Monday, September 01, 2008

Thief 1412

The mysterious thief 1412, also known as Kaito Kid, is another character of mangaka (manga-artist) Gosho Aoyama. And finally another volume of his stories has been published in Germany.

Gosho Aoyama is better known for his other, long-running series: “Detective Conan” (the animated series is known in the US as “Case Closed”). Before Shinichi Kudo stepped on the scene, though, the author wrote and drew three volumes filled with the adventures of Kaito Koruba. (Yes, the name is a trifle obviously, but we’re talking about a Japanese comic here, not about a crime novel for adults - besides, the reader practically knows from page one who the mysterious Kaito Kid really is.)

In one of the stories of volume four (“Black Star”) Kaito and Shinichi even meet. (As they do during “Detective Conan” during various occasions, Kaito even turns up in one of the OVAs, “The wizard of the last century”.) But while Conan’s world is completely rational, Kaito’s world allows for a little bit of magic, usually through his classmate (and part-time mistress of the dark arts) Akako. Still, Kaito does not rely on magic of the “Abracadabra”-kind. He’s the son of a renown illusionist (who was Kaito Kid until he was killed eight years before the start of the story) and uses all the skills he has developed through the years to steal various rare jewels.

But, as he’s the hero after all, he doesn’t steal those jewels just for their value or to fence them. He’s after an organisation looking for special, rare jewels, one of which will grant the owner eternal life. They killed his father and now he’s after revenge.

As he’s a thief, there is, of course, a police inspector after him - who happens to be the father of his classmate (and secret love) Aoko. And there’s a young detective (not too unlike Conan - or rather Shinichi, as he’s 16, not 6) after him, too, who suspects his true identity.

What I like about those stories is their fast pace - and the missing need to solve the crime (which I always feel with “Detective Conan”). They’re a bit funny, a bit touching, adventurous and full of action.

And this Saturday, I had the fun of watching the seventh OVA of “Detective Conan” and reading volume 4 of “Kaito Kid” at the same time.

No comments: