Akai family's middle brother archive

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Masumi Sera has revealed she has a second brother whom she has been calling regarding case solutions.[1]

Description and known facts[edit]

The middle brother's hand and cellphone
The middle brother's hand and cellphone
  • He does not look like Shuichi Akai or Masumi Sera, who presumably resemble their mother. According to Masumi, her second brother looks more like their father.[1]
  • The middle brother is older than Masumi, but younger than Shuichi.[1] Neither of their ages have been revealed, but Masumi attends class with Ran and Shinichi who are 16-17, and Subaru Okiya claims to be 27. The brother's former high school classmates are currently 28 and 29 years old, suggesting that the brother is probably similarly aged. Although if that were the case, then Shuichi would be older than 27.
  • He is apparently in the middle of an important job and won't tell Masumi where he is.[1] However, the fact that she was able to arrange a meeting with him means that she can see him in person.[2]
  • He is very intelligent; note that Masumi characterizes the already intelligent Shuichi as "strong" in contrast to the middle brother. He advises Masumi on cases via cellphone.[1] He was able to correctly deduce over the phone that Masumi's deduction was unreliable in a bathroom murder case. While the middle brother is not a detective himself, his intelligence seems to be well-known among the students from his high school, as he apparently had solved some mysteries and puzzles easily in his class during his time studying there.[3] It is unclear how long he has been helping Masumi — the first time Conan knows he was helping was in the bathroom murder case, but Masumi had made a phone call to an unknown person in an earlier case where Conan was kidnapped.
  • In one panel, we see the middle brother responding to Masumi's message using his right hand and a black cellphone. Unless the brother is disguised, this would imply he has light skin. The use of the phone with the right hand is not an absolute indicator of handedness because sometimes characters with known handedness will use phones with their off hands.[4]
  • The middle brother recognizes Conan and knows he is a good detective.[4] After an exchange of information regarding deductions, the brother asked Masumi who she was referring to. Masumi shows the brother Conan's picture thinking he will be surprised. The brother replies back that "if it's him, then there's no problem". Masumi is very surprised and wonders how her brother knows Conan. Her suspicion makes sense because Conan didn't exist prior to Shinichi shrinking.[5] The brother later sends another text to Masumi, which makes Masumi think, "Ah, I see. So that's how it is."[6]
  • According to Masumi, the middle brother's surname had been "Sera", which he got from his mother's side, until he graduated from high school. His current surname in the present timeline is presumably something else.[3]

Plot Overview[edit]

Masumi's phone call during Detectives' Nocturne (Manga: 798–800; Anime: 672–674)[edit]

After Masumi took down the kidnapper with her motorcycle she received a call from an unknown person. Given her pattern of contacting her brother regarding cases, she may have called him concerning this one.

Bathroom murder case's failed deduction (Manga: 856–858; Anime: 740–741)[edit]

Masumi had called her brother regarding the "adultery case" she was about to investigate and was overheard by Eri. After the murder was discovered, Masumi relayed her brother the facts of the case and her deduction by phone call. He told Masumi her deduction was unreliable.

Bowling Alley drowning murder (Manga: 859–861; Anime: 744–745)[edit]

Conan asks Masumi who she called during the Masumi case, and she tells Conan about the existence of her second oldest brother who is very smart. Confronted with another murder case, Masumi texts her brother about the situation and her logic. Masumi also informs her brother that Conan seems to have figured out the case, but she isn't sure of her answer since her confidence has been shaken as of late. Her brother texts Masumi asking who she keeps talking about. Masumi sends him a picture of Conan and the brother replies that "it is no problem" if it is Conan doing the deducing. Masumi meanwhile wonders how her brother knows Conan. Masumi later receives one final text from her brother to which Masumi thinks "so that's how it is". At the end of the unseen message is a PS asking if she has "already met the wizard." Masumi looks over at Conan and thinks "You could say so..." while sending a reply.

