From Lines To Screen, Japanese Detectives

Nowadays, many movies and series are adapted from books or anime series. I wanted to create this list for a long time as someone who loves Japanese culture and detective stories. I think I will continue adding this post in the future. So if you are interested, don’t forget to check it time to time. Let's start, shall we?
     1-Kindaichi Case Files: (Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo)
Kindaichi case files, which started to be published as a manga in 1992, is about a high school student named Kindaichi who solves crimes and mysteries while traveling to various places along with his childhood friend Miyuki. Hajime Kindaichi solves ghost stories, miscellaneous myths, curses, superstitious beliefs by following interesting tips. Let's not forget that this character is the grandson of the famous detective Kosuke Kindaichi.
(* Kosuke Kindaichi is a character created by Seishi Yokomizo and is known as Japan's Columbus. when the Kindaichi series became popular, there was a disagreement between the creator of the Kindaichi Case Files and the creator of Kosuke Kindaichi, but the subject was closed before it ends up at the court. After this, in the series, they’ve started to be careful not to mention his grandfather’s name.
** Not only Hajime Kindaichi, but also Kosuke Kindaichi is adapted to television, and become a movie. Kindaichi Kosuke vs. Akechi Kogoro(2013) and Kindaichi Kosuke vs. Akechi Kogoro Futatabi(2014) were the names of the movies. We watch Tomohisa Yamashita (Yamapi) in the role of Kindaichi Kosuke.)

Kindaichi is so popular that both animated and television adaptations are being made. There are even a lot of mini-series and sequences played by different artists. As an Arashi fan, I did not want to forget to mention that one of the Kindaichi was played by Jun Matsumoto.

You can watch Kindaichi animes second season with English subtitles from Crunchyroll.

      2-Case Closed: Detective Conan (Case Closed - Detective Conan):

I think I won’t be mistaken if I say that Detective Conan is the most popular detective adapted to television in Japan. In 2000 it was chosen the best shounen * manga at the 46th Shogakukan Manga awards. More than 150 million copies were sold in 2015 and it’s the 5th most-selling manga in manga history.

The story is; High school student Kudo Shinichi is a successful detective and often helps the police. One day when he walks in the park with his childhood friend Ran Mouri, he notices two men and starts chasing them. But he gets caught off guard. They make Kudo swallow a poison. But it doesn’t kill him. Instead with the side effect, Kudo turns to a primary school student. He chooses the name Conan Edogawa to himself in order not to throw Ran into danger. He persuades Ran and his detective father to live with them and starts a new life. At the same time, he makes a detective gang with his curious friends in school. He's involved in many cases of Ran’s detective father. He uses the inventions of his greatest supporter and neighbor, the professor, to resolve cases without getting noticed. And he usually uncovers the mystery with imitating Ran’s father’s voice (using the voice-changing bowler) while the father is sleeping because of getting hit by a drugged arrow which is thrown from Conan’s watch. Still (Weirdly) Ran couldn’t understand that Conan is Shinichi, and very few people know his real identity.

This manga is adapted to both anime and television series. When it was adapted to the television, it was not about the Conan character, but of course, it’s about Kudo Shinichi (the period before he becomes Conan.) This character has played by two different artists up to now; Junpei Mizobata and Shun Oguri.

Those who want to watch the anime can watch it with English subtitles at

* Manga for young men or boys

      3- Detective Galileo (Detective Galileo Series):


   The eccentric college professor and physicist Manabu Yukawa helps the police to solve cases. And he is known as Detective Galileo (Professor Galileo). This character that is adapted to many films and television series is based on Keigo Higashino's novels. The actor Fukuyama Masaharu plays the character. You can watch Galileo on Crunchyroll.

You can get English translations of these detective novels from Kobo; A Midsummer's Equation, The Devotion Of Suspect X, Salvation of a Saint.

Here you can listen to the English introduction section of the book:

      4- Q.E.D:

The manga, which started in 1997 and ended in 2015, was adapted to 10-episodes television drama in 2009.

Manga has a follow-up series which was started in 2015.

The story of Manga is; Toma Sou is an MIT graduate student. He returns to Japan just because he wonders what it feels like to be a high school student. Mizuhara Kana is a powerful young girl who likes to play sports. Together they start to solve cases that happen in their surroundings.

Toma character is played by Aoi Nakamura and Kana character is played by Ai Takahashi.
      5- Sukuban Deka:
The manga, which was published between 1975 and 1982, was made into 2 episodes mini-anime series in 1991. However, before that, it was adapted into drama at 1985 and turn into movies at 1987-1988. Lastly, it was adapted into a movie again in 2006.

Our main character this time is a high school girl. Saki Asamiya is trained by a detective and enters to a secret mission. She tries to detect and solve various kinds of terrorism, crime, and corruption in Japan’s high schools.
      6-Detective Kaga (Detective Kaga Series):

The character is in Keigo Higashino's novel, Newcomer. and Malice. This character appeared in a television drama(Shinzanmono-2010) and a special episode (Akai Yubi-2011) and a movie (The Wings of the Kirin - 2012). A second film was released in 2018.


