Anime Film Review: Case Closed: Countdown to Heaven

Case Closed: Countdown to Heaven is the fifth film released for the Case Closed anime franchise. The film, which was directed by Kanetsugu Kodama, was released to Japanese theaters on April 21, 2001. FUNimation Entertainment, which holds the North American distribution rights for the film, released it on DVD on January 19, 2010.

Case Closed: Countdown to Heaven
Directed by: Kanetsugu Kodama
Written by: Kazunari Kochi
Starring: Minami Takayama, Kappei Yamaguchi, Akira Kamiya, Wakana Yamakazi, Chafurin
Run Time: 95 minutes

The members of the Black Organization that forced Jimmy/Shinichi to take the experimental poison are the main antagonists of the film. They are trying to find Vi Graythorn/Shiho Miyano, the chemist and inventor of the poison that shrunk Jimmy/Shinichi. To escape from the organization, she had taken some of the poison and also shrank to her younger self. She is taken in by Dr. Agasa, and goes under the name Anita Hailey/Ai Haibara. As her younger self, she is a member of the Junior Detective League along with Conan, Amy/Ayumi, Mitch/Mitsuhiko, and George/Genta.

Early on in the film, Dr. Agasa takes the kids on a camping trip. On their way back, they decide to stop and take a look at two new skyscrapers in Tokyo. When they get there, they run into Richard/Kogoro, Rachel/Ran, and Serena/Sonoko. It turns out that Richard/Kogoro knows the heiress who helped fund the project, and he has been invited for a sneak peek. Afterward, Richard/Kogoro and all of the others are invited to a party to celebrate the opening of the skyscrapers.

Unfortunately, people affiliated with the skyscrapers are being murdered. The first victim is a city councilman who insisted on staying in one of the hotel rooms. A computer programmer affiliated with the skyscraper is also murdered. Then, everything comes to a head when a murder takes place at the party. As Conan tries to solve the murders, explosions begin to rock the skyscrapers. Can Conan solve the mysteries while trying to make sure he and the others get out of the skyscrapers safely?

One of the things I really liked about this movie is the fact that it gave the viewer more insight into Anita/Ai. Because of how FUNimation released the Case Closed property in North America, the episodes of the television series that introduce and include her were never released here. So when she first appears in the third film, I was very grateful for the narration early on that helped to explain who she was; otherwise, I would have been lost. She’s a character who seems to have a lot of potential, but my only context of her is through the four movies she appeared in that FUNimation released.

Overall, though, Countdown to Heaven essentially feels like a regular Case Closed mystery, except on a bigger scale for a feature-length film. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. I found Countdown to Heaven to be an enjoyable viewing experience, and I think that fans of the Case Closed franchise will enjoy watching this movie.

When it comes to the DVD release, the only “extra” included were trailers for other properties that FUNimation was promoting at the time the company released Countdown to Heaven.

If you’re a fan of Case Closed, you should make sure to add Countdown to Heaven to your home video collection.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Case Closed: Countdown to Heaven that my husband purchased for me as a gift.

Additional posts about Case Closed:

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