I’m not really a Detective Conan fan. Oh don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the series! It’s just that at this point the show has such a high barrier entry that the thought of trying to watch all 700 plus episodes fills me with fear. So I was quite surprised when I figured out a few weeks that this show I was interested in was related to the Detective Conan franchise, and immediately I worried that this too would spawn an infinitely running series that I’d have no motivation to watch. Luckily though, after a little bit of researching, I figured out that the Magic Kaito manga was only 4 volumes long to begin with, and that this new series will only be 24 episodes. With my interest renewed I jumped into this series with extreme curiosity, and in return I was greeted with a surprisingly fun experience!
Now let me be clear, when I say fun I don’t mean that this show is groundbreaking, either directorially or writing wise. No, Magic Kaito is definitely not that, but what it is a competently executed and enjoyable diversion that promises to provide plenty of enjoyment in future episodes; and that’s perfectly fine with me!
Anyways, Magic Kaito 1412 follows the story of Kaito Kuroba, the young and talented son of the famous magician Toichi Kuroba. He lives a normal enough life, but do to his Mother’s absence he often finds himself teasing his next door neighbor Aoko. However one day after the announcement of the return of the infamous Phantom Thief from his eight year absence, Kaito is determined to find out who this powerful magician rogue is. To his surprise he learns that the new Kaitou Kid is his Father’s old assistant, and the secret room he recently found in house was Kaitou Kid’s original headquarters! Yes, Kaito is the son of the infamous Kaitou Kid, and it turns out he was murdered eight years ago for unknown reasons. With this new information Kaito makes the bold decision to become the new Kaitou Kid, but will he be able to survive the conspiracies surrounding death? Or will he fail, and succumb to the terror of freshly cooked fish?
Okay, so as you can probably tell, Magic Kaito’s material isn’t the most inventive stuff in the world. In fact it is very reminiscent of its companion series Detective Conan, not only in its structure, but in its overall goal. Despite what the plot may be telling you, this show is clearly not about moving the story forward, and it instead wants to focus on the new mystery being presented in each episode. However we’re not quite there yet, so this episode mostly plays out as a set up for upcoming events. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, because despite the overall exposition-like nature of this first episode, it’s still a pretty entertaining show.
I think part of this is due to the fact that Kaito and Aoko are just fun characters to watch! Kaito is a playful child who still hasn’t lost the admiration for his Father, while Aoko is the serious one who’s constantly trying to outsmart Kaito’s joker like ways. They have pretty great chemistry, and watching them try and get back at each other is pretty fun to say the least. Admittedly speaking the show is already relying on too many panty jokes, but otherwise these two’s interactions are pretty enjoyable.
It also helps that the show is just well produced. Yes, technically speaking the animation here isn’t spectacular, this is a prime time TV show for kids after all, but A1 Pictures delivers their typical consistency and polish to the stage. Sure it may not be Sword Art Online quality work, but it still hits the right notes when it needs to, while reserving its budget for the moments it really needs it.
Honestly there’s not much else to say about this first episode of Magic Kaito 1412. It’s competent, set ups everything well, and in general is just a polished, albeit slightly average first episode. The show is telling you were it’s going, introduces the main cast well, and is preparing you for the future fun and hi-jinks that the rest of the series will probably offer. It may not be groundbreaking, and it may not even live up to the best episodes of Detective Conan, but if you’re looking for a fun episodic mystery series with a magical twist, there’s really nothing wrong with checking this out. I found it interesting, and I’m definitely looking forward to covering the rest of the series in the future!