A Killer in Ramen Ogura (Manga 928–930; Anime: 827–828)[edit]

As Yumi calls Shukichi to inquire about what information he has pertaining to the night the culprit of the robbery-murder ran past him, Masumi calls her middle brother, saying that since he is the one who told her about the place, he may know something about the three regulars who are suspected of being the culprit. The middle brother doesn't pick up until Shukichi puts Yumi on hold due to him getting another call—he only tells Masumi that he's talking to an important person, and that she should call back, later, before hanging up on her. Moments after the middle brother hangs up, Shukichi begins talking to Yumi again, after addressing his other call.

Possible Suspects[edit]

Assuming the middle brother is between 16 (assumed lower range for Masumi's real age) and 35 (assumed upper range for Shuichi's age based on his appearance and reasonable full-blooding sibling age separation) the following characters could qualify as suspects in reverse order of their introduction date. This age range can actually be narrowed down even more due to the Red Woman case, as the middle brother's classmates are stated to be 28-29, meaning that if he attended high school with them, he would be around that age. While it states they are classmates, which would imply they were in the same grade and class, it was not specifically stated, so its possible to increase the age range to between 27-30, though 28-29 is far more likely and would make more sense. Anyone not inside this age range could and should be excluded.

Minor or New Character[edit]

It's possible the middle brother is a minor character who was a suspect or witness in a case, but did not distinguish himself or demonstrate his intelligence. It's also possible for the middle brother to be a character who has not been introduced yet, but will be later in a flashback.

Characters introduced in the Bourbon Arc[edit]

Shukichi Haneda[edit]

Shukichi's marriage registration (File 945)
Shukichi's marriage registration (File 947)

While Shukichi being famous and recognizable may contradict Masumi not knowing where he is or what he is up to, it should be noted that his semi-ex-girlfriend, for ten years, had no idea that he was a renowned shogi Player,[8] thus allowing for the possibility that, like Yumi, Masumi has not made the connection. Since Masumi said that she doesn't know where her middle brother is, she is either lying about it or really doesn't know where he is living—if the latter is true, then Shukichi could be her brother, as they haven't met during Shukichi's two appearances so far. He has the right age range for the brother—in the Red Woman Case, the middle brother's classmates are ages 28-29, and his age of 28 means he could've been their classmate. If the "k" in Shukichi is removed, the result is Shuichi—it's possible that that their parents wanted them to have similar names. If one takes into account the difference in personality between Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, this could apply to Shuichi Akai, who is serious about taking on criminals and does so for a living, which fits Sherlock's personality, and Shukichi Haneda, who appears to be far less serious, in general, living a more leisurely existence, with Yumi describing him as a "a mooching stay-at-home freeloader,[9]" which fits Mycroft's personality, as does his intelligence.

Shukichi is very intelligent, realizing the truth behind the murder during his initial appearance and making a comment that eventually led Conan to solving the case. Whether the comment was intentional or not, Shukichi had noticed Conan's intelligence—he thought the situation was in capable hands, enough to risk becoming a suspect and even being arrested by not divulging his whereabouts at the time of the murder.[8] The next time they meet, Shukichi and Conan simultaneously discover the clues to find where Yumi had been taken to on the day of Shukichi's final match, putting him in a very small group of people who have been shown to be capable of reasoning and deducing on Conan's level—a group that includes Subaru Okiya, Masumi, and Mary.

Okiya—who is really Shuichi Akai, and not given to displays of genuine happiness—smiled at the news that Shukichi had attained all seven shogi titles, and Mary—who is likely the mother of Shuichi, the middle brother, and Masumi, and is even less expected to display of genuine happiness—fell asleep watching Shukichi's shogi match and was visibly ecstatic when Shukichi won the match.[10] There are two explanations of these two characters being so pleased—either they are both merely fans of Shukichi (and that this is misleading, like how Jodie Starling was shown drinking Sherry and Okiya was shown drinking Bourbon), or Shukichi is a member of the Akai family.

