|Japanese name:|| 小林 澄子|
|English name:||Liz Faulkner|
|Occupation:||Teitan Elementary School teacher|
|Nicknames:|| Kobayashi-sensei |
(formerly) Oni-baba ("old demon hag")
|First appearance:|| Manga: File 154 |
Anime: Episode 112
|Appearances:|| Chapters: 38|
|Keyhole number:||Volume 50|
|Japanese voice:|| Yuko Kobayashi (Episode 112)|
|English voice:||Stephanie Young|
Sumiko Kobayashi (小林 澄子 Kobayashi Sumiko), also known as Liz Faulkner in the Funimation dub, is a character in the manga and anime franchise Detective Conan. She is the homeroom teacher of Conan Edogawa and the girlfriend of Ninzaburo Shiratori. She is also the self-appointed (and somewhat unwelcome) "manager" of the Detective Boys.
Sumiko Kobayashi attended Teitan Elementary and was in the 18th graduating class, two classes above Kazunobu Chiba. She became the new class teacher of Conan and the Detective Boys after their previous teacher had married and retired. Her harsh behavior towards her charges had earned her the nickname "oni-baba" (hag) amongst her students.
One night, the Detective Boys came into the school to investigate strange occurrences involving busts from art class and an anatomy model from the sick room, which had been mysteriously moved around, and the unexplained absence of the vice principal. The busts and the model had actually been used by Sumiko for a rehearsal for the next parent-teacher conference. Sumiko is in fact very fond of children, but her kindness had caused her to have very little control over her class at her previous school, resulting in a disastrous parent-teacher conference. To fix this, she had forced herself to be strict and harsh when she transferred to Teitan Elementary, but after the Detective Boys discovered her nicer side, she decided to be herself again and has become very popular with her students ever since.
On one occasion, she accompanied Conan and the Detective Boys to an interview which became a murder investigation as they found the reporter slain. After witnessing Conan in action, she announced her desire to join the Detective Boys and become their manager - a decision which was immediately vetoed and is commonly neglected in the field.
As it turned out later, when Sumiko was still a small child, she had confronted two no-good juveniles attempting to steal mangas from a bookshop. When the culprits contemptuously shoved her aside, a young boy intervened on her behalf, cooly citing a paragraph from Japanese law concerning theft. As a sign of gratitude, Sumiko bought her rescuer a drink ornamented with a circle of sakura flowers made from the straw wrapper, as a symbol of goodness and justice (referring to the sakura shaped Japanese police badges). It would not be until many years later that she would encounter him again as a member of the police force, under the name of Ninzaburo Shiratori.
Shiratori recognized Sumiko on first sight, and it turned out he had held deep feelings for her all these years. However, he wanted to win properly Sumiko's affection first and then tell her about what he viewed as the hand of fate, so he kept silent about their first encounter and banned the Detective Kids from helping him in any way. This scheme backfired when she found out that she had a dead lookalike in the police department whom Shiratori had once pursued romantically (unbeknownst to her, that was because Shiratori mistook her for Sumiko)...
Thinking that Shiratori considered her a mere replacement for Sato, Sumiko was understandably hurt and started distancing herself from him, even after Shiratori personally explained their common past to her - a move which came at a bad time, because she had become an unwitting (and the sole) witness to a murder and the murderer would therefore try everything to silence her. And for worse, Sumiko's own memories of their encounter were much more vague than Shiratori's own. so she thought Sato was his "girl of destiny". When the culprit was apprehended and Shiratori subdued him with words, Sumiko did indeed remember Shiratori as her childhood savior/friend, and the relationship was reaffirmed.
Sumiko is very kind and fond of children, considering them the most wonderful thing in the world. Sumiko is also quite timid and sensitive, not to mention that she suffers from serious stagefright. Even though she has appointed herself the manager of the Detective Boys, the kids often leave her out of case or ignore her warnings. She was also quite hurt when she believed Inspector Shiratori was only interested in her because of her resemblance to Miwako Sato - a resemblance so striking it even fooled Sato's close associates Chiba and Yumi.
In contrast of Sumiko's physical resemblance to Sato, however, the two women have almost entirely different personality traits: While Sato is reckless, outspoken, daring, and impulsive, Sumiko is more gentle, softspoken, cautious, and careful in any given situation.
Sumiko loves mystery novels, particularly the works of Edogawa Rampo. Because of this, Ai Haibara suggests that she and Shiratori would work well together because Sumiko would enjoy hearing about cases from him.
