Here is the official album cover they made:
1) What is this about and why is it here?
This is originally an album made by the admin of a Conan fanpage on FB. It is basically a compilation of various facts, hints and circumstances in the manga canon regarding Ran's suspicion of Conan's real identity. I found it detailed and fascinating. As the author's purpose is to reach more Conan fans so as to better understand and discuss Ran as a character and her role in the story, I'm bringing it here, to an active Detective Conan forum where plenty of intelligent and serious discussions about the series takes place.
2) How many volumes does it cover?
The compilation covers facts and hints which may lead Ran to suspect Conan's secret in near future starting with Volume 46-47 (manga) (which is around Episode 400 in the anime) until now. However, as you read on, you may find fragments from older Volumes, since the author did a lot of comparisons/comparative posts.
3) What is its completion status?
It is still being worked on as of right now, up to Volume 90. I will make sure to update the post when available.
4) Why can't there be more pictures/illustrations?
It is understood by all that we don't post full manga panels and manga scanlations here on the forums any longer to avoid legal trouble. I only included 2 comparative panels in the SCAR section below because I think it is necessary. For the rest of the pictures, please search for the original Facebook fanpage.
Here is what they have so far:
The very first case after Ran's last suspicion arc (V46 F11-V47 F4)
Ran has just been proven wrong about her suspicions by sensible evidence: while talking to Shinichi on the phone (recorded voice) Conan appeared in front of her.
She now has to accept that Shinichi wasn't the mind behind Conan's witty remarks and thus acknowledge the fact that the kid beside her is an exceptionally smart one, to which she react with extra care and affection.
Conan and Haibara discuss the matter of Ran's past suspicions and the risk he has just taken by giving her his phone number.
Conan states once again that he wants Ran far from every contact with the Black Organization. Haibara knows that such a contact already happened once but keeps silent about it and remembering Ran's courageous behavior in those circumstances, comments with an extremely important acknowledgement:
"Well she's strong. Stronger than you think."
Conan ingenuously thinks she refers to karate.
VOLUME 14 VS. 47
During her last suspicion arc climax (Volume 47), Ran has been given sensible evidence and convincing motives against her deductions but were her doubts really turned off for good… or rather tuned down?
As a matter of fact, the exact same scenario happened before. Ran seems to go through the same, recognizable steps during her confrontation with Shinichi in Volume 14:
- Conan’s convincing act as a child gives some plausible explanations against her hardly-credible science-fictional assumptions
- Ran accepts that “truth” with some enigmatic smile, while being apologetic for “misunderstanding” and offering to cook some delicious meal for the child as a payback for bothering him by jumping to conclusions
- A significantly close character advises Conan NOT to underestimate Ran in the future…
VOLUME 14. VS. 26
In Volume 14, Yukiko explicitly warns Conan that Ran might not be 100% dissuaded from her doubts: "In her last smile, there’s something that doesn’t convince me…” remarks the attentive woman, only to be proved right in Volume 26, when Conan recalls all of Ran’s strange behaviors ever since that confrontation.. and realizes she never really stopped testing him from that night.
To keep a low profile and a high observation while living in a temporary state of acceptance of Shinichi’s explanations is her usual attitude after her suspicions’ climaxes, until something or someone awakens her latent doubts again…
KEYNOTE: most of those suspicious behaviours on Ran's part (see picture) have happened again in the current arc with slight changes and stronger motives. We'll be showing all of that with particular care for Ran's psychological insight.
In Volume 14, Yukiko explicitly warns Conan that Ran might not be 100% dissuaded from her doubts: "In her last smile, there’s something that doesn’t convince me…” remarks the attentive woman, only to be proved right in Volume 26, when Conan recalls all of Ran’s strange behaviors ever since that confrontation.. and realizes she never really stopped testing him from that night.
To keep a low profile and a high observation while living in a temporary state of acceptance of Shinichi’s explanations is her usual attitude after her suspicions’ climaxes, until something or someone awakens her latent doubts again…
KEYNOTE: most of those suspicious behaviours on Ran's part (see picture) have happened again in the current arc with slight changes and stronger motives. We'll be showing all of that with particular care for Ran's psychological insight.
-Manga Volume 48 File 1-
Gosho seems to be going right into that direction. So just one volume after the conclusion of Ran’s last suspicion arc, we already meet a strange "incident" that can arouse her doubts again.
During a phone talk between Conan/Shinichi and Ran, Ayumi comes close to Conan calling him by his name. Ran can hear it pretty clear and asks for an explanation. Shinichi covers up à la Heiji, finding some other name that sounds similar as an excuse.
But what if Ran recognised Ayumi's voice? And aren't those incidents where someone mentions Kudo instead of Conan and Conan instead of Kudo pretty frequent?
KEYNOTE: The Detective Boys witness Conan using the voice-changer bow tie more than once after this incident from Volume 48 (see Volume 73 File 10 - The bomber at Mouri's agency and Volume 69 File 6 - Steaming Locked Room). Should they mention that in front of Ran, Conan would be doomed very easily.
Ran is also aware of Conan's glasses being able to track the DB badge, as well as of the existence of a spare pair of those very glasses (See Online Client case - Volume 76 File 3).
Finally she saw Conan kicking objects with "extra" power at least a couple times (First suspicion arc - Volume 3 File 10; Yusaku's cold case - Volume 77 File 8 ).
-Manga Volume 48 File 4-5-
After her last suspicion arc, Conan’s involvement in the case solving process is no news to Ran… she’ll be following his steps closely many times on the crime scene during this arc, never losing a chance to compliment the extraordinary child on his methods and doing constant remarks on his incredible abilities.
But whenever Conan “crosses the line” by doing (or overdoing) something like Shinichi would (acting, talking, deducing like him), the Conan=Shinichi equation will cross Ran’s mind again, giving new life to her suspicions. We will collect significant samples of such happenings during this arc.
-Manga Volume 48 File 8-
Just think for a moment how much funnier this scene gets if Ran is suspecting Shinichi.
“Come on, wear it once to take a photo”. That would certainly be a nice shot to tease (/blackmail *cough*) him
Eisuke's presence and his investigation on Conan give Ran the chance to make more than one interesting remark on Conan's strange, not-child-like behaviors as well as his active involvement in the case solution.
Although she might not be willing to jump to dangerous conclusions now, since she's just be proven wrong about her suspicions, those considerations she's been capable of may come in handy in a future and more complete overview of the situation, once she decides to face her doubts again.
-Manga Volume 49 File 8-10-
Here Conan's mysterious closeness to Kogoro during the case solution is pointed out by Eisuke and Ran seems to be already aware of it. However Ran seems to believe that Kogoro only “talks about facts with his eyes cast to the ground” while Conan is around him to help.
It is important to note that although she's more than once found out about Shinichi being Conan and helping her father by giving him hints to solve cases, uncovering the Sleeping Kogoro secret would be a considerably much more complicated matter, which could worsen Ran's reaction and affect her disposition to forgive Shinichi.
As a matter of fact, she witnessed more than one person acting like “Sleeping Kogoro” and even Conan pointing his wrist-watch to Sonoko before. [Volume 13 File 4, we'll be giving a more comprehensive review on the matter in a future recap post]
The fact that she already knows that Conan has a part in Mouri's deductive process, combined with a possible future notion of the voice-changer bow tie through the DBs may potentially bring Ran to discover the Sleeping Kogoro mystery.
However, If we saw her finding out and face the double identity problem more than once, it’d be totally unprecedented for her to handle the question of his father being deprived of his dignity and pride as a detective through the Sleeping Kogoro practice. How would she react if she knew?
At the current status of things (Volume 80+) Eisuke's role is taken up by Sera, a probably much more dangerous propeller of Ran's suspicions.
More interesting considerations about Conan on Ran's part (File 10)
"It's always his job. When you think he said something completely irrelevant, it conicidentally becomes the key to solving the crime..."
During the fish mail incident Conan almost revealed his ability to solve the whole case by himself, causing Ran's shocked reaction.
Just one case before that can see middle-school Shinichi in a flashback remarking that he wouldn’t have been able to complete the case solution without that little help he got from his father. (In fact, the first case he was able to solve by himself was the flying locked room incident, when he was already a high school student.)
Is this a coincidence? We believe it isn’t.
Note: Another sample of Conan almost letting slip the whole case solution happened in Volume 63, File 1, The Silver-White Witch case. Obviously Ran had, once again, a suspicious reaction.
-Manga Volume 51 File 2-
Here we get to one of our previously mentioned occurrences where Conan gets very close to crossing the “Shinichi line”, getting Ran all alarmed again… and ready to suspect.
During one of the many visits they pay to the café Poirot, Conan, Ran and Kogoro are presented with a mysterious affair that immediately arouses Conan's curiosity and awakens his deductions. Too bad he's very naturally solving the case in front of everybody...
Ran's shocked look is more than eloquent: as much as a kid can be smart and capable of keen observations and witty remarks, completing the case solution on his own is a whole different thing. Proving capable of that would mean revealing himself as Shinichi.
As you may remember, Shinichi himself wasn’t able to perform a complete case solution before the flying locked room case, when he was presumably 16.
-Volume 51 File 9-
Eisuke gives Ran the chance to make another strange observation in Volume 51. Since the case of the bandaged man occurred, Sonoko has been occasionaly solving cases like Kogoro "as if asleep". Conan was there as well at the time...
Later on, after another case solved by “Deduction Queen Sonoko”, Ran will compliment her before suspiciously questioning: ”You don’t remember, Sonoko?”
RAN, THE BLACK ORGANIZATION AND THE FBI.
A significant incident happened due to Eisuke’s investigation during the Kir Arc: Ran is now aware that Seven Children is the email address of a certain company’s BOSS. The same company Eisuke’s father was a member of.
Even without being able to dial said number, possessing this kind of information is considered by Akai himself a fatal danger.
“If the boy happens to know their Boss’ mail address… there’s no way they would let him go free.”
This is actually valid for anybody else sharing the same knowledge, including Ran.
KEYNOTE: despite Conan’s effort to keep Ran far from every contact with the Organization and from any information that might endanger her, she has come to experience more than one connection with the BO already.
RAN AND THE BLACK ORGANIZATION: The Members she has met
The widespread assumption that Ran is mostly unrelated to the Black Organization storyline is remarkably erroneous.
As a matter of fact, Ran has met and had some kind of interaction with most of the relevant Black Organization members we’ve encountered so far.
Here is a list of the BO members she has met up to now, as far as we know. As you may see from our graphic recap, every encounter she experienced had a significant impact on the story.
Members (when first encounter with Ran happened)
- Gin and Vodka (Vol 1)
- Akemi Miyano (Vol 2)
- Kiichiro Numabuchi (Vol 19)
- Sherry (Vol 25)
- Vermouth (Vol 34)
- Rye (Vol 35)
- Calvados (vol 42)
- Kir (Vol 48)
- Bourbon (Vol 75)
RAN AND THE BLACK ORGANIZATION: Ran’s ties to the Black Org
Despite Conan's effort to keep Ran far from every contact with the Black Organization, she has actually come to experience more than one connection with the BO already.
She also had the chance to gather quite a bit of information and/or make inferences that may turn useful in her future investigations and potentially lead her surprisingly close to the dangerous truth.
Here is what Ran knows/inferred up to now:
- Ran clearly remembers Shinichi running after some strange "men dressed in black" at Tropical Land. She realized their connection with Shinichi’s disappearance as early as in Volume 1. She also remembers Gin and Vodka’s aspect. This means in a hypothetical future meeting she may be able to recognize them and would most probably be willing to investigate their ties with Shinichi.
- Ran had another chance to meet Gin and Vodka during the train incident in Volume 4. It is not clear whether she was able to catch a glimpse of the two men in black. However in case she did, she might easily remember Conan’s fervent interest in chasing them on the train. That would dangerously connect Conan and Shinichi.
- Ran speculated that Shinichi’s transformation happened due to a scientist’s drug. However, being unaware of the Organization’s APTX, she logically attributed the medicine to Doctor Agasa, almost immediately spotting his involvement in Shinichi’s situation and Shinichi’s urgency to hide from some threat.
- As of now, she potentially met 4 APTX victims (one of them being still unconfirmed) and for each of them she might have witnessed both of their aliases at different times: Conan/Shinichi (Volume 1); Ai/Shiho (Volumes 25/78); Sharon/Chris (Volumes 34/42: not ascertained whether she saw Chris’s face there); Sera’s sister outside the territory (Supposed but UNCONFIRMED aptx victim - Ran recognized the girl as familiar in Volume 86. Sera indirectly implied before that Ran might know her mother. If mystery girl is a shrunken person, and hypothetically Sera’s mother, Ran might have met her in both of her appearances).
We’ll develop the significant APTX path in a dedicated paragraph in our future investigations of Ran’s suspcions.
- Sharon Vineyard is able to disguise and imitate other people’s voices. Yukiko Kudo also learned rough disguising techniques from the same “famous Japanese magician” who taught Sharon.
- Ai’s supposed kidnapper (Chris Vineyard) called her “Angel” and addressed the man firing his shotgun at the girl as “Calvados”. Previously Ran and Kogoro had received an invitation to the infamous Halloween Party from "Vermouth".
- Jodie and Camel are FBI officers on vacation in Japan. But what is the other FBI officer she saw in New York (Shuichi Akai) doing in Japan right now?
- Jodie and Camel are FBI officers on vacation in Japan. But what is the other FBI officer she saw in New York (Shuichi Akai) doing in Japan right now?
Note: a foreign intelligence might be easily connected to a foreign criminal: Ai and Conan’s supposed kidnapper (Vermouth) for example. Akai is also linkable to both the NY criminal and the FBI/Jodie.
Remember Ran has once associated Jodie with the people who caused Shinichi's incident (volume 42)
- In file 938 Ran learns Sera's eldest brother's name is Shuichi Akai. She learns as well that Shuichi Akai is an FBI agent who "went to America" but also apparently once showed up in Japan during the time he was an officer. She knows said person "passed away already", supposedly in the line of duty (as Sonoko suggested).
Ran has, as mentioned, met Shuichi Akai (without knowing his name), both in New York and in Japan, recognizing him as an FBI agent.
When Ran first met Okiya, she claimed that she "might have seen that person somewhere" and that he "looked like someone".
- In file 937 Ran gets a chance to hear yet another alcohol-based nickname, Scotch, apparently an acquaintance of Masumi Sera's brother, Shuichi Akai.
- The announcer Mizunashi Rena and Eisuke Hondo might be connected.
- Ran is aware that Seven Children is the email address of a certain company’s BOSS. The same company Eisuke’s father was a member of. Ran is also aware that Conan had previously developed an interest in that song and the associated dialed number. She was asked to recognize the first 4 notes, dialing the corresponding numbers on a phone keyboard: she therefore supposedly knows the first 4 digits of the Boss’s number, that is its prefix: 0858.
Even being unable to dial the whole number, merely possessing this kind of information is considered by Akai a fatal danger.
