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Hajime Kindaichi, as the grandson of famous detective [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosuke_Kindaichi Kosuke Kindaichi]], picked up the tricks of his trade from Grandpa and, after proving himself to the skeptical police in his first case, finds himself tangled up in the murder mystery from hell on a regular basis.

Though fairly obscure in the west, Kindaichi was Japan's most popular manga for much of its original run (1994-2001) and remains quite popular today. The series relies on a strong formula that mixes the horror and detective genres: the atmosphere is similar to a well-made SlasherMovie, with the killer usually taking the persona of a legendary monster. He then murders his victims in gruesome ways relating to the legend, thus providing a more violent version of a {{Scooby Doo Hoax}}. He still leaves clues, though, which Kindaichi is inevitably the only person to notice. There's always some secret tragedy from the past (often surprisingly moving) motivating the killer as well. All of which leads up to the climax of each story where Kindachi [[{{the reveal}} unmasks the perpetrator]] in a dramatic {{summation gathering}}. Each story is also a rather challenging {{fair play whodunnit}} so clever readers may be able to beat Kindaichi to the solution.

The manga began publishing in February 1993, dubbed as "File series" comprised of 27 volumes (19 long cases). The continuation, "Case Series" (10 volumes, 7 long cases with one Akechi's case thrown in the mix) along with Short Case compilations (6 volumes, 20 short cases ALSO with Akechi's own case thrown in the mix) were published in 1997 until 2001 in which the series seemingly ended with a grand finale chapter. As of 2004, the series has restarted in Japan, dubbed "New Series" (14 volumes, 8 long cases, 2 average cases, and 4 small cases). To commemorate its 20-year Anniversary, Four long cases (with 1 small cases) was published in 5 volumes. Now, the manga resumes its weekly serialization (with occasional long hiatus) as "Return Series", currently publishing 8 volumes with 6 long cases, an average case, and 3 short cases. The first series was distributed in the US by Tokyopop, but is now out of print. As of 2014, anime adaptations were aired comprising of 25 episodes (Kindaichi R) and 22 episodes + 1 special (Kindaichi R2)


!!This work provides examples of:

* ABNegative: The Vampire Special Case features 5 characters with Bombay blood type. One of them is the murderer, who commits the killing spree to avenge her long-lost sister, with whom she shares the blood type. The sister was believed to have been killed by her doctors so that they could sell her blood to an injured girl, also with Bombay blood type, and clear their debts. During the murderer's MotiveRant, it was discovered that the injured girl's sister ''also'' had that rare blood and died because they couldn't find any suitable supply for transfusion. Later, it was revealed that one of the doctors, [[spoiler:who is actually the sister's lover]], is also a Bombay type, and [[spoiler: the others actually intended to sell ''his'' blood, but since it wasn't enough, the sister offered her own blood]].
* AccidentalMurder:
** Not even this manga is saved from classic "Two people have a fight near stairs and one of them falls to their death" scenario.
** Another variant happened when a group of people robbed a family who had a lot of money and left them in a car with the engine on. It was intended to warm them up (the robbery happened in snowy condition) but then a pile of snow blocked the car exhaust system, killing one whole family. [[spoiler:the only family member who was not in the car eventually mistook this as deliberate murder and plotted exact revenge on the robbers.]]
* AccidentalPervert: Both played straight and subverted; Kindaichi himself tries to pass himself off as this on multiple occasions, but he's also walked in on people he didn't mean to. (This even provides the solution to one of his mysteries.)
* TheAce: Detective Akechi. He is a former straight-A student, Todai graduate, amateur chess player (who ranks somewhere among the world's best amateur players), trained violinist (who can play for a professional quartet), capable fencer (who once beat the national champion) and can pilot planes too. Most of these exploits can be found in his seperate series, Akechi Files series, as pretext for the murder cases happening prior to his apperance in the main series.
* AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle: Said word for word by Kindaichi in the book "Smoke and Mirrors" when he explains at the end the difference between the [[CulturalTranslation American version of a clue, and the Japanese version of the same clue]].
* AscendedExtra: Makabe Makoto, a mere comic-relief character and self-proclaimed Kindaichi's rival in the manga has gotten more roles in drama adaptation (Season 1, 2, and Neo). Takashima Tomoyo is an even more awesome example of this. From [[spoiler:a mere suspect from the same case as Makabe in manga with occasional cameo]] with addition of becoming one of the killer's targets in "Opera Houss Murder Case", even one of people trapped in Graveyard Isle[[spoiler: as well as one of the killers]]!
