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 is a serialized Japanesemarker mystery manga series based on the crime solving adventures of a high school student, Hajime Kindaichi, the supposed grandson of the famous (fictional) private detective Kosuke Kindaichi. They are written by Yozaburo Kanari or Seimaru Amagi (depending on series) and illustrated by Fumiya Satō. The Kindaichi series is one of the earliest works in the mystery manga genre. In 1995, the manga won the Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen. The collected stories are published in English by Tokyopop with the title The Kindaichi Case Files.


Kindaichi has also been adapted as an anime television series with 148 episodes, 2 anime movies, a live-action movie, and three live-action series. Toei Animation handled the anime adaption of the Kindaichi series.

Currently, the series has been restarted with four additional cases. The writers plan to restart Kindaichi but not on a regular basis. The fourth case started in January 2007. Only the first 19 cases (the first series) have been licensed by Tokyopop; the rest are unlikely to see print in the United States unless their relatively poor sales improve.

Overview

Kindaichi mysteries are whodunnit stories featuring (usually multiple) gruesome murders, often with a supernatural tinge. They are typically of the style of John Dickson Carr, and frequently feature a locked room mystery or other seemingly "impossible" crimes, such as a murder occurring when all surviving suspects have (apparently) airtight alibis.

A notable distinction of The Kindaichi Case Files is that the killers are not depicted as psychopathic murderers and the murders are never committed for financial reasons alone. The identified killers all have deep rooted problems, often involving great emotional trauma through the greed or thoughtlessness of others, as their reasons for committing the murder(s). Thus the killers are often portrayed as sympathetic figures, as opposed to cold, calculating killers in some other mystery series.

Characters

Mysteries

The main titles

The titles have more or less a literal translation. As of May 2008, Tokyopop has canceled the series, The volume that would have been released next had it continued is volume #18 "The Burial Francs,".

These titles, as well as some details, may be changed by Tokyopop if they release these volumes in the future.