[Curiously enough, Conan was attempting to text the Boss’s number when Ran sent the infamous suspicious message to his phone during her last suspicion climax. (Note: We apologize for any inaccuracy upon our use of the terms “phone number” / “mail address”)]
- Post undergoing progressive update -
RAN AND THE BLACK ORGANIZATION: The Black Org's ties to Ran
Having contacts with the Org means Ran was also exposed to a certain degree of danger and that the chance of that happening again in the future is not as comfortably low as Conan thinks.
Remarkably, Vermouth knows Conan’s secret and Ran’s connection to him. However, she’s keeping silent about it and willingly protecting them from dangerous implications with the Org. Ran’s extraordinary gesture towards the “serial killer” she was impersonating in New York deeply stroke Vermouth’s heart, to the point the she came to question her previous dogmatic assumption that “No angel had ever smiled upon her”, implying that Ran became that Angel to finally show her an unprecedented act of spontaneous kindness and love for human life. Shinichi triggered the ultimate gearshift when, joining Ran’s effort to save the criminal (Vermouth)’s life, remarked that no logical reason is needed to help a person. He soon became her “cool guy” an then “long-awaited silver bullet”, the one able to pierce through the organization’s core, possibly suggesting Vermouth’s inner will to see the Organization fade out.
Bourbon also became very close to the Mouris when investigating Sherry and Akai. He later developed a growing interest in Conan’s secret. However Vermouth presumably came so far as to had him promise not to hurt Conan and Ran, in exchange for her help with the disguising techniques.
Bourbon was luckily recognized by Conan and Akai as a PSB undercover agent, which qualified him as an “enemy, of the bad guys”.
Vermouth also interceded in favor of Kogoro during the Black Impact incident. However those dangerous happenings left irreversible consequences in the current status of things: the Mouri agency was targeted and associated with Conan, who had to step in and show his face to try and make up for the desperate situation.
Also, when the tracer and wiretap Conan used were accidentally found on Kir’s shoes, Gin associated them to Sherry and ascribed them to Mouri himself. Despite Vermouth’s efforts, Gin is still suspecting Kogoro’s involvement.
Luckily enough, Gin is admittedly oblivious about his victims but he already questioned Vermouth about a certain Kudo Shinichi who appeared during the Halloween party incident (only to be later revealed as Heiji). Vermouth of course lied about it and denied knowing him.
Should Gin or Vodka recall the Tropical Land incident, they could easily also remember Ran being there with Shinichi.
A newspaper front page remembered by Haibara in Volume 18 reported the news of Akemi's supposed suicide after the 10 Bilion Robbery with a picture of Ran, Conan and Kogoro mourning the deceased girl.
WHY RAN SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH
Given these premises it’s not so far from the truth to hypothesize the possibility of a new and more dangerous involvement of the Mouris with the Black Organization in the future. Knowing these circumstances, it would be useful rather than harmful for Ran to know the truth and be aware of the actual risks and dangers, in order for her to be prepared to face them. As a matter of fact, at this point in the series, it is not knowing the truth that would endanger her, but rather being ignorant of the danger that could possibly approach her.
___ Ran can keep the secret ___
Furthermore, Ran’s previous suspicion arcs, as well as her secret investigation and consequent involvement in the Halloween Party incident, show explicitly that when knowing Shinichi’s secret, she’s absolutely CAPABLE and willing to KEEP IT. Even before knowing how dangerous it may be to share it, and despite experiencing situations where involving another person would have helped her considerably.
___ The only additional danger knowing the truth may add up to the current risks is Ran's intentional involvement - Why it's even more risky for her not to know ___
On the other hand, the only additional danger the truth might bring for Ran in an already risky situation is her voluntary involvement. As seen in the Volume 42, Ran had guessed that Jodie was implicated in Shinichi’s situation. She thought some criminal was threatening the teacher and that she was secretly gathering information and taking pictures of him (and Conan). Ran was therefore determined to CONFRONT THOSE CRIMINALS and try to get rid of them. “She couldn’t help” doing it are her exact words.
This brings up many significant considerations:
- Ran is not scared to face the criminals who are responsible for Shinichi’s situation (as a consequence she wouldn’t be scared to face Gin and Vodka, the men in black she connects with Shinichi’s disappearance at Tropical Land)
- Ran is actually determined to confront them and actively help Shinichi get rid of them.
- Although she was with every effort kept far from the Org, she ended up doing his own investigation and seeking a confrontation with them.
- If that’s the case, she would act exactly the same in a similar future occurrence, acting bravely to help apprehend Shinichi’s enemies, without knowing the actual entity of the danger she’s going to face. This is another valid reason for her to KNOW the risk she’s willing to and most probably will take, even without Conan’s revelation.
___ Gosho confirmed Ran will be there in the final showdown ___
In the Super Digest Book 50+ (Question #60), when asked about Ran’s involvement in the final showdown with the Org, Gosho answered: “Well, the Organization is dangerous, isn’t? But she is always close to Conan, so she might get involved…”
CONAN, AN EXTRAORDINARY SMART KID
This is the assumption Ran’s last suspicion arc (and basically every past one) revolved around.
Doing the connection with Shinichi is extremely easy for Ran given that, as she recognized before, not only “that brain power” is absolutely matching, but “the way he solves riddles and cases” is exactly the same as Shinichi. She’s extremely familiar with that “tone of voice, actions, lively spirit and lack of musical talent”. Where strangers can only do the connection based on coincidental facts and circumstances, she has, on her part, a huge knowledge and understanding of Shinichi’s personality, as well as years of deep closeness and life sharing to compare with.
It’s basically IMPOSSIBLE to dissuade her from her doubts in a conclusive and permanent way. As long as Conan and Ran live close, she will always be able to do that connection, no matter which of Shinichi’s actions or attitudes may awaken that.
And most of the time, Shinichi’s eagerness to solve a case is the one undeniable trait Conan can’t hide.
In fact, conventionally Ran’s suspicion arcs officially start with a simple remark of hers on his ability as a detective: “You’re amazing”. This apparently innocent compliment is the unmistakable ringing bell which announces Ran’s suspicions being on.
HOW IS IT SIMILAR AND WHY IS IT DIFFERENT FROM THE PREVIOUS ARCS
Assuming Ran has been at least partially convinced of Conan being an extra-ordinary smart child after the last suspicion arc, there are still limits as to what a child can accomplish in terms of deductions. Deducing a whole case by himself is to be considered beyond those limits. In fact, Shinichi himself, although possessing a remarkably above-average intelligence, wasn’t able to do so until he was a high school student. That’s why, completing a case solution on his own means for Conan to reveal himself as Shinichi.
Knowing this, Ran notoriously tried to take advantage of Shinichi’s eagerness to solve a case, to lure him out and expose him as Conan.
Once again, she seems to go over some easily recognizable step during this arc:
- Complimenting Conan on his deductions
- Testing (and tempting) Shinichi by asking him to share his progress on the case investigation
- Concluding the inevitable truth in case he completes his reasoning, reaching the case solution.
Based on the previous arcs, she had basically all the ingredients to suspect him again already in Volume 51 (only 4 volumes after the last confrontation with Shinichi), where her shocked look could easily be the prelude to another suspicion climax.
Despite that we have been getting continuous and subtle hints of Ran’s suspicions since then till the latest volumes (see Volume 87) without being presented with a real climax, as if this time her investigation was not over yet, as if she needed to go much further before being able to confront Shinichi again, hinting that this might very well be her CONCLUSIVE suspicion arc.
Corroborating this possibility, some major and unprecedented happening occurred during this arc, to make things different from every previous suspicion arc: SHINICHI’S CONFESSION. Being suspicious of the truth with such an incisively changing event (he confessed his feelings, but still kept lying about his secret) is consistently different for Ran and considerably more dangerous than before in its consequences, bringing along the necessity to confront him, this time, with definitive and solid PROOF.
VOLUME 54, 55
During the Detective Koushien, Conan and Shinichi’s cellphone happen to be out of range at the same time. That will lead Ran to speculate that Shinichi and Conan are both on the island where the competition takes place. However she’ll later find out that only Conan was there. Sure, that can be just a mere coincidence, but once again, those Conan/Shinichi "phone incidents" happen way to much during this arc to be casual.
The SHIRAGAMI CASE is a very important step in Ran's route towards the truth.
Many useful elements come up in this case that may be fundamental to Ran's future deductions, providing two strong arguments to prove the Shinichi=Conan theory right.
Let's start with this strange scenario. "Shinichi" (Makoto Okuda) has just reappeared before Ran's eyes but "she's more worried about that brat with glasses"....
-Manga Volume 62 File 9-
During the SHIRAGAMI CASE Ran witnesses the investigation led by Heiji to discover the truth behind the murder attributed to Shinichi and the mystery of his stolen identity. During this investigation two elements come up that can serve as fundamental arguments to support the theory that Shinichi and Conan are the same person.
FIRST ELEMENT: Escaping the hut
As you can see from this page, Heiji, Kazuha, Ran and Kogoro are investigating the hut of the legendary Shiragami. They come to the conclusion that the only way out for a person trapped in the hut is a little window reachable through a chair placed over a table. The little window, however, can only be passed through by a child...
-Manga Volume 62 File 10-
FIRST ELEMENT: Escaping the hut
Shinichi confirms that he was indeed lured into the hut and locked in...
(Ran is present at the moment of the statement... so how did he escape?)
-Manga Volume 62 File 10-
FIRST ELEMENT: Escaping the hut
Shinichi admits that he fell into the lake in the attempt of getting out of the hut, corroborating the hypothesis that he got out from the infamous window... How could he, if not in the form of a child?
-Manga Volume 62 File 10-
SECOND ELEMENT: The fingerprints on Heiji's charm
To verify that the murderer is not the real Shinichi but an imposter, Heiji uses Shinichi's fingerprints from his charm.
Everyone remembers Conan touching the charm during the Naniwa Serial Murder Case (Volume 19), but when did Shinichi actually touch the charm?
KEYNOTE: Despite not pointing out immediately these two precious elements to support the Shinichi=Conan theory, Ran will later ask Kazuha about the fingerprints matter - our SECOND ELEMENT - "When did Shinichi touch Heiji's charm?" (Volume 66 File 8 ), to which Kazuha can't of course give a satisfying answer...
Since we know that she witnessed both the incoherences, it's legit to suppose that she'll face the FIRST ELEMENT as well sooner or later...and that could be an even stronger argument: to escape the hut through the window, Shinichi must have assumed at least temporarily the aspect of a child...
COLLECTING EVIDENCE: FINGERPRINTS
Just a single sentence from Conan in this WHITE WITCH case ("Witches and curses only exist in fairy tales") is enough to awaken the Conan=Shinichi equation in Ran's mind... Are there still any doubts that she can doubt him anytime?
KEYNOTE: We find the same sentence spoken by Masumi Sera in Volume 83 File 2. There is a good chance that she heard those words from Shinichi in a previous encounter.
-Manga Volume 63 File 11-
Conan almost crossing the Shinichi line again, going too far with his deductions... Conan was narrowing down suspects with his knowledge of cars (the Witch's FD), and was about to explain how the Witch could drive in thick fog when he realized he had revealed too much. Conan then lied to Kogorou that he didn't know the trick either.
Ran's suspicious request to complete his reasoning echoes her other "Because?" from Volume 51 (see VOLUME 51 for more details).
The SCAR OF FIRST LOVE case is a very important one for the building of Ran’s next suspicion arc because of the many hints it lays about Ran’s lingering suspects, because it faces the problem of revealing a long-concealed truth to the person one loves and because it gives Ran and the readers some potential means to PROVE that Conan is Shinichi, or better, that Shinichi has been Conan before.
Let’s begin form the start.
THE BATH TEST
Ran’s disposition to bath with Conan has been traditionally a pretty reliable test to verify whether her suspicious mode was being on or not. During the Desperate Revival Arc, after many hints had been gradually laid in the previous chapters, we get the final confirmation that she’s suspecting Shinichi when she categorically refuses to have a bath together with Conan at Agasa’s house once Kogoro suggests it. On the contrary, when she’s not suspecting Conan to be Shinichi, during the Kogoro’s class reunion case, she peacefully consents to the famous bath (that eventually resulted in Conan’s nose-bleeding scene), which she’ll recall and regret every time her suspicious mode is on. It was right in that occasion (volume 9) that they “washed each other’s backs” and that Conan had the infamous reaction. In this context, she curiously uses the exact same words, but this time, it seems, with a completely different intent. She in fact asks, slightly blushing, to Conan if he wants to join her in the washrooms adding that “it’s been a while since they washed each other’s back”, clearly hinting at that past occasion…
The fact that just one page later she easily gives up on her purpose to take a bath before he can even give a proper answer is a proof that she wasn’t really intending to bathe with him, but more properly to just test his reaction...
At the bottom of the same page, Ran’s inquiring spirit comes forward when she questions (or even teases) Conan about his usual sharp receptiveness to people’s statements.
Ran will follow closely this investigation and Conan’s involvement, both case-wise and emotionally.
-Manga Volume 64 File 6-
The whole case beautifully revolves around the concept of "seeing through". The charming blind lady is the outstanding character who perfectly embodies the spirit of the case. She in fact "can see the things that others don't see..." So exactly the way she saw through the truth of the person who saved her life even without seeing their scar, similarly she sees through Conan's words and mind, coming as far as to guess that he could be a high school student with an unsuitable voice for his age...
"It's as if Sherlock Holmes were imitating a child" she remarks in front of everyone... just before leaving everything in the hands of Mr Detective.... Is she referring to Kogoro? Ran's glance seems doubtful towards this option...
Conan puts Mouri to sleep and carelessly starts the Sleeping Kogoro show just very very close to Ran... Uhm...suspicious practice deserves another suspicious glance....
What is she seeking, looking doubtfully behind her father's back?
This case offers us a very important point to reflect on: "SCARS DON'T GROW AS YOU AGE".
This means that if Conan holds a scar from his surgery back in the Desperate Revival Arc (or should he get some other wound as a kid), that would stay exactly the same when he gets back to being Shinichi, providing a pretty strong proof that they are ONE AND THE SAME person.
And here we are to the crucial part of the emotional impact this whole route towards revealing the truth has been having on Conan.
He and Ran pushed the butler to reveal his secret identity to the beloved lady who, however, already knew it and had put on the whole deal only to have him come forward and tell her...
"However, in my case, even if I wanted to reveal the truth... I still can't say it..." says Conan almost envying the butler and his possibility to speak the truth.
Ran's "What do you mean?" is a pretty tempting invite... yet the right moment hasn't come... the rational, prudent Shinichi resumes his self-control... what would be of this story without the old nostalgic Kamen Yaiba excuse?
COLLECTING EVIDENCE: SCAR
Speaking of reflection, file 667’s cover is pretty significant and evocative, featuring Conan looking at his own reflection in a mirror, marked by a SCAR. “SCAR” is indeed the meaningful name of this file. The connection to a similar portrayal of his is almost immediate: file 257, “The revival under the threat of death” where Shinichi was depicted as the black knight, holding a fateful scar on his face.