* ArtEvolution: You can compare Kindaichi in Kindaichi's first appearance (File Series), Case Series, New Series, and Return Series change overtime. The artist (Satou Fumiya) drawing Manga/TanteiGakuenQ and claiming that all the works on Kindaichi "draining her energy" may be the reasons.
* AssholeVictim : Most of the murder victims are callous jerks who caused the death of an innocent over some petty reasons. Revenge for that dead loved ones is the reason why they are targeted by the killers.
* AxCrazy: Subverted. At first it always seems as if the killer follows this trope to the letter and is killing people at random. But in reality, their victims are always carefully chosen, and the murders themselves are part of a larger, complex plan.
* BandagedFace: Mostly used as disguises, though occasionally somebody wore full face bandages because they needed them.
* BeautifulAllAlong: Sakura Izumi, one of Kindaichi's classmates is this when they meet again as Gamou Gozo's daughter complete with TheGlassesGottaGo makeover.
* BestServedCold: In many a case this is how the killers plot their revenges, but the most memorable one is [[spoiler:the ''House of Wax'' case, where the killer waited a good 20 years to claim retribution when the victims are at the heights of their careers.]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Kindaichi lampshades in one case that killers would disguise themselves as goody-two-shoes to hide their murderous intent.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Ocasionally the killer is avenging a murdered/DrivenToSuicide sibling.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Usually the most helpful person is the culprit. [[spoiler: Eiji Tono is a good example.]]
* BluffTheEavesdropper: Combined with BluffingTheMurderer. On at least one occasion, Kindaichi stages a fight and pretends to go off alone in order to lure out the suspected killer.
* BookDumb: Kindaichi pretends to be this so that he can slack off in class (as he is too lazy to study for tests), but as a detective he demonstrates a wide range of knowledge.
* BookEnds: Happen in "Yukikage Village Murder Case". The prologue starts with Kindaichi's dream when he asked one of his childhood friends from Yukikage Village, Haruna, why she was painting in a quiet place, to which she answered she was painting a snow. Near the end of epilogue, said dialogue reappeared after Kindaichi opened time capsule along with his friends.
* {{Brilliant But Lazy}}: As noted above. School bores Kindaichi, so he just coasts by with a bare minimum of effort, frequently napping in class. Give him a mystery to solve, though, and he shows his true genius.
* BrotherSisterIncest:
** The death of a man's sibling lover kicks off a RoaringRampageOfRevenge in one mystery, though the fact that they are siblings don't come to light until after the case has ended.
** The same case alludes to another tale of brother/sister incest which made the location of the mystery ([[spoiler:the lake where the pair ultimately drowned themselves]]) particularly bizarre.
** In a mystery, the way this trope is deliberately invoked leads to the death of one of Kindaichi's friend, [[spoiler:prompting her boyfriend - actually not her brother at all - to murder the two jealous girls who spread that rumor.]]
* BusmansHoliday:
** Most of the time, Kindaichi is called out to the locations due to his reputation as a detective, but he's run into his share of murders while on vacation.
** Kenmochi got this in his first appearance in the series, having stayed at the Opera House hotel for a vacation.
* TheCameo: During "Alchemy Murder Case" (manga only), [[ButtMonkey Saburoumaru]] appears as one of final contestant in a quiz Kindaichi attends in order to be able to go treasure hunting. [[Manga/TanteiGakuenQ Q-class members]] also appears in one panel watching the show from TV.
* CanNotSpitItOut : Kindaichi is coy about his feelings for Miyuki, and the one time he does manage to spit it out, his confession is muffled by the marching band.
* CatchPhrase: "In the name of my grandfather..." and "This mystery is solved!".
** BorrowedCatchPhrase: Fumi, in the middle of calling Hajime consulting a case, realized who the killer was and blurted out "This mystery is solved!" and hung up. Of course in this situation Hajime hadn't known who the killer yet.
*** Heck, some other people had also borrowed the catch phrase; Akechi, Kenmochi...
* ChekhovsGun: Any incidental object (or sometimes person) in a scene could provide the solution to the mystery.
