The Story of Quincy (often billed as Ryotaro Sekizawa's The Story of Quincy) is a 2005 animated crime drama detective television series created by Garrett Fredrickson and based off the manga Quincy by Ryotaro Sekizawa. The series follows the life of Detective Quincy McShane (voiced by Steve Blum), a crime fighting detective often having to deal with all sorts of criminals in Durania.
The series premiered on TNT on May 14, 2005 and concluded on March 20, 2012. Reruns of the series have since aired on The CW, Ion Television and Freeform. It received very positive reviews from critics and fans of the original manga, with much praise going to the animation, voice acting, tone, soundtrack, and direction. It had since won numerous accolades including several Emmy Awards, five Annie Awards, and a Writer's Guild of America award.
Set in the fictional country of Durania, the series focuses on Quincy McShane, a detective who works for the police department under Chief Aarons. Outside of the show's detective crime fighting plot, it also focuses on Quincy's personal life, such as his relations with other characters, media, his role in the police department and also his well being.
Quincy also deals with several recurring antagonists. Many of which are minor antagonists who don't appear too often, the most notable being Forrester Roland, a mobster leader who appears a few times throughout the series.
Although the series creates much of it's own original stories, it does also adapt several arcs of the manga into the show as the main plot of the season. Season three for instance adapts a plot arc centering on Quincy's developing relationship with Durania's Princess Sophie. Unlike many American produced animated television shows based on a work of fiction, the series faithfully emulated the darker and more somber parts of the manga, as a result, some reviewers warned that the series may be inappropriate for young children.
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- Quincy McShane (voiced by Steve Blum (English); Tomokazu Seki (Japanese)) - The main protagonist of the series. Unlike most detective characters, Quincy is both very straightforward and serious but can also be fairly streetwise and laid-back. He can also show emotional vulnerability and has a sometimes violent and aggressive side to his personality; he's also shown to gamble and play cards often with a couple of con men he's friends with. Quincy also cares a great deal for those he considers a friend or a loved one, especially people like Sophie. The creator of the original manga, Ryoto Sekizawa, said that he thought the show's take on Quincy was "one of the most faithful aspects of the show."
- Princess Sophie Lanpher Williams (voiced by Cherami Leigh (English); Mamiko Noto (Japanese)) - The princess of Durania who is introduced in season three. Despite Quincy's position in the police department and her being indirectly mentioned in some earlier episodes, the two never met until Quincy had a chance encounter with her while she was trying to escape a very desperate suitor. After spending some time together, the two bonded and became good friends. Despite her regal status and being seen by society as a "proper princess", Sophie is generally rather cheerful yet practical and shows empathy towards Quincy due to his somewhat skeptic dispistion about his detective job, feeling similarly about her position as Durania's princess. As their friendship became stronger, Sophie herself began developing a crush on Quincy, though she was hesitant to tell him because she was fearful of suitors who may want her going after Quincy should they enter a relationship. Quincy himself, however, also began developing feelings for her, especially because she was the first woman in a while who geniunely cared for him and wasn't just a fan girl. By the end of Season 3, Quincy and Sophie both confess their feelings for one another and proceeded to enter a relationship.
- Captain Saffron (voiced by Jason Marsden (English); Daisuke Namikawa (Japanese)) - The police captain who is Quincy's best friend, sometimes assisting him on his missions. He's rather flamboyant and a charmer, yet is also sophisticated and quite intellegent, even seeing through some villains' plans.
- Louis (voiced by Diedrich Bader (English); Daisuke Ono (Japanese)) - A police officer who, like with Saffron, sometimes assists Quincy on his missions. He's more comedic in nature, but he still takes his job seriously and is not afraid to use weaponry if needed.
- Zach T. Darwin (voiced by John Cleese (English); Kappei Yamaguchi (Japanese)) - Quincy's british-accented lawyer. He's quick to defend Quincy in whatever case he can by using all sorts of facts and evidence. In the original manga, he was less over the top and manic than how he was presented in the TV series. John Cleese has since stated he really enjoyed voicing the character, finding it a role he was made for playing.