Other than serving as a potential reference to the Phantom of the Opera on Gosho’s part, that scar could very well represent a nifty metaphor of the scar he may have just got few files before when being shot in the cavern. That same wound, so significantly come to prompt Ran’s life-saving gesture and to expose her doubts, or rather certainties, on his identity, might come up again and establish once and for all the undeniable evidence of truth.
If Conan holds a scar from his surgery which happened in the Desperate Revival Arc, that would stay exactly the same when he gets back to being Shinichi, providing a pretty strong proof that they are ONE AND THE SAME person.
It’s not apparent whether or not Conan may hold that kind of scar. But if he did, this would possibly be the implicated area: as you see, it may very well be concealed by using some high waist piece of clothing/towel and/or clever camera angles, comfortably hiding or overlooking the detail.
Whether this kind of scar exists already, however, it’s not necessarily fundamental: as long as he gets an indelible mark of that kind as a kid, that will turn into some undeniable evidence when he’s Shinichi.
KEYNOTE 1: The Kizu/Kisu pun has been employed by Gosho numerous times, establishing a recurring connection between scars/scratches and kisses: see the Desperate Revival Arc, the New York case and the Let it be case (Matsumoto’s scar story which ended up with Sato and Takagi’s kiss) for a reference. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him pull this kind of connection again in the future.
KEYNOTE 2: Because of the description we’ve been given about them (injuring one of their eyes in some sort of accident and being replaced by a prosthetic one - File 908), Rum’s identity has been frequently associated with characters holding a scar on their eye (among them, Matsumoto himself). It would be a nice intersection if both Rum’s and Shinichi’s scar could play a role at the end of the current arc, exposing both of their identities in a grand denouement, preluding the Boss Arc and the final showdown.
One of the many situations where Ran carefully follows Conan’s deductive process at crime scenes expecting the case solution to pop out of him at any moment… It’s quite interesting to see how she occasionally asks him directly to spill the final deduction, sometimes to test his ability to carry out the whole crime-solving process, sometimes just in the habit of doing it as if she was subconsciously addressing Shinichi…
We’ll find many more occurrences like this one and will be collecting them for the purpose of our analysis.
A scene of fundamental importance for Ran’s next suspicion arc. Here she finally speaks out loud one of the TWO inconsistencies she witnessed during the SHIRAGAMI CASE, THE FINGERPRINTS ON HEIJI’S CHARM: everyone remembers Conan touching the charm during the Naniwa Serial Murder Case (Volume 19), but when did Shinichi actually touch the charm? Kazuha can't obviously give a satisfying answer...
Despite not pointing out immediately this precious element to support the Shinichi=Conan theory, Ran did take note of it and asks now Kazuha about it. It's therefore logical to suppose that she'll face the OTHER SUSPICIOUS ELEMENT she witnessed during the Shiragami case as well sooner or later and that could be an even stronger argument: to ESCAPE THE HUT through that narrow window, Shinichi must have assumed at least temporarily the aspect of a child...
-Manga Volume 66 File 10-
Two chapters later, during the investigation, we can find - very close to the previous one in Volume 65 - another suspicious session of Ran questioning Conan about the case. Ran asks Conan again for the conclusive deduction to solve the mystery and Conan gets all alarmed asking her back why she didn’t question Heiji about it. The reason is actually simple: Conan joined the Western detective’s investigation and was, just like him, capable of deducing the truth so far so it’s only natural for Ran to expect him to solve the rest of the case as well. Yet Conan’s words urge Ran to question herself in turn… Why indeed does she believe a kid can solve an adult case on his own?
This psychological insight of Ran’s is quite precious and gives us a truthful shot of Ran’s mind right now: she can’t help but pair up and match Shinichi’s and Conan’s figure in her mind…but does she really want to believe this equation and all the consequences it brings along? She probably strongly wants to believe the ”truth” Shinichi told her (and showed her with proof multiple times) because the secret she harbors in her heart would be so much more painful to believe. But how long will she be able to hide from the truth she herself seem to have found out? Whenever that moment will come, sooner or later she’ll have to finally face her lingering doubts and admit that Shinichi lied to her. That’ll be extremely painful, especially after the happenings of Volumes 71-72.
The Red Shirts case holds many points of interest in regards to Ran’s investigation:
- Ran meets here another FBI agent “on vacation” in Japan, Camel, and learns that Jodie didn’t go back to the US to pursue her “treasure”, but rather seems to be willing to extend her sojourn in Japan. Jodie also carelessly shows her language fluency.
- Ran asks for Conan’s help to solve the case, suggesting Kogoro to consult him on the red shirts mystery.
- Ran is once again extremely close to Conan while performing the Sleeping Kogoro “show”. Conan and the bow-tie are in plain sight.
- Ran makes another remark on Conan’s deductive skills, the well-known an recurring “That’s amazing, Conan-kun”.
- Okiya gives some meaningful hint on Conan's suspicious behaviour commenting that he had some involvement in the strange happening of the crowd commotion. Ran gets interested in the remark and questions Okiya about it.
*Both these scenes were portrayed in a very familiar manner, with distinctive similarities to Ran's past suspicion arcs.
- Volume 67 vs Volume 3 -
Once again here in Volume 67 Ran walks the unmistakable steps to one of her suspicion climaxes. The fact the such cilmax didn't reach its final stage, that is the on-screen exposure of her suspicions to the readers (see key frames marked with a dark grey highlight from her past suspicion arcs) and the subsequent confrontation with Shinichi corroborates the idea that Gosho is going straight toward her last suspicion arc, without any further dodged attempt in the interim.
As we showed in our previous posts, Ran has already been handling some potential piece of evidence to prove her theory right. That would most definitely make her next suspicion arc the decisive one.
As we also mentioned before, Sera will give her some useful advice as to good methods to collect consistent proof in Volume 77.
The Kappa mystery. Even an apparently regular case like this can provide for remarkable observations on Ran’s part.
Conan is no doubt making an imprudent move by increasing the number of Sleeping Kogoro lookalikes. This time it's Yamamura's turn to perform a way too familiar deduction show...
“It’s just like dad’s ‘Sleeping Kogoro’” Ran notices when Conan puts Yamamura to sleep. The peculiar attitude and even the “non-sequitur tie-ins” Conan inserts there to justify a sudden change of mind and/or enlightenment concerning the case solution are just the same and Ran makes a point out of it.
Ran already made the connection between Sleeping Kogoro and Deduction Queen Sonoko in Manga Volume 51 File 9, remarking that Sonoko’s peculiar career as a case solver started from the Bandaged Man case and that Conan was there too…
In the same file, Conan’s once again acting all cocky and adult-like… sounding too much like a certain detective…
“Talking to me as if I were a child, when you’re just a child yourself…” notes an annoyed Ran.
Apparently, at times, Conan just can’t help being Shinichi…
-Manga Volume 69 File 6-
This is one out of many circumstances where the Detective Boys witness Conan using his voice changer bow-tie. Aoyama indulged evidently on their disoriented reaction more than once. Should they mention this strange behavior on Conan's part in front of Ran, Shinichi’s mask would easily fall down.
A similar occurrence can be seen in Manga Volume 48 File 1. Another of those incidents will happen in Volume 73 (Bomber at the Detective Agency case)
Another one of Ran’s frequent remarks on Conan’s wits, always combined with a slight blushing on her part (Conan suggested the idea of installing metal detectors as a Kid countering measure to Inspector Nakamori in this Ryoma's treasure case).
For a thorough analysis of Ran's remarks, please read the HOW IS IT SIMILAR AND WHY IS IT DIFFERENT FROM THE PREVIOUS ARCS section.
LONDON AND FOLLOWING: THE CONFESSION AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
LONDON AND FOLLOWING: THE CONFESSION AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
Although Conan and Shinichi’s figures can’t but immediately overlap in her mind every time Conan shows his Holmes-adoring side in London, Ran here acts as if she really believes (or wants to believe) that Shinichi and Conan are two different persons.
Conan even takes his precious second antidote to prevent Ran from doing the connection between the places he and Shinichi were simultaneously investigating in London and Ran gets angry over Shinichi for not telling her that he was in London too. And yet the fact that she doesn’t promptly give an answer to the confession (as if she already knew he was conscious of her feelings), the fact that her subsequent attempts to do so fail miserably (as if she was strongly held back or rather “blocked” by something), together with the many suspicious remarks she gives out in the following volumes (as if she was testing him), are more than enough to guess that her behavior is not coincidental. The actual reason why she wouldn’t give a proper answer, despite the elapsed time and chances of contact with Shinichi, (Sonoko and Kazuha even scolding her upon that) might just be that she can’t get free of her ever-lingering doubts on his identity.
Everyone always thought that the moment he’d finally speak his feelings, Ran would literally jump into Shinichi’s arms. It’s only natural to think that whether something like that was to happen in London, the manga could be considered almost concluded on the romance side, so that obviously hasn’t happen yet. But thinking the other way around, there must be a reason why Aoyama introduced Shinichi’s confession way before the finale and that's only reasonable to guess that his purpose could be prompting an unexpected answer/reaction on Ran’s part, leading to a deeper character development for the two of them, before the long-awaited happy ending.
Shinichi himself had previously considered that confessing his feelings before getting steadily to his old self could only make things worse with Ran (see Volume 33, The Forgotten Memento from the Crime). However their quarrel in London suddenly created a concrete chance for Shinichi's most dreaded scenario to get real: his innermost fear of losing her - knowing they were destined to be separated again for who knows how much time - brought out his uttermost human side, so rare to see, and yet so fascinating, the fallible one. So he told her his feelings before being able to tell her the truth, a "mistake" he’s probably going to regret harshly in the imminent future.
But don’t people do irrational things when they are in love? The whole London confession seems to revolve around that.
So, analyzing the current status of things, there must be a strong reason why Ran keeps hesitating before starting her “official” relationship with Shinichi after the confession, why she wouldn’t give that final “push” (as Kazuha called it) that her positive answer would represent. That reason could understandably be that, considering how much she cares about Shinichi, and how tenaciously she has been waiting for their chance to be together for her whole life, she is not willing to compromise their relationships, starting it off with threatening doubts and uncertain trust.
Just consider for an instant how huge the consequences would be if she suspects him right now: the whole confession would lose half of its value in her eyes. (That’s why it’s not that far-fetched to assume that we could get another, probably more explicit, confession in the finale). How can she believe the sincerity of his heart, if she can't believe the sincerity of his words?
But since the implications of her suspicions are so much more dangerous now, being able to put their relationship at risk, and since she’s been previously more than once presented with solid circumstances set to discard her conclusions, this time Ran will have to privilege a pondered waiting and choose to confront Shinichi only when she has collected strong evidence to ground her theories in and prove them right unappealably.
Sera’s suggestions in Volume 77 (http://tinyurl.com/jeh53dc) might be very useful in that regard. And the fact that prophetic Sonoko mentioned the coming of a powerful rival just the moment when Sera debuted, suggests that the female detective (who seems to know Conan’s secret too) might have an active role in this whole matter.
And let's not forget about this: [http://i.imgur.com/EHCsaTa.png] Shinichi answers Ran's call on his phone with Conan's voice. Are we sure that didn't come to her mind afterwards, increasing her disposition to suspect and decreasing her disposition to answer?
This is not the only Conan/Shinichi "phone accident" occurred in this arc. See Volume 48 (teiu case), Volumes 54-55 (Detective Koshien and this post for reference: http://tinyurl.com/ha47zsv
More notable cellphone incidents do follow in later volumes: in the Bomber at the Detective Agency case (Volume 73) and during Yusaku's cold case (Volume 77).
-Manga Volume 72 File 5-
LONDON AND FOLLOWING: RAN NOT ANSWERING THE CONFESSION
Just like us, Sonoko thought Ran's reaction would be something like: "Oh my God, no way! I can't believe it! I've been in love with you the entire time too" Gosho is apparently going on purpose into a different direction...
While Sonoko does an impression of Ran's supposed answer to the confession, Ran not only denies she uttered anything like that but also surprisingly mutters "Do you think I should have?"
She seems to think that an answers might be even unnecessary... as if she was certain that he was already aware of her feelings. Sure, the way she acted in London might be a hint as to what her feelings were, but are we sure she isn't thinking of that evening she walked Conan-kun home the day they met and confessed being in love with Shinichi?
What's interesting to note is also that Shinichi has always been pretty sure of her answer, even if he hasn't heard it out loud. What if the answer won't be the one he's expecting?
Another volume goes by and Sonoko questions Ran again about the confession-answering matter. But the response is still negative... Here is Sonoko's legit reaction: "WHAT THE HECK RAN!? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT'S BEEN SINCE THEN?"
Ran's feeble excuse is "B-But I never really had the chance..."
Actually she just mailed him about winning the Karate Championship... but was purposely reticent upon the issue.
-Manga Volume 73 File 6-
LONDON AND FOLLOWING: RAN NOT ANSWERING THE CONFESSION, THE POWERFUL RIVAL
Prophetic Sonoko on the move: "If you're too careless... One day a powerful rival may suddenly appear, you know?"
And that's when Sera made her debut... We'll come to know afterwards that she's most probably also aware of Conan's secret.
She'll also give Ran precious suggestions on some generic methods to collects proof during Yusaku's cold case.
LONDON AND FOLLOWING: RAN NOT ANSWERING THE CONFESSION - NO DATE, NO CALL, NOTHING AT ALL
Progressing with our inquiry through the impact of the London happenings on Ran's attitude and her quest for the truth, we need to take into account the Eye for an eye case.
After exploring Sonoko’s reaction and introducing the controversial figure of a "powerful rival" (we'll get back to volume 73 and closely follow Sera's involvement in Ran's investigations through the story in our future posts), it’s now up to Kazuha to welcome the news of Shinichi’s confession and give Ran some good admonition/advice
After hearing the whole story (and of course performing the liveliest reaction in the middle of the investigation!) Kazuha can’t help getting curious and asking Ran about the developments which followed such a pleasant event. “What did you guys do afterwards? You met up and call each other, right?” “No, nothing at all” is Ran’s response… “But then, Ran-chan, you should call him!” is Kazuha’s legitimate opinion.
LONDON AND FOLLOWING: RAN NOT ANSWERING THE CONFESSION – “WHY DON’T YOU GIVE THE FINAL PUSH AND CLAIM THE VICTORY?”
Ran’s hesitation here sounds quite understandable… something she wished for such a long time did finally come true in an unexpected way (“I kind of feel like I forced him into confessing…”, “It was almost like a dream…” ).
Yet something in her answer sounds odd: why does she think that calling Shinichi and facing the matter of the confession with him will make her “crash” to reality? Knowing him as well as she does, there is no chance he’d be saying such things lightheartedly or he’d be ever taking his word back.
Taking their dream-like situation to reality may only bring along pleasant consequences for the two of them, namely the chance to finally get officially together as a couple, once Ran gives the conclusive agreement.
So where does Ran’s concern come from? What does prevent her from giving the "final push" to prompt her happiness?
