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Manga / The Kindaichi Case Files

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Hajime Kindaichi, as the grandson of famous detective 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 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 Slasher Movie, 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 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 serializing in Kodansha's Weekly Shonen Magazine in October 1992, with the first compilation volume released in February 1993. Dubbed as the "File series", it would run for 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) were published in 5 volumes. The manga resumed its weekly serialization (with occasional long hiatus) as the "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. An 148-episode anime adaptation started airing in 1997, but it faded into obscurity; a follow-up series, titled The Kindaichi Case Files R (the R stands for "Returns") aired in 2014, spanning two seasons of 25 and 22 episodes respectively. In 2017, 2 new spin-offs came along: The Culprit Case Files, a humorous revisiting of past case files focusing on how the culprits pulled it off, and The (37-year-old) Kindaichi Case Files, focusing on an adult Kindaichi who gave up on detective work but recently is getting caught up in various cases again.


This work provides examples of:

  • AB Negative: 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, who shares the same blood type. The latter is believed to have been killed by her doctors who wanted to sell her blood to an injured girl, also with Bombay blood type. The injured girl also has a sister with the rare blood but had died earlier. Later, it is revealed that one of the doctors, who is actually the sister's lover, is also a Bombay type, and the others actually intended to sell his blood, but since it wasn't enough, the sister offered her own blood.
  • Abusive Parents: Played around with regarding Shimon and Midori Madarame from The Undying Butterfly Murder Case. Shimon isn't physically abusive to his three daughters, but it's clear he views them mainly as specimens in his collection to the point he named all three of them after different types of butterflies. It's greatly implied all three girls dislike their father because he sees them as things. In Midori's case, she can be considered abusive because she impregnated herself with frozen sperm samples taken from her deceased boyfriend Minoru and tricked Shimon into thinking he was the biological father of her children. Because Shimon drove Minoru to suicide by stealing his life's work, Midori tried to get revenge by having Shimon raise Minoru's children and hoped to reveal the truth on Shimon's death bed. In this case while loved her daughters and never did anything to directly hurt them, Midori gave birth to and exploited them for the sake of avenging Minoru's death. In the process, she gave up her firstborn son to be raised by Minoru's mother who then grew up believing Midori was a horrible woman who betrayed his father. Under the idea Midori genuinely did betray Minoru to marry Shimon and live a wealthy lifestyle with their three daughters, the son wanted to avenge his dad and murdered two of his sisters and Shimon. Once her son's identity is revealed, Midori tearfully admits her scheme and realizes it backfired horribly.
  • Accidental Murder:
    • The classic "Two people have a fight near stairs and one of them falls to their death" scenario often shows up in the murderer's backstory.
    • 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. The only family member who was not in the car eventually mistook this as deliberate murder and plotted to exact revenge on the robbers.
  • Accidental Pervert: 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.)
  • The Ace: 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), can pilot planes and has a high enough reputation that he was once requested for a case in America. Most of these exploits can be found in his separate series, Akechi Files series, as pretext for the murder cases happening prior to his appearance in the main series.
  • Amnesiacs are Innocent: The series normally operates under the idea that people don't become killer unless they've been screwed over really badly by the culprits. Hence, if a murderer somehow loses their memories after being exposed, the narrative will not hold them accountable for the crimes they commit before, and Kindaichi will allow them to "start over" with their new life.
    • The culprit behind the Broken Heart Lake Legend Murder Case blows himself up after being exposed as the murderer. However, his suicide attempt fails and he gets an Identity Amnesia instead, after which he is adopted by Shimon Madarame from The Undying Butterfly Case, and assumes a new identity under the name Hikage Miyama. He is found innocent of the second case, and Kindaichi lets him live under his new identity. It helps that he shows none of his previous identity's psychotic thirst for vengeance, but has become noble and self-sacrificing and willing to risk his life to protect his beloved.
    • In Demon God Site Murder Case, the culprit is struck by lightning just as they are about to kill themselves after completing their revenge, causing them to lose their memories of the case, but is left otherwise unharmed. Since they are incurably ill and are about to die anyway, Kindaichi and friends allow them to live the remainder of their days reconnecting with Satsuki, and allowing the latter to finally get to know her real mother.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Said word for word by Kindaichi in the book "Smoke and Mirrors" when he explains at the end the difference between the American version of a clue, and the Japanese version of the same clue.
