Ash Ketchum finally winning a Pokémon world championship is causing many anime fans to wonder if it's time for other long-running series to progress their storylines. One such title is the classic Detective Conan; while the anime franchise is turning 27 years old in January 2023, its original plot point still hasn't reached its conclusion.

But should Detective Conan follow in Pokémon's footsteps? Here are the possible merits of aging up protagonist Shinichi Kudo -- and why it remains unlikely to happen anytime soon.


The Plot of Detective Conan

Detective Conan: After 27 Years, Is It Time for Kudo to Finally Grow Up?_0

At the time of writing, there have been 31 seasons, 1,069 episodes and 25 feature films in the Detective Conan franchise. The plot follows Shinichi Kudo, a teenage ace detective who draws the ire of the evil Black Organization. One night the organization attempts to murder Kudo by forcing him to eat an experimental drug. But rather than kill Kudo, this drug turns him into a child.

To hide what happened, Kudo takes on the moniker Conan Edogawa and gets adopted by Kogoro Mori, his childhood friend's father. Using Kogoro's private detective work as a cover, Kudo returns to solving crimes, hoping to bring the Black Organization to justice.

While the Black Organization is frequently at the center of storylines, the overarching plot isn't going anywhere fast, with the adversary frequently going unmentioned for long blocks of episodes. Quite often, the details Conan learns about the organization raise more questions than they answer, making it sometimes feel like the franchise is stuck in a holding pattern.


Should Shinichi Kudo Finally Grow Up in Detective Conan?

Detective Conan: After 27 Years, Is It Time for Kudo to Finally Grow Up?_1

The main argument for Detective Conan letting Kudo grow up is that it would finally pay off the years of mystery and build-up surrounding the Black Organization, its aims, and what the real purpose of APTX 4869 was with the syndicate finally getting some much-deserved comeuppance. It would also be a great way to shake the series up, as an older Conan would have a different dynamic with his foes and adopted family.

However, there are many reasons that series creator Gosho Aoyama and TMS Entertainment will likely never let Kudo grow up. The main one is that Detective Conan's genre makes this unnecessary. Most detective fiction series are written as a collection of standalone cases with little (if any) continuity between each story, meaning the audience is more accepting of this plotline falling by the wayside over time. Plus, as each mystery introduces a new cast of suspects and locations, it's easy for the show to keep things fresh and mix the format up -- even if Kudo's personal storyline isn't progressing at that moment.


Another big reason for keeping Kudo as a child is marketing and finances. Pokémon has plenty of proven and merchandisable characters outside of Ash. So even if it takes a while for anime fans to warm up to the new protagonist, the studio can maintain its income via other characters. However, Detective Conan's brand is totally built on Conan and his child body. Changing the character's look would lead to much of that merchandise being out of date. Plus, if fans take a while to accept the older Conan, the brand would struggle financially since it doesn't have other popular characters it can merchandise.

It seems unlikely that Detective Conan will opt to grow Kudo up any time soon. Both the TV series and movies are pleasing critics and audiences while the franchise is showing no signs of slowing down, meaning there isn't a need to shake things up. Because Conan is an iconic character in his current form, changing him is likely considered too big of a risk.

Detective Conan is now streaming on Crunchyroll.