Since a few months, I'm watching Detective Conan in Japanese with subtitles (because only the first 308 episodes are available in German). After a few episodes, I did some research on japanese names, since "-san", "-chan", "-kun", etc. was confusing me.

I've noticed, that:

  • The Detective Boys call Conan "Conan-kun", which seems to be perfectly normal, according to Wikipedia

  • Genta and Mitsuhiko call Ayumi "Ayumi-chan" (according to Wikipedia, this is okay as well, since they are young children)

  • Hiroshi Agasa calls Ai "Ai-kun"


  • The Detective Boys (including Conan) call Ai always "Haibara-san"

Why do they treat Ai, like she was an adult? Genta, Mitsuhiko and Ayumi can't know, that Ai is actually an 18-year-old woman.

  • because even when her appearance is a little kid, unlike Conan who sometimes act like a kid, she acts like an adult, thus everyone call her Haibara-san. I remember one chapter tells Ayumi wants to call her Ai once but afraid to do so, at the end, she calls her Ai, but when the others also want to call her Ai, she refuses
    – Darjeeling
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 0:04
  • In manga 398, ayumi noticed this fact too, the reason could be that Ai acts elderly and wants to be called -san
    – user32617
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 15:15

2 Answers 2


To expand my comment, it's because she's a transfer student and always act mature

Case Closed Chapter 398 Page 3

Ayumi tried to call her Ai-cahn several times but too afraid to do so

Case Closed Chapter 398 Page 4

But in the end, she was able to call he Ai-chan, but when the other called her that, she refused

Case Closed Chapter 398 Page 18

Pictures taken from Case Closed Chapter 398 and 400

  • Thanks for your answer. :-) So basically Ai wants to be called "Haibara-san"? And do you know, where the list in the first picture comes from? Is this some kind of "friendship book" where your classmates write something about themselves?
    – FelixSFD
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 19:11
  • 1
    If you're talking about the book that Ayumi hold, it's probably her phone book, she was calling her classmate.
    – Darjeeling
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 0:16
  • It's probably more like she doesn't want them to call her Ai-chan
    – Darjeeling
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 0:34

-kun and -chan is actually used for someone in the same age with you, younger, or very close to you

-san used for someone older or you respect that person. But -san also can use for someone who's not really close to you.

In those context, they even calls Ai with her (fake) family name, Haibara. Because it's sounds more polite and if we add -san it will be more more polite. Especially for someone like Haibara who's not easy to getting closer, that's why the boys (Genta and Mitsuhiko) still called her with Haibara or Haibara-san.

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