- Chief Aarons (voiced by Mark Hamill (English); Takaya Hashi (Japanese)) - He's a well mannered yet also somewhat eccentric police chief who has good faith in his staff, particularly Quincy.
- Ellis Whitfield (voiced by Jennifer Love Hewitt) - Introduced in season two, Ellis is a government spy oftentimes obtaining intel on some of the most notorious criminals in Durania, such as Forrester Roland. She and Quincy have had a bit of a strange relationship, as some like Louis have assumed that they were in love despite that they are really just friends. The theory was finally debunked when she appeared supportive of Quincy's relationship with Sophie.
- Forrester Roland (voiced by Tim Curry (English); Takaya Kuroda (Japanese)) - Forrester Roland is Quincy's archenemy. He is an evil power hungry man who is the leader of a threatening crime organization, thus giving him his title of a mobster. Although he was the main antagonist of the manga, his role in the series was greatly reduced in the TV series, as both Garrett Fredrickson and writer Alan Templeton thought that it wouldn't make sense for a mobster organization to be the main antagonist of a TV series. He makes his first full appearance in the Season 2 episode "Sir Roland's Revenge", and later again in the Season 4 episode "The Return of Sir Roland" and the Season 4 finale "The War"
- Randy (voiced by Timothy Spall) - Forrester Roland's right hand partner and often the brains of many of Roland's schemes for power.
- Daran (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) - Forrester's other right hand partner and a master jewel thief.
- The Smugglers (voiced by Richard Kind, Jim Cummings, Neil Ross, and Jeff Bennett) - A gang of smugglers who often cause all sorts of havoc.
- Neilson Claytor (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) - The main antagonist of the Season 3 episode "The Detective and the Princess". He worked under Forrester Roland until he was driven out of town and, wanting to avenge him, tried to get his revenge on Quincy. He first started his plan by sneaking into the Durania Bereau of Investigation, tied the original chief in the closet, seized leadership of the board, and tricked Quincy into getting himself captured, however, Quincy escaped with the help of a member who found out just what Neilson did. Saffron manages to suspect something beforehand since if the former chief did leave, he would've announced his retirement beforehand and Sophie later caught on because she knew that if Quincy was convicted of a crime, she would've been told as well.
- Neilson's Assistant (voiced by Rik Mayall) - A man who partnered with Neilson. Despite sharing some similarities in persona, he is also a little smarter than Neilson, being more discreet about Neilson's plans.
- Baron von Frederick (voiced by Martin Short) - The fairly eccentric and sometimes cowardly baron of Durania.
- Roy M. Xander (voiced by Aaron Paul) - An officer for the Police Station.
- Klay, Vincent, Jack, and Raymond (voiced by Charles Nelson Reilly (Seasons 1-2) and Rob Paulsen (Season 3-), David Lander, Jim Cummings, and Frank Welker) - A group of con men and gamblers whom Quincy is good friends with. Outside of gambling, they also sell various items for people to buy, such as scarfs.
In 1995, it was reported that Garrett Fredrickson planned to make a film adaptation of Ryotara Sekizawa's manga Quincy, with Barry Sonnenfeld reportedly in talks as a producer. It was being developed at Universal Pictures for a projected release date for 1999, however, the film was scrapped as Fredrickson didn't know how to properly consolidate the manga's story into a film. In 2000, however, while working on This Is Ourselves, Fredrickson was given an offer by Kyoto Animation to produce either a television series or film for them. He accepted and began thinking of ideas, eventually restumbling upon the Quincy manga. In 2001, Garrett Fredrickson announced he would be restarting production on the adaptation, but he would instead be doing it as a television series rather than a movie, and that the series would be a collaborative effort between his own company, Nightstorm Productions (which later became LIVE Entertainment during production) and Kyoto Animation. Fredrickson took the idea to David Merkin and Barry Josephson, both of whom saw potential in the series and began looking for companies to pitch the series to, with the latter's own company, Josephson Entertainment, joining the production.
