Detective Conan: Zero’s Tea Time Review

Zero’s Tea Time was a fun series. It’s very much a slice of life but one with a fun main character and is really goes all in with how over the top Zero is. He’s the world’s greatest police officer, detective, double agent, evil agent, soccer player, boxer, dog walker…and now….Coffee shop assistant! The series is fairly short with 60 chapters but since it ended with a disclaimer that it could continue with a part 2, hopefully that happens soon. There isn’t much of a plot here so don’t go in expecting anything fancy though.

The series starts up with introducing us to Zero as the man with 3 faces. By day he works at Azusa’s coffee shop where he helps to serve the food and drinks while also coming up with new recipes and making sure that everything is optimized. On his off days he works as a detective’s assistant to the great sleeping Moore where he handles difficult cases and provides great insight! Finally he is also a deadly assassin working for the Black Organization and pulling off countless crimes! So the man is very busy and this series focuses on his time as a cook. Of course what some characters don’t know is that he’s also a police officer working to make Japan as safe as possible.

Of course, if you’re far enough in the main Detective Conan series you’ll know that some of his tasks above aren’t quite as they would appear. Zero is a very complex character and easily the best part of the Detective Conan series. The man is amazing at keeping everyone off balance and always displaying a new side of him. He’s a natural talent at just about every skill that he has ever tried to learn and every profession that he has worked on. He’s the ultimate Gary Stu you could say and I like that the series just embraces it.

In fact, Zero’s Tea Time regularly pokes fun at this. Need someone for a soccer game? Zero’s never played before but he’ll win you the match. Need someone to find a new recipe that could use 600 pounds of Pumpkin? Zero’s got that handled too! He even adopts a dog and quickly teaches him a lot of cool tricks and they become best friends. Every chapter is Zero succeeding at something and amazing everyone around him. While that could get repetitive if you didn’t like the character, Zero is so much fun that it works.

Occasionally he’ll even troll people by intentionally not doing amazing at something but later in the chapter there will be a life or death moment where he has to throw away the façade. This happens once with Soccer where he only plays above average in the match but when a kid is trapped in a burning building Zero is able to make an impossible shot with the ball in order to save her. Things like that just happen on the regular for him. He’s even great at jump rope and break dancing.

That’s really where the humor lies in the series. So you need to be able to find it funny for this to work but fortunately it is very funny. I found all of these scenes to be super enjoyable for example. It’s just how humble Zero is about all of this. He makes it look easy and then acts nonchalant about it while also building everyone up around him. He’s just a super nice guy and it’s why nobody would even think to suspect that he may have any criminal ties.

The main cast in the series is rather small as a result. Aside from Zero you have Azusa who is of course the main person at the shop. Often she will ask Zero for help with things like how to get rid of a permanent stain or what food they could use to spice up sales. Often times Zero will just solve the issue but sometimes he’ll pretend not to know the answer so that he can slowly guide her to it. That’s always very considerate of him so I can appreciate that. She even tries to do some detective deductions of her own which she is fairly decent at but always fails when she tried to decipher Zero. The guy is just too good at being subtle and sneaky.

Of course they get along really well as the adventures go on and while he is a temporary employee, she has to come to terms with the fact that he might leave at some point. Clearly that would be bad for the shop since his mere presence massively boosts sales since everyone wants to hang out with him but he’s also just so good at the job that it would be a shame to lose him. The series doesn’t delve into this much aside from a chapter though because the series is more about having fun than thinking of the potential sad moments down the line.

The only other supporting character here would be Yuya who is Zero’s partner on the police force. This guy isn’t great on his job so he often needs Zero to bail him out of situations time and time again. He means well though so I like Yuya. It can’t be easy working alongside a literal genius who succeeds at everything in life. That’s a huge challenge for anybody. There are other characters who are around like some kids who ask Zero for help from time to time but for the most part the characters are all oneshots. Then you also have Zero’s dog who is fun to have around. In most cases you get worried that something might happen to the dog but that’s not a factor in this series. So then you’re really just able to enjoy him.