Police detective Kaga Kyoichiro is played by Abe Hiroshi.
      7- Nani wa Detective Boys Series:
Nani wa Shonen Tanteida and its sequel Shinobu Senseni Sayonara which are written by Keigo Higashino in 1988, and in 1996, were adapted into 12-episode television series in 2012. The main character is a primary school teacher in Osaka. Shinobu Takeuchi, who loves mystery stories, solves cases that even detectives struggle to solve. The character Shinobu Takeuchi is played by Mikako Tabe.

       8- Detective Daigoro Tenkaichi:

Daigoro Tenkaichi is a character in Keitai Higashino's novel, Meitantei no jubaku that is published in 1996. In 2009, this novel was adapted to a comedy- detective television drama series named  “Lessons For A Perfect Detective Story (Meitantei no Okite).The character was played by Matsuda Shota. In order to solve the cases, Tenkaichi needs to follow and apply a set of detective story rules.
      9- Detective Kiyoshi Mitarai:

Detective Kiyoshi Mitarai is a character in Soji Shimada's novels.
In 2012, it’s also released as a manga with the title “Tantei Mitarai Kiyoshi no Jiken Kiroku”. The main character, Genius Detective Kiyoshi Mitarai solves mysteries with his assistant, Kazumi Ishioka.
It’s adapted to the television as a special episode with the name “ Tensai Tantei Mitarai: Nankai Jiken File - Kasa wo Oru Onna, and as a movie named “Detective Mitarai's Casebook: The Clockwork Current (Tantei Mitarai no Jikenbo Seiro no Umi)”. Tamaki Hiroshi played the character Detective Kiyoshi.

You can get English translation versions of Soji Simada's books from Kobo.(click the photo below.)
       10-  Nazotoki wa Dinner No Ato De:

My beloved Japanese Mangas that I bought from CDJAPAN
From the book, Nazotoki wa Dinner No Ato De (The Riddle-Solving Can Wait till After Dinner) (After Dinner Murders Mysteries) which includes short stories written by Tokuya Higashigawa, 10 episodes television drama was made in 2011. At the same time, two special episodes and a film were adapted.

My beloved Japanese Mangas that I bought from CDJAPAN

The story is about Reiko Hosho, a beautiful and wealthy heiress, who is also a detective, solves murders with the help of Kageyama, a sharp-tongued butler of hers. Keiko Kitagawa plays the role of Reiko, and Sho Sakurai (member of Arashi, Japanese idol group) plays Kageyama.

     11-  Fugoh Keiji:
Fugo Keiji, which is released in 2005, is an adaptation of Tsutsui Yasutaka's novel. Our main character is a female detective. Kyoko Fukada plays the character in the series.

The story is about; Kanbe Miwako, a granddaughter of a millionaire, starts working in a police station where there is only very few female exists. The peculiar style and elite attitudes of this woman disturb the old-fashioned colleagues of her. but Miwako overcomes a lot of difficulties and solves many cases.
      12-  Kei Enomoto Series:

Kei Enomoto is a character in Kishi Yuusuke's books. In 2012, a TV series, starring Ohno Satoshi (a member of Arashi, Japanese idol group) is made. The story in the series was adapted from the books  "Glass Hammer" (novel), "Kitsunebi No ie" and "Kagi No Kakatta Heya" (short story books). The special episode of the series is based on "Megami No Kuni No Satsujin" (which is published on November 12, 2013) and "Futatsu no Misshitsu" (unpublished work). In the series, Toda Erika and Satou Kouichi accompanied Ohno Satoshi.

The story is about; Kei Enomoto, a security company employee who loves keys and locks, solves locked room murders with two lawyers named Junko Aoto and Go Serizawa.

Bought from CDJAPAN

As a writer who wrote a locked room murder mystery, I really want to read a translation of these stories (English or Turkish). If they won’t make it, I think I'll complete learning Japanese just to read these books even it takes many years.
     13-  Meshibana Keiji Tachibana:


A television drama is made from a manga whose story is written by Sahee Sakado and the mangaka is Tori Tabii. The main character is played by Jiro Sato.
The story is about a detective who is very knowledgeable about food. this detective gets the information he needs by making people talk about food in the questioning.  He has a very interesting style, don’t you think?

      14-  Kizoku Tantei

Bought From CDJAPAN

A television drama adaptation is made from Yukata Maya's Kizoku Tantei (Aristocratic Detective) novel in 2017. Aiba Masaki (a member from Arashi) played the leading role. 
The real name of the aristocratic detective is unknown. That's how he introduces himself. Nobody knows his age, his family, who he is exactly. It is only known that he has acquaintances in high places and suddenly appears at the scene of a crime. Most important part of the research is made by his servant, his driver, and his housekeeper.
Takei Emi and Namase Katsuhisa accompany Aiba Masaki in the drama.