* CherryBlossoms: Yukikage village, the place where Kindaichi spent his 2-week holidays with his mother, is famous for its "Snow blossoms", where for 300 years the last snow falling along with cherry blossoms blooming in 5 days. Not really tied with cherry blossom but it's there.
** One village also has its own Cherry blossom legend tied with Japanese myth about death: A group of Ccerry blossom trees' petals turn bloody red after one deranged doctor mutilated his patients and buried the corpse under the tree as if the tree sucked the victims' blood, thus the name "Vampire/Blood-drinking Cherry Blossom".
* ChivalrousPervert: Kindaichi is something of a skirt chaser, but he is still more or less a gentleman.
* ClearTheirName: Ocasionally an innocent is blamed for the murders and Kindaichi must prove their innocence. Examples are Hikage Miyama in The Undying Butterflies case, Reika in the Alchemist Mansion case and [[ClearMyName Kindaichi himself]] in Kindaichi the Killer. Akechi had to clear Kindaichi name in another case.
* ClockDiscrepancy: In the very first mystery, Kindaichi manipulates a suspect's watch to get said suspect to reveal themselves. Many other mysteries are also solved when Kindaichi realizes that some sort of clock-based manipulation is in play.
* CluelessMystery: Averted and then some thanks to Tokyopop's attempts at CulturalTranslation. Though ''Death TV'' ends up being one due to the very obscure and specialized knowledge that's required to solve the mystery.
* ComicBookTime: As a long-running series, Kindaichi certainly suffers from this trope since year used in one case was from the tankoubon's publish year. It was obscured by the fact that it seldom explicitly tells you when those cases happen and the series never have a distinct plot to begin with. To take an example, they celebrated Christmas twice; one in the main case ''Santa's Slaying'' and one in short case where Fumi made her debut but as far as the story concerns, Kindaichi and Miyuki are still in high school (mind you, the start of the series begin with them in their second years)
** LongRunnerTechMarchesOn: As a series that has lasted for more than 20 years (the first manga released in around 1992), this trope is inevitable. For comparison, look at ''Smoke and Mirror'' where wapro[=/=]Word processor was still used, ''Kindaichi the Killer'' when Kindaichi only had pager as his portable communication device, ''Snow Goblin Legend Murder Case'' where one of the participants had both laptop and smartphone, and ''Black Spirit Hotel'' when Kindaichi received Reika's message through [[BlandNameProduct Liso]], a parody of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_(application) Line]]
*** Even more egregious example is Takato spin-off manga; one of the victims confronted the killer by saying they had a proof showing the identity of the killer; fingerprints on computer used to send mass e-mail to magic club members' flip-phone. In case you don't remember, this case happened when Akechi was still a sophomore in Todai, look above for when the main series start, and do the math to estimate in what year it took place.
* ContinuitySnarl: The book was first written by Yōzaburō Kanari (File and Case series or earlier series) who was later changed into Seimaru Amagi in later series so small inconsistencies can be found. One example is that in earlier series Miyuki became the Mystery Club's new president. But then comes "Blood-sucking Cherry Blossom Murder Case" when suddenly Makoto Makabe, a minor character, took charge as if he's the leader.
* ContrivedCoincidence:
** The way Kindaichi finds himself in the same [[StrictlyFormula kind of situation]] in every story, purely by random chance, never seems to strike anybody as too weird.
** The solution in ''Smoke and Mirrors'' hinges on Ryuta Saki, a schoolmate of Kindaichi and Nanase, having a habit of filming everything around him. Kindaichi is able to catch the killer because, conveniently enough, Ryuta and his ever-present camera are around exactly when the plot requires them to be.
* CrimeAfterCrime: Even if the murderer wasn't trying to kill several victims, he would be forced to kill some inconvenient witnesses.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Despite being a genius with an IQ of 180 and a brilliant detective, Kindaichi mostly behaves like an idiot who rarely shows up for his classes and barely passes for any of his tests. His bumbling attitude doesn't exactly help improve people's opinion about him.
* CulturalTranslation: Quite a few of the clues that rely on Japanese language or culture were changed for the English version so that the clues could still be solved by an astute reader.
* DeadPersonImpersonation: Several cases happened to have this during MotiveRant. [[spoiler:Two killers from different cases assumed identity of dead individual who committed suicide (but nobody knew said dead people disappeared) to start second life, but had to kill in their new life.]] There's also one for mystery purpose, in which the culprits were more than one.
