Manga Review: Case Closed Volume 17

Case Closed Volume 17 focuses on first grade detective Conan Edogawa, who had previously been a high school detective named Jimmy Kudo. While investigating a case, Jimmy was discovered by a criminal organization and forced to take an experimental poison. Unknown to the criminals, Jimmy survived and shrunk down to his first grade self. He takes on the name Conan Edogawa to hide his identity, goes to live with his friend Rachel and her bumbling private detective father, and receives help and gadgets from his neighbor, Dr. Agasa. Conan’s overall goal is to find a way to return to his regular self again.

Case Closed Volume 17
Written by: Gosho Aoyama
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 15, 2007

Volume 17 continues the murder mystery that began at the end of Volume 16. In that mystery, the wife of an old and famous potter is found dead, and Conan ultimately has to prove that it was a murder and not a suicide. This story is executed in the typical fashion that readers have come to expect from Aoyama’s writing. It’s not to say that Aoyama has formulaic writing, though. There’s just a particular feel to the storytelling that I’ve come to associate with Case Closed. With this particular mystery, I had figured out who the guilty party was, but not how they carried out the murder.

The next three chapters in Case Closed Volume 17 take place at the beach, where Rachel tries once again to create a reconciliation between her parents. Her efforts are unsuccessful, but Conan, Rachel, Richard, and Eva meet a group of scuba divers. Two of the divers are engaged to marry, and one of them becomes the victim of an attempted murder. I appreciated seeing how Aoyama intertwined the interactions between Richard and Eva with the mystery that unfolds, and how there’s a parallel between the two couples and their motivations for their actions. I thought this added a nice touch to this particular mystery.

This is followed by a one-chapter story that takes place when Conan and the Detective Boys visit Richard in the hospital after he’s broken his leg. But this visit leads Conan to discovering a mystery that involves a kidnapping and extortion. Conan worked this particular case on his own, since the Detective Boys don’t pick up on what’s going on. It was a refreshing change of pace to not have a murder mystery or an attempted murder mystery.

The next three chapters of Volume 17 sees Richard, Ran, and Conan going to visit someone about mysterious happenings at their home after Richard receives a letter. This is actually another non-murder mystery, and it involves needing to figure out codes left behind by the original owner of the house. Not only does this story involve cracking a code, but it turns out there’s more going on than meets the eye. I really liked the twist that there was more to the story than what the reader was originally led to believe. I like it when Aoyama throws in twists to the mysteries, because the cases become harder for the reader to solve on their own before Conan explains everything.

Right at the end of the volume, there’s the beginning of another murder mystery when Richard, Rachel, and Conan meet an actor who wants Richard to mentor him on how to be a detective for an upcoming role. By the end of the volume, it’s clear to both Conan and the reader who the murderer is, but nothing has been revealed about how the murder was carried out. I’m sure that will be answered early on in Volume 18.

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.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous volumes of the series, then I think you’ll enjoy reading Case Closed Volume 17.

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