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Hm. This one definitively doesn't start at the beginning. It starts at a semi-arbitrary point and just kind of expects you to figure out who everyone is along the way. The Detective Conan/Case Closed wiki has been invaluable in helping me figure out who is who. That said, it also starts with a few teaser/mild cases to let you get used to the group dynamics, so it's fairly reasonable. Still, I'd rather have seen the beginning, even if the art and animation has changed!
Are you sure it doesn't start at the beginning? When I watched it on Adult Swim something like 13 years ago, it started off with the main protagonist in his teenage years solving crimes while a narrator explained who other characters were. Specifically, the crime I recAll was the death of a person in a carnival/horror ride. Then it goes on to show him getting involved with another r case and getting turned into a child.
Is that not the beginning of the anime? If not, then I don't think anyone picked up on it. It was extremely easy for me to follow the plot along as a young teen. My siblings and I all used to love watching it, and my youngest sibling is 8 years younger.