  • Animal Theme Naming: Shimon Madarame, out of his twisted love for butterfly, names his daughter based on buttefly species; Tateha from Tatehachou (Nymphalidae), Ageha from Agehachou (swallowtail butterfly), and Ruri from Rurishijimi (Holly Blue). The three daughters are also made to dress in a kimono with patterns that resemble the butterflies their names are inspired from during the family's special occasions.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • Beside being apart of the core cast, being a child, a friend / teacher to Kindachi or Miyuki or the other supporting cast does not exempt you from being killed or being revealed as the killer. Poor Ryuta Saki can attest.
    • Miyuki and Kindaichi also got roughed up quite a number of times in the investigation. And they clearly bear a lot of physical (completely averting Beauty Is Never Tarnished) or emotional trauma from the case.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Miyuki describing a lion adopting a cat was used as a metaphor for Lima Syndrome. In reality, putting a cat near a lion is not a good idea.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • 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 bigger example of this. From 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 as well as one of the killers!
  • Art Evolution: 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 Tantei Gakuen Q and claiming that all the works on Kindaichi "draining her energy" may be the reasons.
  • Asshole Victim : Most of the murder victims are callous, egoistical 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.
  • Ax-Crazy: 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.
  • Bait-and-Switch
    • The Kowloon Murder case has a Distant Prologue about a man being murdered in a dark building. It was expected to be the Cynicism Catalyst for the Poison Dragon, the Serial Killer for the arc, but not in the way viewers expected. The murder victim was actually a bodyguard, not actually biologically related to the Dragon. His death caused a chain of events that led to the Poison Dragon's mother to commit suicide, which is the true motive behind the murders in the present.
    • In the Game Mansion Murder case, Kindaichi correctly deduces that the Game Master's real target are the mother-and-son Shimomura duo. Kindaichi elaborates further that the bar hostess Kozue was in fact related to them through her father, and thus makes her eligible to inherit the Shimomuras' fortune. Kozue, thinking she's being fingered as the Game Master, denies everything, but Kindaichi believes her...because he's actually pointing to Kozue's boss Mugimama as the Game Master instead. Mugimama arranged for the murders so Kozue can inherit the fortune because she is in fact Kozue's Missing Mom, thought to have committed suicide a long time ago by going to the Sea of Trees.
  • Bandaged Face: Mostly used as disguises, though occasionally somebody wore full face bandages because they needed them.
  • Beautiful All Along: Sakura Izumi, one of Kindaichi's classmates is this when they meet again as Gamou Gozo's daughter complete with The Glasses Gotta Go makeover.
  • Best Served Cold: In many a case this is how the killers plot their revenges, but the most memorable one is 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Kindaichi lampshades in one case that killers would disguise themselves as goody-two-shoes to hide their murderous intent.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Ocasionally the killer is avenging a murdered/Driven to Suicide sibling.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Usually the most helpful person is the culprit. Eiji Tono is a good example.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: A translator did not notice that Sakura's dog is named Poirot not Paolo.
  • Bluff the Eavesdropper: Combined with Bluffing the Murderer. On at least one occasion, Kindaichi stages a fight and pretends to go off alone in order to lure out the suspected killer.
  • Book Dumb: 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.
  • Break the Haughty: Ryunosuke Tatsumi from "The Headless Samurai" is the first son of Tatsumi Clan, one of the most influential clan in Hida region. He gives a very hard time to Kindaichi and the others due to how selfish, arrogant, and bad-tempered he is, thinking that he should've been the one inheriting the clan's legacy instead of Seimaru, his stepbrother he despises. At the end of the case, everything he knew comes crashing down. He's actually not the legitimate son of Tatsumi clan, instead he's the biological son of the stepmother he also despises and the family's newest servant, his younger brother stops his mental retardation facade and reveals to the entire family that the reason said brother does it is because Ryunosuke poisoned his drink, and his real mother died from the same trick he used on his younger brother just because she doesn't want her to have any share in Tatsumi family's wealth, not knowing that she would've given up her rights to it anyway. He can only cries when the consequenses of his action unfold.
  • 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.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    • The death of a man's sibling lover kicks off a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in one mystery, though the fact that they are siblings don't come to light until after the case has ended. Although from the flashbacks shown, while the brother was indeed in romantic love with the sister there's no given indication if his sister felt the same way.
    • The same case alludes to another tale of brother/sister incest which made the location of the mystery ( the lake where the pair ultimately drowned themselves) particularly bizarre.