* DrivenToSuicide:
** The occasional fate of a cornered suspect, though Kindaichi always does his best to prevent this from happening.
** This also happens to quite a few of the people who the murderers are off to avenge.
* DramaticDrop: Done for Comedy effect. In "Santa's Slaying" The trope came to play after Kindaichi, Miyuki, and Saki Ryuta found out that Nijikawa, one of the suspect was BiTheWay while also implied that he was going to make Kindaichi experience... a whole new world complete with semi-NSFW imagery. The drama plays this more often, particularly in "Headles Samurai Murder Case" and "Graveyard Isle Murder Case". Good thing the things those characters dropped were not breakable...
** This also comes when victims drank [[TamperingWithFoodAndDrink poisonous substance mixed in their drink]].
%%* DyingClue: Quite often left in some form of code.
* ElegantClassicalMusician: Akechi is a very talented violinist. He managed to flawlessly play a score he saw for the first time and impress four talented musician from Todai when he was ''still in high school''.
* EurekaMoment: If the change in Kindaichi's expression doesn't tell you he's had one, then the CatchPhrase drop certainly will.
* EveryoneKnowsMorse: JustifiedTrope when Kindaichi finds himself among a group of war game enthusiasts.
* FaceFault: Several times. Seen in "Kindaichi the Killer" and "Demon Artifact Murder Case".
* {{Fair Play Whodunnit}}: The translators have gone to great pains to make this true even in the English version. Though one story [[spoiler: arguably breaks the "no identical twins" rule.]]
** In the comic's heyday, figuring out the solutions to Kindaichi mysteries became something of a national craze for the Japanese. The storylines typically ran for two or three months, leaving plenty of time for fans to speculate. Later storylines have much tougher solutions as the authors strived to keep things challenging for fans who often collaborated on figuring out the answers.
** The animated adaption dealt with this by adapting the comic stories but often changing the solutions, with a different character turning out to be the killer than in the manga.
** One small case violated one of Knox's Commandment ([[spoiler:The 7th one, where Kindaichi [[FrameUp framed]] a crow to knock off suspicion that he stole Miyuki's panty by putting her watch on the crow's nest.]])
* FakingTheDead: Done several times in the franchise. [[spoiler: There were three bullies who drove a guy to suicide. Two of them are murdered and when the supposed killer (the guy's sister) was caught, the third one was murdered too. It turns the real killer was the second victim who had faked his death. He had planned killing himself after, though.]]
** [[spoiler:Legend of Broken Heart Lake]] is also this. [[spoiler:The killer faked their guilt as an excuse to go seeking help with a boat everyone's too scared to go with (''All'' of them are hydrophobic except the killer and Kindaichi and Kindaichi had to take care of Miyuki). They went to kill a target who were representd by Kindaichi and Miyuki, and the target's corpse was used to pose as the killer's corpse. The fact that the [[JackTheRipoff Modus Operandi]] involved dismembering victims' face helps.]]
** [[spoiler: The killer]] in [[spoiler:Takato spin-off manga]] also did the same concept. Bonus point that they're [[spoiler:found as the second victim, similar with the first example!]]
** [[spoiler:Takato]] also did this in Case series' finale.
* FallingChandelierOfDoom: This manga really, ''really'' likes to drop light sources at some victims. There are four cases up until now that did this to one of the victims; one case uses a heavy stage light while the remaining three uses real chandelier. Coincidentally, three of the 4 murders appeared in cases with similar ScoobyDooHoax disguise; Phantom of the Opera.
* ForcedIntoEvil: [[spoiler:Reika's father and Takamori Masumi]] were forced to kill by the cases' real culprit for the same reason: [[spoiler:Blackmail.]]
* FrameUp: A lot of murder rely on this. This was even done by [[spoiler:Kindaichi (albeit, not a murder case), ]]of all people!
* FramingTheGuiltyParty: In one case where the killer created a condition in order to cast a suspicion on them[[spoiler: so that they got an alibi for the second murder while being interrogated in police station while staging their murder as a series of suicide]].
* GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger
* GoOutWithASmile: Killers, after confessing and telling people reason why they killed, usually will kill themselves and do this. The aftermath may be played straight or subverted, however...
