Case Closed, which is known as Detective Conan in Japan, is based on a detective manga series written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama. The anime began airing in Japan on January 8, 1996, and is still ongoing 19 years later.
Shinichi Kudo is a high school junior mystery buff who has incredible abilities with both his power of observation and his intuition. In fact, he is able to solve mysteries that have baffled the Japanese police force.
One day, Shinichi and his friend Ran Mori go to a local amusement park. A murder takes place on a roller coaster that they’re riding, and Shinichi solves the crime. While working on the case, two men dressed in black who were among the suspects catch his interest.
Later at the amusement park, Shinichi has a run-in with the mysterious men in black as they’re in the middle of a transaction. One of the men knocks Shinichi out and uses an experimental poison on him that has not been tested on humans; the men expect that the poison will kill Shinichi. However, instead of killing him, the poison shrinks Shinichi back down to a six or seven-year-old.
As his new younger self, Shinichi takes on the name of Conan Edogawa, and poses as a relative of his neighbor, Dr. Agasa. As Conan, Shinichi ends up living with Ran and her father Kogoro Mori. Kogoro is a bumbling private investigator who used to be part of the Japanese police force. Shinichi believes that he can use Kogoro’s resources to track down the men in black to try to get an antidote that will return him to his normal size.
When it comes to Case Closed, I’ve watched all 130 episodes that FUNimation Entertainment has released on home video, and I also started watching Crunchyroll’s streams in Fall 2014 starting with episode 754. I had wanted to include Case Closed as part of my Fall 2014 lineup for write-ups, but Crunchyroll announced the day and time of the stream after I’d already watched at least one episode of every series I had already planned to watch in the fall. So I ended up watching Case Closed for entertainment last season, and I’m very glad I did. Since I was skipping ahead 624 episodes in the series, it allowed me to get a feel for where the series is now before I started doing any write-ups for it.
Episode 763 sees Conan along with the other members of the Junior Detective League (Ayumi, Mitsuhiko, Genta, and Ai) walking down the street in the rain with their umbrellas. Conan manages to pull Ai aside to talk to her about a girl named Sera and the fact that she seems to be hiding a middle school aged girl who looks just like her. While I saw Sera in some of the episodes that I watched during Fall 2014, I really appreciated getting the information on her that Conan shares with Ai because it served as a good recap for those of us who aren’t that familiar with this particular character due to missing out on her introduction.
The conversation is interrupted when a fleeing man bumps into Conan and the man drops his bag. The kids see that the man has dried marijuana when the contents spill out of the bag, but a couple of plain-clothes police officers chase the man away before the kids can do anything. Conan finds a notebook on the ground that the drug dealer dropped, and they discover a code inside.
The episode focuses on Conan and the other members of the Junior Detective League trying to decipher the code. Conan thinks he’s started to figure out that it has to do with subway and station numbers in Tokyo, but becomes frustrated when it doesn’t seem to working for all the lines of the code. Mitsuhiko calls Heiji, Shinichi’s detective rival in Osaka who knows Conan’s secret, and the two of them start working together on cracking the code over their cell phones. Heiji holds some important pieces of information about the subway and station numbers in Osaka that help them crack the code. I liked seeing Heiji becoming part of this story, because I enjoy the rivalry between him and Conan. And working together over a long distance through cell phones was also a nice touch. I admit that since I don’t really know anything about subways and stations in Japan it made it a little more difficult to follow what they were doing as they were cracking the code. However, the way that the episode was written, it was still an enjoyable viewing experience for me even though I didn’t truly understand many of their references.
Right at the end of the episode, Heiji seems to have found three potential people who could be meeting up with the drug dealer, since they fit what was deciphered from the code. This should be interesting to see in the next episode, since the main action will be taking place in Osaka rather than Tokyo; this means that Conan and the others will be in more of an “observer” mode as they listen to what’s going on in Osaka through Heiji’s cell phone.
It’s nice to see that this arc isn’t a murder mystery, since a lot of the Case Closed stories end up focusing on that. This time, they’re trying to track down a drug dealer and stop a drug deal from happening, which incorporates cracking a code. Case Closed has had some riddles, puzzles and codes to solve in the past, but this story has been written in a way that it feels like a fresh idea. It’s going to be interesting to see if this story will conclude in episode 764, and if so, how it will be solved.
I’ve been enjoying these recent episodes of Case Closed just as much as I did the 130 episodes I’d seen previously. One would think that after going for 19 years that the stories would feel stale and repetitive, but I haven’t experienced that feeling yet. Case Closed is one of the series I’m watching this season that I look forward to seeing week after week.
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