Feb 6, 2023

"The Culprit Hanzawa": A Muscular, Naked Shadow Being Finds a Boyfriend


The Culprit Hanzawa, on Netflix, is a spinoff/spoof of the anime Detective Conan, which I've never heard of -- Conan the Barbarian solving crimes?  Twelve 10-minute episodes, and none mentioning a wife or girlfriend, so I'm in.

Episode 1, Scene 1: A muscular, naked shadow person gyrates, dances with ping pong paddles,  (bulge but no visible penis), and stares out onto a pink and black city.  He then gyrates again, accompanied by a teenage girl and a little girl, while his baby form dances with a cat and a chicken.  Then all five of them dance together.  Sorry, that was just a 9-minute long intro.  On to the episode.

Real Scene 1: The muscular, naked shadow person, carrying a knapsack -- Hanzawa?  -- gets off the train at Beika Town.  The other passengers warn him not to get off -- he'll be killed!  But he reassures them: "Don't worry -- I'll be doing the killing."

He walks through a blank crowd, thinking: "This is the legendary city of crime.  He's bound to be here. I came here to kill him."  But he doesn't get the ticket slot right, and trips. A teenage girl laughs at him; he briefly considers murdering her, but there's no time.

Scene 2: First step: finding an apartment.  He can only afford 50,000 yen ($376).  One advertised for only 32,000 yen is obviously a trick, so he goes in planning to murder the rental agent.  But he's on the level!  

It turns out to be an amazing room in a high-rise condo, with a great view of the town!  So why is it so cheap?  A pro golfer bludgeoned his girlfriend to death here. For a murderer, Hanzawa is rather skittish about other people's murders, and refuses.  But all of the other rooms in the condo were sites of murders, too: non-stigmatized property is rare, and expensive, in the Legendary Crime City.  He considers murdering the rental agent to make the price go down..  The end.

Scene 3:
Not the end.  After three minutes of closing credits, we move on to Hanzawa walking through the city, wondering how he is going to find the guy he wants to kill.  He overhears two teenage girls discussing the pop star Yoko Okino  The real end?  But...nothing happened except looking for an apartment,  thinking about murdering random people, and a name-drop.  I'd better go on.

Episode 2: This time the intro is only 2.5 minutes long.

Scene 1: Hanzawa sitting on a street corner, watching tv: The murderer at the apartment complex has been captured.  The commentators praise the crime as "a work of genius," which angers Hanzawa.  He continues to look for an apartment.

Suddenly he sees a cheerful fat onigiri kid crossing the street, and almost being creamed.  (Onigiri are rice balls.)  He has a brainstorm: "If we live together, a stigmatized apartment won't be scary!"  So he's going to move in with an onigiri kid?

The rental agent shows him a room in a "share house": furnished, with tv, microwave, and so on.  He decides to take it, and meets one of his new housemates: Hanbashi, another naked, muscular, shadow person wearing a ski cap. They bond over their shared desire to kill the rental agent, and decide to have a sleepover.  Different rooms in the same house, and they need a sleepover?   Definite gay subtext here.

Scene 2:  In the bedroom, the two muscular shadow beings are bonding.  Hanzawa reflects: "The first person I've ever been able to open up to.  I'll live here while waiting to kill that guy."  

Scene 3: Late at night, the rental agent is stumbling home drunk, muttering that he's going to increase his rental fee to get even with the "country bumpkin" Hanzawa, and increase the renewal fee for the "partying rapper" Hanbashi.  A muscular shadow being kills him, and a little boy gives chase, throwing a bento box at him.  

Scene 4: Hanzawa awakens after the sleepover (he slept in a sleeping bag on the floor of Hanbashi's room).  Looking for Hanbashi, he wanders into the main area, turns on the tv, and sees a story about the rental agent's murder.  Hanbashi has been arrested (he still has a fish from the bento box in his mouth).  Hanzawa is irate.  The end.

Detective Conan is a manga series and anime about a high school detective who has been turned into a little boy but continues to work on cases, pretending that they have actually been solved by his detective foster-father. He has a cameo in Scene 4, as the boy with the bento box. 

 As far as I can tell, Hanzawa appears only in the spin-off series, but apparently all of Conan's foes are stylized as muscular, naked shadow men, so he may be a composite.  No doubt Conan is the "he" that Hanzawa has come to town to kill.

He is voiced by Shouta Aoi, a Japanese singer and actor known for his androgynous stage presence.  So I expect that there will be more gay subtexts and not a lot of heterosexual romance going on.


  1. conan edogawa, a pseudonym for his reverted to childhood character, taken from the names of his his 2 favourite detective/mystery writers in an improptu moment (he had to come up with something). real name jimmy kudo (although character names are changed between japanese with subtitles & eng dubbed versions).

    a long running series; started around the turn of the millenium & i believe there is a manga series too. heterosexist but not terrible; there are some very sexually ambiguous boy characters/signalling & lots of male bonding. the quality of the mysteries varies, but if you don't squint too hard looking for the plotholes(/technicalities), then it's decent lightweight fun, & it can be clever at times. like eating potato chips or peanuts; you can go through a lot of them without much effort... xD

    & the black silouhetted figure is a trope that they sometimes use for concealing the identity of the perpetrator(s) until the big reveal finale(s). not used in every ep, but when they need to show some action (real or hypothetical) of the baddie without giving away the ending.

  2. p.s. the long running burglar 'Lupin' manganime series is also tied in with detective conan to some degree; they operate in the same universe, d.c. has occasionally referenced lupin, & they've had at least 1 crossdover. i THINK the lupin series has "seniority". (& detective conan has used an alternate title in the eng dub version - 'One Truth' unless i am remembering it wrongly)

  3. oh & the girl in pic 2 looks very much like jimmy kudo's longsuffering highschool girlfriend, daughter of the detective little conan is now living with... you get the idea. & popstar yoko okino is a long running recurring reference & character in d.c. i'll stop now, shall i? sry boomer xD

    1. So, lots of references to the Conan series. I figured that the cameo was a real Japanese pop star, and the little boy with the bento box had me mystified. But no doubt most viewers are familiar with the original series.


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