The episode opens with a flashback of an event that happened seven years earlier. A young girl is playing outside, and she encounters a murder scene, and the murderers were two people wearing masks of characters from Masked Comet Byun, a TV show airing at the time. One of the murderers approaches her, looks at her threateningly, then leaves.
We then return to current time, where Kogoro, Ran, and Conan are at a train station. They are waiting for a ride to pick them up and take them to a boarding house where beer will be highlighted by a celebrity named Otaro Minakitaya, who is known as the “Prince of Beer.” Before the ride arrives, they meet some other guests who are also heading to the boarding house: Masanari Ide (a web designer), Hiroko Fujiyoshi (a stationery company employee), and Toru Shirogane (a local magazine writer).
When they get to the boarding house, they meet the owner and her daughter, Miona (the girl who was the eyewitness in the first scene). Otaro also appears at the boarding house shortly after Kogoro and the others. During conversation, it comes out that Ide is a fan of Masked Comet Byun, and Miona reacts in fear when she sees Ide put on a mask of one of the characters. Conan also discovers that Toru drops a copy of an article about the case from seven years ago. At this point, two of the characters show an interest in either Masked Comet Byun or in the case from seven years ago. I wonder if Toru knew Miona was the eyewitness and realized she was at the boarding house, and perhaps he was hoping to score some kind of interview for an article for the magazine he works for.
Things become more complicated when the police discover a drowning victim nearby, and among his possessions is a trading card with a character from Masked Comet Byun on it. When the police come to question everyone at the boarding house, Otaro discovers the victim is his former partner in the entertainment business. However, their act had dissolved three years earlier due to his partner getting in trouble for committing a violent act. The police seem to suspect that Otaro was behind the killing, and after another piece of evidence is discovered near the end of the episode, it appears very likely that Otaro was the killer. Hmmm… could Otaro and his partner be the two murderers in the case seven years ago?
That night, Hiroko finds something strange when she goes to get a drink of water, and Otaro isn’t answering when Kogoro knocks on the door of his room. Once they’re able to get inside the locked room, they find Otaro and the floor… Kogoro determines he’s dead, but only has been for a short time. With the blood on his hand, he leaves a dying message: a drawing of the symbol of Maked Comet Byun. Poor Miona is legitimately frightened, because seeing the blood and the symbol bring back memories of seven years ago. Conan determines that the door and the window were both locked, so we now have a locked room mystery to solve. That’s going to be focus of the next episode.
After such a disappointing episode last week, this was a much needed change of pace. It’s a complicated mystery with some twists, and it keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat. The story seemed to be indicating that Otaro and his partner were the murderers from seven years ago, but with Otaro’s death, I’m not so sure about that anymore. Or perhaps I am right, and Otaro’s death was caused by someone who knew the victim of the original murder? There’s several possibilities here, and I can’t wait to see how Conan works to unravel all the layers and determines what the one truth of this whole story is. Everything we’ve seen has to be related somehow. It’s just figuring out all of the pieces of the puzzle and determining how they all fit together.