Case Closed: Like Old Times (Episodes 59-61)
For those who do not know the series, Case Closed tells the story of teen detective Jimmy Kudo. After witnessing a crime, Jimmy is knocked unconscious and fed an experimental drug that is meant to kill him, but instead turns him into a seven year old. Pfizer may have been involved.
To protect his family Jimmy, assumes the identity of Conan Edogawa and manages to get taken in by his girlfriend Rachel and her father Richard Moore. Richard is also a detective, though not a very good one. However, with Conan, in tow Richard’s career soon takes flight. Conan solves mysteries and maintains his cover by tranquilizing Richard, then delivering the solution with a voice-mimicking device in his bow tie. Richard never really wonders why he keeps falling asleep and solving crimes. Like I said, Richard is not a very good detective.
Artwise, the violence and gore has an understated horror to it. Corpses are depicted as bloody, wide-eyed and gape-mouthed with restraint that makes the violence all the more telling. As there are few embellishments on the violence, the deaths and danger seem more real and immediate. The audience is left with the feeling that Conan and his friends might actually get killed as they pursue murderers.
Episode 59: Footsteps of the Hero Part I
Conan and company find themselves at an exclusive gathering of Sherlock Holmes fans. Among the guests is Jimmy’s teenage rival Harley Hartwell. When a murder occurs, Conan has to step lightly as Harley begins to suspect his true identity. Soon the group finds themselves stranded at the remote hotel with no way to contact the police. Surprisingly, nobody ever says ‘the game is afoot.’
Episode 60: Footsteps of the Hero Part II
The plot thickens with another murder and an attempted murder. There are many suspects and Harley is becoming very suspicious of Conan’s true identity.
This two-part mystery is a little lighter than usual on the comedy and heavy on the intrigue. It is also a good example of the series giving the audience enough clues to solve the mystery on their own. This is one of the aspects of a mystery which Case Closed handles pretty well. Many mysteries either deny the audience clues necessary to solving the crime or make the solution so obvious that the detective seems like an idiot. Especially considering this is an animated series, it is surprising to find this difficult task handled so well.
Episode 61: Shopping Can be Murder
Conan’s grade school class is involved in a contest where students are given shopping lists and money and sent to buy groceries. This sounds like an odd premise for a contest, but we are dealing with Japan after all. It may be something kids actually do over there. Conan’s Junior Detective League are acting as reporters filming the event. After a series of mysterious accidents Conan begins to believe someone is trying to kill one of the contestants.
I found this to be one of the creepier episodes as it really emphasizes how vulnerable children can be. Meanwhile, the Junior Detective League is actively seeking out the danger. Though, as far as I know, none of the main characters ever die in the Case Closed series, it still manages to cultivate the feeling of danger and paranoia.
Technical/Extras: 8.0 For parts of a series, the Case Closed DVDs have pretty decent extras. You get the standard stuff like character bios and textless versions of the opening and closing songs. However, Funimation also makes you work for unlockable extras. Considering this is a mystery series, actually involving the audience in some puzzle solving is a good idea and it’s something I don’t recall seeing on other DVD’s. Deleted scenes would have been nice but other than that the extras were quite strong.
Entertainment: 7 If you like mysteries, Case Closed is a good series. The premise of Conan tranquilizing Richard can get a little old but they do change it up enough so that it isn’t happening in every episode. The writing is intelligent and the mysteries are usually set up so that the audience has a chance to figure them out as well.
Case closed is not your standard Anime. You won’t get the extreme action, violence, and unusual plot lines that most Animes provide. If you want to try something a bit different it’s worth giving a look.
Unfortunately, Case Closed is not currently listed in Cartoon Network’s active schedule. So if you want your animated comic mystery fix you may have to turn to Funimation’s DVD’s. Obviously if you are to the point of considering buying Episodes 59-61 you are already collecting the series and deciding whether or not to buy these should be a given. If you didn’t catch the series on Cartoon Network, I’d recommend renting one of the episodes, you might find it’s something you’ll like.