That “I want to cling on to this happy feeling for just a little longer” sounds almost worrisome. She seems aware, almost sure indeed, that confronting Shinichi about the confession will bring unhappy consequences… That her happiness might be lost rather then achieved whenever that final push is triggered.
If she was harboring any doubts on his identity before London (we’ve gathered a substancial collection of hints to that), that would be a consistent reason to see Shinichi’s confession and her next confrontation with him (as well as their chance to attain happiness) considerably affected by his striking omission of the truth.
As we said before, there’s no way Ran would base their relationship as a couple (sometimes she has hugely cared and longed for) off of lies, doubts or uncertainties. That’s why giving a positive answer is now impossible for her and “pushing” things now could possibly mean pushing Shinichi away…
- Bonus from Volume 69 File 7 - (related to the matter)
Ran's curious love prediction during the White Day Case seems a lot less obscure if we read that again after the London happenings.
Even the fortune teller seems to hint at a moment were the couple will have to experience a 'harsh' confrontation, before "finally being able to get together at the end of a dramatic event" (where the dramatic event would most probably represent the final showdown with the Black Org).
"Try not to quarrel with him too much..." is the lady's advice for Ran.
-Manga Volume 74 File 11-
LONDON AND FOLLOWING: RAN NOT ANSWERING THE CONFESSION – THE DROPPED PROMISE
Kazuha is determined to encourage Ran’s move. Love is like a battlefield in her opinion, that's why Ran’s “lukewarm” attitude can’t bring her to “claim the victory”. To help her friend, Kazuha suggests a mutual promise: she’ll gather her courage to confess to Heiji, while, in exchange, Ran will face Shinichi and figure out “whether it was a dream or not”. Unfortunately, despite Kazuha’s efforts (and Ran’s help), Heiji will not be able to hear her confession at the end of the case. The unfulfilled promise will thus be dropped, together with Ran’s “commitment” to answer the confession…
LONDON AND FOLLOWING: RAN’S ANSWER VS. RAN’S SUSPICIONS
After the London confession in Volume 72, as we’ve been showing in our previous posts, the matter of Ran’s answer was brought up regularly (every volume) by Gosho until Volume 74 (Eye for eye case, stretching partially into Volume 75). It was then resumed in Volume 77 with Ran’s failed attempt to give her answer during Yusaku’s cold case. However, Ran’s insightful remarks and her frequent chances to witness suspicious inconsistencies and Conan/Shinichi connections have never stopped even after London: with few exceptions, almost every volume up till now (Volume 87) holds some situations, facts or hints that may be helpful in regards to our analysis and Ran’s investigation. We’ll be collecting all those instances in our future posts. Remarkably, it is quite interesting to consider, as you may see from this outline, that the above mentioned circumstances (Ran being encouraged to answer to Shinichi’s confession by her friends – v.72-73-74-(75) and her failed attempt to do so –v.77) are spaced out by the notable occurrences in Volume 75: two among the most incisive arguments to support the theory of Ran’s suspicion arc being underway.
“If it’s a lie with the other person’s interest at heart, I’m sure they would forgive you…” (V75, Another Kogorou)
“So even if someone changed their appearance and tried to fool everyone, they’d be found out right away, wouldn’t they?” (V75, Private Eye, Amuro’s debut)
Yusaku’s cold case will itself provide some very good material for our investigation, including Ran’s famous:
Many additional situations, before and after Volume 75, will suggest Ran’s behavior is directly connectable with her suspicions. We’ll get to it as we proceed through our inquiry.
For the time being, this quick outline is quite helpful to realize how close and interwoven Ran’s remarks hinting at Conan’s identity and her wasted chances to follow up to Shinichi’s confession are... and how likely her suspicions can have affected her disposition to answer.
Another “lukewarm” attempt to face the subject of Shinichi’s feelings was made in Volume 84, when Ran called Shinichi on the phone, while at the Beika Aquarium, wondering if he already was in love with her when they first visited the place “not even a year” before. Due to Conan’s misunderstanding, however, the question will stay unanswered (or rather unspoken) whereas Ran, in the end, didn’t even properly mention or hint at her feelings.
As time goes by, her chances and willingness to answer the confession got more and more rare and tepid, whilst her collection of clues as well as her persistent suspicions are growing everyday more grounded and consistent.
Note: the illustrative layout was inspired by the old DCTP graphics, which we based our outline on very long ago ^^
LONDON AND FOLLOWING: THE UN-OCCURRED EMOTIONAL IMPACT
Following up on our analysis of Ran’s psychological insight after the London confession, we need to go back to Volume 33 for a comparison. As we mentioned in our detailed overview above (see LONDON AND FOLLOWING: RAN’S ANSWER VS. RAN’S SUSPICIONS for further details), Shinichi had previously considered that confessing his feelings before getting steadily to his old self could only make things worse with Ran (Volume 33, The Forgotten Memento from the Crime). Haibara reminds him of that soon after ‘learning’ (or, more appropriately, guessing) that he confessed during his sojourn in London.
“You even told me once yourself. She’ll want to meet you even more than before, and you’ll end up hurting her instead.”
Interestingly though, albeit the confession happened and the two lovers were left apart, Ran hasn’t been shown to be bothered by Shinichi’s distance ever since (differently from what happened before).
When it was only natural that she’d miss even more the person she wanted (and could now, theoretically, proven their feelings were mutual) be with, she seems to miss him ‘less’ than before.
In fact, whether good or bad, it looks like an emotional impact surprisingly never happened. It’s as if her emotional response to the London confession was ‘frozen’, because a much more compelling device was triggered: a reasonable response on her part. Funnily enough, just when Shinichi let his emotion loose, discarding logic, Ran’s sense prevailed over sensibility. Rather than instinctively accepting and reciprocating Shinichi’s feelings, she seems willing to priorly clear her doubts and ascertain the truth, before being able to give the long-awaited answer.
RAN'S OUTFITS AND SHINICHI'S ADVICE
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a cute lady in possession of a new dress, must be in want of a compliment, or at least of some advice. ^^ That’s what Ran does on a regular basis with Shinichi (as we see in Volume 26 and the recent Volume 83), despite never getting a proper feedback out of him…. ^^
The fact that Ran somewhat cares for Shinichi’s opinion upon her looks has been also a good marker of her being in the suspicion area in the past, when she projected that kind of attitude over Conan.
-Manga Volumes: V22 File 8 – V67 File 2 – V82 File 2-
We have an example of that behaviour during the building of Ran’s suspicions before the Desperate Revival climax. In volume 22 file 8 Ran asks for Conan’s opinion on her brand-new swimsuit and Sonoko mutters that it’s a complete waste to show that kind of outfit to a kid who can’t “understand”.
The fact that the exact same scenario (only with a different dress for Ran) happened already twice in the current arc, is a further hint that Ran’s suspicions might be on right now.
RAN STARING AT CONAN DURING THE INVESTIGATION
Another useful marker to spot Ran’s suspicions status is Ran’s peculiar attitude toward Conan on the crime scene. While suspecting she’s often portrayed in an extremely attentive and perceptive disposition, following Conan’s investigation very closely, watching every step of his, ready to capture any suspicious action or detail.
Doing so, she also gets often very close to catch him while using one of his gadgets...
This kind of attitude is easily recognizable in her past suspicion arcs and, as you see, she has been acting the same way more than once during the current arc.
COLLECTING EVIDENCE: YUSAKU'S COLD CASE: RAN'S DIARY OF TRUTH
- Manga Volume 77 File 7 -
YUSAKU'S COLD CASE – RAN SPECULATING ON SHINICHI’S DISAPPEARANCE
After analyzing the foreshadowing function of this case, let’s get to the “suspicious” part we mentioned. This case provides for several questionable behaviors on Conan’s part, as well as inquirable Shinichi references.
Let’s start with the latter occurrences. Ran learns here from Subaru that Shinichi is believed to have lost his life “during a case investigation” which news immediately rises the girl’s inquiring spirit since both her and Sera (as well as Sonoko) can testify the falseness of such rumor. Sera subtly underlines that, however, both times she witnessed Shinichi’s involvement, the detective was only there over the phone and promptly asks, as usual, Conan to confirm this.
When Sonoko wonders about the reason for such misconception, Ran brilliantly deduces that Shinichi must have been “persistently requesting the parties involved in cases ensure he remains anonymous” “in order not to raise the guard of the culprit in some sort of case he’s after”.
It’s helpful to remember that:
Ran already connected Shinichi’s disappearance to the two suspicious men “dressed in black” from Tropical Land Shinichi was interested in (See Volume 1)
She hypothesized Shinichi’s shrinking was due to some drug Agasa made to allow him to hide from some “really bad case” (See Volume 26)
She once linked Jodie to “Shinichi’s incident”, assuming the woman might have been threatened by some criminal who wanted her to take pictures of Shinichi’s weak points. Ran was, therefore, determined to follow her teacher and “confront those criminals to get rid of them” (see Volume 42)
Throughout the series up to now, Ran basically got to the point of deducing that Shinichi got involved in some kind of trouble that night at Tropical Land after meeting those men “dressed in black” (vol 1) and that he needed to hide and ensure discretion ever since, giving a more than reasonable motive for Conan’s introduction and his identity being kept secret (vol 26). She went so far as to guess that people involved with Shinichi's incident might want to corner him and secretly try to gather info on him (vol 42), hence Shinichi’s shadowy behavior and requested un-involvement in public exposure being due to the “case he’s after” (vol 77). The subsequent reasonable assumption that the case he's after and the people he's hiding from are the same who determined his incident (Tropical Land's men dressed in black) is right behind the corner in Ran's line of reasoning.
YUSAKU'S COLD CASE – THE UNSPEAKABLE ANSWER:
Ran was urged by Sonoko to say "I like you" to Shinichi on the phone. She ended up saying "Subaru-san..." instead.
- Manga Volume 77 File 8 -
YUSAKU'S COLD CASE – THREE “DETECTIVES” vs. ONE “CULPRIT”
As if everything just happened wasn’t enough, more is yet to come suspicion-wise.
This case remarkably features the presence of three characters being interested in Conan’s secret and their combined action, as shown by these chapters, manages quite successfully to put Conan under pressure and have him commit a series of little but consistent slips.
In fact, when he comes back from answering Ran’s call, he has to face a very well-placed “triple-attack” on his secret. Ran strikes first by questioning how is it possible that Conan just heard the case solution from Shinichi if she was the one being on the phone with him until just “a second ago” (Yet again, another among the countless Shinichi/Conan incidents, after the Bomber at the Detective Agency case in Volume 73, London Case in Volume 72, the teiu case in Volume 48, the Detective Koushien in Volume 54 .
Sera scores another point by pointing out that Conan’s BOW-TIE is wrapped around his phone.
Subaru marks the match-point by calling him straight out “Kudo Shinichi” in front of everyone, just to complete the sentence in an elusive way, much like Heiji will do in file 932.
YUSAKU'S COLD CASE – WITH OR WITHOUT SHINICHI
Sera and Ran discuss the case solution and put some more pressure on squirming Conan, by subtly questioning how much of the case was solved by the little detective and how much was Shinichi’s doing…
This case more than anything showed how perfectly able Conan was to solve the case without Shinichi's help, so much that he has to constantly remind (himself) and the girls that everything he speaks came from Shinichi's infamous message. However Conan's act didn't quite earn him a Macademy Award this time... His mask is going to drop in a brief, intense moment of truth and a glimpse of his true face will be revealed to the eyes of the most eager spectator...
YUSAKU'S COLD CASE – GLASS NO KAMEN
The uneasy situation Conan went through all over this case, combined with the cathartic relief from finally being able to solve the mystery of the “cold case” and clear his father’s obscure behavior from 10 years ago will lead to the most prominent Conan=Shinichi moment we had after the last suspicion arc climax.
YUSAKU'S COLD CASE – CONAN-KUN, RIGHT?
Emotionally involved Conan finally releases all the pressure from this incident by speaking the case solution and quoting his father’s words with Shinichi’s tone and attitude.
This is actually no news: "That tone of voice, those actions, that brain power... " (Ran’s first suspicion arc, Volume 3). That’s something Ran is extremely familiar with. In cases like these, it’s just impossible to lie before her eyes. As we mentioned before, she has, on her part, a huge knowledge and understanding of Shinichi’s personality, as well as years of deep closeness and life sharing to compare with. Conan and Shinichi’s figures unmistakably overlap in Ran’s mind in a mixed picture of interweaving present and past, to the point of “scaring” her.
“Conan-kun, right?” That’s the one big question she’ll need to find an answer to, before being able to reply to the confession.
KEYNOTE: two more remarkable incidents where Conan spoke filter-less “just like Shinichi” during the current build-up to the next suspicion arc:
See Silver witch case ) and Zombie case (volume 88)
YUSAKU'S COLD CASE – CONAN'S GADGETS EXPOSED
One last juicy suspicious bit: Ran witnesses Conan kicking a ball with extra-power. Once again, this happened already during her first suspicion arc (See (Volume 3).
Together with Sera’s bow-tie remark, this is a nice add up to the collection of helpful data Ran had a chance (or could possibly in the future get a chance to) gather in regards to Conan’s gadgets… which could provide for an interesting page in the journal of her investigations (which journal we're gradually trying to anticipate here by tidily compiling remarkable material from Ran's inquiry into this album ^^)
You can see a little recap of those strange gadget-related occurrences in Volume 8 File 1.
We’ll be soon dedicating a deep analysis to the matter of Ran’s factual and potential knowledge of Conan’s gadgets in our future posts.
File 928 - Volume 88 File 2 -
Ran, Sera, Sonoko and Conan attend Ogura's ramen restaurant . Both Ran and Sera are totally ok with the news that Conan has solved a poisoning case before in there. (Volume 73) Ran even smiling proudly...
File 932 - Volume 88 File 6 -
The Zombie case offers us quite a bit of material for our investigations, as well as an easy recognizable pattern, previously used by Aoyama more than once for Ran's suspicion cases. You may see our analysis of such scheme here in the HOW IS IT SIMILAR AND WHY IS IT DIFFERENT FROM THE PREVIOUS ONES section.
To start off, Heiji's totally uncalled for presentation almost reveals Conan as the "High School Detective of the East".
Trying to cover up, Heiji says Conan is just an acquaintance of said high schooler, but then isn't Ran a more legit reference as far as age and closeness go?
File 932 - Volume 88 File 6 -
The Shinichi = Conan equation curtly crosses Ran's mind again:
"Is that Conan-kun's voice just now? It somehow sounded like Shinichi..."
Now that Conan has been caught off guard by the recording smartphone, his true colors are finally exposed.
Hattori promptly offers his friend an excuse: "He was just imitating me". Nice try, Heiji, however...
"That tone of voice, those actions, that brain power...
It's exactly like Shinichi... It must be him"
(Ran's first suspicion arc, Volume 3)
See our thorough analysis of key elements to the Shinichi/Conan connection here, in the CONAN, AN EXTRAORDINARY SMART KID section.