Upon meeting in a ramen restaurant, both Yumi and Masumi describe Shukichi and the middle brother, respectively—going by each description, both men have near identical similarities. Both describe a man who wears round glasses, has a stubble, always wears 'track suits', looks like someone who failed the college entrance exams, has an excellent memory, and has a certain favorite saying.[11] Later on, Masumi calls her second brother for help with the case and Yumi calls Shukichi to see if he remembers something about the case, due to the fact that he saw the murderer run past him. Just after answering the call, Shukichi puts Yumi on hold to answer another call. Just a moment after Shukichi puts Yumi on hold, the middle brother answers Masumi call; he tells Masumi that he's on the phone with an important person, and she should call later. Just a moment after the middle brother hangs up on Masumi, Shukichi takes Yumi off of hold and continues talking to her. Shukichi's phone is black, and the model is, at the very least, strongly similar to the middle brother's phone.[12] While Shukichi could have been turning down an interview request while he had Yumi on hold, he also could have been talking to Masumi. These two moments raise the probability of Shukichi being the middle brother even higher. Shukichi also has not only two phones—one of which is black, and appears to be the same model as the middle brother's—but two Shogi outfits. If Shukichi is the middle brother, he was likely wearing one of those outfits while answering Masumi's texts with his black phone.

Yumi finally realizes that Shukichi is a shogi player and tries to find the envelope that he gave her when he set out to collect the seven shogi titles. She realizes that her apartment manager has gotten his hands on it and demands that she solve a puzzle to prove herself worthy of it. The contents of the envelope are revealed to be a marriage registration that shows the name of Shukichi's father to contain the family name "Akai," and his mother to have the family name "Sera.[13]"

Gosho Aoyama, in an Animal Crossing: New Leaf post, has stated that Masumi will call someone "Kichi-nii[14]" (𠮷兄[15] ?) which could indicate that Shukichi is the middle brother as he is the only recent character with "kichi" in his name. It should be noted, however, that Masumi has yet to actually say those words in the manga so far. In a new year's postcard—Aoyama will often answer fan questions in these—Aoyama said that Shukichi called Shuichi "niisan," which is how someone would refer to their sibling. It should be noted, however, that Shukichi and Subaru Okiya have not yet met, and neither character has made any mention of a brother.

With all this in mind, it can be reasonably stated that Shukichi Haneda is the middle brother. He meets more criteria than any other character—enough to dismiss reasonable doubt. He's met Conan, recognized his intelligence, he is the right age, is highly intelligent, talks to someone else in the middle of talking to Yumi at the exact same time as Sera calls the middle brother, and the middle brother stops right at the same time he starts talking to Yumi again, has a father with the family name Akai and a mother with the family name Sera, and both Subaru Okiya (Shuichi Akai in disguise) and Mary (who is close to Masumi Sera, Akai's younger sister, and may very well be the mother of Shuichi, the middle brother, and Masumi) are pleased by his historic achievement.

Subaru Okiya[edit]

Although Subaru Okiya has been revealed to be Shuichi Akai, it is possible that he arranged for his sister to have a way to contact him, and she doesn't know where he is or what he is doing because their only point of contact is via phone. Okiya's phone is black, and the model is, at the very least, strongly similar to the middle brother's, and he has been shown to wear a jacket with a similar pattern (see manga volume images at the top of the page) to the same clothing of the arm that the middle brother was wearing.

There are four conditions on which Subaru could be the "middle brother" or "the person contacting Masumi by phone":
1) Masumi made up the existence of a second brother because her oldest brother is supposed to be dead, meaning she couldn't tell people who she was talking to. This means that all of the descriptions of him to various people could either be fabrications, or descriptions of other people she knows. Also, because Masumi does not know that he would know Conan, he may have pretended not to know who was making the good deductions at the scene of the murder at the bowling alley, to see what she knows about him.

1) Rebuttal: Since we now know that Shukichi has a father with the name Akai and a mother with the name Sera, its unlikely that the first option is possible. Masumi's descriptions also fit him.

2) Her oldest brother is in possession of a voice changer, in which case Masumi might not actually know that she is in contact with her oldest brother who is supposed to be dead, but think that she is in contact with her real middle brother. After witnessing how Conan uses a voice changer to become Shinichi in order to contact Ran in Yusaku Kudo's Cold Case, he may have begun using his voice changer to become his own middle brother to contact Masumi via phone. In this scenario he would have to pretend to have only the knowledge the real middle brother would have, such as not knowing who was making the great deductions at the crime scene of the bowling alley case. The oldest brother's voice changer would have to have the same range as Conan's voice-changing bow tie for this to be possible—whether the choker voice changer does have the same range has not been revealed.
3) Masumi has a middle brother, but is actually in contact with her oldest brother. The reason she tells other people that she is in contact with the middle brother is because the oldest brother is supposed to be dead.
4) Masumi is in contact with both of her brothers, but tells outside observers that it is only her second brother.