    • An accidental and rather twisted one happens in one case. Masayuki Onodera and Tateha Madarame are engaged and despite their constant bickering, Tateha is shown to actually like him. However, Masayuki got engaged with Tateha in the first place in order to kill the entire Madarame Family because he was an illegitimate son of Midori (Tateha's mother) and Minoru Suga whose research about luminous butterfly was stolen by Shimon Madarame. However, Tateha and her sisters were not Shimon Madarame's biological daughters, instead there were born from artificial insemination using Minoru's sperm making Masayuki and the three sisters biological siblings. Double yikes.
    • In a mystery, the way this trope is deliberately invoked leads to the death of one of Kindaichi's friends, prompting her boyfriend - actually not her brother at all - to murder the two jealous girls who spread that rumor.
  • Bully Hunter: Yoko Asano, Takayuki Ujiie, and Akiko Hama were this on their respective cases. Upto Eleven that both Yoko and Ujiie were this and Stern Teacher at the same time. Yikes....
  • Busman's Holiday:
    • Most of the time, Kindaichi is called out to the locations by his associates because of his skills, but he's run into his share of murders while on vacation or part-time work.
    • Kenmochi got this in his first appearance in the series, having stayed at the Opera House hotel for a vacation. He also encounters cases in his free time if Kindaichi is around.
  • The Cameo: During "Alchemy Murder Case" (manga only), Saburoumaru appears as one of final contestant in a quiz Kindaichi attends in order to be able to go treasure hunting. Q-class members also appears in one panel watching the show from TV.
  • Cannot Spit It Out : 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!".
  • Chekhov's Gun: Any incidental object (or sometimes person) in a scene could provide the solution to the mystery.
  • Cherry Blossoms: 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 cherry 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".
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Kindaichi is something of a skirt chaser, but he is still more or less a gentleman.
  • Clear Their Name: Occasionally 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 Kindaichi himself in Kindaichi the Killer. Akechi had to clear Kindaichi's name in another case.
  • Clock Discrepancy: 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.
  • Clueless Mystery: Averted and then some thanks to Tokyopop's attempts at Cultural Translation. Though Death TV ends up being one due to the very obscure and specialized knowledge that's required to solve the mystery.
  • Comic-Book Time: As a long-running series, Kindaichi certainly suffers from this trope since the year used in one case was from the tankoubon's publishing 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 the 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)
  • Coming-of-Age Story: This is a big theme in "Yukikage Village Murder Case." Kindaichi who went back to said village after five years because he got news of his friend's suicide saw that the rest of his old friends changed either in personality of career choice after faced with life hardships. The narration at the end of the case also alludes to this.
  • Continuity Snarl: The series was first written by Yōzaburō Kanari (File and Case series or earlier series), but Seimaru Akagi took over as the sole writer in the other 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.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The way Kindaichi finds himself in the same 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.
    • In the Death God Hospital Murder Case special, the Gentleman Thief is revealed to have impersonated Maki Daigo, the same journalist whose identity she stole back in her first appearance. When pressed by Akechi, the Gentleman Thief admits that she had no idea the real Maki would be aboard the ship for the heist, and that her appearance was merely a lucky coincidence.
  • Crime After Crime: Even if the murderer wasn't trying to kill several victims, he would be forced to kill some inconvenient witnesses.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: 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.
  • Cultural Translation: 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. (But in practice, the cultural translations were often a wasted effort—they were only solvable if you knew in advance that the solutions were culturally translated. If you didn't know that, you wouldn't know to search for English wordplay and codes in the dialogue and so on. Instead, you'd naturally assume that all wordplay and codes were in Japanese. One example is the case where the cultural translation is based on the characters using a Western keyboard and not one with Japanese characters. But the Western readers wouldn't know that the keyboard was a Western one, since they knew that the original manga had the Japanese characters writing Japanese with Japanese signs. Therefore, the readers wouldn't expect the wordplay and codes to be in English.
  • Darkness Equals Death: There's one short case made to commemorate Kindaichi's 20th Anniversary with this setting. The murder happens in a recreational spot made to experience blindness and deafness by entering a room with complete darkness called "Midnight Castle". Even in such a setting, the culprit is still able to find and kill the target.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Spin Offs aside, the R series features 2 cases where Akechi is the main focus of the story instead of Kindaichi.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Several cases happened to have this during Motive Rant. Two killers from different cases assumed identity of dead individuals who committed suicide (but nobody knew said dead people disappeared) to start a second life, but had to kill in their new life. There's also one for mystery purposes, in which the culprits were more than one.