* {{His Name Is}}: If someone besides Kindaichi discovers the identity of the culprit, you can bet that person will be dead before he can tell anyone.
** In one story, a character realizes who the killer is, but fails to notice said killer standing right behind him, about to bring an axe down on his head.
%%* IDidntMeanToKillHim: In a lot of case.
%%* InfantImmortality: Averted in ''The Undying Butterflies.''
* InventedIndividual: Done several times.
** [[spoiler:Akanuma Saburo in Headless Samurai]] is this. The character was described as someone's child and when said person died, blood test revealed that it was not true. [[spoiler:It was actually done to camouflage the killer's "child" in order to be identified as the said dead invented character. In fact, the "child" was not really the killer's. The plan was created such in order to hide this fact]].
** [[spoiler:Two members of writer group "Persona Doll" in Hitogata Island Murder Case are also this. The core member of the group, the real writer, decided to stage a fake murder plan in order to erase their existence. However, the writer didn't know that someone used this plan in order to kill said writer.]]
%%* ItsAllAboutMe: A lot of the {{Asshole Victim}}s behave this way.
* IWillWaitForYou: Occasionally the killer has a loved one who states that he/she will be waiting when the killer is released from prison.
* JapaneseSchoolClub: Sometimes cases in Kindaichi Universe will involve Fudou High's school clubs (notable example is the first case; It happens to the school's drama club members). Kindaichi and Miyuki themselves join the school's mystery club.
%%* JerkassFacade: Some of the supposed [[AssholeVictim asshole victims]] turn to be this trope. Cue MyGodWhatHaveIDone from the killers.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: The journalist-author Itsuki, whom Kindaichi befriended in the Legend of Lake Hiren case. Less jerk and more heart of gold with each reappearance.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: The clues are all there for the reader to find, but good luck coming to the same conclusion Kindaichi does in the grand reveal.
* KarmicDeath: The MO of the culprits, often being a grieving loved one or someone who was personally hurt by the actions of the victims in the cases and thus wishes to enact vigilante justice on criminals who got away scot-free.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: It's hard not to get SOME satisfaction out of seeing the AssholeVictims get their just desserts as they often did crimes that were far worse than the murderers in the cases.
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler: Eiji Touno planned to do this with all the survivors from the Oriental whose names had the initials S.K.. Since he couldn't figure out which one was responsible for Keiko's death, he was just going to slaughter them all indiscriminately.]]
* LiveActionAdaptation - Featuring some very {{Squick}}-tastic sound effects.
* LockedRoomMystery - Almost every story.
* LimitedWardrobe - The characters tend to wear the same clothes through each case, even if the event takes place throughout several days.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: While the cases generally reveal that any supposedly supernatural element was in fact just clever planning by the culprit or a RedHerring, there have been a few times where the legend or myth in question might in fact be real (such as when Kindaichi thinks he might have seen a tengu during the climax of one case). They just didn't have anything to do with the murders aside from giving the killer something to freak out their targets.
* MotiveRant: Occurs pretty much OnceAnEpisode.
* MurderByMistake: The killer tried to put a poison in a glass of their intended target. However, the glass was filled with wine the target had an allergy for and the poor guy next to him offered to drink the intended target's wine. Cue the killer's inner panic. [[spoiler:Inverted. The killer was blackmailed by ''the intended target'' and the poor guy was the target all along.]]
%%* MyGodWhatHaveIDone - Many a killer has experienced this after the case has been solved when Kindaichi presents them with information that makes them realize how misguided their actions were.
* NeverOneMurder: Main cases in the series follow a [[StrictlyFormula strict formula]] that murder victims will almost always be more than one except certain occasion; "Hayami Reika's Kidnapping" becomes an aversion with and witout considering the twist [[spoiler:since it was actually a murder plan disguised as kidnapping]] and subversion in [[spoiler:Doll Island Murder Case because 3 corpse pieces found actually belonged to one person]].
* OffWithHisHead: An uncommon method of murder, but nonetheless this manga doesn't shy away from showing this in several cases.
* OldSchoolBuilding: A murderer trying to hide a DarkSecret in an old school building commits several murders to keep the truth from coming to light.
%%* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Yes, ghosts do exist in Kindachi's universe. [[spoiler:One of the suspects in "House of Wax" is even implied to be the ghost of Elizabeth Báthory.]]
