goshou Tanpenshuu’.
As the title suggests, it is a set of standalone different episodes that illustrate Aoyama’s work. The episodes vary in length considerably – from a 7-minute shorts (mostly ‘Detective Conan’-related) to 30-minute episodes with a complete storyline and no direct connection to DC. But even while watching episodes that have seemingly no relation to Conan, you can’t help noticing multiple similarities.
And that is, in my opinion, the most interesting thing about this title – we have an opportunity to see the creative process of mangaka, how various ideas were born in Aoyama’s head and later successfully implemented into DC. For example, we get to see a little, but at the same time adult detective in one of the short stories. The idea of a character waiting for his beloved one because of her mysterious disappearance (in DC, it’s the other way around) also originates from Aoyama’s earlier work and it’s also adapted here. The concept of suddenly becoming much younger can be found in one of the stories, too.
The same voice cast(only in different roles), soundtrack by Katsuo Ohno and easily recognizable Aoyama’s style turned into animation by TMS Entertainment – all these facts strongly suggest that it is a DC special, though most stories don’t feature Conan at all.
And so, the question arises – ‘Does this title have any value by itself?’ My answer is – yes, but not too much. The stories themselves are nice and well-made (one is even based on an award-winning one shot), but that’s all – I wouldn’t call them outstanding. You still may like it neverthealess, even if you are not familiar with Aoyama’s works.
But in order to fully enjoy ‘Aoyama Goshou Tanpenshuu’, you must at least know what DC is about – simply to understand all the connections between them. This is, in my opinion, how a special should be done – considerably long, well-drawn, with a meaningful story that adds something to the main title (not the 2-minute flash animations that don’t have anything except fanservice and bad attempts at humor). Others(not familiar with DC) may not enjoy it much, but this title can also be seen as a good DC introduction – imagine ‘Aoyama Goshou Tanpenshuu’ in a more detective-like manner and you will find out if DC is for you or not.
Overall, it’s an excellent special, a true present to DC fans. If you consider yourself to be one and by any chance missed this title, watch it as soon as you can. And if you do, you will see the world DC universe came from – the universe, for the creation of which many detective fans will always be grateful to Aoyama-sensei.