  1. The Opera House Murders is the first Kindaichi mystery, and the story on which the first anime movie is based. Miyuki corrals Kindaichi into assisting the school drama club in rehearsing The Phantom of the Opera at an isolated island hotel. But a killer stalks the high school group, one who can walk across mud without leaving footprints, and it's up to Kindaichi to solve the case, fighting time, weather, and Police Inspector Kenmochi, who fails to take the young man seriously (for the last time).
  2. The Mummy's Curse sees Kindaichi and Miyuki visit a classmate about to get married, accompanied by a teacher, who was a boyfriend of the bride. The small hexagram-shaped village in which the classmate lives is packed with wealthy aristocrats who keep mysterious, cut-up mummies in their luxurious homes. But things turn serious when a murder is committed in a locked chapel, and the aristocrats start dying one by one. For Kindaichi, this case is more than the mummies' curse. After finding a connection between the victims and the tragic accident involving the burned church 27 years ago, Kindaichi finally reveals the murderer and the village's dark past!
  3. Death TV follows Kindaichi and Kenmochi as they assist in the production of Shock TV, a prank-pulling reality show. Fun turns to fright when one of the show's victims is slaughtered by someone dressed up as a legendary snow demon called the "Yukiyasha", while the crew (including pop star Reika Hayami) watches in horror via TV broadcast. The trouble is, how was the murder committed when all the suspects were a twenty minute drive away from the crime scene?
  4. Smoke and Mirrors hits Kindaichi's high school when he and Miyuki are asked to join the school's Mystery Club and attempt to track down a series of urban legends called "The Seven Mysteries of Fudo High." It seems the school has been receiving threatening letters from someone who calls himself "The Afterschool Magician" stating that his home in the old campus area must not be destroyed. But the school's legendary bogeyman turns out to be all too real, a shadowy figure who is able to make himself, and the corpse of one of Kindaichi's classmates, vanish in less than two minutes from a locked room. With Miyuki nearly killed, this case may be too much for Hajime Kindaichi...
  5. Treasure Isle is rumored to hide a vast bounty of gold said to be guarded by the legendary beast "Yamawara", which Kindaichi and other treasure hunters gather to search for. But the host is killed before the group even arrives, and a bloody slaying takes place during a time in which none of the people on the island could have done it. Will the island's mythical monster-guardian claim more victims?
  6. The Legend of Lake Hiren involves a legend about a pair of lovers who drowned themselves in a lake, but the lake itself now houses an exclusive resort whose shares could be worth millions. Kindaichi and Miyuki join a focus group evaluating the resort. But the group is soon stalked by an escaped killer who fashioned his slaying after those of Jason Voorhees, and wouldn't you know it, the only bridge to civilization has been cut off...
  7. The Santa Slayings revolve around an exclusive hotel and one of its most unusual guests, a red-bearded man whose dress resembles that of Santa Claus. His very mythos is a shadow hanging over a prominent acting guild staying at the hotel, putting on a murder mystery weekend game. But the murders turn all too real, and Kindaichi becomes personally involved when one of his friends becomes a victim, and the only other person found in the locked room... is him!
  8. No Noose is Good Noose, or so they say at an exclusive college prep school that Kindaichi is conned into attending by his mother. But the high-pressure school is known for driving its students to suicide by hanging. It's in this atmosphere that a teacher begs Kindaichi's help in finding a mysterious vandal who seems to be targeting her. But the vandal soon graduates to murder, and seems to have the ability to evaporate from locked rooms. Can Kindaichi make the grade?
  9. The Headless Samurai is a legend in a small town, warning of betrayal and blood. A childhood friend of Kenmochi asks him for help when this myth comes to life and begins threatening her. Then a mysterious stranger is killed in a sealed room, and Kindaichi has to deal with headless corpses, greedy heirs, and an entire village too scared to talk.
  10. Kindaichi the Killer!? (In the American series this book is found split into both books 10 and 11, changing the number order of the books following.) Kindaichi is invited by an old acquaintance to help his publishing editor acquire the rights to a new book by a famous writer. The eccentric, arrogant author throws a code breaking contest at his villa to determine the lucky recipient. Unfortunately, the writer is murdered, and it's impossible for anyone to have committed the crime except one person: Hajime Kindaichi! Soon Kindaichi is in a race against the police and the killer to break the code and clear his name.
  11. Playing the Fool is something Kindaichi is loathe to do, especially when it comes to women. Pop star Reika Hayami invites Kindaichi and Miyuki to the Tarot Lodge, high in the snowy mountains, which immediately sets off a rivalry between the two women. Joining them is a motley crew including Reika's manager, a lost skier, and an obsessed fan. But the weekend turns tragic when Reika's father's darkest secret threatens to reveal itself, and terrifying murders occur. Can Kindaichi protect Reika, and figure out how a killer slipped in and out of a room under constant observation?
  12. The House of Wax is holding a murder mystery weekend, which Kindaichi and Miyuki are invited to by Superintendent Akechi. There they find numerous wax figures, including replicas of each participant. However, they soon find out that this is more than a mere game: the mysterious host, "Mr. Redrum," uses the wax figures to show a murder scene before actually killing the victim with the same method under seemingly impossible circumstances. Now Kindaichi must find the host that calls himself a murderer before the body count rises.
  13. The Gentleman Thief is a famous thief who steals famous artworks, as well as their "themes", by destroying or mutilating the object featured in the artwork. However, it seems that this time he has gone too far, by killing the father of one of Kindaichi's friends. But solving this case will be difficult, since all the suspects apparently have perfect alibis...
  14. Graveyard Isle is one of the remnants of the US's island hopping in World War II, where Japanese soldiers committed harakiri. Not exactly the place Kindaichi and his friends wanted to spend a week's vacation, especially with a group of college wargamers. But all too soon, they have violent death to deal with, including a murder that could only have been committed by a ghost...
  15. The Magical Express is where the mystery starts, a train that runs between Tokyo and a remote town, featuring magic shows put on by a group of prominent magicians. Drawn there by a threat by the mysterious "Puppetmaster," Kindaichi, Miyuki, Kenmochi, and Ryuji Saki witness a corpse vanish from a locked cabin. The murders continue at an isolated hotel, and the detectives are faced with serious questions. Who is the "Puppetmaster"? And what's his relation to the late head of the magic troupe, Reiko Chikayama? Was Reiko's death really an accident?
  16. The Undying Butterflies are no beautiful insects, but a harbinger of disease and death. Kindachi and Miyuki infiltrate the estate of a wealthy butterfly collector in pursuit of a killer from the past who should be dead. But then people start dying, pinned like butterflies, murdered when no one could possibly have done it. Has the resurrected killer started another bloody rampage? Or is there something more sinister afoot?
  17. Burial Francs is a burial practice in a small Frenchmarker village, where a franc is buried with the dead. For one of Kindaichi's childhood schoolmates, however, it was an omen of death for her and her colleagues! Amidst trying to enjoy the bridal competition show and to protect the innocent lives from getting involved, will Kindaichi figure out this "Burial Francs" who is killing off people one by one? What's his connection to Kindaichi's friend?