  • Death of a Child: The first victim in the The Undying Butterflies is the 12-year-old Ruri, the youngest Kindaichi victim to date.
  • Detective Mole: Narumi Fuwa from Western-Style Hotel Murder Case that was trying to arrest Kindaichi was this. Oh my god....
  • Digital Bikini: The Vietnamese translation is infamous for censoring nudity and implication of sexual activity in the early volumes. They got more lax at the end of their run but the most risque panels of the naked female characters are still noticable.
  • Domestic Abuse: Shimon Madarame abuses his wife, and one scene depicts her hung like a butterfly on display while he watches her smugly as she begs for forgiveness.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • 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.
  • Dramatic Drop: Done for comedic effect. In "Santa's Slaying", the trope came to play after Kindaichi, Miyuki, and Saki Ryuta found out that Nijikawa, one of the suspects, was bisexual while also implying 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 "Headless Samurai Murder Case" and "Graveyard Isle Murder Case". Good thing the things those characters dropped were not breakable...
  • Dying Clue: Quite often left in some form of code such as grasping a specific object or holding the hands in a certain formation.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Sakura Izumi from the Gentleman Thief case delivered this to Kindaichi before finally dying from stab wound she inflicted on herself.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: Akechi is a very talented violinist. He managed to flawlessly play a score he saw for the first time and impress four talented musicians from Todai when he was still in high school. Don't forget that Ruriko Tokiwa, the Broken Bird from Heresy Mansion Murder Case was this too.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: If the change in Kindaichi's expression doesn't tell you he's had one, then the Catchphrase drop certainly will.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: Justified Trope when Kindaichi finds himself among a group of war game enthusiasts.
  • Face Fault: Several times. Seen in "Kindaichi the Killer" and "Demon Artifact Murder Case".
  • Facial Horror:
    • The Freudian Excuse of the Opera Hotel murderer is that his lover was a victim of a prank by her envious fellow actresses Gone Horribly Wrong; they only wanted to scare her by burning her clothes with acid, but in her shock, she stumbled onto the table where the bottle stood and caused it to fall on to her face.
    • The modus operandi of "Jason" in the Lake Hiren murder case is to viciously slash his victims' faces with an axe until they are virtually unrecognizable. This is so he can pull a Faking the Dead, substituting one of his victims for himself so he can continue his killing spree.
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: The translators have gone to great pains to make this true even in the English version. Though one story 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 Commandments ( The 7th one, where Kindaichi framed a crow to knock off suspicion that he stole Miyuki's panties by putting her watch on the crow's nest.)
  • Faking the Dead: Done several times in the franchise.
    • 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.
    • Legend of Broken Heart Lake is also this. 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 represented by Kindaichi and Miyuki, and the target's corpse was used to pose as the killer's corpse. The fact that the Modus Operandi involved dismembering victims' face helps.
    • The killer in Takato's spin-off manga also did the same concept. Bonus point that they're found as the second victim, similar with the first example!
    • Takato also did this in the Case series' finale.
    • A variant was used in the Graveyand Island murders. The killer took care of a group of his targets in one go by throwing an explosive into the camp, instantly killing them. By the time Kindaichi's group reaches the blast zone, all that's left of the victims are their dismembered body parts strewn everywhere, and thus Kindaichi can't actually tell how many actually died in the blast. In reality, one of the victims was kidnapped from his group before the explosion and was taken prisoner. That prisoner was then dressed in WW2 soldier clothes so when he escapes and tries to go to Kindaichi and the others for help, they would mistake him for the "Ghost Soldier", which also sets up an alibi for the killers. He was eventually killed (implied to be the last victim of that case) via cyanide capsule hidden in a loaf of bread fed to him.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: 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 "Scooby-Doo" Hoax disguise; Phantom of the Opera.
  • Forced into Evil: Reika's father and Takamori Masumi were forced to kill by the cases' real culprit for the same reason: Blackmail.
  • Frame-Up: A lot of murder rely on this. This was even done by Kindaichi (albeit, not a murder case), of all people!
    • This is doubled in the Thunder Festival Murder Case where the culprit framed someone who merely assaulted the victim and fainted. After waking up, the framee, thinking they actually killed the victim, frame a third person.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: In one case where the killer created a condition in order to cast a suspicion on them 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.
