FANDOM


Farm-Fresh balanceYMMVTransmit blueRadarWikEd fancyquotesQuotes • (Emoticon happyFunnyHeartHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3Awesome) • RefridgeratorFridgeGroupCharactersScript editFanfic RecsSkull0Nightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out iconShout OutMagnifierPlotGota iconoTear JerkerBug-silkHeadscratchersHelpTriviaWMGFilmRoll-smallRecapRainbowHo YayPhoto linkImage LinksNyan-Cat-OriginalMemesHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic
File:Kindaichi point.jpg

Kindaichi Hajime, as the grandson of famous detective Kindaichi Kosuke, picked up the tricks of his trade from Grandpa and, after proving himself to the skeptical police in his first case, finds himself tangled up in the murder mystery from hell on a regular basis.

Though fairly obscure in the west, Kindaichi was Japan's most popular manga for much of its original run (1994-2001) and remains quite popular today. The series relies on a strong formula that mixes the horror and detective genres: the atmosphere is similar to a well-made slasher film, with the killer usually taking the persona of a legendary monster. He then murders his victims in gruesome ways relating to the legend, thus providing a more violent version of a Scooby-Doo Hoax. He still leaves clues, though, which Kindaichi is inevitably the only person to notice. There's always some secret tragedy from the past (often surprisingly moving) motivating the killer as well. All of which leads up to the climax of each story where Kindachi unmasks the perpetrator in a dramatic Summation Gathering. Each story is also a rather challenging Fair Play Whodunnit so clever readers may be able to beat Kindaichi to the solution.

As of 2004, the series has restarted in Japan. The first series was distributed in the US by Tokyopop, but is now out of print.


This work provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism
    • In the drama version, the boss of Reika's agency Yoko Kaburagi's jerkass tendency is heavily toned down, and she is given a reasonable Freudian Excuse for not being able to pay for Reika's 100 millions yen ransom (her company is much smaller than in the anime/manga, thus unable to procure that huge amount of money, and Reika is slightly more bratty), and at the end of the episode she adopts and takes the killer's daughter Mai as they waited for her to return after serving her time.
    • As a side effect of being Demoted to Extra, Takato's villainous role in the Drama version is greatly reduced with only his debut case and Rose Cross Mansion case feature his involvement.
  • Accidental Pervert - Both played straight and subverted; Kindaichi himself tries to pass himself off as this on multiple occasions, but he's also walked in on people he didn't mean to. (This even provides the solution to one of his mysteries.)
  • Age Lift
    • Inverted for the original anime series: Kenmochi's age is given as 38, making him much closer in age to his associate and one of the suspects Shino Tatsumi, compared to the Return series which lists him as 48, like in the manga.
    • Both Sho Sumeragi and Miruku Senda from Rosenkreuz Mansion Murder Case had their ages changed from in their 30s to 40s and so is Giselle Tsukuyomi, her mother Renka Misaki. Takato's age is also changed from 20s to 30s, primarily to make the choice of his younger sibling more ambiguous. 
  • Amateur Sleuth
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle - Said word for word by Kindaichi in the book "Smoke and Mirrors" when he explains at the end the difference between the American version of a clue, and the Japanese version of the same clue.
  • Asshole Victim - More often the rule than the exception.
    • There's often at least one pure-hearted innocent among the piles of dead assholes, though.
    • Rarest exception is when the victim was thought to be an asshole turns out to be sympathetic in the end.
  • Ax Crazy - Subverted. At first it always seems as if the killer follows this trope to the letter and is killing people at random. But in reality, their victims are always carefully chosen, and the murders themselves are part of a larger, complex plan.
  • Bandaged Face - Not uncommonly, and is often used as some sort of disguise by the culprit.
  • Bluff the Eavesdropper: Combined with Bluffing the Murderer. On at least one occasion, Kindaichi stages a fight and pretends to go off alone in order to lure out the suspected killer.
