Most Iconic Child Detectives in Anime

The world is a complicated place in anime. More often than not, it’s of strange characters and strange plots, drama and intrigue at every turn. Whether it’s who stole the teacher’s lunch or why tentacled aliens are eating everyone’s brains, there’s no shortage of questions to answer.

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For the many mysteries to be solved, the characters inevitably turn to detectives. However, sometimes adult detectives are not an option. Sometimes they’re busy, or they don’t believe there’s a mystery to solve, or they’re just not that qualified. Adults can’t always be trusted in the mystery world. It’s then up to young detectives to pick up the slack and solve a few cases between lessons. Here are some of the most iconic child detectives in anime.


8/8 Milky Holmes — Tantei Opera Milky Holmes

Any organization by the name of Holmes had better include a few good detectives. Happy is the Milky Holmes gang lives up to its name. The four members – Sherlock Shellingford, Hercule Barton, Cordelia Glauca and Nero Yuzurisaki – combine their unique talents to track down criminals such as the Gentlemen Thief Empire, a pacifist organization dedicated to carrying out beautiful heists.

Fortunately, the girls at Milky Holmes have more than just deductive skills to help them: they use supernatural powers known as Toys. Telekinesis, the control of machines, enhanced perception and superhuman strength can be a lot for four kids to manage, but the girls of Milky Holmes use their gifts to the best of their ability to get the job done, even if they aren’t anime’s strongest psychics.

7/8 Mayuki Hyuga – Fantastic Detective Labyrinth

After a massive earthquake, Tokyo leveled in Fantastic detective labyrinth, humanity built the city of Kyuto from the remains, which is where 12-year-old Mayuki lives. Mayuki, a genius blessed with ESP, uses his abilities to solve the bizarre supernatural crimes confronting his town.

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Mayuki’s ability allows him to predict the future, but his intellect is such that even without such a helpful skill, he would probably still make a great detective. Mayuki is largely isolated from others, but is quite charismatic and makes friends when he eventually enrolls in school. Whether he’s getting to the bottom of bomb threats or handling more mundane matters, Mayuki is always fun to watch.

6/8 Loki – Magical Detective Loki Ragnarok

As a 700-year-old Norse god banished from Asgard by Odin and imprisoned in the body of a child, Loki is not a traditional detective or even a traditional child. In fact, the only reason he solves mysteries in the first place is that just by doing so, he can collect 100 evil spirits, regain his adult form, and return to his home among the gods in Asgard. Unlike the honorable characters in shows like A piece, Loki just takes care of herself.

To achieve his goal, Loki establishes the Enjaku Detective Agency. Things can’t be that simple in anime though, so over the course of Magical detective Loki Ragnarok, the boy detective becomes the target of repeated assassination attempts by the Norwegian pantheon.

5/8 Alice – Heavenly Memo Pad

In heavenly memo pad, NEET is a unique detective agency led by Alice, a reclusive girl who relies on the internet to connect with others and keep herself occupied. The time spent with technology has made Alice an excellent hacker, although you might not guess that from the stuffed animals she surrounds herself with.

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To help her solve mysteries, Alice recruits high school student Narumi, gambling addict and ex-boxer Tetsu, espionage expert Major and charming investigator Hiro. Alice and her organization clash with the yakuza and other enemies, but with Alice’s leadership and the team’s combined talents, NEET continues to solve one mystery after another. Both because of her own investigative abilities and her ability to lead a team, Alice is a fantastic detective despite her age.

4/8 Kobayashi – Rambo Kitan: Laplace’s Game

Detectives start solving mysteries for a variety of reasons. Some need the money. Some want to help people. Some are just bored and want something to do. The latter is the case for Kobayashi from Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace. It’s not the best anime plot twist, but it keeps Kobayashi interesting.

Kobayashi is not particularly empathetic or fair; instead, he obscures almost everything but the morbid details of the crimes plaguing his city. The kid isn’t exactly the warmest or most pleasant person because of this attitude, but when all it takes is a talented detective, Kobayashi is more than up to the task. His ability to put emotions aside and focus on the facts of the case allows him to get further into mysteries than anyone else, which is exactly how Kobayashi likes it.

3/8 Houtarou Oreki — Hyouka

Hyoukas Houtarou Oreki is not the conventional detective. He has a brilliant mind capable of noticing and analyzing the smallest details, but his brilliance does not show up in his classwork. In fact, to the average person, he looks lazy as he makes his way through life, preferring manga and a cup of tea over mysteries and excitement.

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Houtarou is a minimalist whose keen observation skills can reduce any matter to its essence, which is exactly what he does when his friends become fascinated by rumors of a ghost girl at their school. Without the overwhelming disinterest that Houtarou feels for just about everything, he could be one of the best detectives.

2/8 Victorique de Blois — Gosick

Gothic anime has one of the most styles of any genre, with lavish architecture and characters who know a thing or two about the season’s best look. However, Victorique de Blois has more than just gothic lolita fashion in her corner. This strange girl that Kazuya befriends gosick has a brilliant mind and expert powers of observation as well as one of the best fashion styles of any anime protagonist.

Unlike other students at Saint Marguerite Academy, Victorique spent years developing her deductive abilities, studying every subject she could get her hands on. She doesn’t always point her talents in the right direction, but she is always capable of making breakthroughs in case she finally sets her mind to it. For analytical genius, humor and superb tailoring, Victorique is a detective to beat.

1/8 Conan Edogawa – Detective Conan

Detective Conan is the poster child for child detectives in anime, starring one of the longest-running and most popular series of all time. Detective Conan would have been forgotten years ago if it wasn’t really good – but it is, thanks to boy detective Conan Edogawa.

How exactly did Conan become a detective? After strangers forced him to swallow an experimental poison, of course. Rather than kill him, the poison made Conan shrink, making the detective very interested in figuring out who committed the poisoning. Whether this elementary school student will ever learn the identities of his attackers is an open question, as the show is hundreds of episodes deep with no sign of slowing down.

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