The year was 2016.

The Singapore Writers’ Festival had a very special guest – the  creator of the Detective Conan series, Gosho Aoyama. Of course, Detective Conan fans were delighted to have the creator of their beloved series visiting our sunny island – but little did they know that he had fallen in love with Singapore as well.

So when Aoyama-san returned home, he set into motion the events that would lead to Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire – an anime film set almost entirely in Singapore (save for a few brief minutes back in Japan).

The Merlion in Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire. Credit: ©2019 Gosho Aoyama/Detective Conan Committee and Odex

The Merlion in Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire. Credit: ©2019 Gosho Aoyama/Detective Conan Committee and Odex

The 25-year-old franchise started out as a manga series in 1994, following the adventures of the eponymous Detective Conan Edogawa. While he might have the body and appearance of a child, his original identity is that of the teenage whiz Shinichi Kudo – who was dosed with a poison that caused his body to revert to that of a young boy’s. Together with his allies, Conan Edogawa solves crimes and seeks to find out who turned him into a boy and why.

If you follow the Detective Conan (also known as Case Closed) anime, you’ll have watched more than 940 episodes of Edogawa’s adventures. In addition to a weekly anime series, there is usually an anime film every year, with this year’s offering being Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire.

Here for the Detective Conan press conference!

Here for the Detective Conan press conference!

The cast and crew headed down to Singapore for an exciting fan screening (don’t worry, there’ll be more screenings!) and press conference last Friday (31 May), when they spilled the beans about setting the latest Detective Conan movie in Singapore.

“Before sitting down to write the story, we came down to Singapore to recce the various locations, conduct some research about the country’s background and history, and speak to the Singapore Tourism Board and Odex,” shared producer Shuho Kondo in Japanese.

But one visit was not enough. After the script was written, the team made another trip down to Singapore to ensure that the locations they had selected were suitable and apt for the tale they had written.

The panel is in session.

The panel is in session.

“We got our inspiration from many places in Singapore,” said Chika Nagoaka in Japanese, director of Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire.

“As this is the first film that’s set overseas, I wanted to feature a variety of locations in the film,” she revealed. “STB also gave us some suggestions.”

“When I watched the Marina Bay Sands [light] show, I was so impressed that I wanted to feature it in the movie.”

More of Marina Bay Sands in Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire. Credit: ©2019 Gosho Aoyama/Detective Conan Committee and Odex

More of Marina Bay Sands in Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire. Credit: ©2019 Gosho Aoyama/Detective Conan Committee and Odex

In the film, Marina Bay Sands is a prominent location where many of the action scenes take place. In addition, Nagaoka-san said that Orchard Novotel and Suntec City were noteworthy as well.

Kogoro Mori, Shinichi Kudo, Detective Conan, and Kaito Kid.

Kogoro Mori, Shinichi Kudo, Detective Conan, and Kaito Kid.

However, there were some challenges when it came to producing the film. Even though they did not have to shoot on location (it is an anime, after all), most of their locations were based on real-life places.

“So there are some restrictions on what we can do in the story,” said producer Isato Yonekura in Japanese. “At the same time, we wanted to make it more interesting for the audiences.”

Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire. Credit: ©2019 Gosho Aoyama/Detective Conan Committee and Odex

What looks like Haji Lane in Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire. Credit: ©2019 Gosho Aoyama/Detective Conan Committee and Odex

For them, the challenge was being respectful of the locations they were animating versus creating an evocative set piece for audiences to be thrilled.

But don’t worry – Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire‘s gripping climax is an amazing action sequence that makes use of one of Singapore’s most iconic locations in an imaginative and unique way.

Marina Bay Sands in Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire. Credit: ©2019 Gosho Aoyama/Detective Conan Committee and Odex

Marina Bay Sands in Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire. Credit: ©2019 Gosho Aoyama/Detective Conan Committee and Odex

Besides being the first film to be set in Singapore, Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire also boasts another first – using classical music in the film.

“We used a lot of classical music in the film, something we have never done in the movies before,” remarked Nagaoka.

Chika Nagaoka, Kappei Yamaguchi, Naoko Matsui, Detective Conan, and Kaito Kid.

Chika Nagaoka, Kappei Yamaguchi, Naoko Matsui, Detective Conan, and Kaito Kid.

The seiyuu (voice actors) for fan favourite characters Kaito Kid and Sonoko Suzuki, Kappei Yamaguchi and Naoko Matsui, were also there to greet Detective Conan fans and make their dreams come true.

One thing’s for sure though – once you’ve watched Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire, you’re never going to see Singapore in the same light again.

Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Have you got your tickets for Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire? This GV exclusive focuses on Conan Edogawa’s latest adventure in Singapore. But wait – how can Shinichi Kudo be there as well, since Conan Edogawa is Shinichi Kudo? It’s up to Detective Conan to solve this mystery and many others as he stumbles upon a dastardly plot that threatens to plunge Singapore into chaos. Find out who’s really after the Fist of Blue Sapphire, and what this means for our sunny island.

You won’t regret seeing Singapore in all its animated glory in Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire.

 

Want more Detective Conan goodness? Check out these other articles!

 

Credits: Golden Village Cinemas, Gosho Aoyama/Detective Conan Committee and Odex

 

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