Files 933-934 - Volume 88 Files 7-8 -
More interesting happenings from the Zombie case: in file 933 Heiji straightforwardly addresses Conan as “Kudo”, a classic incident for the Western detective.
Remarkably, in the previous files, Ran has been already alerted by Heiji’s strange references to the “Detective of the East” while talking about Conan and by Conan’s suspicious Shinichi-like tone of voice and attitude, coincidentally recorded by a smartphone.
Is she close enough to hear Heiji call Conan Kudo from above the stairs? Even if she wasn’t, Ran could have another chance to learn about Heiji’s careless stumble: the zombie “army” undoubtedly had a better position to listen to the two detectives’ talk… and Ran gets a well-timed possibility to talk to them right after that, prompted by Conan’s request.
Later in the case, Ran is shown visibly shaken by the meeting. However such meeting wasn’t displayed on screen. Could something significant have come up during the talk? (Like the zombies referring to Conan as Kudo as well, going by what they heard from Hattori?)
Ran might hold that kind of significant hint for later. Remember she did that for Shinichi’s fingerprints on Heiji’s charm as well. (The Shiragami case happened in Volume 62 but she didn’t mention her doubts on what she witnessed before Volume 66. On a meaningful note, she significantly chose to only share that doubt with Kazuha, and not with either Conan or Hattori himself).
Files 934-935 - Volume 88 Files 8-9 -
More slip-ups on Conan’s part. Shinichi is unbelievably careless here, nonchalantly showing his skills and active involvement in this case. Ran’s worrisome questions about his progress on the investigation dangerously evoke the specter of her traditional suspicion arc pattern (Please refer to the HOW IS IT SIMILAR AND WHY IS IT DIFFERENT FROM THE PREVIOUS ONES section.)
“I’m just imitating Heiji-niichan” is Conan’s new cover-up, borrowed from Hattori’s initial tentative excuse.
But as time goes by, it’s more and more evident how the little detective incautiously keeps on “stealing the spotlight” even from his supposed “master”.
File 935 - Volume 88 File 9 -
Following deeper through the recognizable pattern, Ran’s “You’re amazing” is the inevitable next step. But once again in this arc, despite holding all the necessary ingredients for a suspicion climax, Ran will keep silent about her doubts instead of directly confronting Shinichi. A couple aspects may need further inquiry and sensible prudence on her part in this case. The zombie meeting we mentioned before possibly being one. The other being a remarkably recurring set-up Ran keeps on coming across during past and present cases: Heiji’s significant involvement in Conan’s schemes to protect his identity.
Files 932-935 - Volume 88 Files 6-9 -
Heiji’s funambulatory balance between exposing and trying to cover up for Shinichi’s secret has been a constant during the series and more than apparent during this case. His involvement in Conan’s schemes hasn’t escaped Ran’s grasp.
“Those two are really close, aren’t they?” Ran has a positive answer for Kazuha’s innocent question, the same since her suspicion arc during Desperate Revival, when Heiji blatantly went so far as to dress up as Shinichi just when Ran needed to confirm whether he and Conan were the same and only person. Working together, supporting each other to protect the same truth. They’re more than close, they are ACCOMPLICES.
Seeing Heiji’s serious and less serious attempts to “camouflage” Conan’s secret, and the prompt assistance they’re regularly prone to give to one another, in a continuous, mutual correspondence of support, it must be only natural for Ran to think as much. That’s one more considerable reason to hold on and keep silent about her doubts… for the moment.
Beating two among the most brilliant detectives of the whole country is no piece of cake. Ran has learnt from Shinichi’s past “tricks”. She knows he, supported by his ally, will try to mislead her the moment she exposes her doubts. That’s why, for her inquiry to keep going, she’ll need to observe the keenest secrecy and, to be able to confront one or the two of them, her next move, this time, should be a well-prepared one.
File 936 - Volume 88 File 9 -
Girl Band Case. When asked about Shinichi’s music abilities, Ran takes a chance to remark the fact the both him and Conan are infamously tone-deaf. While blushing, she asks Conan for confirmation…
File 937 - Volume 88 File 10 -
Through Sera, Ran gets a chance to hear yet another alcohol-based nickname. Remember she also heard of a Vermouth and a Calvados before.
See our concerning Ran's connections to the Org in RAN AND THE BLACK ORGANIZATION: Ran’s ties to the Black Org, RAN AND THE BLACK ORGANIZATION: the Black Org's ties to Ran, RAN AND THE BLACK ORGANIZATION: The Members she has met sections.
File 938 - Volume 88 File 11 -
Conan helped solve another case. Sera credits him for that. Both her and Ran smiling proudly at him much like in file 928 (Ramen Case)
File 942 - Volume 89 File 5 -
UFO case. More than trying to keep Conan away from the crime scene, Ran seems to be lately pushing him to join the investigation. This, among others, being a classic behavior of hers during a suspicion arc. Check out these posts in Volume 67 vs Volume 14, Manga Volume 67 File 4-8 sections for comparison.
Additionally, a significant slip-up on Conan's part: he incautiously reveals he has met/had contact with Jodie lately, without Ran knowing.
(Remember Ran knows Jodie is an FBI agent and she already once connected her with Shinichi's disappearence - volume 42. She also just recently found out that Sera's brother, Akai Shuichi, was an FBI agent as well - file 938).
File 944 - Volume 89 File 7 -
Another case solved by Conan with his skills, without hiding behind Sleeping Kogoro. Even Kogoro himself can hardly conceal his astonishment. He gets so far as to ask Conan how he could find the key to solving the mystery.
Ran's "You're amazing"s are getting now worryingly frequent, recurring in almost every case.
Check out these posts for the importance of these remarks and their peculiar occurrence after volume 47 in CONAN, AN EXTRAORDINARY SMART KID, HOW IS IT SIMILAR AND WHY IS IT DIFFERENT FROM THE PREVIOUS ONES
SHINICHI’S TRICKS - SHINICHI’S ACCOMPLICES
Besides the many analogies with the dynamics from Volume 14-Volume 26 (please refer to Manga Volume 14 vs 47 and Manga Volume 14 vs 26 section), another more than legit reason to doubt Ran has been fully persuaded by Shinichi’s deceptive performance in Volume 47 is an insightful remark of hers coming right from her last suspicion arc:
“Wait, at the school festival, Conan-kun was with Shinichi. No, I can’t be fooled. It’s Shinichi, he probably used some bizarre trick.”
Now, given she’s got so far in her speculation, to the point that she doesn’t consider the simultaneous physical appearance of Conan and Shinichi sufficiently persuasive, it’s doubtful that any of Shinichi’s set-ups can be effective enough to dissuade her from her suspicions again. Especially since she's remarkably appeared to be perfectly aware that Shinichi uses TRICKS to mislead her .
But to perform such tricks, even the most skillful magician must be in need of some tools and assistants… Our next posts will be focusing on Ran’s knowledge and potential findings in that regard.
Heiji’s not the only one among Shinichi’s assistants who caught Ran’s attention during Shinichi’s tricky performances, however he was certainly the most flashy and less careful. His well-known Kudo-puns are certainly not helping. However blatant, though, those slips are not his only ones and might not ultimately represent his preeminent stumble.
In fact, while urged by the noblest intention to help his friend, Hattori made quite a naive mistake with his clumsy interpretation of Shinichi during Desperate Revival. The moment his masquerade was –inevitably – exposed, the fundamental mechanism of Shinichi’s tricks also became apparent once and for all: to prove that he and Conan are two different people, Shinichi always needs the help of another complicit person, who’d perform his other self to provide Ran with credible, though fake, evidence that the two identities are distinguishably apart.
With slight variation and different interpreters, ready to provide him with handy alibis and more-or-less credible excuses, the trick was cunningly performed again and again, each time Ran reached the edge of her suspicions. However, once said mechanism is exposed, it’s not difficult to see through it again, the next time it comes. That’s why, after Ran came to the previously mentioned conclusion (a trick could justify Conan and Shinichi’s simultaneous presence in vol 26), it’s almost impossible to convincingly persuade her again that their identities are distinct and apart, even by providing her with the impressive performance of some alter ego.
Now let’s find out how far she could see through Shinichi’s past illusory shows and their main interpreters.
First of all, it is extremely interesting to see how Ran has correctly deduced the reason why Shinichi would keep silent about his current situation and ask his accomplices to do the same. The reason is “Not to raise the guard of the culprit in some sort of case he’s after” – Volume 77, Yusaku’s Cold Case.
(On a side note about the case he’s after, remember she already connected Shinichi’s disappearance to the two men in black who caught his attention at Tropical Land, Volume 1 http://i.imgur.com/9rIIPfj.jpg).
Some culprit: probably an extraordinarily dangerous one, given Shinichi’s secrecy. Some case he’s after… probably his most difficult one, given the remarkable effort and time it’s taking him to solve it.
That’s why she previously considered the possibility to “wait until he tells me directly himself” since “there seems to be a reason too…” behind his silence (volume 47): http://i.imgur.com/ugwyJji.jpg
That’s also why she won’t expect any collaboration from Shinichi’s allies, who are faithfully devoted to an obstinate silence at the risk of his safety. And her lonesome battle gets even more difficult to plan out when she needs to contrast the interweaving moves and coalized minds of more co-operating players. Let’s see what the status of Ran’s research is for every one of Shinichi’s main accomplices.
DR. AGASA – Accomplice Status: DETECTED
Dr. Agasa is the one person who introduced Conan to Ran as a distant relative of his and asked her to take care of him. To think of the possibility of him being un-involved in Conan’s secret would be reasonably unrealistic. In fact, Ran correctly deduced in volumes 14-26 (SECOND-THIRD SUSP ARC) that Agasa is the one helping Conan hide from some kind of lingering danger and went so far as to speculate that the drug which shrank Shinichi could have been conveniently invented by him. (Clever conclusion if you think that it would also explain why he can opportunely be provided with an antidote when needed, which thing is indeed possible right because the scientist who developed the drug is actually at Agasa’s). Agasa is also the one who firstly reassured Ran when she got reasonably worried about Shinichi’s disappearance and his possible involvement with the men dressed in black he was interested in when in Tropical Land.
But there’s even more chances for fruitful speculation on Ran’s part: Conan insisted on visiting Agasa’s house in volume 47, just when Ran was targeting him because of her suspicions, which ultimately resulted in the phone-call set-up they put on to solve her latest suspicion arc (two identical mobile phones, a recorded phone call she answered when Conan was right there with her).
Coincidentally, another well-timed phone call was managed to dodge her first suspicion arc, when Conan was, once again, conveniently standing right beside her, while she listened to a *peculiar* Shinichi whose talking curiously sounded “older” than it should. A detail Ran might easily recall.
Especially when their neighbor is such a faithful friend to both the adult and little detective, has large scientific and technical knowledge and, as many know in their area, commercialized more than one tool which enable people to change their voice. The latter aspect opens up to another chapter of our inquiry: to find out more about Ran’s potential and factual knowledge of Agasa’s inventions, see SHINICHI’S TRICKS - AGASA’S INVENTIONS.
To learn about more significant Shinichi/Conan phone incidents in the last arc, see SHINICHI/CONAN CELL PHONE INCIDENTS.
YUKIKO KUDO – Accomplice Status: DETECTED
The weirdest argument currently standing to explain Shinichi and Conan’s perfect resemblance was provided by Shinichi's mum herself. According to the woman, the two are connected by a distant (and barely credible) family relationship. That same argument made the Kudos unexpectedly related not only to the Edogawas but to Agasa as well.
Which made it quite easier for Ran to understand that their closeness was rather based on keen complicity than on blood.
In fact, the famous actress’s performance could not manage to fool the girl who, as Yukiko immediately noticed and Aoyama confirmed in volume 26, concealed her doubts under an enigmatic smile and never stopped testing Shinichi until their next confrontation.
HEIJI HATTORI – Accomplice Status: DETECTED
Desperate Revival is indeed the true turning point in the process of unmasking the working of Shinichi’s accomplices.
Just when Ran needs stronger evidence that would convince her to drop, once and for all, her doubts that Shinichi and Conan are the same person, Hattori comes in, dressing up like the Eastern Detective to help his friend. His clumsy attempt to make the two identities apart and distinguished, however, gets easily dodged and the short-lived masquerade is publicly exposed, revealing the basic machinery behind the mystery of Conan and Shinichi’s simultaneous presence.
However, the plan to save Shinichi’s secret truth is taken up and carried out to the end by another mysterious interpreter. While Shinichi is in his true form, another “Conan” comes in, this time. One that “seems like a different person” to Ran (volume 26). And that’s where the real twist in Ran’s investigation can happen.
AI HAIBARA – Accomplice Status: DETECTABLE
In volume 47, Ran makes a fundamental consideration: Shinichi must have used tricks to fool her during Desperate Revival. That’s the only possible way to justify both Shinichi and Conan’s simultaneous presence. Her thoughts there are meaningfully represented by a Black knight-Shinichi in his stage costume, looking at little Conan staying behind him.
But what kind of trick could he have pulled there? To interpret a child, you’ll only need a child. Once again, with some device that’ll alter their voice. That’s why, when you give it a quick thought, Agasa and Haibara are the best and easiest combo you can come across. Haibara Ai, a very smart kid who talks and acts like and adult just like Conan and could easily take up the role. (Remember Ran saw all the Detective Boys standing beside fake-Conan except for Haibara in desperate Revival) A kid who, surprisingly, was mysteriously and abruptly hosted at Dr Agasa’s not long before, which thing he had previously claimed he couldn’t do with Conan. (Is she another relative?)
As for the trick of the fourth suspicion arc, a perfect copy of Conan’s phone, a recorded voice and someone quickly forwarding Ran’s messages to him were needed. Once again, a scientist/inventor/close friend and a younger helper might do the work. Especially when Conan happened to visit them just before carrying out the plan. That’s something Ran might easily recall, think over and connect in the future.
As a matter of fact, ascertaining Haibara’s true involvement in Conan’s current situation will represent a major step in Ran’s future investigation, with probably no coming back. That’s why we temporarily marked Ai’s complicity as potentially “detectable”, but not “detected” just yet. Many easily linkable hints are already being layered. The “footage incident" in volume 78 where Ran had a chance to see Shiho’s true form being certainly a nice prelude to what will come.
To complete the puzzle, we need to include another crucial piece: Ran is aware of Yukiko’s disguising abilities from volume 34. Guessing that someone could take Shinichi’s place by disguising themselves as him is everything but far-fetched now, especially after Hattori showed he would and did. (Another meaningful instance happened with Heiji’s perfect disguise during Halloween Party. We chose not to include that because we are uncertain about Ran’s knowledge of the fact).
So basically Ran has all the ingredients to picture a well-built team to back up Shinichi:
- An adult look-alike to disguise as Shinichi (Heiji)
- A complicit smart child to disguise as Conan (Ai)
- An actress who can provide them with technical support and make the disguises credible (Yukiko)
- A scientist/inventor to provide a shrinking medicine to hide him (or get him conveniently back to his adult self) and gadgets to fill the gap between Conan and Shinichi while he’s a kid.
