Case Closed: Episode 976 – “Follow Them! Detective Taxi”

The setup for this episode is Kogoro being asked to find a barmaid’s lost pet armadillo named Armadillo-kun. The barmaid came across as incredibly “over the top.” I don’t know if this was meant to be comedic, but I thought it was stupid. She sends Kogoro over to a fish market in the area, afraid that they have prepared Armadillo-kun for consumption. The vendors at the market all become offended, and he’s chased away by vendors spraying hoses at him. Oh, I can’t forget that Conan is accompanying him, and is never a victim of the hose attacks.

When Kogoro and Conan get into a taxi, it turns out that the driver is a big fan of Kogoro’s. So much so, that he stops paying attention to the road… until Conan gives him death glares. After hearing Kogoro make a reference to Armadillo-kun and wanting to take the long way home, the driver mentions brothers he picked up recently and that they took a long way to get somewhere. The driver, without being asked, takes them on the same route he took the brothers. Oh, how did he know they were brothers? They sang everything they said in harmony. Oh boy. Another “over the top” element in this episode.

They get to a location that turns out to be hosting a festival. The cab driver knows about routes being blocked for the festival, but how does he know the process for picking up the money and what time it happens? That to me felt kind of weird. Conan starts piecing things together, and figures out the brothers are going to rob the festival. Conan comes across as rather cocky in the episode, and this is just exacerbated when he makes wrong deductions. I’m sorry, but this just felt very out of character to me. The writer was probably trying to go for humor, but it just didn’t work.

In the end, this mystery, along with the disappearance of Armadillo-kun, come together. Not very well, mind you, but they do.

Sigh. Normally, I expect this kind of writing in an episode that focuses on a Detective Boys mystery. This is not the quality of story or writing I expect for a story that doesn’t have them in it. This episode is definitely not a high point for Case Closed, that’s for sure. Hopefully the next episode we get will be better than this.

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