I could say that I'm watching this for Shun Oguri, which would be partly true. Must be the first drama series ever (well, this and BokuKano, which I console myself (because I don't see any way I can finish the thing yet) by re-reading the manga) I didn't check out because a tokusatsu actor (that I know of anyway) was in it, but because I'm familiar with the manga.
And I'm glad I did check it out. I like this. I didn't expect much, because series adaptations where I've read the source materials before tend to disappoint me (not because they are necessarily bad, but because I usually have certain expectations beforehand). It's the reason I'm not so eager to hunt down the manga (or book) if a drama (or anime) is based on one. (Heh, I know I usually say that I want to read the source manga when I'm planning to watch the drama, but in the end I never really did follow through.) Anyway, for this drama series, I think Kogoro and Ai (both versions) are very in character. Other characters (except the one below) are not half bad either.
With that said, however, the biggest complaint I have with this drama series is Ran. As soon as I recognized her actress, I was in dismay. IMHO, she is not really suitable for Ran. Yeah, I may be unfairly biased, but I think this actress is better off playing a sweet heroine (such as her character in HatsuKare) than someone as kick ass and as cool as Ran. Not to mention she doesn't really do any karate moves in SP 2 (true, the plot doesn't exactly call for it, but still, the Ran whose strongest word to Shin'ichi is a half-hearted "baka" seems too mellow for my liking).
And Shin'ichi's hair in SP 2 is exactly like Sano's. (Might be wrong, though; I haven't seen any HanaKimi related video since I wrote about it last year.) I was thinking more than once that Oguri came straight from HanaKimi set to this one and not bothering to change hairstyle.
As I said earlier, I'd read Conan manga. Never really watched the anime, though, because I don't fancy going through 400+ episodes, and half of which are probably fillers anyway. Manga-wise, I'm not exactly caught up with the latest installments either, but I'm farther along than I thought possible (around volume 60, I think).
Plot-wise, the first SP is about a challenge to Shin'ichi on a school trip. It's intended to be a prologue to the manga, in that they have the beginning of the first manga chapter (well, I guess in this case it's the first anime episode, but since I haven't yet seen that...) incorporated into the ending.
The second SP is about a murder during a beauty pegeant. I'm not sure where it should be placed, manga-wise, but probably some time after volume 24. While the episode itself is original, as far as I know, I believe it has taken bits and pieces from different manga chapters (I'm thinking of the chapters in volume 35 in particular).
Looking around for reviews of this series did depress me, however. They are very few and far inbetween, or it's possible I just don't know where to look. And those few I've stumbled on? They seem mostly negative. Especially toward Oguri. I do understand that because he was playing the main character, so perhaps fans had certain expectations, which I think might not be entirely realistic. But I'm perfectly aware that he's not that great an actor. IMHO, he was adequate for the role and didn't bother me personally with his onscreen presence (heck, I still like one of the characters he played, so actually I should have kept my mouth shut and not put out conflicting messages...) Another thing, I didn't realize at first that the first SP was made for the 10th anniversary of Conan (anime? I'm still not sure). Yeah, I suppose I would have been disappointed if I was watching it with the mindset that this was the great, anticipated 10th anniversary series. But I had never seen any adaptation of the manga before, so I was able to approach the whole thing with fresher eyes, I suppose.
(This was supposed to be posted two weeks ago, but life happened and I had to be away from the internet. Had a half-baked post on that subject but it depressed me so I decided not to bother people with it.)