  • Book Dumb - Kindaichi pretends to be this so that he can slack off in class (as he is too lazy to study for tests), but as a detective he demonstrates a wide range of knowledge.
  • Bowdlerise
    • Scenes that feature rape and sexual abuse as backstory or the killer's motive are notably toned down, though the implications are still left in. Notable one is the pilot movie's culprit whose girlfriend's was raped under the coercion of her co-star actress who was jealous of her talent and her relationship with him in the source novel, but was changed to her being drugged into hallucination and humiliated on her stage performance instead, both was videotaped by one of her accomplices, with the fake news about the co-star's relationship with the killer drove her to suicide.
    • Due to the abundant of Teacher Student romance, the first two cases (Hexagonal Village and Hanging School) were not adapted into the anime. The third case, which also feature Teen Pregnancy, had the motive and story line changed in the anime to remove this.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: As noted above. School bores Kindaichi, so he just coasts by with a bare minimum of effort, frequently napping in class. Give him a mystery to solve, though, and he shows his true genius.
  • Brother-Sister Incest - The death of a man's sibling lover kicks off a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in one mystery, though the fact that they are siblings don't come to light until after the case has ended.
    • The same case alludes to another tale of brother/sister incest which made the location of the mystery (the lake where the pair ultimately drowned themselves) particularly bizarre.
    • In another case, the killer became a fiance of his step-sister in order to murder her and her family in an elaborate Revenge by Proxy plan.
    • Subverted in The Demon God Site Case, as it was revealed that Satsuki Munagata and Akira Toribeno were actually not cousins, as Satsuki's actual mother is Yayoi Muranishi, not Kyoko Munagata as everyone believed (her father married into Munagata family).
  • Busman's Holiday - Most of the time, Kindaichi is called out to the locations due to his reputation as a detective, but he's run into his share of murders while on vacation.
    • Kenmochi got this in his first appearance in the series, having stayed at the Opera House hotel for a vacation.
  • Cannot Spit It Out - Kindaichi is coy about his feelings for Miyuki, and the one time he does manage to spit it out, his confession is muffled by the marching band.
  • Catch Phrase - "In the name of my grandfather..." and "This mystery is solved!".
  • Chekhov's Gun - Any incidental object (or sometimes person) in a scene could provide the solution to the mystery.
  • Chivalrous Pervert - Kindaichi is something of a skirt chaser, but he is still more or less a gentleman.
  • Clueless Mystery - Averted and then some thanks to Tokyopop's attempts at Cultural Translation.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Except for a few close friends, everyone at school thinks Kindaichi is an idiot.
  • Cultural Translation - Quite a few of the clues that rely on Japanese language or culture were changed for the English version so that the clues could still be solved by an astute reader.
  • Driven to Suicide - The occasional fate of a cornered suspect, though Kindaichi always does his best to prevent this from happening.
    • This also happens to quite a few of the people who the murderers are off to avenge.
  • Downer Beginning - The 37 Years Old Series. Kindaichi post 20 years timeskip has no longer desire to solve a case and resign himself to a job of a simple salaryman, heavily implied to be due to what happened during the time Takato was finally arrested, and he appears to (at least as of now) have yet marry his high school sweetheart Miyuki. To throw a salt in the wound, his classmate Sota had become a father of two, while Makabe became a successful police inspector post his Took a Level in Kindness.
  • Dying Clue - Quite often left in some form of code.
    • In the Demon God's Site case, the last victim left the group a clue in a form of a torn calendar's piece. Turn out that the clue itself isn't what was torn, but the calendar's next page which contains the killer's name.
  • Eureka Moment - If the change in Kindaichi's expression doesn't tell you he's had one, then the Catch Phrase drop certainly will.
  • Everyone Knows Morse - Justified when Kindaichi finds himself among a group of war game enthusiasts.