  • Generation Xerox: In the "French Coin" murder case, the culprit was able to manipulate Masami because of their similar thought processes, which seems to be induced by their eerily similar backstories of being abandoned by their mother, going through a period of "darkness", before being rescued by Yurie, who took them under her wing and gave them a new life as a model and designer under her brand. Later, it is implied that Yurie took so much pity on them because she herself had gone through a similar life experience.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Some of the supposed asshole victims turn to be this trope, having hidden their kind or decent nature under the mask of a total jerk. Cue My God, What Have I Done? from the killers.
  • 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.
  • I Didn't Mean to Kill Him: In a lot of cases, the culprit(s) didn't mean the victims harm or at least not death but things spiraled out of control.
  • Invented Individual: Done several times.
    • Akanuma Saburo in Headless Samurai is this. The character was described as someone's child and when said person died, the blood test revealed that it was not true. 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.
    • Two members of the writer group "Persona Doll" in the 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.
  • Invisible Parents: Kindaichi's parents are alive and well, but they're rarely seen due to their irrelevence to the plot at hand — a good thing, too, due to the gruesome nature of many a plot Kindaichi finds himself in at the time.
  • I Will Wait for You: Occasionally the killer has a loved one who states that he/she will be waiting when the killer is released from prison.
  • Japanese School Club: 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.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The journalist-author Itsuki, whom Kindaichi befriended in the Legend of Lake Hiren case. Less jerk and more heart of gold with each reappearance.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The clues are all there for the reader to find, but good luck coming to the same conclusion Kindaichi does in the grand reveal.
  • Karma Houdini: Eiji Tono, commits suicide after being exposed as the murderer behind the Lake Hiren serial killings, but apparently survives and shows up a year later, under a new identity after completely losing his memories due to his botched suicide attempt. He ends up getting Happily Married with his newfound love, and Kindaichi just lets him off the hook despite Itsuki's protests, saying that the person who had committed the Lake Hiren murders has died, and that this new person is an innocent.
  • Karmic Death: 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.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: It's hard not to get SOME satisfaction out of seeing the Asshole Victims get their just desserts as they often did crimes that were far worse than the murderers in the cases.
  • Kill 'Em All: 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.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: Featuring some very Squick-tastic sound effects.
  • Locked Room Mystery: Almost every story.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: Kindaichi Returns case "Black Spirit Hotel Murder Case" combines this trope with Falling Chandelier of Doom. In the middle of making a horror film, a chandelier falls down after a blackout occurs and kills an actress sitting below it, making people believe that the culprit is someone not present during the shoot. In reality, the killer replaced the screws holding the chandelier up with an electromagnet. This way said chandelier will surely fall when blackout occurs.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The characters tend to wear the same clothes through each case, even if the event takes place throughout several days.
  • Long-Runner Tech Marches On:
    • 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 Liso, a parody of Line
    • Even more egregious example is Takato's 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.
  • Magician Detective:
    • Kindaichi counts although it's more of "Detective who knows some magic tricks". This knowledge is very useful in solving several impossible crimes since several tricks uses similar basic concepts as how magic performance works.
    • Yoichi Takato, Kindaichi's Arch-Nemesis is a unique subversion of this. He's an aspiring magician who learned a few magic tricks from his mother and a lot more from his teacher abroad who became a murderer after finding out that his mother had been killed by her greedy disciples. After his debut, he created a lot of impossible murder cases which confuse Kindaichi and police. A straighter example comes from a spin-off Takato Shōnen no Jikenbo where he had to solve a murder case when he was in high school. In this time, he was shown giving street magic performance in a public park.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: While the cases generally reveal that any supposedly supernatural element was in fact just clever planning by the culprit or a Red Herring, 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.
    • Kindaichi may have had a run in with a centuries old ghost or perhaps someone who just got away and really did look like their ancestor.
  • Motive Rant: Occurs pretty much Once an Episode.
  • Murder by Mistake: 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. Inverted. The killer was blackmailed by the intended target and the poor guy was the target all along.
  • My God, What Have I Done? - 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, often by revealing that the person who they've killed wasn't the monster they believed or that the person they're killing on behalf of clearly wouldn't have wanted it.
  • Never Found the Body :
    • Usually subverted, as the missing people who are suspected of being the culprits are really dead. For instance, in the Alchemy Murder Case, the previous owner of the mansion who was said to have gone missing had simply died from illness in a basement and the body is found when the police conducts a proper search of the building.
    • However, in the Strange Circus Murder Case, the performer Monster, who was supposed to have been burned to death but whose body was never found, turned out to have been alive. He still isn't the culprit.