And to make things even more evident, all of those people are tightly tangled in a unique net of connections.
SHINICHI’S TRICKS - AGASA’S INVENTIONS
Like we did with Shinichi’s accomplices, let’s see what Ran’s factual and potential knowledge for each of the main Conan gadgets is up to now, through references to some significant manga chapters in this regard. We’ll see how exposing every one of those gadgets is easily within Ran’s reach.
EARRING CELLPHONE – Status: DETECTIVE!
Like a real detective, Ran had a chance to perform a successful deduction show during the ski lodge murder case. That happened thanks to Shinichi’s suggestions which came through a tiny mobile phone Conan gave her. That allowed Ran test one of Agasa’s gadgets herself.
TRACKING GLASSES – Status: DETECTED
Conan’s fake glasses have capital importance in the unveiling of Shinichi’s secret.
First of all, they are the only sensible difference between Conan and perfectly-look-alike 6-year-old Shinichi. When firstly asked for evidence to prove her theories in volume 14, Ran confidently takes off Conan’s glasses only to exclaim “The proof is right here”. Conan and Shinichi’s resemblance is absolutely perfect, to the point of “scaring” Ran (A concept Ran holds on to and reiterates in Vol 77 – Yusaku’s Cold Case, see YUSAKU'S COLD CASE – CONAN-KUN, RIGHT?, Manga Volume 77 File 8);
And even if Yukiko tried her best to give an argument (a distant and barely understandable family connection) to stand against this factual evidence, the simple fact that the glasses are actually “fake” (and unnecessary) could easily represent per se the evidence of a deliberate and precise intent to lie.
Finally, and quite remarkably, Ran was able to discover the glasses’ enhanced power. In volume 76, she proved she was aware of their tracking function, of their connection to the DB badge and of the existence of a spare pair of those same glasses, revealing some scenario of major importance: she’s able to take note of events, collect facts, draw conclusions and attain remarkable results in her investigations without being noticed and without sharing any kind of info until needed (some steps of this process not infrequently happening off camera). That’s why it’s not improbable for Ran’s final climb to the truth to be moving forward in the shadows, only to take the spotlight at its crucial stage.
POWER-ENHANCING SHOES – Status: DETECTABLE
Conan’s prowess in football, combined with his Holmes-mania, has always notoriously been a common trait with Shinichi. But since the former is a self-proclaimed disciple of the latter, those qualities are still not sufficient or peculiar enough to prove the identity. Shinichi himself was quite good at playing football when he was a kid and to quantify and compare something like talent is not really easy.
But there’s still something in Conan’s kicks that blatantly goes beyond a child’s capability: the “extra” force he’s able to physically put in when needed. Ran could witness those evident power-enhanced kicks more than once (vol 3, vol 77) and remarkably reacted to that.
To ascribe that kind of power to some supplementary device within Conan’s shoes is the next logical step. That’s why this gadget is also within her grasp.
STUN-GUN WRISTWATCH – Status: DETECTABLE
Ran has witnessed and stopped Conan from aiming at Sonoko with his tranquillizer watch a couple times already in Volume 13. More recently, she also gave him an eloquent glance in Volume 47, during her last suspicion arc, when Conan carelessly attempted to trigger the Sleeping Kogoro performance before her eyes. Also importantly, Ran is aware of a certain “hurt that always comes when you solve the case” and expected it to come to Deduction Queen Sonoko (Vol 31).
For a thorough analysis of Ran’s inquiry on the Sleeping Kogoro mystery, see SHINICHI’S TRICKS – SLEEPING KOGORO.
VOICE-CHANGING BOWTIE – Status DETECTABLE
This gadget easily represents the turning point, the very ace of Shinichi’s tricks, Conan’s most powerful tool that can actually fulfil the distance between him and Shinichi. Quite symbolically, it simultaneously represents both Shinichi’s most sincere attempt to stay close to Ran and the heart of his deception.
Uncovering that will most certainly be a decisive step on Ran’s path, with reasonably no coming back. Because that won’t only expose the mystery of Sleeping Kogoro, but also put an end to the alibi of Shinichi’s phone calls.
On the other end, the secret of the voice-changing bow-tie is surprisingly easily within Ran’s reach. Let’s see how:
- Dr. Agasa commercialized more than one voice-changing device. Some of them being taken off the market despite being “popular”, according to Amuro (like the voice-changing choker, see vol 85). That means Ran could easily get info on them through a simple search, even just by asking the neighborhood like Bourbon did.
- The Detective Boys had direct and indirect experience of said voice-changing devices and could easily slip the info: they tested Dr Agasa’s pen to “record your voice and then change it” (volume 12); they saw Conan changing his voice with his bow-tie already three times in the last arc (vol 47, 69, 73). They had a chance to see Okiya wearing his voice-changing choker in plain sight.
- The weird Conan that “seemed like a different person” to Ran in volume 26 wore a mask which covered their mouth all the time during the time Shinichi was back.
- In Vol 77 Conan had his bow-tie wrapped around his smartphone just after coming back from a phone call he had with Ran, where he had used Shinichi’s voice.
APTX – Status DETECTABLE
Even if that’s not really Agasa’s invention, let’s not forget that Ran has ascribed the creation of the drug that shrank Shinichi to the professor’s attempt to hide him from danger. Following that line of reasoning, it would only be natural for the scientist and inventor to provide infantilized Shinichi with a few tools that might help him cope with his temporary condition of disadvantage.
It is interesting to remember that, as of now, Ran has potentially met 4 APTX victims and for each of them she might have encountered/witnessed both of their different aliases: Conan/Shinichi (Volume 1); Ai/Shiho (Volumes 25/78); Sharon/Chris (Volumes 34/42: not sure how much Ran could see while running to protect the target, she apparently couldn't see Chris’s face there but she could certainly hear her voice); Sera’s sister outside the territory (Supposed aptx victim - Ran recognized the girl as familiar in Volume 86. Sera indirectly implied before that Ran might know her mother. We know that Masumi addressed the mysterious kid as "Mama". So if mystery girl is a shrunken person, and Sera’s mother, Ran might have seen both her adult and her infantilized form).
Realizing that all of those people have a younger double might not only corroborate Ran’s theories but also help her connect the shrinking drug to an outward source, that is, more possibly, to Shinichi’s offenders rather than to his helper, thus opening an interesting question on the helper’s capability to provide an antidote for a drug they didn’t make…
SHINICHI’S TRICKS – SLEEPING KOGORO
To better analyze it, we broke the mystery of Sleeping Kogoro down to multiple connected aspects and considered Ran’s progress for each of them. Not surprisingly, she is, once again, very close to the truth and could easily grasp the whole of it by aligning the many pieces of the puzzle she has already collected.
A key element to consider in our analysis is that we technically have more than one “Sleeping Detective” during the series. To apply the same bizarre, risky pattern on more than one subject is certainly to be considered as a major imprudence on Conan’s part, both because strange facts that could hardly be considered “coincidences” for one single interpreter become a recognizable scheme when applied to different characters and because this kind of scheme can be easily ascribed to Conan/Shinichi himself. Let’s see how and why.
TIMING – Status: DETECTED
It’s no news to Ran that Kogoro’s brilliant exploit as a detective happened just when Conan made his debut in the Mouri family, that is when Shinichi got away. Back in Vol 1, Kogoro himself half-jokingly stated his impression that “with him around,” he could “solve cases smooth as silk”.
Ran has made the connection between her father’s outstanding deductions and Conan’s introduction in her first suspicion arc (vol 3). In volume 2 she had already spoken a similar statement, talking to her father: "Your work's gone great since Conan-kun came..."
Ran is also aware that Deduction Queen Sonoko’s unforeseen career started when Conan “was there too”, during the bandaged man case. “Ever since that case, Sonoko, you’ve been solving cases like my father, as if asleep” noted Ran in vol 51.
Needless to say, Conan was there also when Sleeping Yamamura performed his surprising deduction show before Kogoro and Ran’s eyes in volume 69.
ASSISTS – Status: DETECTED
To spot Conan’s involvement behind Sleeping Kogoro’s (and his emulous Sleeping detectives’) case solving process is not really difficult. In fact, even before their deduction show starts, Conan’s assists often come to their rescue under everybody’s eyes, providentially delivering subtle and crafty though apparently unrelated hints, conveniently come to bend the direction of their reasoning and promptly leading them on the right path.
Here are some insightful remarks on Ran’s behalf which outright uncover the cunning procedure:
“That wasn’t dad’s reasoning… Conan-kun was leading him the entire time…” (vol 3)
“Every.. single.. case.. it’s always been spurred on by something Conan-kun says, until it’s solved… the same way Shinichi gives out advice…” (vol 3)
“This is all because Conan guided them to the explanation. It’s as if a child’s innocent thoughts coincidentally became a hint for them…” (vol 47)
“When you think he said something completely irrelevant, it coincidentally becomes the key to solving the crime” (vol 49)
Finally and most significantly, we’ll borrow the beautiful metaphor Ran came up with during her last suspicion arc, which perfectly illustrates Shinichi’s role on the field of deduction:
“Like a small mid-fielder, controlling a large center-forward… you give accurate hints that help for the solving of the case!” (vol 47)
In other words, Shinichi’s nifty assists are what ultimately allow the forward detectives to score the goal of victory and take the spotlight by achieving the case solution.
Occasionally, we have instances where Conan doesn’t even need to turn to the Sleeping Kogoro practice to show the detectives the successful path. However stealing the spotlight from them and getting too much exposure (showing he can actually lead the investigation and solve the case on his own, and before everybody else) often earned him quite a significant risk, that being the easiest way to prove himself as Shinichi.
Being attentive to this and willing to test Conan’s potential (and compare it to Shinichi’s) Ran has previously more than once asked for said assists from Conan himself, in order to help friends in need of help to solve a case (including her father), thus revealing she is aware that Conan’s brain power is quicker and able to surpass those adults’ ability… that he’s the one to turn to when a case needs to be solved, just like she would normally do, asking for Shinichi’s advice.
WHEREABOUTS – Status: DETECTED
As a matter of fact, Conan’s supporting role doesn’t get quenched when the deduction show of the Sleeping Detectives starts out. On the contrary, (after shooting the victim with his tranquillizer) he often “waits there” and “helps a lot” during the exposition of the case solution, often weighing in by exposing some key element.
Eisuke remarkably found this aspect suspicious and chose to confront Ran about it, to which Ran showed she was perfectly aware of the practice (and almost seemed defensive of the bizarre set-up, trying to diminish her friend’s suspects).
Noteworthily, said procedure has become more and more fishy lately as Conan got less and less careful in hiding his whereabouts while pulling the strings of his sleeping “marionettes”, often showcasing himself and his sneaky talking into the bowtie right in front of the bystanders… not infrequently even forgetting to hide his transitions between furtive ventriloquism and plain talk with his own voice. In volume 67 especially, Ran’s position was so close that she couldn’t have missed the idiosyncratic behavior.
M.O (MODUS OPERANDI) – Status: DETECTED
Now deeper into the Sleeping Detective practice, such peculiar ventriloquist show’s most dangerous trait is the fact that not only it is quirky and recognizable per se, but also mostly identical in its bizarre features for all of its different interpreters, making it easily apparent that behind them stands the singular MO of a single mastermind.
Once again, Eisuke gives us a chance to hear about Ran’s awareness of those strange behaviors and her explanations try to (more or less willingly) cover up for that oddity.
Some more interesting remarks on the Sleeping Detectives’ fishy traits came in during this last arc on Ran’s part. Take a look at our graphic table for the most insightful ones. As you see, in addition to the Sleeping Kogoro, her suspicious observation stroke both Deduction Queen Sonoko and Sleeping Yamamura.
Recapping the Sleeping Detectives’ recognized phases:
- THE DANCE
- THE NON-SEQUITUR TIE-INS: fanciful transitions into the case solution, often contradicting what previously said/deduced
- EYES CAST TO THE GROUND as if sleeping, while solving the case
- FAIL TO REMEMBER their deductions, when the case is over
Each of these represents fairly peculiar circumstances to happen to one person, all the more so when three different people suddenly start behaving the same strange way during the same period of time, especially after a certain person has appeared in their lives and is always around them when something like that happens.
And here comes the most important common trait of all: the Sleeping Kogoro’s DEDUCTION SHOW is not only remarkably similar to the ones of his emulous companions but, most importantly, to the one of *that* certain person who suddenly disappeared from their lives…
DEDUCTIVE SKILLS – Status: DETECTED
Here we are to the preeminent stage of our analysis of the Sleeping Kogoro mystery.
It is uncertain whether Ran ever went so far as to align all the pieces she collected as of now. What is sure, though, is that she holds the fundamental key to close up that chain of reasoning and finding out the ultimate truth that not only Sleeping Kogoro equals to Conan, but to Shinichi himself, corroborating her theories that Conan and Shinichi are the same and only person.
We will, once again, borrow manga facts to show Ran’s possible speculation. You’ll be surprised to see that she's been possessing all the necessary rings to close up that chain already in volume 7.
The way Conan solves riddles and cases, even the way he delivers swift Holmes-like deductions and observations is “just like Shinichi”. Ran noticed that much already in Volume 3. (She would reiterate the same concept both in volume 14 and 47)
But that’s not all as far as Ran’s observation goes. She is an expert connoisseur of Shinichi’s deductive skills, style and methods. That’s why she can almost immediately spot them behind the Sleeping Kogoro:
“Closing his eyes with his face pointed down is something dad has been doing lately. Whenever he does that, he figures everything out in a flash and solves the case at once. Just like Shinichi!”
So, to sum it up in a clear scheme:
Conan = Shinichi
Sleeping Kogoro = Shinichi
Sleeping Kogoro = Conan ( = Shinichi)
GADGETS – Status: DETECTABLE
As you can see, the mystery of Sleeping Kogoro is pretty much solved by logic. To prove it in an unappealable way though, Ran may have to expose the peculiar function of Conan’s gadgets, which ultimately make those performances possible. As we showed in our gadget table, (see SHINICHI’S TRICKS - AGASA’S INVENTIONS) even that decisive step is easily within Ran’s reach. Especially after Conan has been so significantly careless - often shockingly blatant - in their usage. See our graphics for some meaningful instances.
Sleeping Kogoro is credited for the solution of Hotta's murder, a case connected to the mystery of Haneda Koji's death.
Gin had been suspicious of Detective Mouri already in the Black Impact incident: when the tracer and wiretap Conan used were accidentally found on Kir’s shoes, Gin associated them to Sherry and ascribed them to Mouri himself.
Despite Vermouth’s efforts, Gin never stopped suspecting Kogoro’s active involvement. Given his new hindrance in BO-related stuff, Gin is determined to take care of him.
For a deeper analysis of the BO’s significant connections to Ran and the Mouri family so far, check out this post of ours in the RAN AND THE BLACK ORGANIZATION: the Black Org's ties to Ran sections.
THE APTX VICTIMS RAN MET: MEMORIES OF THE AKAI FAMILY ENCOUNTER
In file 969 Ran tells Sera:
"That swimsuit. Have you worn it somewhere else? I seem to have some memories..."