  18. The Devil's Artifacts is the nickname given to four artifacts that were said to be cursed — but Kindaichi, who was hired to dig them up, didn't believe in the old tale... until people started dying because of it. Now, with people's lives (and his salary!) at stake, Kindaichi must find out the identity of the artifacts' "guardian" and where they are hidden.
  19. Reika's Kidnapping is exactly what it sounds like, the kidnapping of pop idol and Kindaichi's friend, Reika Hayami. After escaping from a villa, she claims that her kidnapper was a clown. Kindaichi soon deduces that the mystery clown has to be one of the crew working the movie Reika was appearing in. But which?
  20. Kindaichi and a group of friends visit the Forest of Cerberus to hunt mushrooms. Things start going wrong when their villa is burnt down, and they are forced to take refuge in an abandoned hospital with a group of medical students. Remnants of test animals, including a cage marked Cerberus, still remain there... Not to mention rabies-infested dogs stalking the halls, and a shadow that resembles the Cerberus of legend. Then the medical students begin dying one by one, their deaths accompanied by vicious claw marks! Is the ancient Greek guardian of the underworld the killer? Will it matter if Kindaichi can't get himself and his friends out alive?
  21. The Murderer From Screen: The head of the movie club at Fudo High, grandson of Japan's king of cinema, offers Miyuki a starring role in his latest project. But when the other participants start dying, the crew notices a resemblance between their deaths and scenes from the club's previous film, Scorpion. The case seems solved when the director apparently kills himself, clutching the only keys to not one, but TWO locked doors separating him and the suspects. But Kindaichi isn't so sure the case is closed. Who is making life imitate art?
  22. Divine Treasure of Kotousu is a long lost treasure belonged to Catholics in ancient Japan, guarded by a White Hair Ghost. Not caring much about the legend, Kindaichi — who desperately needed the money and by invitation — went to Kotousu to hunt for the treasure. However, the treasure hunters start dying, one during a time when all the hunters have rock-solid alibis! Will Kindaichi be able to find the murderer, and get some money for himself too?
  23. Ghost of Yukikage Village: One of his childhood friends has died in the remote Yukikage village, so Kindaichi goes to pay his final respects. However, the death isn't all it appears to be, and soon more of Kindaichi's friends are dropping dead. Who is the killer, and what does the original death have to do with these new murders?
  24. The Plot of Russian Dolls: Ryuji Saki asks Kindaichi, Miyuki, and Kenmochi to help him solve a puzzle that leads to the inheritance of a famous mystery writer. But the puzzle deepens when the heirs start losing their heads... literally! Usually, Kindaichi would have enough problems figuring out how the killer got into a locked room with the only key also locked away, but to make things worse, a figure from Kindaichi's past -— his nemesis, Takato -— returns with a bet: if Kindaichi finds the murderer first, he will let the killer face justice. Otherwise, Takato will allow the killer to continue his bloody work... then will execute him! Can Kindaichi protect both the future victims and the murderer?
  25. Circus du Murder: Miyuki, Kindaichi, and his know-it-all cousin, Fumi, are invited by Kenmochi to join him and his wife Kazue at an inn located on a tropical island. There, they meet a circus troupe named the Goblin Circus, who live near the resort. When a storage room is found wrecked, along with mysterious gigantic footprints and a message on the wall that reads "MONSTER IS BACK", the troupe members are suspiciously quiet. However, some members have been secretly discussing a 2.3 m tall performer who disappeared a year ago, nicknamed "Monster". With the storm which prevents them from escaping the island and two clowns found dead, Kindaichi must find the culprit: is it really the "Monster", or someone else with an axe to grind?
  26. Judgment of Gankutsuō: Looking over a traveler's brochure, Kindaichi discovers that his old nemesis is in Hong Kongmarker, and up to no good. Indeed, Takato's latest scheme involves assisting a murderer who calls himself the Gankutsuō ("The Count of Monte Cristo"). Ultimately, Takato manages to frame Kindaichi for the murders, just to prove he is the smarter man! Now, Kindaichi must prove his innocence by finding Gankutsuō, and make his nemesis pay for his crimes, once and for all!
  27. Legendary Vampire Murders: A month after Kindaichi went on his bicycle riding vacation, he sends a letter to Miyuki, inviting her and Kenmochi to a themed inn named "Ruins", where one of their former classmates has a part time job. The inn is located in a virtual ghost town due to rumors regarding vampirism that sprung up a few years past. The rumor comes to life when guests of the inn are found dead, their bodies drained of blood, with two puncture wounds on their necks—which appear to be vampire bites. Worse, the murders are impossible, unless the killer really is a vampire... or one Miyuki Nanase...
  28. The Third Opera House Murders: Kindaichi, Miyuki, and Kenmochi return to the island Opera House Hotel for the third time (the second was detailed in the first of a series of Kindaichi novels by Seimaru Amagi), this time after the death of the hotel's owner, Kurosawa. The hotel and island has been bought by an old friend of Kurosawa, who wishes to honor his memory with a final performance of The Phantom of the Opera, before tearing the place down for good. Along with Kindaichi and gang, the new owner has invited members of Kurosawa's old theater troupe. However, tragedy strikes again when murders occur before the performance can take place.
  29. Jail Gate Private School Murder Case: Back from his bicycle riding and applying for a top quality but extremely hellish school, Kindaichi once again encountered a murder on the day of his application exam... but Kindaichi kind of expected it. The exam site and the school itself were two of the locations on a "crime site tour" list compiled by his nemesis Takato — who, in his twisted mind, believed that these locations could be used to plan murder (thus Kindaichi's bike tour around Japan). To make it worse, Takato has recently escaped prison, and initiated his list of murder. Now, also sending the list to Akechi, Takato (disguised as an English teacher, unknown to them but revealed to readers) silently challenged them to figure out the common point among the murders and find his client... or is he planning something else for them? And lastly, is he going to make all the possible murder sites a reality?
  30. Snow Spirit Legendary Murder Case Kindaichi Hajime was offered to receive a portion of a rich man's wealth as it written in his will. Seduced by money, Hajime along with Miyuki to the top of snowy mountain where all of the recipient of old man’s wealth gathered. As Hajime discover more about the legend of a snow spirit, the recipients of the wealth begin to die one by one.
  31. Futo High School Festival Murder Case Kindaichi attended a “maid café” hosted by the school’s photo club only to discover a mysterious death. This case lasts only for four chapters, making this the shortest Kindaichi case (besides from the short stories) thus far.
  32. Chidamari Murder Case kindaichi is forced to join "japanese chess" club of his school..by then,they go for a friendly match with a school..then,one of the player has been killed at a place called "chidamari"-(the bottom of the chess table)..Is it related to the legendary chidamari story??..kindaichi must find out who is the real culprit despite all the alibi they have..this short case has been published together with Futo High School Festival Murder Case.
  33. Black Magic Murders Kindaichi's old friend from Karuizawa telling the truth behind the death of a company director, due to the curse of the puppet by using 'black magic'. Therefore, there's a tragedy lies behind the series of the black magic murders...and the mask of the 'Puppet from Hell', Youichi Takatoo. Is is really a black magic murders, or just an illusionist murder?


