As of January 2019, 22 films have been made in the long-running Detective Conan film series.
Among them, the sixth film, “The Ghosts of Baker Street” (2002), is the one that has received high praise from fans.
Every year, the movie series recovers foreshadowing that was not revealed in the original story, or introduces new characters ahead of the original story, and the 22nd movie, “Zero Executioner” (2018), grossed over 8.8 billion at the box office. What is the reason why “Ghosts of Baker Street” is still so popular among fans despite the fact that its quality has been increasing every year? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.
【Reasons why “Ghosts of Baker Street” is popular: 1) Virtual space】
In “The Ghosts of Baker Street,” Conan is convinced that the key to a murder in the real world lies within the virtual experience game machine “Cocoon,” and in the virtual space of “Cocoon,” he and his friends overcome various difficulties to solve the mystery.
As of 2019, we can now experience virtual space in real life with VR, but in 2003 when “Ghosts of Baker Street” was aired, even though ASIMO and P3 already existed, the only virtual space you could actually play in was a racing machine in a video arcade.
The romantic idea of experiencing an adventure in a virtual space must have been exciting for both adults and children.
Other than “The Ghosts of Baker Street,” other popular works depicting adventures in virtual space include “Summer Wars” (2009) and “Sword Art Online (SAO)” (2012), but “The Ghosts of Baker Street” can be said to be a pioneer in this field.
【Why “Ghosts of Baker Street” is so popular 2) The world of Holmes】
As the main character, Shinichi Kudo, is a Sherlockian, Holmes stories often appear in “Detective Conan”.
The Sherlock Holmes series has many volumes, and many of the Holmes stories in Detective Conan are maniacal, such as “Holmes played the violin,” so there are many fans who are interested in the series but have not been able to get into it. However, “The Ghosts of Baker Street” is set in 19th century London. Moreover, it is a virtual world that Kudo Shinichi’s father created by mixing up the fictional world of Holmes with his own.
In “Detective Conan,” the only information we have is that Holmes fell into the Reichenbach Falls with Professor Moriarty, but in “Ghosts of Baker Street,” we have to ask “Who is Moriarty? “Who is Moriarty?” “What kind of person is he? What were the circumstances of his fall into the Reichenbach Falls? You don’t need to pick up the Sherlock Holmes series to become familiar with the world of Sherlock Holmes.
Also, one of the famous scenes in “The Ghosts of Baker Street” is “Conan posing in Holmes’ room, imitating Holmes.
In fact, the Holmes Museum in London has a Holmes room just like the one in “The Ghosts of Baker Street,” so you can imitate Conan’s pose, and it is also a popular place to make a pilgrimage to.
【Reasons why “Ghosts of Baker Street” is so popular: 3) Adventure with a risk to life】
There are many exciting moments in Detective Conan, such as the shootout with the Black Organization, but it is all set in the present day. There are many times when lives are at stake, but since the story is largely a detective story, no major characters have died in the series up to volume 95 (except for those who died in past episodes). However, since “Ghosts of Baker Street” is set in a virtual space, there are characters who really lose their lives in the virtual space. Ayumi, Motota, Mitsuhiko, and original character Shinya Takizawa lost their lives in a bar in the middle of the story, while Haibara and original characters Akira Emori and Seiichiro Kikukawa lost their lives in a theater in the middle of the story and returned to the real world.
Ran throws herself from the top of the train at the end of the story to save Conan and the original character Hideki Moroboshi.
The scene where Ran loses his life saving his friends, as seen in fantasy anime, is movingly portrayed, and combined with the world of Detective Conan, it feels as fresh as if you are watching a parody.
Above all, when Conan and Haibara are playing for their lives against the Black Organization, there is a sense of urgency that comes with being “cornered”, and it makes the viewer feel suffocated. However, in “Ghosts of Baker Street”, although there is a sense of urgency, the main action is based on the trust that “even if I die in the virtual space and the game is over, Conan will take care of it”.
The scene where Ran jumps off the train saying, “I believe in you,” and the scene where Haibara returns to the real world saying, “You’re our Holmes,” are still considered to be one of the best scenes in the “Detective Conan” movie series as of 2019.
【Reasons why “Ghosts of Baker Street” is popular 4) Adventures with children alone】
It was a party to celebrate the completion of the virtual experience game “Cocoon”, so of course the game was played by children. They are risking their lives to play the game, but they can’t ask for help from adults.
This situation is very popular from famous literature to Heisei anime such as “Jugo Shonen Drifting Chronicles” and “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.
In addition, the old man (Kogoro Mouri), who is always in charge of gags, doesn’t get involved in the main storyline, so the storyline is serious from start to finish. The story is focused on “clearing the game and saving everyone,” and it doesn’t stray from the main storyline from beginning to end, allowing viewers to concentrate on the story.