What memories is she talking about?
Most probably, it's what she had started recalling in file 846 and, much more clearly in 905, when the pool case had provided for a very fitting setting for those memories to "rise to the surface".
Not only Ran had remembered little Sera addressing "the wizard" back then, she had also, quite interestingly, perceived the young girl staying with Sera as familiar.
"That girl too. I feel like I previously..."
And she had got a chance to "previously" meet both indeed. We get confirmation of that in file 972.
Given that Ran has admitted she has started to have memories about that encounter, she might soon get an explantion as to why the mysterious girl looked so familiar. (A precious hint was dropped by Sera aready in file 778, when she suggested that Ran had seen her mother before). But wait, is there another person who has a stunningly-resembling younger lookalike?
There are actually two more, three indeed, that Ran has already met: Conan/Shinichi (Volume 1); Ai/Shiho (Volumes 25/78); Sharon/Chris (Volumes 34/42; although Ran couldn't see Chris's face during Halloween Party).
One of them was the wizard himself. But what kind of magic could invert the stream of time?
Ran had previously associated Shinichi's shrinking to some drug created by Agasa to hide him from some kind of serious danger. Could the same danger have affected all of the people who share such a peculiar destiny? In that case, the new scenario might help Ran connect the mysterious shrinking drug to an outward source: more likely to Shinichi’s offenders rather than to his helper, thus opening an interesting question on the helper’s capability to provide an antidote for a drug they didn’t make.
For the hints Ran possesses so far on the aptx victims she met, check out this post of ours: http://goo.gl/AhJw4S
[spoiler]Regarding recent development in File 955 and in reference to Volumes 34-35-42:
"Don't, Angel. You mustn't come in... This blood-soaked stage is unsuitable for you."
When Vermouth, disguised as Azusa, calls Ran “Angel” on the scene of Rokumichi’s murder, the girl starts trying to recall when and where she was called "Angel" before.
At least 4 figures have made a direct or indirect connection between Ran and the epithet “Angel” in the past. Quite remarkably, all the 4 occurrences are connected to some dire circumstances and, consequently, to some painful memory for Ran. Let’s see what Ran’s inferences can be on the 4 women:
ROSE HEWITT: An American actress Ran met in NY, during her trip with Shinichi. Ran saved this woman’s life only to later discover her as the murderer of Heath Flockhart, the actor who played Archangel Michael in the play “Golden Apple”.
Said woman, after being cornered and arrested for her crime, showed no regret for her obnoxious doings and went so far as to thank Ran for saving her life and allowing her to carry out her murderous intents: “Thank you, sweet angel, you helped me make it” she told the girl before leaving the scene with a cold laugh. Those words caused Ran profound shock and guilt that ultimately contributed to temporarily locking away the painful memories together with the good moments she lived in New York.
Current status: This criminal was arrested after the murder.
Further note: As made evident by comparison (see following post), the crime scene of Rokumichi’s murder looks pretty similar to Heath’s, where a man similarly stood hanging from the ceiling at center stage. Vermouth/Azusa’s reference to a “bloody stage” where an “Angel” wouldn’t fit could be more or less metaphorically be hinting to that and ring a bell in Ran’s mind. (Even though Vermouth wasn’t present when the murder was committed, she could still “sense” something bad was about to happen on that stage.)
SHARON VINEYARD: Ran’s favorite actress, together with Yukiko Kudo, both trained by the same magician who taught them the art of disguising. Differently from Yukiko, Sharon’s disguises can reach a quality level which borders on perfection in resemblance, the woman being so skilled she is able to imitate a person’s voice without any voice-changing device.
Ran’s very first memory connected to an “Angel” reference is possibly the picture of a sad smile under the New York rain. It’s when she first met Sharon, an encounter Ran claimed being blessed by and thankful to the heavens for it to have happened. The famous actress, however, who despite her gentle manners, harbored a certain melancholy in her words, came to question the existence of a higher power, recalling some considerable hardships she had been experiencing throughout her life, which ultimately led her to the dogmatic remark: “No angel has ever smiled upon me”
When later Ran saved Rose from the falling armor, Sharon made a similar remark to the young actress who thanked God for escaping the danger, prompting her to thank Ran instead and, offering a handkerchief for Ran to treat her wound, she took a chance to state her previously-shared convictions once again, only to leave shortly after the incident, sensing “a storm” to be upcoming.
A similar philosophy is spoken by the serial killer Ran saved from falling from the abandoned building that same night: “If you want to blame someone, blame the God who prepared such an ending for you” is what the criminal said just before Ran’s life-saving action.
It’s right after Ran’s priceless gesture that the girl got another chance to hear about “angels” and this time, with a newly-born conviction from Sharon, who entrusted Yukiko with this message for Ran herself: “She was right… After all, there is an angel for me too…”
Current status: As far as Ran knows, Sharon has supposedly passed away one year ago.
CHRIS VINEYARD: American Actress and Sharon’s daughter, also mastering disguising techniques, given that, according to her mother, she was able to perfectly impersonate her dead father when Sharon visited his grave.
Could Ran get a glimpse of Ai and Conan’s supposed kidnapper during the Halloween Party incident?
If she did, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to connect her identity to the famous actress Chris Vineyard.
“Move it angel!” is the desperate cry the woman let out in an ultimate attempt to save Ran from the danger she was facing while trying to prevent Haibara from being shot by the foreign kidnapper herself and by a complicit sniper.
It’s doubtful why the woman would address Ran like that if she hadn’t got a chance to meet or know the girl prior to the incident. So in case Ran recognized her, she might think the woman had learned about her from her late mother, or, in case Ran couldn't grasp a good enough impression of her aspect, it would only be logical for her to speculate that the woman might actually be someone whom she has met before, someone who reasonably got a chance to associate her with an “Angel” in their previous meeting.
Current status: The criminal left uncaught. It’s still uncertain how much Ran could grasp of their aspect.
Further note: While running to save Haibara, Ran had escaped the gun sight of the previously mentioned sniper whom the woman had ordered to stop, addressing her companion as “Calvados”.
Not long before, Ran and Kogoro had received an invitation to the infamous Halloween Party taking place that same night from someone who called themselves "Vermouth".
Sometime later Ran will get a chance to hear about another alcohol-based nickname: Scotch, apparently an acquaintance of Masumi Sera's brother, Shuichi Akai, an FBI agent who "went to America" but also apparently once showed up in Japan during the time he was an officer. He supposedly later died in the line of duty.
We know that Ran met him both in NY and in Japan and that she recognized Okiya as familiar during their first meeting, supposing she had met him somewhere before.
For a more comprehensive analysis of the amount of info Ran possesses on the BO/FBI, check here: https://goo.gl/5eccYx
For our post recapping the 4 aptx victims Ran has met, see here: https://goo.gl/toUDU8
JODIE STARLING (previously known as Jodie Saintemillion): FBI agent.
The above mentioned circumstances may not be the only events Ran can recollect where she was somehow connected to the “Angel” epithet.
FBI agent Jodie, her former teacher involved in the infamous kidnapping, just like the American actresses Ran met in New York, had quite an unfamiliar habit which put the girl in alarm: hanging pictures of people she met at school all around a mirror. Ran found them in her washroom, got suspicious and decided to investigate her.
Ran had initially thought that some criminal was threatening Jodie and that she was secretly gathering information and taking pictures of Shinichi and Conan. That’s why, thinking her teacher might have something to do with Shinichi’s incident and his offenders, Ran got in her car and ended up being involved in the kidnapping incident herself.
Although Ran only mentioned Shinichi and Conan’s shots, we know that Jodie had also found a picture portraying Ran among Vermouth’s photos she investigated. Most interestingly, the photograph had the name “Angel” written on it.
What if Ran had also caught a glimpse of said picture in Jodie’s collection? Asking her teacher about that could reasonably be her next move on the path of her inquiry.
Current status: Jodie is still in Japan, Ran met her together with another FBI agent, Camel, during the Red Shirts Case. But that’s not enough: Conan seems to have met her recently when Ran wasn’t there, during the incident of Jodie’s fellow teacher, Shibuya. (Ran may not know, but Amuro and Vermouth were there as well).
CALLING ANGEL: AZUSA'S IDENTITY
Something’s definitely not right with Azusa. Ran is dubious about her identity and will directly confront her, asking who she really is in file 957. Vermouth will, of course, evade the question by prompting the girl not to “get further involved".
What kind of clues does Ran possess to investigate Azusa’s real identity?
The “Angel” hint is certainly the most prominent, but not the only one so far.
In File 954 [http://i.imgur.com/4G6rIyN.jpg] Ran has witnessed several inconsistencies in Azusa’s behavior. First of all, Amuro’s coworker wasn’t supposed to attend the meeting with the singer since she had previously shown she was uninterested to the matter, while Azusa/Vermouth does claim she is a fervent supporter of Rokumichi. Fake Azusa commits another mistake when she says she’s actually a good guitar player, while she had recently denied being able to handle the instrument during the Girl Band case. Ran notices that and reacts to the incoherent statement.
Quite interestingly, there may be some fundamental clue during this case which could help Ran investigate Azusa’s identity and verify whether she is the real deal or an imposter: Azusa’s writing.
In file 955 Takagi asks adults being present on the crime scene to write the words “I’m sorry” with their name on the agent’s notebook to be compared with a note found on the victim’s body.
However, only a few moments later, in file 956, the author of said message is identified thanks to a diary which held the same handwriting. This revelation made the comparison with the suspects’ handwritten messages remarkably unnecessary. This means that the notes written by Okiya, Amuro and Vermouth (otherwise inaccessible because held by the police for the investigation) were never employed and, actually, never “left” Takagi’s notebook.
This means that everyone getting access to said notebook could use them to verify the writers’ writing and their identities. While this could be a key element for Amuro’s investigation on Okiya, it could also provide Ran with handy evidence to ascertain Azusa’s real identity. The three people might have altered their writing on purpose to avoid identification with their own handwriting. However, it shouldn’t be difficult to tell Vermouth’s writing apart from the real Azusa’s just by looking at them: even by a rough exam they would result, reasonably, completely different. Ran would just need to compare that paper with something Azusa has written or will write next time she sees her.
A negative result would imply that someone impersonated her, or rather, disguised as her. As far as Ran is concerned, there are at least three actresses she knows who learned disguising techniques: Yukiko Kudo, Sharon and Chris Vineyard. Two of them called her “Angel” in the past, or rather one…
CALLING ANGEL - THE CRIMINAL’S IDENTITY
In file 956 Ran remembers being called “Angel” by the criminal who kidnapped Ai and Conan during the Halloween Party incident, however she never saw her face. Ran can’t help wondering why Azusa called her the same way.
Let’s try to recap what kind of clues Ran may possess for her inquiry on the criminal's identity.
The Halloween Party kidnapper was a foreigner, an (American) English speaking woman. Even though Ran wasn’t able to see the woman’s face at the time, she could certainly hear her voice which is a significant clue. (As we know, the criminal's voice is the same as Sharon and Chris Vineyard’s voice. Being actresses, their voice was easily recorded in any production they worked on and could be listened to again for comparison).
It is also to be noticed that, even though Ran couldn’t see the criminal’s face, when she got out of the car after hearing the gun shots, she had to search for the target to shield and run towards them to protect them. So while she looked around and spotted Haibara, she might have also got a general impression of the kidnapper’s look. If she did, then she might easily remember her silhouette and hair. Blonde, long, curly hair: once again, a hint to Chris Vineyard or even Rose Hewitt, the American actress who called Ran “Angel” after the murder of Heath Flockhart.
Asking Jodie who also saw the criminal might be a good idea, as we suggested before, all the more so since, as we said, Ran could have got a glimpse of her picture with the “Angel” writing on it when she visited Jodie’s house pre-HP.
What’s the true relationship between Jodie and that criminal? What’s the real meaning behind the “map of the special treasure” she had been searching all along and found just before leaving Japan? Is there a connection between Jodie, the criminal and Shinichi’s incident? (Ran speculated about Jodie’s involvement with Shinichi’s situation before, assuming that some criminal was threatening Jodie and that she was secretly gathering information and taking pictures of Shinichi and Conan.)
Why did Ran met 3 FBI agents in Japan? (Shuichi Akai – Dark Footprints, Jodie, Camel – Red Shirt Case)
For a complete analysis on the “Calling Angel” clue, Ran’s knowledge of the 4 related women and the argument of disguising techniques, check out our previous post: https://goo.gl/vmYjnR
CALLING ANGEL – TREASURE
Ran wants to get her hypotheses confirmed. She is convinced that the Azusa standing before her is not the real one, but actually the Halloween Party kidnapper who is impersonating her friend, so she bravely decides to confront her about it.
“The truth is… You’re not Azusa-san, are you? Could it be… That person who called me “Angel” before?” is Ran’s straight question.
The woman gives an interesting as much as enigmatic answer:
“I should have told you this before, Ran-chan. Don’t come any further into my world. Because you are… my treasure.”
What did the mysterious lady imply by that? Did they have any other chances to meet, beside the present one and the Halloween Party incident?
To gain such an outspoken appreciation on her part, as well as the nickname “Angel”, the two must have had some other significant encounter before the night the kidnapping happened.
What did Ran do to win the criminal’s heart? Why is she so important to her? And who are her other “treasures”?
Those may reasonably be some of the questions filling Ran's mind after hearing the woman's words.
Once again, Jodie and her pictures may come to mind. Didn’t she mention the “map of a special treasure” she had been searching all along and finally found just before the Halloween Party night?
AN EERIE GOAL
Ran’s inquiry doesn’t stop after those curious happenings. The following day she asks Azusa about it. The Poirot waitress confirms she wasn’t at the concert hall the day before, certifying Ran’s hypothesis that someone impersonated her.
Amuro pretends being uninvolved, claiming he was deceived as well.
Ran finds the whole story of Azusa's lookalike quite eerie. It's hard to imagine a possible goal for the person who dressed like her.
As a matter of fact, it's also hard to believe a smart detective like Amuro was fooled. Should Ran think the situation some further in the future, a couple more occurrences might suggest her that Amuro has lied before:
Ran had realized Amuro's remarkable skills didn't need her father's training (file 798): http://i.imgur.com/8pRzbZE.jpg
Amuro introduced himself to Okiya as a “delivery man” to which Ran is visibly confused (file 954): http://i.imgur.com/r8xU7lu.jpg)
One thing is for sure: the imposter had amazing abilities: not only were they able to perfectly disguise as someone else, they could even imitate their voice perfectly, without any voice-changing device.
Once again, Sharon could immediately come to mind.
Sonoko mentioning Kaito Kid serving as a further clue. A magician is someone who masters disguising techniques. And although Ran is unaware of Toichi's true identity, it’s a known fact to her that both Yukiko and Sharon were trained by a famous magician who possessed those incredible skills. Chris Vineyard had also learned the same techniques from her mother.