The biggest reason to read the series is really to just page through a very calming title. Think of this like Yotsuba or a title like that but with a much better character and still aimed at the grown-ups. It’s the ultimate happy title where nothing can go wrong and all the stories have a happy ending. You don’t even need to read the main series to understand this one since it’s very new reader friendly. I’m talking lots of exposition and a full chapter to catch you up on Zero’s chapter. From there, the main series doesn’t really matter and you can follow along with ease.

The art is also really good here. Granted, it’s not like the series has to try too hard since there aren’t a lot of big action scenes or anything but it’s all really clear so you can easily follow along with the action moments. The character models are on point and the layout is done well. It would defeat the purpose of being a calm series if the artwork was hard to read right? So fortunately the series didn’t miss on the easy layup there.

Although because there isn’t much of a plot, there also isn’t much else to say in this review. Usually for a series like this I would expect to reach 2000 words easily but this review won’t go anywhere near that. Look, you either like this kind of series and its premise or you don’t. If you can appreciate Zero just having fun and politely styling on everyone as he ensures that the town is as happy as possible, then you’ll like the series. It’s fun to imagine being in a neighborhood where you have a true jack of all trades like this watching over you. If you need some more action and excitement then you’ll probably want to check out the main series instead which still does have Zero so you’ll get to see him appear.

Overall, Zero’s Tea Time is a fun series. With a title like this you know right off the bat that it’s more of a slice of life type. There may not be much in here to really discuss or that will be thought provoking but not every series has to be like that. This one’s just a nice comfort title that you can read at any time and have a blast with. I’d say that this is the definitive slice of life title. It’s not part comedy, not part romance, and not part anything else. It’s strictly a slice of life with every chapter being about something super basic and yet it works out. There aren’t many titles that would have the writing or characters strong enough to pull it off but I suppose that’s just another one of Zero’s talents at work.

Overall 7/10

Detective Conan: Wild Police Story Review

Detective Conan may be one of those never ending stories with tons of volumes but that doesn’t mean that a spinoff can’t eventually conclude. The Wild Police Story is one such spinoff and at only 13 chapters it had a really brief run. I enjoyed it well enough. It’s always nice to see Zero in his various jobs. While this title doesn’t quite have the same charm as Zero’s Tea Time, it’s definitely a solid adventure. The ending is also pretty intense for setting up Zero’s role in the main series. It goes without saying that the final chapter will spoil a ton of his development and plot twists from Detective Conan if you haven’t read that yet so you wouldn’t want to read this one until you’re deep into the Conan series.

The series starts off with Zero and a few new cadets getting to the police academy. They all have their own dreams and aspirations for joining the core and naturally that tends to put them at odds with each other. Jinpei joined in order to punch out the boss while Zero has very secretive reasons for joining. The two of them get into fights quite a bit as Jinpei is more of a rival to him. They’ve got a pretty solid amount of banter going on for them and definitely stand out the most from the crew members. All of them are solid characters though.

Wild Police Story is effectively like having more detail to Zero’s origin story but having it as a separate spinoff rather than throwing it into Detective Conan. It’s a pretty interesting approach and I definitely would say it’s a good one. I always like to see a franchise continue to expand and that’s exactly what this series does for the Conan franchise. There isn’t time for a whole lot to happen of course so we get a few one shot stories a mini arc and then a final arc to end things off on. The final chapter is also a nice epilogue where you see what has happened to each character in the present.

Zero is the best character of course. As always he’s pretty much an expert at everything he does and additionally he’s just a pretty nice guy who always does the proper thing. Zero’s confident but not arrogant. He’s always willing to lend a hand and he’s a bit younger here so he’s not completely all powerful the way he tends to be in the later appearances. So you really couldn’t ask for much more out of the main character if you ask me.

Then we’ve got Jinpei who is also very solid. I like his hot headed approach to things. He’s a nice foil to Zero’s cool and calm persona. This guy doesn’t just wait around to see what happens next. He’s always right there on the front lines dictating how things are going to play out. He’s certainly pretty rash with his decision making but it tends to work out all right and that’s the kind of energy you want to see in your unit. It just wouldn’t be the same without him.