  • Never One Murder: Main cases in the series follow a strict formula that murder victims will almost always be more than one except certain occasion; "Hayami Reika's Kidnapping" becomes an aversion with and without considering the twist since it was actually a murder plan disguised as kidnapping and subversion in Doll Island Murder Case because 3 corpse pieces found actually belonged to one person.
  • Never Suicide : More precisely, Never Suicide during the cases. While there are plenty of suicides as a motives to the murders or after the cases are solved, if a case seems to end with the "culprit" killing themselves after writing a confession letter and/or having evidence of their guilt, you can be sure they were murdered and framed. This happened in numerous cases like the Amakusa Treasure case or the Western Style Hotel Case.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The villain in the Graveyard Island murders created a pretty solid alibi for himself by keeping Kindaichi awake for when it's his turn to stand guard, annoying the latter blabbing nonstop while his accomplice murders one of their targets. The accomplice heard the whole chat, so she would try to craft an alibi of her own later. The two neglect to forget the fact that each person in their group are hiding in separate soundproof bomb shelters; the second murderer would never have learned of Kindaichi's and her accomplice's conversation unless she was outside of her own shelter. This, and Kindaichi would never even have figured there were two murderers in the first place until Kindaichi tried chasing what he knew was the murderer only to get immediately ambushed by the second one, strangling him from the back until he passed out.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: In "The Headless Samurai Murder Case," Hayato found out Ryuunosuke tried to poison him so he'd be named their father's inheritor, so Hayato spent months pretending the failed poisoning had mentally traumatized him out of fear Ryuunosuke would try something again. Hayato reveals the truth after Shino drinks the poisoned tea Ryuunosuke used to get rid of her, and just after he Ryuunosuke learned Shino was his birth mother. The only other person who knew Hayato was faking was Tamaki, one of their family's maids and Hayato's girlfriend.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In the "Magical Express Murder Case", Kindaichi and Kenmochi—who were investigating a threatening letter from The Puppeteer from Hell—encounters Akechi while the latter is on a vacation. Despite experiencing a large-scale case on the train (a bomb threat and a possible murder), Akechi quickly leaves for the hotel after the commotion is over, saying that he's not going to bother with police duties while on holiday, instead of trying to compete with Kindaichi to solve it. Kindaichi wonders if there's something wrong with him because of this.
  • Off with His Head!: An uncommon method of murder, but nonetheless this manga doesn't shy away from showing this in several cases.
    • This is the M.O of the culprit of the Takato spin-off manga. All the victims are beheaded and their heads displayed on a table.
  • Old School Building: A murderer trying to hide a Dark Secret in an old school building commits several murders to keep the truth from coming to light.
  • Older Than They Look: None of the main characters look like they've aged at all in the 37-Year-Old Kindaichi series, even though 20 years have passed. Kindaichi is almost 40, and Akechi would be close to 50, but they look no older than 30 at most. This is lampshaded in Akechi's case, when Itsuki asks if he's been taking anti-aging drugs.
  • Papa Wolf: By the end of "The Seven Mysteries of the School Murder Case," Matoba is stabbed to death by the school's night watchman whom Kindaichi deduces is in fact the father of Chihiro Aoyama, who was killed by Matoba. Chihiro's father reveals he suspected whatever happened to his daughter was connected to Fudo High, so he hid his identity and worked at the school for a decade hoping to discover what happened to Chihiro.
  • Pet the Dog: The cold-blooded criminal chessmaster 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).
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Happened once 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 killer's and asked for all remaining suspects to drink all at once to reveal who the killer was.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In several cases this leads to tragedy. One example is The Burial Franc case where the murderer thought her boss/mother substitute was about to betray her. She then discovers the boss was trying to protect her. Fortunately the boss survived and they made amends.
  • Pull the Thread: You can count on Kindaichi finding the one thing that doesn't fit and using that to expose the culprit.
  • Punny Name: 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...
  • Put On The Bus: Miyuki is absent in the Time Skip series because she is working as an airline stewardess.
  • Raised as the Opposite Gender:
    • One of the innocent participants in the Demon God Ruins Murder Case arc is a "boy raised as girl" example. To elaborate: He was born in one of the household within the village where the case would take place, but since the children born in the village had always been female, his father raised him as a girl out of paranoia for fear that the curse that is the dreaded legend within said legend might befall them should the secret be out. He was running away from home when the fire that consumed his house took place and subsequently raised in an institute, marking the time of the case as the very first time he visited the village since then.
