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I really like the "Meitantei Conan" anime, but I've always wanted to know, why is was the name translated to "Case Closed" when it was localized?

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    A good title in Japanese does not necessarily directly translate to a good title in English. "Case Closed" is a fairly snappy, memorable title; "Detective Conan" is somewhat less so, in my opinion. "A town from which I alone am erased" is a godawful title in English; "Erased" is way better. There is no good way to directly-translate "Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou" into English (because the title is a pun), so instead we have "The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior" (also a pun, but a different one). And so on and so forth. – senshin May 31 '16 at 21:04
  • (That said, this seems like the kind of localization decision that a localizer might actually have commented on at some point, so someone might well be able to give you a more specific answer about this particular case.) – senshin May 31 '16 at 21:08
  • Well in my opinion a town from which I am erased is a lot better than the English translation actually all accurate japaneese-English translations are better than their simplified version, if I saw an anime in English called "a town from which I alone am erased" I would immediately start binge watching it, basically I would sacrifice simplicity, for an amazing title. – blake harrisonakerz May 31 '16 at 22:56
  • Who would ever think "a town from which I alone am erased" is a bad title? Whatever that's my opinion anyway, I'm sick of the "tradition" of simplifying amazing japaneese titles. In my opinion "Erased" is god awful – blake harrisonakerz May 31 '16 at 23:00
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Whether or not Detective Conan was catchy enough isn't the cause for the change in name in this particular case...

At one point Funimation's "Case Closed" website had a FAQ page with this question asked. An archival copy of this page can be found here.

Q: Why did you change the name to Case Closed?
A: Due to legal considerations.

We see the same vague response in a 2004 news article published by Anime News Network:

FUNimation sent out an advisory today stating that due to unspecified legal considerations, Detective Conan is to be renamed "Case Closed" . . . Due to legal considerations, this highly anticipated series will be released in the United States as Case Closed. Working closely with our Japanese partners, Case Closed was chosen as the name best suited for the U.S. market.

While it seems to be mostly speculation, there have been forum posts mentioning that this renaming is due to the copyright held by DC Comics on the name Conan. I'm not convinced by that reasoning, but I included it for you to digest as you please.

  • the reason why the X-Men wont appear in the Marvel Movieverse is because of the studio who own's X-Men also owns the term Mutant in relation to superhumans or some sort as such Quick Silver and Scarlet Witch who are apart of X-Men can still be brought by another studio and used but they can't be referred to as Mutants. it's possible that there may be some similar weird copyright crap like that however those copyrights are done by lawyers who are trained in the ancient art of writing the most confusing piece of paper to say a single thing – Memor-X Jun 3 '16 at 12:05
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    In the U.S., names are not copyrightable. They are trademarkable, though, and a company named "Conan Sales Co. LLC" does have a registered trademark on "Conan the Barbarian" (USPTO serial #76097984). – senshin Jun 3 '16 at 19:31
  • @senshin I've had someone tell me it could be related to the Conan Doyle estate. I'm not finding what could let them block this show though. – Michael McQuade Jul 1 '16 at 17:29
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For starters,

Conan is a name in the US that is closely associated with Conan the Barberian, and Conan is a name that sounds rather odd, the main reason why Japanese names are almost always changed in the US, e.g Kudo Shinichi to Jimmy Kudo. I believe the main reason other than that is probably for a more eye-catching name than simply Detective Conan.

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What other people said is correct but I also believe they mention the phrase "Case Closed" in multiple episodes of the TV show/Anime so I guess whoever titled was like, that would make a pretty good title.

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    Please include relevant sources/references to support your answer. – W. Are Jul 24 at 8:30

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