Wataru has a pretty solid character arc where he learned more about his father. Initially he didn’t quite understand why his father took some of the actions he did so when a bank robbery occurs then he and Zero are able to talk things out while figuring out how to escape the situation. One of the cases had a pretty nice resolution where the cops just walk in low key in civilian gear and quickly subdue the villains. It really pays to have a bunch of close friends who are all expert fighters that’s for sure. Wataru doesn’t stand out as much as Jinpei or Zero but he’s still solid.

Hiromitsu definitely has one of the biggest character arcs here. He doesn’t do a whole lot for a while but he gets the final case which is pretty big. He finally has a lead on the guy who murdered his parents and wants to get revenge after all these years. So it took a long while to find him but that’s why you’ve always got to stay on the case because you never know what can happen. The rest of the gang are quick to pitch in and help him out here which was good. It’s definitely a very intense case next to the other adventures which typically had a happier tone. It’s also interesting because if you re-read the very first chapter of the series there were already a few hints about what would happen with his character so it was nice foreshadowing. Clearly the author already had a vision of how this would play out.

There are 2-3 other characters but that’s about it. The cast is fairly small and that makes sense since their wouldn’t have been much time to really develop everyone else otherwise. This series isn’t really about the depth at the end of the day. It’s just about having a fun story with some quick adventures. It’s all about team bonding and it works out really well. A little Conan cameo would have been fun too but I suppose the series doesn’t want to get too obvious. It would be odd to see him just walking around and also depending on how long ago this was maybe Conan wasn’t born yet. Zero definitely looks a lot younger but it could have just been a few years I suppose.

The artwork is really solid here as you would expect. The panels are all very clean and the character proportions are on point. You really will have an easy time following the action at all times. There’s nothing confusing to be said here and that’s always an important part with the artwork. You shouldn’t have to squint to see what’s happening.

Overall, Wild Police Story is pretty fun. It’s definitely over in the blink of an eye but you’ll have a good time reading it. Seeing the gang slowly bond as they’re all on the same missions is pretty nice. They really become a unit by the end to the point where they’re able to save lives without anybody even noticing. One of the most intense cases was definitely when they took the car on the highway and managed to stop a truck by jumping across. It was a pretty nice maneuver and one that definitely required a whole lot of teamwork on each character’s part. I also really liked the first arc since it literally opens up with a quick fight between Zero and Jinpei. That’s how you get the ball rolling right away! If you’ve ever wanted to see the Conan cast in a different setting then this is a great title to check out. I also highly recommend Zero’s Tea Time but note that it has not finished yet.

Overall 7/10

Detective Conan: Police Academy Arc Wild Police Story

Looks like we’ve got another Conan spinoff in the works! This one continues to show us more about Zero which is always good and the title is definitely off to a great start. The guy is just an excellent lead and now he has a good rival too. I’ll have a review for this series up when it finishes.

Overall 8/10

Meitantei Conan: Hannin No Hanzawa-San

Conan’s got himself a new spinoff. Having the main character be one of the villains is definitely a fairly unique idea. We’ll see if it pays off for the series or if it’ll end up jumping over the shark here. One thing’s for sure, I’ll have the review up once the series ends.

Overall 7/10

Gosho Aoyama’s Collection of Short Stories

I got to start the Conan spinoff where a bunch of short stories are published. It’s a pretty nice concept since if you have some stories lying around you may as well use them right? It’s hard to say when these will end since they could probably start or end on a dime, but I’ll have a review for it once it is over. It does a good job of capturing the essence of Conan.

Overall 7/10

Zero’s Tea Time

This latest spinoff to the Detective Conan series is pretty fun. It’s definitely a more slice of life type series than the others with no actual villains or anything, but it’s a pretty good look at the inner workings of Zero’s life. The guy is definitely pretty busy. I’ll have a review for the series when it finishes, but I imagine that this could be a long while from now.

Overall 7/10

Detective Conan

This is a pretty classic mystery series and I’ve finally got a nice start on it. It’s not what I pictured as I was thinking of a kodomo vibe when I saw it. Well, a Shonen twist certainly works and we actually get a fight scene. Don’t expect a review for this series for a few years though…the series is still going after all!

Overall 9/10