The short cases of Kindaichi

  1. Murderous Intent of Below Freezing 15 Degrees
  2. Who Killed the Goddess?
  3. The Twin Murderer
  4. Christmas Eve Murder
  5. The Murder in the Mirror Labyrinth
  6. Fumi Kindaichi's Kidnapping
  7. The Adventure of Fumi Kindaichi
  8. Lost Ransom
  9. Alibi in the Film
  10. The Homicide Restaurant
  11. Homicide of the Blood Dyeing Pool
  12. Departed Spirit School Murder Case
  13. Puzzle of Instantaneous Disappearance
  14. The Challenge from Mysterious Gentlemen Thief
  15. Morning Sound of Gunshot at 4.40 am
  16. The Bee Poison Sword Murder Case
  17. The Strange Intrigue of the Female Doctor


Media

Manga

As of May 2008, 17 volumes have been published in America, all except 2 with a complete story. New readers are recommended to read the volumes in order, since later stories sometimes reference killers or characters from previous tales, especially Kindaichi's arch-nemesis, who will reappear in at least one of the mysteries not yet published. In general, all the mysteries followed a certain theme (such as a famous legend/story), or have a certain modus operandi. In Japan, there is a total of 56 volumes with 35 cases, 17 Kindaichi's short cases and 7 Akechi's short cases as well as 2 CD-books. Together, the volumes have sold over 60 million copies in Japan, making it one of the best selling manga of the 1990s. There are currently 9 Volumes in the new re-run after serialising of Detective Academy Q.

Novels

The novels were written by Seimaru Amagi and illustrated by Fumiya Satō. 9 volumes were released in Japan between September 22, 1994 and April 20, 2001.

Anime

Produced by Toei Animation and directed by Daisuke Nishio, the anime adaptation of the original manga aired on Nippon Televisionmarker between April 7, 1997 and September 11, 2000, spanning 148 episodes plus one special episode. In addition, two animated films were released on December 14, 1996 and August 21, 1999 respectively. Seven years after the conclusion of the TV anime, two new animated episodes were aired in Japan on November 12, 2007 and November 19, 2007 respectively.

Live action series

NTVmarker aired three live action series in 1995, 1996, 2001 and a 2005 special. Tsuyoshi Dōmoto of the Kinki Kids and Rie Tomosaka starred as Kindaichi and Nanase Miyuki in the first two series. In season 3, Matsumoto Jun of Arashi starred as Kindaichi and Suzuki Anne starred as Nanase Miyuki. In 2005, a special based on "The Legendary Vampire Murders" was aired featuring Kamenashi Kazuya of KAT-TUN and Ueno Juri as Kindaichi and Nanase Miyuki.

References

  1. Kindaichi Case Files - When are the new ones going to be released ? [URGENT TOKYOPOP] - TOKYOPOP Message Board


External links




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