Kindaichi Hajime, boy detective extraordinaire! This young lad here is the protagonist of the Kindaichi Case Files series, a collection of the most memorable cases Kindaichi experiences during his tender high school years. Those who have read Detective School Q should recognize Fumiya Sato's art style, while the themes and plot elements of the mysteries come from the mind of Yozaburo Kanari. This combination lead the Kindaichi Case Files to be one of the most popular manga series during its initial run from 1992 to 2001, winning several awards and keeping up with the competition, like Detective Conan. Kindaichi Hajime is known across his high school as a dunce, underachiever, and well – not that popular of a person. His nickname “Kindorky”, while horribly uninspired, is not helping his reputation. Why he still has a friend in honor student Miyuki Nanase continues to boggle the student body and the teaching staff as a whole. This doesn’t stop him from enjoying acknowledgement of his deduction abilities from the police or getting mixed up with murders every other week. For Kindaichi, it’s all in the blood. You see, not only does he have an impressive 200+ IQ, he is the grandson of the fictionally famous detective Kindaichi Kosukue!
With a face like that, you would think that he was creating all the murders behind the mysteries.
Storyline-wise, the Kindaichi Case Files are a more darker, more gore-minded mystery. That is to say, that the level of problem solving and deduction are not higher than that of other mystery themed manga and anime. Rather, the depiction of such murders, the motivation behind such murders, and the kill count in every mystery are all higher. Like most mysteries, it has its own setup and format. Usually, Kindaichi, Miyuki and six to eight more people are cut off from society in a protracted amount of time due to some Deus Ex Machina. Of course, the killer is trapped with them. Thus begins a race against time to discover the killer. Usually about half of the remaining group survives the ordeal, with the killer either being arrested or outright killed. In that sense, the Kindaichi Case Files have more of an adult theme than a series like Detective Conan. It is interesting to note that these series, while launched relatively close to each other, experience different levels of fandom. Here in the states, Detective Conan is at least recognized while Kindaichi is barely a blip on the radar. Contrast that to Japan where Kindaichi is very popular and well known, just like Detective Conan. If you want a change of pace from the usual mystery fare, try this series out. Just make sure you have more than ten people near you while reading.