* PetTheDog: The cold-blooded criminal [[TheChessmaster chessmaster]] [[spoiler:Takato]] once spared the killer of his friend because he sympathized with her motive (both of them have a deceased loved one whose creative work was stolen and plagiarized by an antagonists, and wish to reclaim the lost work).
* PoisonedChaliceSwitcheroo: Happened one in a case where Kindaichi revealed connections made by victims on said case and pointed out that there was still one the killer hasn't killed. The killer initially planned on making the last victim's death through poisoning the target's drink, but Kindaichi right away blurted out that he had already switched the victim's drink with the killers and asked for all remaining suspects to drink all at once to reveal who the killer was.
* PoorCommunicationKills: In several cases this leads to tragedy. One example is The Burial Franc case where [[spoiler: the murderer thought her boss/mother substitute was about to betray her. She then discovers the boss was trying to [[MamaBear protect her]]. Fortunatly the boss survived and they made amends.]]
%%* PullTheThread
* PunnyName: We only need to place "ko" in Mori Utako before Mori to become Komori Uta (lullaby). A character named based on lullaby in a case where lullaby is involved while said character being a batshit crazy girl showing her obsession over lullaby song? Well played, writer! Well played...
* RapeAsBackstory: [[spoiler: Reika's manager's wife]] in the Hayami Reika's Kidnapping case. It turns [[spoiler: [[AssholeVictim her husband]] paid those guys to rape her so he could have his way with her when she lost her job as an idol and was about to kill herself. She didn't take it well when she discovered it.]]
* RealityEnsues: In "Kindaichi the Killer," Kindaichi gets framed for a murder. Akechi falls for the frameup, and says that if Kindaichi's a murderer it'd explain why he's been present when so many other murder cases took place.
* RedHerring: Will mostly certainly appear. One case relies heavily of a soon-to-be-victim one to work under said person's nose.
* RevengeByProxy: The killer in "The Undying Butterflies" [[spoiler: murdered two of his half sisters (he failed killing the third) because his mother got married with the guy who drove his father to suicide. [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone And then he discovered the truth...]]]]
* RevealingCoverUp: The killer of volumes 10 and 11 accidentally does this when he realizes that the real hidden code he was after laid in the names of the message givers he had been silencing. Names which would be printed in order of death in the next newspaper thus providing the necessary clues to ''everyone.''
* RightBehindMe: Kindaichi, Miyuki and Saki was discussing Superintendent Fuwa behind her back after she went about her stiff demeanor. This naturally happens.
-->''Saki'': I know someone/something just like her!
-->''Miyuki'': Really? Who/what?
-->''Kindaichi'': Haha, I see! An ugly snake-haired gorgon which can turn people into stone just by her gaze!
-->''Saki'': If [[SempaiKohai sempai]] don't want to turn into stone, I suggest you don't turn around!
-->''Kindaichi'': Eh?
-->''Supt. Fuwa'': [=WHO=] is this snake-haired gorgon, you say? *smirking, with snake hair imagery*
* RoaringRampageofRevenge: Most of the killers are on one of these. One even has [[GottaKillThemAll ''checklist'' (shown manga only)]] to boot!
* TheRival: Kindaichi occasionally faces off against arrogant pretty boy detective Akechi, and gets a Moriarity-esque recurring character who uses every opportunity to taunt Kindaichi on his uselessness.
* TheScapegoat: Some of final murder victims are this, after the real killer deliberately made situation that only them who were able to commit such crimes.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Accidental one. [[spoiler:One of the suspects in "The Headless Samurai" [[TamperingWithFoodAndDrink slipped a poison on his stepmother's tea]] but she was revealed to be his real mother.]]
* SerialKillingsSpecificTarget: Subverted. Supposedly, a serial killer has gotten loose and is killing everyone trapped in the ClosedCircle, but Kindaichi figures out that they're all connected. While the murderer ''is'' looking for one specific person, he doesn't care that he's killing innocents in the process.
%%* SharedUnusualTrait: Two heretofore otherwise apparently unrelated characters will be hinted at having a connection (that Kindaichi will expound on during TheReveal) by shared physical traits and/or personal habits.
* ShoutOut: In ''The Mummy's Curse'' case, the trick [[spoiler:Mr. Kazamatsuri]] used to create the seven mummies [[spoiler:to save his lover's and the mother of that case's murderer]] is taken straight from prolific Japanese mystery writer Shoji Shimada's classic debut novel, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tokyo_Zodiac_Murders The Tokyo Zodiac Murders]]''.
