NAGOYA -- Konan Station in central Japan's Aichi Prefecture was transformed into "Detective Conan Station" on April 13 as part of the promotional campaign for the latest movie installment of popular anime franchise "Detective Conan," ahead of the film's release in Japan.
Nagoya Railroad Co. (Meitetsu) has changed the station sign at the west entrance to the new -- if temporary -- moniker and put up displays of illustrations from the anime on the platforms and around the stationmaster's office. The campaign will run through June 30.
"Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet," set to hit theaters on April 16, includes a scene set on a railroad in Aichi Prefecture. The campaign was created because the name of the station on the Inuyama Line, north of Nagoya, is pronounced the same way as the name of the anime's main character, "Edogawa Conan."
As part of the campaign, two keychain designs featuring the unique station name went on sale for 600 yen at five locations including Meitetsu Nagoya Station, where they sold out within hours. At Konan Station, five to six people were lined up for the keychains by 5:15 a.m., before the first train. They sold out at the station at around 11:30 a.m., according to the railroad company.
Many people were seen taking photos of the signboard, and were also inquiring about the campaign at the station office. A 59-year-old local housewife who failed in her quest to snap up one of the keychains told the Mainichi Shimbun, "I want to buy one if more stock comes in. I'm happy with the campaign as it also promotes the city."
(Japanese original by Shinichiro Kawase, Nagoya News Center)