Case Closed: Episode 774 – “Munch’s Missing Scream!”

Case Closed sees Shinichi Kudo, a high school junior mystery buff with incredible abilities with his power of observation and intuition, being given an experimental poison by a criminal organization. Instead of killing Shinichi, it shrinks him back down to his six or seven year old self.

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 his childhood friend Ran Mori and her father Kogoro. 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 who poisoned him in order to get an antidote that will return him to his normal size.

Episode 774 sees Conan and Ran watching museum employees overseeing the delivery and shipment of two of Munch’s paintings, “Despair” and “Anxiety.” The museum has also acquired “Scream,” but it’s being delivered to a different airport. The audience is never given an explanation as to why Conan and Ran are watching and accompanying these people from the museum and shipping company. If Kogoro was there to oversee things and they tagged along, that would be one thing. But Kogoro doesn’t show up until later, after Ran calls him about the mystery that unfolds in this episode. Also, we later see Sonoko and the Detective Boys waiting for the others at the museum. Again, there’s no explanation as to why they’re at the museum. This setup for the mystery really didn’t work for me due to the lack of an explanation for why Conan and the others are there when the mystery happens.

The mystery begins when two conflicting reports surface about the delivery of “Scream”: one report says that the truck carrying the painting went off course and disappeared, while the other says that the delivery is just a little behind schedule. There’s a panic that “Scream” has been stolen, but just as it appears that the museum will get the police involved, the painting arrives.

Conan quickly realizes that something is amiss with what happened and starts his investigation. It was pretty amazing just how easily he got the delivery drivers to talk to him and share information even though he’s a young kid. While Conan has had some luck like this before, it’s usually because there are other adults around and other bits of information have already been revealed. I just felt that Conan was having an unrealistically easy time getting these drivers to open up to him with what ended up being important clues to solve the mystery.

Unfortunately, thanks to a comment a character made early on in the episode, I had already guessed who the culprit was and their motivation. The only real mystery to me was what exactly the mystery was that Conan was trying to solve. In a lot of ways, I felt that the writer(s) for Episode 774 utilized some rather lazy writing for this particular story. I understand that it was done in order to tie in with the recent film, Case Closed: Sunflowers of Inferno, but it just felt like a forced mystery. I suspect the writer(s) had been given two instructions: to write a story that would tie in with the upcoming theatrical film and it had to be established and solved in one episode. That’s about the only way I can explain why the writing felt so lazy on this episode.

The story for this Case Closed episode had a lot of potential, but it wasn’t realized due to having to get the mystery solved in one episode. I honestly believe that if this could have been a two-parter, the writer(s) could have fleshed the story out and included an explanation for why Conan and the others were as involved in this situation as they were.

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