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Are you a huge fan of detective mysterious series?

Then you cannot miss this all-time masterpiece – The Kindaichi Case files written by Yozaburo Kanari and Seimaru Amagi. It was first published on October 28th, 1992. Yes, you didn’t hear it wrong, 1992, which was 2 years earlier than the world’s famous comic book Detective Conan.

The Kindaichi series have been said to have more serious crimes, creepy scenes, spooky overtones and emotional contents compared to Conan. The Files series contain 27 volumes, and the case series have 10 volumes – all combined in a total of 16 books. Each of them is a completely different story so they can be read in any orders.

The whole series is revolved around the main character – Hajime Kindaichi – an underachieving and curious troublemaker with a special talent for deduction whose father was a well-known detective. He had a female best friend who literally followed him on his mysterious journey witnessing almost all his cases – Miyuki Nanase.

Book 1: The Opera House Murders

The first book in the Kindaichi series named “The Opera House Murders”. The opening scene is at a school’s drama club where all the members were preparing to go to a camp to rehearse for a national competition and Kindaichi was a sound-effect assistant. Things get spookier when the members witness the mysterious suicide of a student actress. Above all, the camp location was a resort hotel located on an isolated island in the middle of nowhere. The situation became harder for everyone as a hidden murderer started to take action and threaten the students’ lives.

What attracts readers about this first book of the Kindaichi series is that it stimulates a person’s curiosity trying to unveil the truth and the real identity of the murderer. The message conveyed through the whole story is to illustrate the horrifying consequences of excessive teenage pranks. Another interesting thing is that the writer can actually relate a foreigner’s tale (the phantom of the opera) to Japanese cultures.

Book 2: The Mummy's Curse

A similar creepy theme was delivered through the second book of the Kindaichi Case files series named “The Mummy’s Curse”. Kindaichi’s classmate called Wakaba was on a trip back to her hometown for an arranged marriage. However, she found out an extremely scary thing – the village was defended by a burnt-down church surrounded by six mansions.

While walking around, Wakabe and Kindaichi figured out a mysterious hidden chamber with a headless mummy inside. The villagers are put under a terrible curse since one of the mansion’s owner was trying to hide a terrifying secret and now everyone had to pay for it as someone began to take revenge. A mummy’s mysterious curse had haunted Wakabe’s family and the village for decades. However, they all thought that they deserved the punishment and accepted whatever was given to them.

The following books in the series are consecutively “Death TV”, “Smoke and Mirrors”, “Treasure Isle”, “The legend of Lake Hiren”, “The Santa Slayings”, “No Noose is Good Noose”, “The Headless Samurai”, “Kindaichi The Killer”, etc and the last book to end the series is “The Magical Express”.

Why you should read Kindaichi?

The most intriguing thing about this series that attracts readers is its mysterious yet fascinating content and traditional Japanese cartoonish art all over the pages. It has reasonable characters developments yet manage not to over-exaggerate the plot and twists. Furthermore, the plot and characterization are well-connected to stimulate people’s curiosity, which are also supplemented by the spooky vibe of the whole series.

Why is it exciting, which moment or is it the way it is drawn?

The way the authors built the plot for each of the book really showed the dedication for their “soul child”. The series reflects their infinite creativity and extensive knowledge on the detective topics. The way they created the central protagonist of the series also reflected their belief for justice and continuous fight against the evils. Through the finale of each story, the authors always tried to add in a meaningful outcome and value, they believed that there is always a reason behind a person’s crime.

Some background about the co-authors and any interesting facts or

parts of their life that is reflected in this comic series? Or based one of the

character(s) on themselves.

Based on Japan’s defeat during World War II from Okayama – a rural prefecture, Yokomizo was able to observe the militaries endure during wartime as well as postwar destructions and he finally realized that detective fictions with its logical and reasonable content were what needed to enable Japan to build a more modern, better and democratic country. Therefore, he decided to collaborate with another author to put down the ideas in writing and here we have The Kindaichi series of today.


Le Yen Nhi Huynh is an international student coming from Vietnam currently in her last year at University of Technology Sydney majoring in Marketing. Besides from study, she also has a passion for coffee and art and is a part-time barista in Alexandria. She loves communicating with people and is very dedicated to work.

Instagram: @h_yennhi


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