With China making up an increasingly larger share of the anime market, it’s no coincidence that Detective Conan is moving closer and closer to a simultaneous release in it’s neighboring nation.
The long-running mystery anime and manga series, totaling around 900 episodes and 1000 chapters as of the time of writing, has long occupied an iconic place in the anime world. The titular Edogawa Conan made his appearance alongside Rathalos from Monster Hunter, Cloud from Final Fantasy VII and Usagi from Sailor Moon in the recent ‘Cool Japan’ event at Universal Studios Japan – an event that supposedly brings together some of the best and most popular franchises in Japanese pop culture right now.
The series is also widely successful, despite how long it has been running for. The twenty-first film in the franchise, The Crimson Love Letter, released last year in 2017 and quickly became the highest grossing film in the franchise. It is closely followed in terms of total gross by the twentieth film, The Darkest Nightmare, which released in 2016. With the April 13, 2018, release for the twenty-second film in the franchise, Zero’s Executioner, draws closer, I’m sure that the franchise will continue it’s winning streak.
No surprise then, that producer TMS Entertainment would be capitalizing on their success and pushing for more regular programming in China, one of the biggest markets for anime outside of Japan. From 7 April or episode 898 onwards, Detective Conan will be released in both subbed and dubbed form merely two hours after the Japanese broadcast on Saturday at 6 pm. It will remain ten episodes behind the Japanese version, which will air it’s 908th episode as episode 898 becomes available on four participating Chinese streaming sites, presumably to allow time for the Chinese dub to be produced. Conan was already being regularly subbed in China from 2015 onwards, but such a large-scale dedication to regular dub broadcasting is almost unprecedented.
Undoubtedly, TMS would love to see Conan become as popular in China as it is in Japan. This isn’t a pipe dream either – one Chinese streaming site reported 460,000,000 hits on Conan episodes in a single month. Even Japan doesn’t get that many hits, especially as the series gets longer and therefore more inaccessible for new fans.
I, therefore, wouldn’t be surprised if Conan’s popularity in China continues to skyrocket because of this, as it seems that Chinese fans are eager for more, and this dedication to regular dub programming will at once boost ease of access to the series for new and old fans alike. Could we be seeing a Conan theme park in China sometime soon? The answer to that question is still shrouded in mystery, but there is still only truth – Conan is on the rise in China.