 Plot overview
In her first appearance, Sumiko was known by the students of Class 1-B, including Conan and the Detective Boys, as a strict, mean teacher, who was always disciplining her class, never showing any kindness. Her initial personality led to her students nicknaming her "Old Demon Hag". Then, one night, the Detective Boys decided to figure out why many dolls were missing one after another. Conan deduces the one behind the "kidnappings" was Sumiko herself, which relieved the children. Sumiko finally revealed the reason behind her "dictator-like" teaching was that, in the past, two of her students fought at a parent-teacher conference, because of her lack in discipline. She would come at Teitan Elementary at night to practice for the next parent-teacher conference, so there would be no more fights. However, with some suggestions from the Detective Boys, she changed her teaching style and became more well liked.
She introduces a new student of Class 1-B, Ai Haibara.
Sumiko agrees to give the Detective Boys a ride to a writer's home, since he wanted to do a report on them for their involvement in complicated cases. However, the gang didn't expect a dead writer. When Inspector Megure and Wataru Takagi arrive at the scene, both believe that Sumiko is Sato because, without her glasses on, she bears a scary resemblance to the officer. Soon Conan tries to prove the Detective Boy's skills in catching the criminal, however, he also had to conceal his vast intelligence, so his secret wouldn't be questioned by Sumiko. Conan and his friends manage to drop hints on who the real culprit is which leads to his arrest.
After the case, Sumiko dubbed herself the "manager" of the group, wanting to solve and capture "bad guys" along with them.
She devised a riddle for the students to deduce without the aid of Conan, so some new students would feel more welcome.
Sumiko, along with Ayumi, Mitsuhiko, Haibara, and Genta, listen to Conan's story of how Shinichi (himself) and Ran as children had their first "coded mystery".
During another one of the kids' cases, Sumiko is called to pick up the children by Megure. However, Shiratori (who had learned about Sumiko's existence few minutes before and was wondering if she was "the girl" from his past, since the other non-Sato candidate turned out to be the culprit of the case) offered that she should take them home in his car, while holding her hand in a romantic style.
Over the next few days, he has made constant visits to where she works, warning her of any and all danger in the vicinity, which sparks Sumiko developing a crush on him, unaware of their actual history.
Later, Shiratori again warns Sumiko of a vicious, serial purse thief, who might be a woman, who's still at large. During the conversation, the latter asks why Shiratori kept calling her, and he simply replied, "Because I worry about you". The Detective Boys soon arrive and ask her if they want to come to a festival with her and she agrees. Soon, she loses sight of the children and as she's trying to find her way around, she becomes a witness of a murder. She was able to see the culprit's silhouette and hear their voice.
The next day, Sumiko goes to the police station, with the kids to testify what she saw. She meets Yumi Miyamoto and Kazunobu Chiba, who confuse her with Sato until Shiratori clears up the misunderstanding and escorts Sumiko to a conference so they can discuss the case in more detail. While on her way back from the restroom, she sees Sato from afar and is initially very happy and giddy at the thought of a woman who looks like her... but then she learns of Shiratori's former interest in Sato. This leads her to suspect that Shiratori only liked her because of her physical traits to the female officer, and depresses her greatly.
From then on Sumiko begins to treat Shiratori harshly and, after seeing that the three main suspects weren't the criminal, she coldly tells Shiratori not to bother her anymore and leaves. The next day at school school, he tells her the real reason why he liked her, but she dismisses it, as she believes Sato was "the girl of destiny" and cannot remember their supposed "meeting". However, while working late at night, she was almost killed by the criminal in order to silence her, but is saved by Shiratori, the Detective Boys and Sato.
Sumiko then finally remembers Shiratori, after he calls out the culprit in almost exactly the way he called out the shoplifters to help her. Shiratori then confesses he was always in love with her and Sumiko blushes and replies, "Yes.". Later, she makes a special bento for Shiratori, signifying that the two are now a couple.
 Relationships analysis
 Family and friends
 Ninzaburo Shiratori
As a child, Sumiko instantly became Shiratori's true love, and was the very reason why he entered the police force. They had confronted a bunch of shoplifters together as children; Shiratori had prevented her from getting hurt and also stopped the theft, and as thanks she gave him a cup of cola with a band made of straw wrappers, shaped like the sakura blossoms that look like the symbol of the Japanese Police.
