Legendary mystery series Detective Conan certainly seems to have returned in good form from its recent prolonged hiatus. Not only has mangaka Gosho Aoyama returned with an excellent new arc to kickstart the series back into life from hiatus, but the recent movie Zero’s Executioner was one of the best in the series.
A key reason as to why the movie was so good was because of the heavy inclusion of the “triple-faced” Amuro Toru, who is one of the interesting characters in the series right now. So, when I heard that Aoyama would be launching a spinoff series based on Amuro, I was ecstatic, to say the least. Titled “Zero’s Teatime,” the spinoff follows Amuro’s daily life, and will show readers how he manages to juggle his multiple identities as a waiter at Poirot; as Kogoro Mouri’s apprentice; as a private detective; as an agent for the National Police Agency; and as Black Organization operative Bourbon.
The first chapter gives us a taste of that. We see a day in Amuro’s life, beginning with him waking up and getting ready for his shift at Poirot, working with Azusa Enomoto during the day, before changing into his Bourbon persona and setting off to perform his duties as a Black Organisation member at night.
The contrast between Amuro’s life in the day and at night is readily apparent. In Poirot he is friendly and somewhat clueless, actually forgetting to eat lunch until Azusa reminds him. But once he begins his work as Bourbon at night, he loses this friendliness as he diligently cleans his handgun, changes into a smart suit, and reaffirms his desire to find and kill Shuichi Akai as revenge for the death of Scotch. Even so, Amuro’s ruthless true self as Bourbon is hinted at it even in the first few panels of the spinoff, as he accurately counts down to when the kettle boils whilst making his morning tea.
Although it’s only the first chapter, I’m really excited to see where this spinoff goes. Amuro is one of my favorite characters in the series right now, so I’d welcome any chance to see him in action. The author, Takahiro Arai, also seems keen to accurately and faithfully depict Amuro in his new spinoff, stating that he asked Aoyama countless questions, even inquiring as to whether Amuro would be a cat person or a dog person. That being said, I do worry that if all of the mystery of Amuro is stripped away and the mechanics of his daily life clearly explained, then this could, in turn, undermine the core appeal of Amuro as a mysterious triple-faced character.
Furthermore, I hope that this new Amuro-centric spinoff does address some of the recent fears of Conan fans that Amuro’s surge in popularity may push Aoyama to incorporate him more in the main story, which in turn may take away from already established and widely loved characters such as Heiji Hattori and Kaitou Kid. After all, the manga made a big effort when returning from hiatus to advertise that Amuro would be involved in the new mystery, and not just that Edogawa Conan himself would be back in action. But hopefully, by creating a spinoff series, Aoyama will be able to please both sets of Amuro-loving and Amuro-fearing fans equally.
In any case, Zero’s Teatime is now serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday from May 9 onwards, joining the same magazine as it’s parent series. The magazine also features an exclusive postcard of Amuro as well as a new illustration of the climax of the new movie by Aoyama. Obviously, newcomers will be very confused if they try and pick this series up, but hopefully, longtime fans can find some enjoyment in it. I know I will.