* ShutUpHannibal - Kindaichi's reaction to many a Motive Rant and/or Suicide Attempt.
** The murderer in the Plot of the Russian Dolls actually [[ShutUpKirk does this right back]] to Kindaichi when he expresses disbelief on how the whole motive was for money. She yells back that he has no understanding on how humiliating and torturous it was growing up without a cent, and being forced into prostitution.
* SlainInTheirSleep: Courtesy of SlippingAMickey most of the time.
* SneezeCut: As a part of Comedy, this becomes relatively frequent.
** Kindaichi's grand introduction in manga is this.
** Happened in Burial Franc.
-->'''Kenmochi''': A duel? Somehow that reminds me of a certain annoying superior...
-->'''Kindaichi''': Well, at least this guy has his funny and quirky side, unlike SOMEONE we know...
-->(''Scene cuts to Superintendent Akechi sneezing while reading newspaper'')
** Also in "Black Magic Murder".
** Apparently Live-Action Drama version of "Gentleman Thief" has this scene.
-->'''Sakura''': It's said that lavender's scent has a therepeutic effect.
-->'''Kindaichi''': Maybe this will cure Miyuki's crankiness!
-->(''Scene cuts to Miyuki sneezing on a pool chair in Okinawa'')
* SpannerInTheWorks: Kindaichi himself is this on occasions when the murderers try to factor in his reputation as a detective in their planning.
** Specifically, though, in ''House of Wax'', the murderer's otherwise well formulated plan, which required keeping the fireplace lit at all times, hit a snag when the air conditioning broke down.
** The reason all of [[spoiler:Yoichi Takato]]'s masterpiece murder plans end up being solved by Kindaichi. One time his own common sense betrayed him, other times it's the blunder of his 'puppet', the culprit. Often leads to [[spoiler:Takato]] pulling a (usually fatal) YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness move on the culprit and Kindaichi can't do anything but watch.
* SpidersAreScary: Two times in the whole series. First in "The Undying Butterflies" when one of the suspects found lots of tarantulas in a bathroom she used. Justified since the tarantulas are poisonous. The second one is in "Opera House 3rd Murder". Reona, one of the suspects found tarantula in a pouch containing key to a locked-up person. Since no available footwear/blunt objects available at the moment, they had to burn the pouch, key, and tarantula in a fireplace. Guess what? The locked-up person was murdered.
* SpinOffspring: Hajime is (in this comic) the grandson of Kosuke Kindaichi. This of course was not official canon in TheVerse of Kosuke stories actually exists, so it got the writers in a little legal trouble.
* SpoilerTitle: Kindaichi the Killer. Guess who is accused of murder in this case.
* StartOfDarkness: The premature death [[spoiler:by murder]] of his mother is one for Kindaichi's nemesis, [[spoiler:Yoichi Takato]].
* StartsWithASuicide: Uniquely done in "Man-Eating Laboratory Murder Case". The suicide was done to establish that someone would commit suicide in that place, becoming the place's apparent curse.
* StockholmSyndrome: Reika Hayami is revealed to have been [[spoiler: a kidnap victim as a very young child, and ended up treating her kidnapper as her father]]. Fortunately for her, [[spoiler: the kidnapper developed LimaSyndrome and genuinely loves her as a daughter]]. Justified, seeing as Reika [[spoiler:either forgot or repressed her memories of the kidnapping, and thus thought the guy really ''was'' her father.]]
* StrictlyFormula: The mysteries, while for the most part are genuinely well written, can be a little paint by numbers. (Here's a typical mystery: Hajime and Miyuki are invited to/stumble upon a gathering of people hiding a DarkAndTroubledPast; as dead bodies start piling up Hajime declares that he'll solve the mystery in the name of his grandfather, but it usually takes a few more deaths and a EurekaMoment before Kindaichi figures things out, sets a trap for the murderer, and then makes a long, long [[TheSummation summation]] of all of the evidence against the murderer; eventually, the murderer breaks down and confesses with a MotiveRant, but Kindaichi says "ShutUpHannibal", and an arrest is made.)