  • Fair Play Whodunnit: The translators have gone to great pains to make this true even in the English version. Though one story arguably breaks the "no identical twins" rule.
    • In the comic's heyday, figuring out the solutions to Kindaichi mysteries became something of a national craze for the Japanese. The storylines typically ran for two or three months, leaving plenty of time for fans to speculate. Later storylines have much tougher solutions as the authors strived to keep things challenging for fans who often collaborated on figuring out the answers.
    • The animated adaption dealt with this by adapting the comic stories but often changing the solutions, with a different character turning out to be the killer than in the manga.
  • Fan Disservice - The series, especially 37 Years Old Series is filled with this, with several nudity scenes that appear to be played straight at first glance, but are later revealed to be much darker than they appear.
    • In the first Opera Murder Case, the first victim was crashed to death by a falling stage lights with her panties exposed, the second victim was hung at the tree in rain with her nipples visible through the shirt and she was also dressed in a bloomer, the third victim was stripped of her clothing post murder and thrown in the tub to disguise the cause of death as drowning. All of which are censored in the anime.
    • In the first case, one of the suspects has her top accidentally pulled down by Kindaichi. She is later revealed to be the killer of the week and the scene is used to show that one of the victims managed to know her real identity (as a renown murderer and fraudster) through the beauty marks on her chest.
    • In the second case, the victim herself is shown to have sex with her much younger Yoga instructor (whom she had seduced and tricked), which was revealed to be the last straw of the murderers (who also like him as well), apart from having previously ruined their lives, motivating them to kill her.
    • In the third case, Sakurako, the younger twin sister and a florist of Akaike School was found to have became a subject of revenge porn by one of her partners at a love hotel. It turned out that it was in fact her older twin sister Kaoruko who was the one blackmailed.
  • Formerly Fat - In the Snow Demon Case, the killer's girlfriend Sayaka was an overweight girl during her highschool years but underwent a training and become healthy in order to become an idol for his company. Several photoshoped pictures of her was leaked on the internet sometime before her death, causing the killers to believe that the three victims who was behind the leak to have driven her to suicide. As it turned out, Sayaka herself didn't mind about the photo, and even used an online username "Fat girl" as a term of endearment to the killer's "Shut in boy"(the killer was a Hikkikomori prior to becoming a successful Bishounen President), and her death was an unfortunate accident.
  • Genre Savvy: As mentioned above, the killers usually try to make it look like they're following the Ax Crazy trope in order to throw Kindaichi (and the reader) off of their true plans.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger
  • His Name Is - If someone besides Kindaichi discovers the identity of the culprit, you can bet that person will be dead before he can tell anyone.
    • In one story, a character realizes who the killer is, but fails to notice said killer standing right behind him, about to bring an axe down on his head.
  • Infant Immortality - Averted in The Undying Butterflies. 
  • Implied Love Interest
    • In Drifting Foxfire Murder Case, it is implied that the killer and the first victim, both of which are Kindaichi's grade school friends, had a feeling toward each other. The victim herself still remember about a cruel prank that she once pulled on him (which was indirectly responsible for the his mother's death and his father turning abusing) during the scout trip due to her believing him to be a selfish jerk for not lending his shoelaces to help their friend that was bitten by a (non poisonous) snake at time, despite many years had passed, and had planned to apologize to him once they met again, but was unable to do so due to both parties' emotion got ahead of themselves, and the killer had a massive HeelRealization and cried to himself once he had heard about her true feeling from her father.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot - The clues are all there for the reader to find, but good luck coming to the same conclusion Kindaichi does in the grand reveal.
  • Live Action Adaptation - Featuring some very Squick-tastic sound effects, but otherwise faithful to the source material.
  • Locked Room Mystery - Almost every story.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father - A common revelation at the end of the case.
  • Motive Rant
  • My God, What Have I Done? - Many a killer has experienced this after the case has been solved when Kindaichi presents them with information that makes them realize how misguided their actions were.