    • The backstory of Makoto Rindo, who was in Miyuki's violet class back in their kindergarten period, is also a "boy raised as girl" example, though Makoto himself actually thought he was a girl until he and his mother moved to the island where the Doll Island Murder Case would eventually take place, as his mother revealed to him that he was a boy being asked to dress as a girl, which surprised Makoto himself. As Kindaichi and Miyuki weren't told of this prior to their arrival at the island in question, this information was a surprise to them and the readers alike.
  • Rape as Backstory:
  • Reality Ensues: 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.
  • Red Herring: Will mostly certainly appear. One case relies heavily of a soon-to-be-victim one to work under said person's nose.
  • Retired Badass: The (37-Years-Old) Kindaichi Case File is the story of a 37 years old Kindaichi (now an PR agent) got sucked into investigating murders again.
  • Revenge by Proxy: The killer in "The Undying Butterflies" 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. And then he discovered the truth...
  • Revealing Cover Up: The killer of "Kindaichi the Killer" Case arc 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.
  • Right Behind Me:
    • Kindaichi, Miyuki and Saki discuss Superintendent Fuwa behind her back after she goes 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 sempai doesn't want to turn into stone, don't turn around!
    Kindaichi: Eh?
    Supt. Fuwa: WHO is this snake-haired gorgon, hm? *smirking, with snake hair imagery*
    • As the Headless Samurai Murder Case arc is wrapping up, Kenmochi, in his talk with Kindaichi and Miyuki, compares motherly love with romantic love before going on a rant about how a woman treats her husband like trash after feeling comfortable with her spouse. A woman asks him who he's referring to, with him responding that he's referring to his wife, only to turn around and see that the woman he's talking to is none other than his wife. Cue his Oh, Crap! expression.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The backstory behind the Castle of Wax Murder Case arc is based on the 300 million yen robbery, which took place in 1968. The largest heist in Japanese history at the time, it has remained unsolved.
  • Roaring Rampageof Revenge: Most of the killers are on one of these. One even has a ''checklist'' (shown manga only) to boot!
  • The Rival: Kindaichi occasionally faces off against arrogant pretty boy detective Akechi as well as Yoichi Takato, a Moriarity-esque recurring character who uses every opportunity to taunt Kindaichi on his uselessness.
  • The Scapegoat: Some of the final murder victims are this, after the real killer deliberately made situation that only them who were able to commit such crimes.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Accidental one. One of the suspects in "The Headless Samurai" slipped a poison on his stepmother's tea but she was revealed to be his real mother.
  • Self-Parody: There is an officially published Crack Fic that shows the cases in the point of view of the killers. It has a lighter tone and constantly pokes fun at the convoluted murder plans that the killers used.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: Subverted. Supposedly, a serial killer has gotten loose and is killing everyone trapped in the Closed Circle, 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.
  • Shared Unusual Trait: Two heretofore otherwise apparently unrelated characters will be hinted at having a connection (that Kindaichi will expound on during The Reveal) by shared physical traits and/or personal habits. (For example, he deduced that two characters must have been raised together as children by the way they held their spoons.)
  • Shout-Out:
    • In The Mummy's Curse case, the trick Mr. Kazamatsuri used to create the seven mummies 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, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders.
    • There are numerous references to famous fictional detectives including Hercule Poirot and Columbo.
    • The alias of the culprit in the Castle of Wax Murder Case is "Mr. Redrum", a reference to The Shining.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • Kindaichi's reaction to many a Motive Rant and/or Suicide Attempt.
    • The murderer in the Plot of the Russian Dolls actually 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.
  • Significant Name Overlap: Played for drama in the "Murder of the Yukikage Village Case", where a girl commits suicide after believing a false rumour that her boyfriend (and the father of her unborn child) is really her half-brother because they both have a Disappeared Dad who happens to share the same first and last name.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: Courtesy of Slipping a Mickey most of the time.
  • Sneeze Cut: 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 a 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)
  • Spanner in the Works: 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 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 Takato pulling a (usually fatal) You Have Outlived Your Usefulness move on the culprit and Kindaichi can't do anything but watch.
  • Spared By Adaptation: Inverted in the Demon God Ruins Murder Case for the Vietnamese translation. The translator cut out 8 pages of the last chapter that detailed the killer Muranishi's survival from her suicide attempt and losing her memory, making the last shot is Kindaichi and her daughter Satsuki desperately trying to stop her from dying.
