Case Closed: Zero’s Tea Time is an anime based on a manga by the same name. Both the manga and the anime adaptation are a spin-off of the Case Closed (Detective Conan) franchise. The anime is comprised of six 15-minute episodes, which were directed by Tomochi Kosaka and produced by TMS Entertainment. Netflix in Japan began streaming Case Closed: Zero’s Tea Time on April 5, 2022. Netflix USA began streaming the anime on July 29, 2022.
The series focuses on the character who has several identities in Case Closed: Rei Furuya/Amuro Tohru/Bourbon. The series shows him going through his life as he rotates through the three identities. However, we spend the least amount of time with the Bourbon identity. But with the types of the stories that are being focused on in this series, this makes sense. Although, as the Amuro identity, which he uses both as the employee at Café Poirot and as Kogoro Mori’s apprentice, we only ever see him working at Café Poirot. I guess the decision was made that since we do see Amuro working with Kogoro in the main Case Closed series, it really isn’t necessary to show this side of that identity in this spin-off.
Case Closed: Zero’s Tea Time makes references to people from the main Case Closed franchise, although it’s primarily through dialogue. We do get to see a couple of people that have appeared in the main franchise, though: Misaki (Eri Kisaki’s assistant) and Yoko Okino (the actress that Kogoro likes). Misaki is there to serve as a regular customer for the café and is picking up food for Eri. When we see Yoko, Amuro and Azusa (Amuro’s co-worker at Café Poirot) are delivering sandwiches that she ordered on a recommendation from Kogoro. A case develops when someone is stealing things from Yoko’s dressing room, and Amuro gets mixed up in it and apprehends the thief.
We also get to see the Amuro identity on his days off from work as well, and for these stories, we get to see the soft spot he has for children and animals. In one story, he’s helping a little boy learn to ride a bike, which gives him flashbacks to his own childhood. A puppy makes several appearances in the series, with Amuro ultimately taking it in. One of his last interactions with the dog also triggers a memory from his childhood.
As Rei, we see him interacting with Kamazaki, his underling with the PSB. While we have seen some appearances from Kamazaki in the main Case Closed series, Case Closed: Zero’s Tea Time gives him an opportunity to really show the audience the type of character he is and his interactions with Rei. The Rei identity gets to show off his abilities from his police academy days, and we get to see him saving the day.
It should be noted that the only time we ever see Conan in this series is in a flashback while Amuro is cleaning his car. His flashback here shows the various times the car was used in chases, and one of the shots includes Conan in it.
Since this series is a spin-off of Case Closed and makes a lot of references to characters and concepts established in the original series, this isn’t something that someone without any knowledge of the original franchise can simply jump into. Any viewers who try to watch this without having any of that context is going to be lost and not understand much of what’s going on.
For fans of the Case Closed anime, though, Case Closed: Zero’s Tea Time is a treat that allows the viewer to see more of Rei/Amuro/Bourbon going through his everyday life. It also lets the viewer get to see characters like Azusa and Kamazaki a little more. There’s even one story where FBI agent Andre Camel, who is partners with another FBI agent, Jodie Starling, makes an appearance. The two FBI agents haven’t been seen in the main Case Closed anime in quite some time, so having Andre included here and referencing Jodie reminded the audience that these two characters do exist and are still out there.
Since Case Closed: Zero’s Tea Time is comprised of six 15-minute episodes, it’s rather easy to binge watch. I watched it all in one sitting, and I enjoyed it. I think other fans of the Case Closed franchise will likely enjoy watching this short series as well.
Additional posts about Case Closed: