Case Closed: Episode 978 – “The Case on the Opposite Shore”

The episode opens with Conan and the Detective Boys using binoculars to bird watch from the opposite shore of a river. However, Conan isn’t bird watching… he’s people watching. At first, most of the others admonish him for it, but after he frames it as detective training, they start people watching as well. At first, they’re looking at some people and using clues to try to determine what these people do for a living. However, when they discover Detective Takagi and Chiba, as well as some other police officers, are disguised and have gone undercover, they watch what unfolds. When it was first revealed that Conan was people watching, I thought that felt a little creepy at first. I know they were using this as a way to set up the structure for the story, but it never entirely sat well with me during the entire episode.

It turns out there’s a kidnapping case, and someone is supposed to be picking up ransom money from that location. For most of this, Conan and the Detective Boys watch what unfolds from the other shore. We occasionally see what’s going on from Takagi and the others’ point of view, but the case is primarily shown through Conan and the others looking through binoculars and giving commentary on what they see. It’s established that there’s too great of a distance from where they are to get to a bridge that would get them to the other side, and this is an important detail when it comes to Conan giving assistance during the episode. He has to use his phone, and tell Chiba what he sees with the binoculars, as well as trying to explain his deductions while this is going on. In the end, the correct person is apprehended, thanks to Conan’s help.

While this was an interesting structure for telling the story, I’m not sure it entirely worked as well as it could have. And as I said earlier, the set up to get the episode going in the first place never entirely sat well with me. The idea of Conan and the other Detective Boys intentionally watching unsuspecting people through their binoculars feels like an invasion of privacy, and I’m not entirely convinced from how Conan has been portrayed that this would entirely sit well with him, either. And I especially can’t see him being the one to instigate it, as it was portrayed in the episode. If one of the others had stumbled upon something suspicious while looking through their binoculars, I might have bought this concept a little better.

There still isn’t a preview or a “Next Conan’s Hint” or anything after the episode ends. So far, the every other week pattern for episodes seems to be holding, so let’s see whether or not there will be an episode of Case Closed next week.

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