With the recent announcement of Gosick from Funimation, we thought it might be fun to take a look as some of the detective masterminds that have deduced their way through anime. From child detectives to those that have been on the force and are too old for this junk, there is an interesting diversity among the sleuthing masters. With out further ado, let’s jump into this list.
10) Satoshi Hiwatari (DNAngel)
The son of the renound officer, Kei Hiwatari, Satoshi is one of the youngest members of the police force at only fourteen. He specializes with a team that is attempting to capture the phantom thief, Dark. Not only is Satoshi incredibly intelligent, but he also holds a power that can fight against Dark in a battle that has gone on between their families for generations. However, Satoshi never wants to rely on that power and would prefer to use his wits to thwart and remain one step ahead of him. We counted him as the lowest on this list because this skills aren’t quite utilized in the anime as much as they are in the manga. However, Satoshi is certainly a deductive force to be reckoned with.
9) Yu Narukami (Persona 4 The Animation)
The accidental detective of Inaba, Yu tries to solve the mystery of several disappearances that happen around the quiet town. Time and time again, with some assistance of his friends, he’s able to figure out who the next victim will be and save them in the nick of time. Not only that, but he works through each misleading “villan” in the series to find who is truly behind all these disapperances. While not a trained detective, he’s certainly no slouch when it comes to his investigation skills.
8) Battler Ushiromiya (Umineko no Naku Koro Ni)
While not a detective in the traditional sense, Battler forces himself into a detectives role when he engages in battle against the Golden Witch Beatrice to prove that the mass murder of his family was not caused by magic or witches. Instead, he tries to prove to her that the murders to be caused by humans and normal circumstances. He must find clues and wield the truth as his weapon to win this chess game between the two of them.
7) Zenigata (Lupin The Third)
Some detectives move from case to case, capturing criminals with their genius intellect. Others dedicate their lives to chasing down their arch rivals come hell or high water. Koichi Zenigata falls into this second kind. He has to be sharp to keep up with Lupin. He also puts considerable thought into his traps to catch his longtime rival. He may not be the smartest guy on this list, but he’s got a lot of dedication and the lot of heart.
6) Hajime Kindachi (Kindachi Case Files)
Kindachi Case Files is a mystery series that has been running since 1992 and has had multiple animes, live actions, cd books and light novels. Its title character, Hajime Kindachi, is a somewhat lazy and unmotivated young boy. However, he’s a genius detective and sleight of hand artist that solves multiple hard cases.
5) Shibazaki Kenjirou (Terror in Resonance)
When we first meet Shibazaki in Terror in Resonance, he’s been shoved down to working in records due to a past incident. It’s made clear to the audience early on though that he is a brilliant detective and he soon works his way back up to being a top detective working on the Sphinx case. He makes quick deductions and has no trouble solving the riddles laid out for him.
4) Victorique De Blois (Gosick)
While not technically a detective in name, Victorique works as a consultant for her brother who actually is a detective. She solves the cases, he takes the credit. Her high intellect and ability to observe facts and reconstruct chaos makes her a force to be reckoned with.
3) L/Ryuzaki (Death Note)
The only one who can even hope to match the wits of the criminal mastermind, Kira. L is a quirky, unorthodox sort of detective that has solved thousands of cases world wide.While many have debated who truly had the upper hand in their battle of wits, it’s undeniable that L is an incredibly intelligent. He’s able to find subtle clues in what others would consider absolutely trivial. Even Light takes him as a serious threat as opposed to how he sees the police force. There’s even discussion that he grows to respect L in a sense and it’s pretty clear that Light doesn’t respect anyone. A critical thinker with a sweet tooth that left a lasting impression.
2) Kyoko Kirigiri (Dangan Ronpa The Animation)
There’s something very particular about Kyoko that makes her a rather exceptional detective. Not only is she considered the Ultimate Detective, but she solves the majority of the murders and mysteries of Hope’s Peak Academy with no memory of her talent. Nevertheless, her instincts immediately kick in and she helps to guide the group through all the twists and turns of each trail. She is truly an ultimate in more than name.
1) Conan Edogawa (Case Closed)
The original kid detective himself! It’s almost impossible to think of detectives in anime without this little guy coming to mind. He works tirelessly to solve cases brought to an incompetent detective along with trying to solve how Conan himself was turned into a child to begin with. While many of the cases are disconnected and don’t attribute to the overall story, it doesn’t mean that these aren’t some of the best death/murder mysteries that have ever been shown. Each one tests Conan in new ways, but he always manages to come out on top. It’s his ingunity and tenacity that makes him the number one detective in anime.
Thanks for checking out the list! What did you think? Was there someone that we missed? We’d love to hear from you!