In 2002, Fredrickson, Merkin, and Josephson pitched the series to various television networks, eventually finding favor at TimeWarner's TNT network. In 2004, TV Tokyo and TNT both began funding the television series, and it was announced that the series would premiere in 2005 and that Steve Blum would voice Quincy. The rest of the voice cast was confirmed later that year, and was also confirmed that Hallmark Entertainment (who previously distributed Fredrickson's earlier miniseries The Forbidden Man) would distribute the series, however, Genius Entertainment did not hold the home video rights to the series, which Geneon USA and Funimation instead held under license from LIVE Entertainment.
Fredrickson was still in the process of developing the series when he decided to find voice actors. He was assisted by Ruth Lambert (who helped him with casting in A Penguin's Memories as well as a few other Fredrickson directed films) and Kris Zimmerman. The Story of Quincy became notable for it's inclusion of movie and some celebrity actors as some of the principal voices such as Mark Hamill, Tim Curry, Jennifer Love Hewitt, John Cleese and Martin Short to name a few. Tim Curry was cast as Forrester Roland based on his performance as Maestro Forte from Disney's Beauty & the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, which even though Fredrickson thought the movie was nowhere near as good as the original film, he really liked Curry's performance as the character, while John Cleese and Martin Short were, interestingly enough, found through casting calls, much to the surprise of many media organizations. Of course, the show did contain some regular voice actors as well including Kath Soucie, Jeff Bennett, Maurice LaMarche, Neil Ross, Frank Welker, and Tom Kenny to name a few. Initially Alyssa Milano was cast as Princess Sophie but had to drop out of the role due to scheduling conflicts with the television series My Name is Earl and the movies The Blue Hour and Pathology. Eventually, the role was given to Cherami Leigh, in one of her first acting roles.
Initially Steve Blum auditioned to voice Forrester Roland using the voice he gave Celestine from Ah! My Goddess The Movie, but accepted to voice Quincy when offered. Before Blum was cast, Jim Cummings and Maurice LaMarche auditioned for the role (the latter using an impression of the late Dick Shawn), Kiefer Sutherland and Joe Pesci were also considered for voicing him. Mark Hamill also expressed interest in voicing him before he was cast as Chief Aarons.
The first season of the series was also the last Garrett Fredrickson production to feature Carl Andy in any sort of cameo appearance, due to his retirement from the entertainment industry in 2005.
The music for the series was composed by Patrick Cannel and was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, with the score being inspired by Mike Batt's score for Watership Down and David Newman's music for The Brave Little Toaster. Some music was also composed by Gregory Magee, who did the music for the 2004 animated series The Fairytaler. Many additional tracks and even some episodes were scored by other composers as well, including Adam Berry, Shirō Sagisu, Gregor Narholz and Robert Folk. The show's theme song was called "The Detective Named Quincy" which was written and performed by Aerosmith lead Steven Tyler. The theme song was heavily inspired by various other anime theme songs at the time and has since become a highly recognizable part of the show.
The series was animated by Kyoto Animation in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, who was also several other works at this time like Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid and Air. Because of this, Kyoto split the animation team into three, with one part working on Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, another team working on Air, and the third team working on The Story of Quincy. Due to this choice in production, the series was sometimes co-animated by other Japanese production studios such as Studio 4°C, Pierrot, Gonzo and Production I.G. Many of the episodes' directors were also directors in Japanese animation, including Tekkonkinkreet director Michael Arias.
The Story of Quincy proved to be quite a ratings success for TNT, with the first season alone garnering in 14.2 million viewers, and the series received positive reviews from critics, with much praise going to the animation, voice acting, and much of the fidelty to the original source material.
On May 8, 2007, Geneon USA released Season 1 of The Story of Quincy on DVD. Following the closure of Geneon USA's operations, LIVE Entertainment licensed the series to Funimation, who released the second season as well as released the first season on DVD in 2008, and the remaining seasons followed from 2009 to 2013. On August 18, 2015, Funimation released The Story of Quincy - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1. This 21-disc set contains all 130 episodes along with various bonus features like a commentary from Garrett Fredrickson, Alan Templeton, and Michael Arias.