Case Closed 3.2: Death Wears a Blindfold

Chimaera

The surprise temporary return of Jimmy Kudo provides makes this seven episode disc of Case Closed with one of the strongest entries in the series to date.

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The first three episodes on this disc are the usual grab bag of cases we’ve come to expect from this series – a wintry backdrop provides a convenient slate of suspects when a college professor turns up dead by the hand of one of his students, a security camera and stories from witnesses that don’t add up helps fill in the cracks as a fashion CEO turns up dead in a face mask, and even a simple trip to a nearby wealthy health club turns deadly as a diving accident turns out to be no accident at all.

Before we can finish up this review with a cheerful summary of “another great round of mysteries” and dismiss the rest out of hand – the best surprise in this volume comes with the surprise return of Jimmy Kudo in the two part episode “No Immunity for the Diplomat”. I’m not going to spoil how it’s done, but to be honest I’m surprised there weren’t complaints about the method used to temporarily turn Conan back into Jimmy. The two-parter also features a rival detective who tries to show Conan/Jimmy up at the worst possible time – when Conan’s fighting a dreadful cold. Even at his foggiest and head-cold ridden haze, Conan still manages to shine – even if he can’t stay upright for too long. Despite Jimmy’s arrogant nature as his natural self, he comes across as likeable and not quite as selfish as everyone tries to make him out to be. Sure, he has an ego – but there’s definitely some well earned merit lending credibility to the characterization.

The next episode, “A Book Without Pages” finds Conan at the library working on a book report and the return of the Junior Detective League. While the kids have a lot on their plate with the drug smuggling and murder discovered after hours in the library, Conan’s pressing agenda is to get things wrapped up quickly so he can say goodbye to being eight and return to his natural form. Like most Junior Detective League episodes, things are a bit stuffed into place and rushed along trying to fit everyone in, and I will admit freely I don’t like the episodes with the Junior Detective League all that much. That said, it wasn’t as bad as other entrants into this category. With this episode having a distinct tie to the two part episode before it, the “brief return of Jimmy Kudo” arc turns out to be successful and entertaining – with a distinct flair for bittersweet storytelling. Unfortunately this plot is completely dropped and the series returns back to the unconnected mysteries that drive these series in no particular direction but still make Case Closed entertaining and almost a “guilty pleasure” to watch at times.

Speaking of the last episode, “Driving a Bomb” is not quite up to par with the other mysteries on the dvd. That’s quite okay – with so many other great episodes to watch here not all of them are destined to be a hole in one, and this golf course based murder finds Conan, Rachel, and Richard hunting down the murder of the president of a high profile electronics manufacturer. Will Conan find the killer before he and Rachel have to get to school? Of course he will, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. This episode probably should have been higher up on the disc, with the 1-2-3 punch of “No Immunity for the Diplomat”/”A Book Without Pages” placed at the end for maximum entertainment.

While this may be common sense to most anime viewers, one notable feature of Case Closed episodes is the small “epilogue” packed at the end of each episode. Viewers will want to stay tuned after a “Book Without Pages” for a rather amusing “post credits scene” as Conan tries to replicate the “remedy” that temporarily turned him back into Jimmy.

Case Closed has never been one for an effusive amount of extras, but the episodes deliver on value. Go get it.

Entertainment: 9.5
You might not be able to solve all the mysteries, but if you could you probably wouldn’t watch anyway.

Technical: 8.5
Retro look and feel, with music to match.

Overall: 9

DVD Features:
English subtitles, English/Japanese Stereo, Episodes 40-45

Extras:
Funimation trailers

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