Detective Conan fans rejoice! TOHO has announced the new release date for Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet (Meitantei Conan: Hiiro no Dangan), which will now be premiering in Japan on April 16, 2021. The announcement came alongside a trailer for the movie, which can be seen here:
Like several other high-profile anime movies — including Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna and Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Crash! Rakuga Kingdom and Roughly Four Heroes — The Scarlet Bullet saw its premiere impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. TOHO had slated the film for release on April 17, 2020; but with weeks until the original premiere, the Tokyo-based film distributor informed fans of the delay via the film’s Twitter.
Fortunately, the wait will soon be over, and TOHO adds to the hype not only with that new action-filled trailer, but also with a “RELOAD PROJECT” counting down to the eventual premiere. Reportedly, the RELOAD PROJECT will pay homage to twelve of the franchise’s previous films using the symbolism of twelve bullets housed in a revolver (a clever choice considering the title of the new movie). TOHO has also christened the project with trailer-like video:
While the RELOAD PROJECT reportedly refers to twelve previous Detective Conan films, the franchise actually has twenty-three prior films — which will make The Scarlet Bullet the twenty-fourth. In this film, protagonist Conan Edogawa gets embroiled in another mystery when the celebration for a high-speed train project goes horribly wrong. At a party for sponsors and other dignitaries involved in the train, some of those at attendance disappear in a string of alleged kidnappings, forcing Conan to utilize his deductive skills for the greater good.
As can be surmised from its bountiful movie portfolio, Detective Conan is one of anime’s longer-running franchises. It started as a detective manga series by Gosho Aoyama and has been serialized in Weekly Shounen Sunday ever since January 1994. TMS Entertainment then picked up the manga for an anime series adaptation, which started in January 1996 and is also ongoing. The franchise released its first film on April 19, 1997; titled Detective Conan: The Time-Bombed Skyscraper, the film saw success despite only being shown in thirteen theaters across Japan, with additional distribution via VHS and DVD bringing in a steady revenue stream.
TOHO followed The Time-Bombed Skyscraper with Detective Conan: The Fourteenth Target in 1998, then Detective Conan: The Last Wizard of the Century in 1999, and a new film virtually every year after that. The Scarlet Bullet would have continued this release cadence had it not been delayed.
The premise of Detective Conan revolves around Conan Edogawa, who actually is a teenaged detective genius named Shinichi Kudo. Following a harrowing encounter with the mafia-like Black Organization, Shinichi wakes up to find his body reverted to that of a primary schooler. Shinichi flees to a scientist friend who covers for him while Shinichi — now under the new identity of Conan — tries to dig up more information about the organization that disrupted his life. Along the way, he befriends primary schoolers and solves a broad slate of crimes and mysteries that inexplicably land on his lap.
With The Scarlet Bullet, Conan yet again happens to be in the right place at the right time; bad things happen in his presence, allowing him to flex his deductive muscles while also getting ever closer to solving his body’s predicament.