Taka'aki Morofushi[edit]

Taka'aki Morofushi is intelligent and has light skin. He is still working in Nagano as a police officer, so Masumi should be able to find out where he was and what he was doing. Masumi also lacks a Nagano accent, something that might be expected learning Japanese with a family who lived in Nagano for a period of time. (Morofushi lived in Nagano as a child.) Morofushi's most recently seen phone is a grey smart phone[16], which does not match with the middle brother's black smart phone.

The biggest piece of evidence that Morofushi is not the middle brother is his appearance in front of the middle brother's classmates. He appeared in front of them without being acknowledged as their classmate. Also, according to Masumi, her second brother was supposedly unable to help them in investigating the Red Woman occurrences, but Morofushi was there to apprehend the killer. Morofushi is 35 years old, much older than the middle brother is supposed to be. Masumi's description of the middle brother to Yumi does not fit Morofushi.[11]

Rei Furuya[edit]

Amuro674.png

Rei's intelligence matches the middle brother's expected level, but Rei's dark skin contradicts the light-colored hand holding the phone when texting Masumi, and Rei has a white iPhone lookalike. Rei has been in disguise, before, however—thus, either his dark skin or the light-colored hand holding the cell phone could be part of a disguise.

On page 15 of Chapter 800, his thoughts (i.e., "Why [is Masumi Sera] here...") suggests he knows Masumi. When Masumi sees Rei, she seems to wonder about his identity and thinks he is the one who approached her and Scotch, four years previously, indicating that Masumi does not think that Rei is her brother.

Since Rei actually wanted the "older brother," Shuichi Akai, to be dead, it somehow contradicts the fact that he's the middle brother. Masumi's description of the middle brother to Yumi does not fit Rei.[11]

Mary[edit]

Mary, who looks like a member of the Akai family, might be the brother after being shrunk by APTX 4869. However, Mary's slowness to trust Conan and the middle brother's immediate trust of him seem to indicate that Mary is not the middle brother, as well as Mary's apparent name and gender. Masumi's description of the middle brother to Yumi does not fit Mary.[11]

Masumi has also called Mary "Mama." It is quite unlikely that Masumi would call her brother this.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Manga Volume 81, File 9 (859): pgs 6-7: "Jeet Kune Do vs. Karate"
  2. ^ Manga Volume 83, File 4 (876): pg 4: "The Romance Noverlist"
  3. ^ a b Manga Volume 82, File 11 (872), pg 3: "The Red Woman"
  4. ^ a b Manga Volume 81, File 10 (860), pg 16: "The Smell of Kerosine"
  5. ^ Manga Volume 81, File 11 (861), pg 4: "Just like Magic"
  6. ^ Manga Volume 81, File 11 (861), pg 15-16: "Just like Magic"
  7. ^ Manga Volume 85, File 5 (898): pg 3: "Scarlet Epilogue"
  8. ^ a b Manga Volume 85, File 9 (902): pgs 14-15; "A Brilliant Move"
  9. ^ Manga Volume 80, File 8 (847): pg 4: "Until I Collect All Seven"
  10. ^ Manga Volume 85, File 9 (902): pg 16: "A Brilliant Move"
  11. ^ a b c d Manga Volume 88, File 2 (928): pg 14: "The Strange Customers of the Ramen Restaurant"
  12. ^ Manga Volume 88, File 3 (929): pgs 13-14: "The Culprit Who Swings the Hose!?"
  13. ^ Manga Volume 89, File 945-947
  14. ^ File:AChint8-06-2014_4.JPG (Sera-chan calls him Kichi-nii)
  15. ^ File:Kichinii.jpg (It's "Kichi-nii"!)
  16. ^ Manga File 915, page 13