The List
7 Plucky Kid Detectives

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Kid detectives are a staple of children's fiction. They're the Robin to Batman, the Scooby Doo gang unraveling the schemes of adults, or the hard-nosed Nancy Drew who can't get away from a good mystery plot. Sometimes they're pint-sized versions of adult sleuths; Sherlock Holmes or C. Auguste Dupin trapped in the body of a child that no adult will take seriously. The idea behind a kid detective is wrapped in the idea that kids can see things adults no longer have access to, letting them think outside of the box where regular methods have failed.

7. Milky Holmes (Tantei Opera Milky Holmes) Supernatural detective girls Sherlock Shellingford, Nero Yuzurisaki, Hercule Barton, and Cordelia Glauca are the members of Milky Holmes. They use their various superpowers to track down criminals including the Gentlemen Thief Empire. The criminal organization is non-violent and focuses on pulling off heists with "beauty." The characters in the show's names are throwbacks to popular detectives and thieves. The references include Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, and P. D. James' Cordelia Gray.

6. Alice (Heaven's Memo Pad) Alice is the head of NEET, both a detective agency and a place of employment for, well, NEETs. This includes Alice, a girl who holes up in her office with only the company of her stuffed animals. The internet is her main source of communication and entertainment, over time turning Alice into an excellent hacker. She enlists the help of Narumi; an average high school guy, Tetsu; an information resource for the local police, Major; a military otaku and spy expert, and Hiro; the group's pro investigator. They find themselves at odds with Renji and his yakuza gang who also are a bunch of NEETs.

5. Mayuki Hyuga (Fantastic Detective Labyrinth) 12-year-old Mayuki is a genius ESPer living in the ruins of Tokyo. A giant earthquake leveled city, and from the remains, humanity built Kyuto. The new city is the home to stranger and stranger supernatural crimes. Mayuki wields a superpower of his own, making him best suited to getting to the bottom of what's going on. He's able to predict the future with pinpoint accuracy, adding another faucet to his already genius intellect. Despite living predominately in isolation, Mayuki is more friendly and likable than most of the characters on The List this week. When he finally enrolls in school, he gets plenty of attention from his classmates and shows capabilities for making friends.

4. Loki (Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok) Loki isn't technically a kid, he's a 700-year-old god that looks like he's eight years old. The shrinking was courtesy of his mythological nemesis, Odin, as is being stuck with the humans of Midgard. He can only return to his rightful form and resume his place in Asgard if he collects 100 evil spirits within the hearts of men. So, Loki opens the Enjaku Detective Agency to complete this goal. Over the course of the series, he finds himself at odds with the god Freyr, now a thief called Frey and many more members of the Norse pantheon.

3. Kobayashi (Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace) Kobayashi is determined to become a detective but his intentions can be interpreted as more selfish than altruistic. It isn't a deep desire to find justice for the victims of the eerie crimes that plague his city that motivates him. Kobayashi is bored. So much so that he views his peers as undefined blobs filling the hallways of his middle school. It's only interesting people and morbid crime details that catch his attention. To an outside viewer, this kind of attitude can read sociopathic but as a detective it allows Kobayashi to only focus on the facts without getting caught up in victim and perpetrator's emotions.

2. Victorique de Blois (Gosick) Victorique's thoughtful pipe smoking isn't the only thing she has in common with Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective. She's considered eccentric by her peers, due to her manner of dress and her abrasive personality. She's spent many of her school days tucked away in the library developing her superhuman observation skills and logic. Despite her status as a black sheep, Victorique has no problem persuading others to do as she likes with both charisma and grace. Like most characters with a seemingly perfect intellect, Victorique's greatest threat is boredom. She takes up mystery solving to prevent this.

1. Conan Edogawa (Detective Conan) If there's any detective in it for the long haul, it's the perpetually poisoned, pint-sized Conan. After teenager and deductive genius Shinichi Kudo is forced to swallow an experimental poison by two mysterious men, he shrinks to his younger self instead of dying. This sets the stage for Conan's motivation as he tries to discover his assailants and return to his former self while maintaining a low profile as a bright, but otherwise normal elementary school student. Whether he'll ever solve the ultimate mystery and undo his curse seems far off even as the show approaches 800 episodes.

The new poll: Which anime character would be the most fun to go bar-hopping with?

The old poll: Which anime villain is most deserving of redemption? Here's the results:

  1. Lelouch (Code Geass) 9.5%
  2. Accelerator (A Certain Magical Index) 8.6%
  3. Crona (Soul Eater) 7.5%
  4. Scar (FMA/FMA:B) 6.6%
  5. Uchiha Itachi (Naruto) 6.4%
  6. Homura Akemi (Madoka Magica: Rebellion) 4.0%
  7. Annie Leonhardt (Attack on Titan) 3.6%
  8. Folken Fanel (The Vision of Escaflowne) 3.1%
  9. Char Aznable (Gundam) 3.1%
  10. Kagura (InuYasha) 3.1%
  11. Lucy (Elfen Lied) 2.7%
  12. Slaine Troyard (Aldnoah.Zero) 2.2%
  13. Ichimaru Gin (Bleach) 2.0%
  14. Light Yagami (Death Note) 2.0%
  15. Hansel and Gretel (Black Lagoon) 2.0%
  16. Shion Sonozaki (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni) 1.8%
  17. Squealer (From the New World) 1.8%
  18. Master Asia (G-Gundam) 1.8%
  19. Anthy Himemiya (Revolutionary Girl Utena) 1.8%
  20. Yukio Oikawa (Digimon Adventure 02) 1.6%


When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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