  • Spiders Are Scary: 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 Sydney Funnelwebs, the most venomous spiders in the world. The second one is in "Opera House 3rd Murder". Reona, one of the suspects found tarantulas in a pouch containing the key to a locked-up person. Since no available footwear/blunt objects was available at the moment, they had to burn the pouch, key, and tarantula in a fireplace. Guess what? The locked-up person was murdered.
  • Spin-Offspring: Hajime is (in this comic) the grandson of Kosuke Kindaichi. This of course was not official canon in The 'Verse of Kosuke stories actually exists, so it got the writers in a little legal trouble.
  • Spoiler Title: Kindaichi the Killer. Guess who is accused of murder in this case.
  • Start of Darkness: The premature death by murder of his mother is one for Kindaichi's nemesis, Yoichi Takato.
  • Starts with a Suicide: 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.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Reika Hayami is revealed to have been a kidnapping victim as a very young child, and ended up treating her kidnapper as her father. Fortunately for her, the kidnapper developed Lima Syndrome and genuinely loves her as a daughter. Justified, seeing as Reika either forgot or repressed her memories of the kidnapping, and thus thought the guy really was her father.
  • Strictly Formula: 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 Dark and Troubled Past; 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 "Eureka!" Moment before Kindaichi figures things out, sets a trap for the murderer, and then makes a long, long summation of all of the evidence against the murderer; the murderer then delivers a Motive Rant about how their victims have wronged them in the past (usually by killing a loved one), and now that their revenge is complete, they have nothing to live for, and attempts suicide or said that they have no regrets about killing the people who wronged them until Kindaichi pointed out that they wasted their future consumed by hatred and vengence.
  • Suicide, Not Murder : In the Shanghai Mermaid Case, the first victim of the serie of murders actually killed themselves. The mistake is understandable as the culprit stumbled onto the corpse, disposed of the suicide note, tampered with the corpse and left with the weapon (that is later used for the actual murders).
  • Summation Gathering: 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.
  • Surprise Incest: A false rumour of this is what kickstarted the plot of "Yukikage Village Murder Case". Haruna, the girl who committed suicide at the start of the story, is in a relationship with Shimazu. But two other girls who are in love with Shimazu spread rumours that the two of them are siblings due to their fathers sharing the exact same name. Haruna, who is pregnant with Shimazu's child, is so ashamed when she hears about this and commits suicide in despair. Shimazu kills the two girls in revenge because of this.
  • Suspect Existence Failure: 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.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Saki #2, who looks so much like his brother that Kindaichi mistook him for a ghost at first.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: The large majority of the killer have a Dark and Troubled Past, 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.
  • Taking the Heat: At least twice a killer has tried to convince Kindaichi that their accomplice was not involved at all.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: 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.
  • Tarot Motifs: Unfamiliarity with how a Tarot deck works is used to point out the murderer in one mystery.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: The discovery of such a relationship kicks off the plot of "The Mummy's Curse" The teacher's fake substitute though, and it was merely for revenge.; the Asshole Victims of "No Noose is Good Noose" accidentally killed the student half of a pair of lovers. This is also present in "Who Killed the Goddess" short story and Fudou High Festival Murder Case.
  • Tears of Remorse: Those killers who discover their victims weren't in fault and everything was an huge misunderstanding.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: 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.
  • Theme Initials: A major part of "The Legend of Lake Hiren"; the killer knew that the person he was after had the initials SK, but not which of the individuals involved was the true target.
  • Thanatos Gambit:
    • A variant is pulled by Reiko Chikamiya, 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. 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 Green-Eyed Monster Broken Bird 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.
  • That Man Is Dead: A culprit who was previously thought dead was found to be alive with amnesia in another case. Hajime believes that it's pointless to have him arrested for his crime when he doesn't remember his own background.
  • Time Skip: There is a sequel series where Hajime is 37 years old and has given up solving crimes and became a salaryman who gets sucked back into solving murders once more.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Miyuki in particular, and several of other victims as well.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • This is an Exploited Trope in the Broken Heart Lake Legend Murder Case, as all of the intended targets in this case have suffered acute hydrophobia after surviving an accident three years ago following the collision between a cruise liner they were on and an oil ship, where they nearly drowned.
    • 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.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The killer in The Undying Butterflies. And the first victim, no less!
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit:
    • How someone tried to frame Inspector Kenmochi for murder.
    • 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 the 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.
  • You Killed My Father: Or mother, or sibling, or lover... A lot of Sympathetic Murderer in the series kill for this reason. Occasionally the loved one was Driven to Suicide.

Alternative Title(s): Kindaichi Case Files


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