  • Never One Murder
  • Numerical Theme Naming - Invoked in the Demon God's Site, the killer's husband named their daughter in a theme after her, as she was unable to reveal her through maternal identity to her.
  • Old School Building: A murderer trying to hide a Dark Secret in an old school building commits several murders to keep the truth from coming to light.
  • Pull the Thread
  • Rape As Drama: Showed up occasionally as the killer's motive.
  • Revealing Coverup: The killer of volumes 10 and 11 accidentally does this when he realizes that the real hidden code he was after laid in the names of the message givers he had been silencing. Names which would be printed in order of death in the next newspaper thus providing the necessary clues to everyone.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Most of the killers are on one of these.
  • The Rival - Kindaichi occasionally faces off against arrogant pretty boy detective Akechi, and gets a Moriarity-esque recurring character who uses every opportunity to taunt Kindaichi on his uselessness.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: Subverted. Supposedly a serial killer has gotten loose and is killing everyone trapped in the Closed Circle, but Kindaichi figures out that they're all connected. While the murderer is looking for one specific person, he doesn't care that he's killing innocents in the process.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal - Kindaichi's reaction to many a Motive Rant and/or Suicide Attempt.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The anime adaptation and drama do this from time to time.
    • In the European Hotel Arc, Saki was murdered by the culprit of week due to him happen to discover the method they used to murder the first victim. The anime instead changed to just have him being put in coma, before finally waking up the day after.
    • In the drama version of Black Butterfly Murder Case, Kindaichi and Ageha (who is male in this version), managed to save Midori and Onodera from burning to death in the fire.
    • In the drama version of Reika Hayami Kidnapping Murder Case, Manami was not murdered at the end of the case due to Takato being Adapted Out. She instead tried to commit suicide due to being unable to face her daughter Mai, but was stopped by Reika.
    • In Reika Hayami's Uninvited Guest, the victim of the case, Mitarai, instead only suffered minor injury instead of being murdered by the escaped convict culprit, presumbly to lighten up ending as the episode itself was otherwise a very light hearted and comedic one.
  • Spanner in the Works - Kindaichi himself is this on occasions when the murderers try to factor in his reputation as a detective in their planning. Specifically, though, in House of Wax, the murderer's otherwise well formulated plan, which required keeping the fireplace lit at all times, hit a snag when the air conditioning broke down.
  • Spin Offspring - Hajime is the son of Kosuke Kindaichi.
  • The Summation - All the time. Can sometimes go on for several chapters.
  • Summation Gathering - Also all the time. If someone is in any way connected to the case, they'll be present when Kindaichi solves it.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute - Saki #2, who looks so much like his brother that Kindaichi mistook him for a ghost at first.
  • Sympathetic Murderer - The large majority of the ultimate suspects turn out to be this, though there are also exceptions.
  • Tarot Motifs - Unfamiliarity with how a Tarot deck works is used to point out the murderer in one mystery.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims - Played straight in nearly every story.
  • Theme Initials - A major part of The Legend of Lake Hiren, where all the case's suspects except two persons shares a same initial. 
  • Thanatos Gambit - A variant is pulled by Reiko Chikamiya, the mother of Kindaichi's archenemy Yoichi Takato. Reiko's death was caused by the members of her magic troupe who wanted her to divulge the secrets behind her various, hand-created feats of illusion. After her death, they stole her book of magic tricks and used them for their own. As it turns out, Reiko had two of them in case of such a situation. The real one was sent to Yoichi, while the others kept the copy which contained a bonus magic trick. This extra trick was created so that anyone who tried it would wind up killing themselves. The reason Yoichi agrees to go to jail after killing most of the ones responsible for his mother's death is that he KNEW the last surviving member would attempt this trick (and this one is implied to have been the one who specifically caused Reiko's death), so he felt that his mother would be able to get her revenge posthumously.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend - Miyuki in particular, and several of the other victims as well.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.