KEY NOTE: Something extremely interesting may be coming from Ran's future investigations on Vermouth, putting together all the pieces of the puzzle the girl already possesses. If, for example, Vermouth happened to dial Nanatsu no ko sometime when Ran is present, the girl may be able to immediately realize that she belongs to a certain "company" (the same Eisuke's father worked for). That might introduce Ran with the concept of an Organization of criminals having the same "eerie" goal as her.
This case presents Ran with another significant point of interest, namely a peculiar element of connection between Conan and Shinichi.
In #file958 Conan displayed fervent interest in the two mysterious visitors of the Detective Agency, asking Azusa if what she saw was "two men dressed in black" (only to later find out it was Heiji and Kazuha visiting the Mouris).
But that wasn't an unprecedented incident. Conan showed that kind of interest before, and before him, Shinichi did, that very fateful day he disappeared, a detail which was engraved in Ran's memory.
-Further analysis regarding WEARING BLACK (with illustration)-
“Oh, you know, Shinichi was interested in those men dressed in black that day… Maybe after that, they..” (volume 1)
A few days after Shinichi’s disappearance at Tropical Land, Ran confronted Dr Agasa about it, with the intention of asking the police for help. By that time, she was already able to connect his disappearance to some incident caused by Shinichi’s involvement with those two suspicious men who wore black clothes and had drawn Shinichi’s attention at the park.
But that’s not all there is: Conan himself curiously displayed a similar attentiveness for people wearing black clothes more than once after that night, and what’s more, in situations where he made strange references to some truth about his “real identity” he wanted the girl to know.
First of all, when Conan makes his debut in the Mouri family, just a few hours after Shinichi’s disappearance, the kid is about to make a solemn revelation while climbing the stairs of the Detective Agency:
“Actually I am… I am really…” he’s saying with a serious expression, but the talk is suddenly interrupted by Kogoro himself who was just hired to solve a new case: not just a normal case, an incident involving some criminals dressed in black. Conan seems to get ardently interested in this case and, with some hectic look on his face, he urges Ran to join her father’s investigations. (Volume 1)
That wasn’t the only time Conan showed that kind of solicitude: during the Bullet train Case (Volume 4), he is desperately chasing two figures all across the train, Ran following his steps closely.
Once again, it’s Gin and Vodka he’s interested in. It’s doubtful whether Ran could take a good look at Conan’s targets and recognize the two men from Tropical Land. What could be immediately graspable, though, is that, once again, Conan was pursuing two men wearing black clothes.
And, once again in this case, Conan was about to reveal his true identity to Ran.
“I’ve been hiding it from you. I’m not Edogawa Conan, and I’m not an elementary school kid…”
Only to interrupt himself again.
The girl got particularly intrigued by the half-spoken announcement and asked for an explanation a few day afterwards: “So what’s your true identity anyway?”
Conan evaded the question with the old Kamen Yaiba excuse.
“Was it two men dressed all in black?” is, then again, Conan’s frantic question to Azusa in Volume 90.
It appears clear that Conan associates some kind of worrisome feeling to the appearance of these two mysterious figures dressed in black, for whom he harbors a certain remarkable concern. As if they evoked a concrete danger he is extremely watchful and wary of.
We said before that Ran supposed Shinichi’s dire situation to have been caused by a meeting with the two men in black from Topical Land, and we also said, in our analysis of the Desperate Revival suspicion arc, that she speculated that Shinichi had voluntary drank some medicine who turned him into a child to hide from some dangerous people he got involved with. During Yusaku’s cold case, she came so far has to hypothesize that Shinichi was willing to keep a low profile not to raise the guards of the culprits from the case he’s after.
Going by her reasoning, wouldn’t it make perfect sense for Conan to be so worried about meeting these two suspicious men in black? His recent and past behavior remarkably appears to confirm and corroborate her theories.
"Men in black? Yes, they like to wear black... Black clothes that make them look like crows..." (volume 2)
Those were some among Akemi's last few words to Conan... and even though Ran never got a chance to hear them, it’s not difficult to associate a black dress to a more or less metaphorical representation of evil intentions.
“If it’s a criminal, then it’s definitely black! Dad’s always saying so: ‘That guy’s wearing black! He’s the criminal!’” (volume 55)
That seems to have been an axiom Ran borrowed from her father since a very young age.
Speaking of black-coated creatures as ominous symbols, crows notoriously represent a sinister allegory of upcoming unpleasant events in the Japanese folklore, (Remember Kogoro struggling to send away the crow standing outiside the Detective Agency's window just before the Clash of Red and Black started? – volume 57)
In Japan, it is said that “If you catch a crow's glance, something bad will happen.” An incredibly fitting metaphor for the ones who cross the Organization’s path, who are bound to encounter bad consequences.
The eye-catching “dress code” is not the only connection between the BO members and crows though.
“Oh crow! Why do you sing?” “That was ‘Seven Children’, wasn’t it, Conan-kun?” (volume 46)
Crow's song is indeed the key to dial the Boss's number, a melody and a number Ran is remarkably familiar with, coming so far as to know the first digits of said number, which translate the song into the keys of a cellphone. Conan himself had asked for her help to figure the tune behind those digits.
"That guy dialed an email address that is familiar to the email of his father's boss. Something that resembles a melody from the push sounds of a cellphone's buttons. Seven children." (volume 57)
That’s what Ran told Conan a few volumes aftewards. “That guy” is Eisuke. And what was his father's company?
A company whose boss has such a remarkable melody as a number... Wouldn't be surprising if his "children", or rather his employees would all dress in black.
Wasn’t Conan extremely interested in that number just a while ago? And his interest was all but lighthearted.
…Blackened meat is not good, please don’t burn it…
- Ran wouldn’t know them, wouldn’t she? -”
Is what Conan ponders to himself, just after he was about to talk to Ran about the Black Organization.
But contrary to Conan’s hopeful thinking, Ran has already crosses “black-stained” path before [see a complete analysis of the BO members Ran has met and of her potential links with BO facts here: https://goo.gl/MNbJry] and, as we showed by this simple exposition, she has been coming across connecting “black” spots more than once. Linking all those spots, she could easily get a more defined outline of the dark figures endangering Shinichi’s past and future.
“It’s fine! I don’t want her to know about the Organization either…” (volume 47)
That’s what Conan told Haibara just after Ran’s last suspicion arc.
However it appears doubtful that his wish will stay granted until the end, especially when Gin himself compared “Sleeping Kogoro” to a demon moving in the darkness, declaring his intent to “finish him off while he sleeps”. (file 953)
“She’s strong… stronger than you think.” (volume 47)
Haibara’s veiled remark on Ran’s brave act during her past “black” meetings sounds like a warning premonition of akin upcoming events where the girl is expected to take action again.
RAN’S PENDING ANSWER – A BRIEF RECAP
Hattori’s rival ends up not showing up, Ran thinks to herself that, if he had, she could have had the opportunity to reply to “what he told [her] in London”.
Here’s a brief recap of the previous missed chances for Ran to give the pending answer.
As we said before, in our analysis of the London case and its implications, [https://goo.gl/VF3qhB] when it comes to the confession, Ran seems to be willing to genuinely believe that Shinichi has been truthful to her: questioning his word would have huge consequences, namely it would shake her solid trust in him, and compromise the basis of their relationship as a couple.
That’s one of the main reasons why a new suspicion arc climax hasn’t happened yet.
To accuse Shinichi of lying on his identity would have many more aggravating implications this time. It would imply he had been lying all along, putting the significance and value of his confession on the line... and their future together at risk.
That’s why it’s fundamental for Ran to believe the sincerity of Shinichi’s words, to also be able to acknowledge his feelings towards her as authentic, and reciprocate them.
On the other end, every time she considers the possibility of finally sealing their relationship with a positive answer, strange facts and circumstances come up to bring along her never soothed doubts on his identity.
That can easily explain why Ran said that she feels like she’d "crash" to reality when she does answer to Shinichi’s confession and why she’d rather hold on to that "happy feeling" for another while. [vol.74 https://goo.gl/n1kRgg]
The most remarkable example of that attitude is during the solving of Yusaku's Cold Case, where her attempt to give Shinichi a reply was not really convinced or convincing and ended up in a failure. [https://goo.gl/K3d4QO]. That case provided us with some among the most prominent clues about Ran's current doubts on his identity, and not only that one. Just in between Sonoko&Kazuha's encouragements to give the final answer (vols. 72-74) and her failed attempt to do so (vol. 77), two of the most incisive episodes hinting at her suspicions occur in vol. 75: https://goo.gl/ghxR4K
As for the current case, it comes, as we mentioned, after the many clues Ran has been getting from the previous Heiji adventure [Zombie case, volume 88: https://goo.gl/8YBv1S] and presents us itself with some more Conan slips.
THE MANY SIGNS THAT SHE KNEW
"Now that I think about it, there were so many signs that she knew..."
[Shinichi, volume 26]
The journey from one suspicion arc to another (see Volume 14 to Volume 26) is made up of specific, recognizable steps Ran walked once again from Volume 47 up to now: she never actually ceased to put her theories about Conan/Shinichi to the test.
This time, however, some different factors occurred to make things different from every other suspicion arc, creating chances for new scenarios:
- Shinichi's confession happened while Ran's doubts were still pending https://goo.gl/0B13Ha
- Ran had a chance to "encounter" more aptx victims she could measure her theories on: Ai/Shiho (Volumes 25/78), Sera's mother/sister (Volumes 92/86), Sharon/Chris (Volumes 34/42, 90) https://goo.gl/fDQhXz
- Ran also received instructions from Sera as to how to collect valid evidence to prove someone "guilty" https://goo.gl/3ZcHyo
THE MANY SIGNS THAT SHE KNEW - "NOT WHAT YOU DO AGAINST A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY"
"It's kinda weird how Ran's acting lately. I felt that Ran's attitude towards me it's not like what you do against a seven year old boy"
[Shinichi, Volume 25]
Once again, Ran's attitude during the current arc can easily be explained by sampling her behavior during the Desperate Revival Suspicion Arc.
Showing embarrassment due to a child's words, taking his opinion extremely seriously on every subject - be it murder or fashion -, performing cunning psychological tests to trigger his reactions, surveying his taste in women.
When it comes to Conan, these are all easily recognizable behaviors on Ran's part that can only be explained if Shinichi is the child we're talking about.
Ran remarkably showcased that kind of attitude both between volume 14 and 26 and, by a symmetrical pattern, from volume 47 up to now.
Quite interestingly though, both times she frequently switched between that kind of outstanding conduct and an absolutely natural attitude one would expect from her when it comes to a kid. Whether it's protecting him, taking care of him, scolding him or feeding him with kids' food, Ran simultaneously acted as a perfect elder sister to child-sized Shinichi, being moved alternatively by her genuine caring nature and her innocent wish to tease him.
We provided many examples of said dualism in our graphic (among them the recurring, well-known outifit tests we mentioned before), the most fitting example being probably Ran and Conan's conversation about the girl's blood donation in volume 56. Even though the talk originated from a comparison between their bond and Eisuke/Rena's brother-sister relationship, the two can't help showing an embarrassed smile while recalling Ran's loving gesture.
As they both know, beside genuine, commendable kindness, Ran's notable act did bear much greater significance, as it came as an ultimate expression of outspoken love and truth.
Also noteworthy for our inquiry: Ran's recent tests to investigate Shinichi's feelings and his taste in women. She questioned Conan's appreciation for both a girl (and not any girl...) of his supposed age and a girl of his real age.
Quite remarkably, and differently from Sonoko, Ran pretty easily spotted her actual love rivals in Ai and Sera and tested Conan's interest in them.
THE ENIGMATIC SMILE - WHY RAN KNOWS SHINICHI'S EXCUSE IS INVALID
"You've collected lots of information already... You're going to call Shinichi, right?"
[Ran, Volume 47]
But that phone call never happened.
"Come to think of it... Conan-kun never pretended to make phone calls to someone before either!"
This scenario from Ran's last suspicion arc already established that Conan was perfectly able to deliver his deductions on a case without any prior assistance from Shinichi.
"That leads me to only one conclusion... that Conan really is Shinichi!"
"But wait, at the school festival, Conan-kun was with Shinichi. No I can't be fooled. It's Shinichi, he probably used some bizarre trick!"
That's why Conan's pre-recorded messages from Shinichi in file 986 are completely ineffective in proving wrong something that was already acknowledged volumes ago.
The fact that Ran, to Conan's surprise, had watched him attentively and took notice of his actions while he was holding his smartphone suggests she most probably has already seen behind his lie.
Once again, Shinichi's deductions flew directly from Conan's lips without any guidance or assistance needed.
This stands even more evident, if we consider at least two significant incidents (from volume 77 and 88) that happened in between: when Conan is caught off guard, because of dire or emotionally compelling circumstances, his glass mask becomes extremely easy to see though: it's Shinichi who's speaking when he comments on his father's conduct during Yusaku's cold case or when he's facing the victim's desperate situation during the Zombie case.
"With all these distracting emotions" even the most skilled wizard may fail at performing his cunning illusions sometimes.
Both his assistants and his tools can be easily exposed by Ran. See how in these dedicated posts of ours:
Conan has been solving the whole case by himself, showcasing Shinichi's brain power, skills and style... which he didn't care enough to hide, this time, because of the emergency.
Ran: "Just like Shinichi, and this isn't the first time it's happened either."
That is the very key point of this new suspicion arc. Ran has been showing a similar reaction to Conan's abilities many times after her last suspicion climax in volume 47. [https://goo.gl/rrsTRN] The same scenario occurred already in volume 51, when Conan solved Azusa's mysterious case without any external help and without hiding behind Sleeping Kogoro, prompting Ran's scared look. This happened again during the silver witch case, in volume 63, when Ran directly asked Conan to complete his deduction upon the case. In the red shirt case (vol.67), Ran suggested Kogoro to accept Conan's help on the investigation, only to compliment the kid about his deductions afterwards, basically just like she did in volume 14. [https://goo.gl/a2Sqju; https://goo.gl/65j8F1] During Kogoro's imposter case (vol. 73), Ran was the one who straightly asked Conan to solve the mystery instead of the improbable fake detective and help the man through the case, which Conan did. [http://imgur.com/a/hVdgd]
But every time, Ran chose not to expose her doubts to him, not yet at least.
She was certainly conscious of the fact [volume 47: https://goo.gl/uGO5Qn] that Shinichi has used "tricks" before to deceive her, that's why her next move should be a well-prepared one.
And there's not only that. This time around there's another question pending between the two: Shinichi's feelings were exposed during the London arc, but the truth about his identity wasn't.
What can Ran's answer be now that she thinks that he's been lying to her for all of this time?
Kicking objects with "extra" power. Did Ran realize it was Conan's doing this time again? That's been a well recognizable trigger for suspicions in past cases. It happened already during Ran's very first suspicion arc (volume 3), and again, recently, during Yusaku's cold case (volume 77).
For the Conan gadgets Ran has already exposed and the ones she could unmask in the upcoming future, see this post of ours: https://goo.gl/rVdCIm
(TO BE CONTINUED)