For quite a while Shiratori believed that Miwako Sato was the girl he had loved since childhood and changed his life forever (due to her resemblance with the "girl of destiny"), hence he was interested in her. At the beginning of a case that revealed parts of Shiratori's past, he realized Sato wasn't his true love, and even if she was, she had chosen Wataru Takagi over him. Even worse, at the end of the said case, Shiratori was left depressed and exhausted, since another woman who could have been his long-lost love actually turned out to be the culprit. However, Ayumi cheered him up by saying the exact same lines that the girl from his past said and by making the same design on the wristband she gave him. Shiratori desperately asked who taught her that, and Ayumi told him it was her school teacher, Sumiko. Then, at that exact moment, Sumiko came to pick up the Detective Boys upon Juzo Megure's request.
When Shiratori laid his eyes on Sumiko, he instantly recognized her as his true "woman of destiny", and their relationship began to spark. He would always warn her of any dangers nearby where she worked or lived, which caused Sumiko to develop romantic feelings. In fact, his concern over her, constant visits, and kindness towards her, often caused her to blush deeply.
When Sumiko became a witness in a murder investigation, she learned of her resemblance to Detective Sato. And after hearing about Shiratori's former crush on her from other policemen, she thought that the only reason he was so interested in her was because of her striking resemblance to Sato. This left her not only shocked, but also hurt, thinking Shiratori didn't have feelings for her. This wasn't helped by Shiratori not having told her about their shared past, as he was waiting for the right moment to do so.
Not knowing the real reason why Shiratori liked her, Sumiko began to act coldly and harshly towards him. Even when he confessed his true feelings to her and told her about their meeting, she brushed it off, thinking Shiratori confused her with Detective Sato. However, it was all cleared up by the end of the case, when he not only saved her from the culprit, but also coolly recited a law the same way he did as a child in that book store, which finally reminded her of their first meeting. Shiratori romantically confessed to her, which made her blush. She replied with a quick and simple "Yes".
Afterwards, the two began dating, and Sumiko started giving Shiratori bentos every morning for his "energy demanding" work. On White Day, Shiratori was seen with many presents inside his car for her. Later on, she was shown with all the delicious sweets Shiratori had brought for her, at her house, happily not knowing where to begin.
 Detective Boys
Sumiko Kobayashi is the current teacher of the class that the Detective Boys are in. She also proclaims herself to be their manager, much to the children's chagrin.
 Name origin
 Different looks
|“||Because the sakura is the symbol of police officers! Determined, kind, and dignified. It's a flower of justice!||„|
— Child Kobayashi tells a young Shiratori why she gave him a sakura petal straw wrapper after he helped her stand up to some shoplifters.
 In other languages
- In her first appearance, Sumiko was seen as a brunette, but now is seen with blueish black hair.
- Despite huge differences in personalities, Sumiko and Miwako Sato, have some similarities:
- Their boyfriends are policemen.
- They have strikingly similar appearances and similar haircuts.
- Both are friends with the Detective Boys.
- Both have become acquainted with Kogoro Mouri in a murder case.
- They were both love interests of Shiratori; however, Sumiko was his real love.
- Both have helped solve a case with hints.
- They have had difficult starts to their relationships. Sato had to overcome her trauma over Matsuda's death before properly accepting Takagi's affections, Sumiko doubted Shiratori's feelings after finding out about Sato and couldn't remember what made him fall for her in the first place.
- Both are fond of children.
- Her first name Sumiko (澄子) is written with the characters for "clear/lucid" and "child". Her last name Kobayashi (小林) means "small grove".
 See also
- ^ ANN: https://www.animenewsnetwork.cc/encyclopedia/people.php?id=795
- ^ Manga Chapter 155: Is Someone There?
- ^ Manga Chapter 517: The Detective Boys
- ^ Manga Chapter 691: Conan vs. The Detective Boys
- ^ Manga Chapters 687-689: Sakura Girl Case
- ^ Manga Chapters 707: The Sakura Girl is...?
- ^ Manga Chapters 708: The Sakura in Full Bloom
- ^ Manga Chapter 706: Kobayashi-sensei's Misunderstanding
- ^ Manga Chapter 707: The Sakura Girl is...
- ^ Manga Chapter 690: The Haunted Warehouse
|Members||Conan Edogawa • Ai Haibara • Ayumi Yoshida • Mitsuhiko Tsuburaya • Genta Kojima|
|Guardians||Hiroshi Agasa • Sumiko Kobayashi|
|Gadgets||Detective Boys Badge • Wristwatch Flashlight|