* SummationGathering: Almost all the time. If someone is in any way connected to the case, they'll be present when Kindaichi solves it. Notable aversions are manga version of ''Yukikage Village Murder Case'' and all versions of ''Drifting Firefox Murder Case''; Kindaichi confronted the killer directly.
* SuspectExistenceFailure: Once happens in "Opera House Third Murder Case". All evidence pointed at a certain person, and thus that person was locked with the key on constant watch. In the next day, that person was found murdered. It was deliberately set up by the real killer to create this locked-room situation.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Saki #2, who looks so much like his brother that Kindaichi mistook him for a ghost at first.
* SympatheticMurderer: The large majority of the killer have a DarkAndTroubledPast, where their loved ones died because of other people's assholery, and they avenged their beloved by murdering those responsible for their deaths. Often, they try to commit suicide once their plot is uncovered.
* TakingTheHeat: At least twice a killer has tried to convince Kindaichi that their accomplice was not involved at all.
* TamperingWithFoodAndDrink: Done a few times. One memorable example is in a case involving feud in determining a family clan's head. After the apparent prime suspect committed suicide, the oldest son slipped a poison to his dead rival's mother's (stepmother) tea. It ended ''very'' horribly.
* TarotMotifs: Unfamiliarity with how a Tarot deck works is used to point out the murderer in one mystery.
* TeacherStudentRomance: The discovery of such a relationship kicks off the plot of "The Mummy's Curse" [[spoiler: The teacher's fake substitute though, and it was merely for revenge.]]; the AssholeVictims of "No Noose is Good Noose" accidentally killed the student half of a pair of lovers. This also present in [[spoiler:"Who Killed the Goddess" short story]] and [[spoiler:Fudou High Festival Murder Case]].
* TearsOfRemorse: Those killers who discover [[PoorCommunicationKills their victims weren't in fault and everything was an huge misunderstanding.]]
* TenLittleMurderVictims: Part Kindaichi's formula is that the potential pool of victims and suspects overlap, and symbolic murder announcements are often used to unnerve victims and set up fake alibis.
%%* ThemeInitials: A major part of "The Legend of Lake Hiren"
* ThanatosGambit:
** A variant is pulled by Reiko Chikamiya, [[spoiler: the mother of Kindaichi's archenemy Yoichi Takato. Reiko's death was caused by the members of her magic troupe who wanted her to divulge the secrets behind her various, hand-created feats of illusion. After her death, they stole her book of magic tricks and used them for their own. As it turns out, Reiko had two of them in case of such a situation. The real one was sent to Yoichi, while the others kept the copy which contained a bonus magic trick. This extra trick was created so that anyone who tried it would wind up killing themselves. The reason Yoichi agrees to go to jail after killing most of the ones responsible for his mother's death is that he KNEW the last surviving member would attempt this trick (and this one is implied to have been the one who specifically caused Reiko's death), so he felt that his mother would be able to get her revenge posthumously.]]
** Another one shows up in Plot of the Russian Dolls. [[spoiler:A dying famous mystery author wrote a will bequeathing his fortune to his acquaintances, who also happened to be people he hated (mostly for very petty reasons), with the condition that they solve a puzzle he left in his mansion. Once he died, the candidates gather in his household to solve the puzzle. Then all of them start dying one by one at the hands of the culprit, a GreenEyedMonster BrokenBird girl trying to reclaim her late father's castle and notebook containing his ideas which the author had stolen and wrote famous novels based on them. In the end, Takato reveals to Kindaichi that the author knew the culprit's identity and predicted her reaction to the will all along, ''he just went ahead with his plan because he wanted her to kill his personal offenders in his stead''.]]
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Miyuki in particular, and several of other victims as well.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: [[spoiler: Due to them witnessing their father getting strangled to death as children,]] both Reika and her manager cannot bear to have things around their necks.
* WouldHurtAChild: The killer in The Undying Butterflies. And the first victim, no less!
* WoundedGazelleGambit: How someone tried to [[spoiler: frame Inspector Kenmochi for murder]].
** [[spoiler: The difference from manga and anime adaptation is, while the anime stated that the killer calculated the time it took for them to be saved, the manga made tke killer blaming themselves so much that he intended to end his own life while framing Kenmochi at the same time. Of course, this didn't work.]]
* YouKilledMyFather: Or mother, or sibling, or lover... A lot of SympatheticMurderer in the series kill for this reason. Ocasionally the loved one was DrivenToSuicide.