Every Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. my wife and daughter’s favorite TV show is on. It is called “Kuishinbo tantei,” or just “Kuitan” for short. It is about a young private detective (“tantei”) with an eating disorder (“kuishinbo,” meaning something like“always hungry.”) He eats all the time and solves crimes almost by accident, thinking about them while practicing his cello. Junko and Emma often roll around the floor laughing until their stomachs hurt because it’s so funny. I’ve tried watching it, but I don’t get it. I understand it, but I don’t get it.
My daughter also likes a cartoon called “Conan Edogawa,” or “Detective Conan” in English. This one is about an elementary school age boy who is smarter than all the adults around him. He solves crime, but to protect his true identity he has to make it look as if it is the incompetent adults who are solving them by themselves. The trick of the show is that Conan is not really a boy. He is an adult man who was given a poison that reduced his body to a child’s body. The show has been on TV for a decade. In that time Conan could have grown up all over again, but because it’s a cartoon all the characters can stay the same age indefinitely. (Charlie Brown was eight years old for six decades, and Bart Simpson has been a 10-year-old for almost 17-years.)