Manga Review: Case Closed Volume 16

High school student Jimmy Kudo is a teen detective who was shrunk down to his first grade self after being caught by a crime organization and forced to take an experimental poison. Unknown to the criminals, Jimmy survived. In order to hide this fact, Jimmy takes on the identity of Conan Edogawa, and claims to be the relative of family friend Dr. Agasa. As Conan, Jimmy lives with his friend Rachel Moore and her bumbling private investigator father, Richard. However, Rachel doesn’t know Conan’s true identity. As Conan, Jimmy has been able to covertly help Richard solve the cases that come his way.

Case Closed Volume 16
Written by: Gosho Aoyama
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 20, 2007

Volume 16 opens with the conclusion of the mystery involving a murder at the home of the chairman of the Nagado Financial Group. When I saw this story in the anime before reading it in the manga, I hadn’t been able to guess who the murderer was. For me, it ended up being one of the last people I would have suspected. But it’s neat to see Conan and Harley working together to solve the case.

The next mystery sees the Junior Detective League hearing about mysterious happenings at night at Teitan Elementary School, and they decide to investigate this after the vice principal mysteriously disappears and no one on staff is willing to talk about it. Admittedly, this kind of comes across as a silly mystery for the Case Closed series due to the “ghost story” nature of it, but at least it’s not another murder mystery! With this mystery, though, I had already figured out most of what was going on before the big reveal.

Most of the rest of Volume 16 sets up a storyline introducing Kaito Kid, a phantom thief who’s been gaining notoriety for his various thefts. Serena’s family owns the “Black Star” pearl, which becomes a target for Kaito Kid. Serena’s family asks Richard to take on the case after receiving a cryptic note about the theft from Kaito Kid. Conan and Rachel get drug along, but it’s Conan who cracks the cryptic note. Conan has a chance encounter with the phantom thief, and the two become adversaries. However, the mystery climaxes with Serena’s family having a party on a boat and trying to trick Kaito Kid with all but one person at the party wearing a fake pearl. Of course, the plan doesn’t work out as well as they thought it would…

When I saw this story in the anime, I really enjoyed meeting Kaito Kid and thought he made a great addition to the series. Later, I learned that Kaito Kid was a star of his own manga series, which is another work by Gosho Aoyama. I was pleased to recently learn that Kaito Kid will be getting his own anime series in Fall 2014, and I hope someone will simulcast this series in North America. I’d like to get to know the character of Kaito Kid outside of the Detective Conan/Case Closed universe.

Right at the end of Volume 16, we get the very beginning of the next mystery. Richard, Rachel, and Conan visit an old potter who is a fan of Richard. Unfortunately, this pleasant visit is destroyed by a murder that takes place right at the end of the volume…

I really don’t want to say too much about this particular mystery, since I already know how it’s going to go from seeing the anime. Also, there’s really not a whole lot to talk about, since this chapter introduces the victim and the suspects and ends with the discovery of the body. It’s basically a chapter to establish the mystery, and Volume 17 will pick up this story up with the investigation into the murder.

Even though I’m already familiar with these mysteries from watching the Case Closed anime series, I still found them to be just as enjoyable when I read them again in the original manga source material.

By far, my favorite mystery in this volume is the one that features Kaito Kid. Not only did this story introduce a new character who adds a new layer to the series, it’s also another mystery that’s not a murder! Not that the murder mysteries are bad or anything, but quite a few of the cases in this series are murder related. So having mysteries that aren’t murders are a refreshing change of pace.

If you’ve read and enjoyed previous volumes of Case Closed, then I think you’ll enjoy reading Volume 16.

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