I went to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka on the 16th of February, exactly 1 month from now. As I was only interested in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, my ticket may not have worth it if Universal Studios Japan didn’t add the Detective Conan attraction for Universal Cool Japan 2017. Universal Cool Japan features several iconic Japanese pop-cultural items every year in the theme park. This year, on top of Detective Conan, they also featured Attack on Titan, Gorilla, Evangelion, Monster Hunter and Senkoku (in Osaka castle).
I’m not allowed to reveal the details of the game, but I will explain as much as possible here.
I went in late because of ticketing problem in the main gate, which made me miss the beginning of the program where we were supposed to be attached to the bomb, there was supposed to be a skit with Hattori Heiji entering on a motorcycle. Even though the rest of the experience still made the ticket worth it, be sure to be on time or even come in early if you don’t want to miss the show. I didn’t know that at first but you can actually enter through the VIP exit if you tell them that you bought the Detective Conan ticket.
The few people who were late for the beginning show was let in after the show finished, and we went straight to the puzzles. You are given a number tag, a wristband (that’s the “bomb”), and an iPad for the game. You can choose your preferred language on the iPad, I chose Japanese for authenticity, but reading the instruction took up quite a lot of time.
The setting is that you are in the headquarter of Osaka Prefectural Police, and someone attached a bomb to your wrist and set a bomb somewhere in the headquarter. You needed to follow the instructions on an iPad as you walk around the complex to solve the puzzles in order to diffuse the bomb within 60 minutes. The puzzles were quite simple at the beginning but they started to get harder and harder as you progresses. While it was quite frustrating trying to solve these problems, the pride you feel when you solve them was quite thrilling. In the meantime you would receive messages on your iPad from Shinichi and Heiji, informing you what to do and also telling you where they are. I really like this part of the game where you feel like you are solving the case along with them even though you can’t really see them. The interaction between Shinichi and Heiji also made my little fangirl heart explode (pun intended).
15 minutes before the time limit, your screen would start flashing red and the alarm would start blaring “the bomb is going off in 15 minutes, the bomb is going off in 15 minutes”. At the same time, Heiji and Shinichi would start telling each other than run through the messages on your tablet, which really add to the anxiety of the game. People started panicking and started trying to solve the puzzles frantically. They made it so realistic, you can really immerse yourself into the game and start panicking.
After the time limit, we were directed into the lecture theatre where the culprit was caught and the puzzles were explained. The majority of the participants didn’t succeed in diffusing the bomb (including yours truly), I realised I was only halfway through the game when I reached the time limit. It sure was a difficult game but I would be less happy if it wasn’t a challenging one. As the actors, You can see nemuri no Kogoro (sleeping kogoro), and Ran’s karate moves live, which was a one in a lifetime experience. The girls (including yours truly) screamed like idiots when Heiji said “The fact that Kudou was here is a secret between us, okay?” and winked.
Later, I bought a Conan-themed hot chocolate from another part of the park. The red bow-tie is a cookie, I kept the Conan-themed cup holder. There are other goods avaliable in the stores around Universal Studios.
If you are going to Osaka this year, please consider stopping by Universal Studios and have a go on the game yourself! The performance is in Japanese, but I think they do provide translations on what is happening afterwards.