Case Closed: Episode 981 – “Welcome to Bocchan Restaurant (Part One)”

As the Detective Boys are wandering through a park, Ayumi finds a severely injured cat. They find strands of pink and yellow threads in its claws, which Conan carefully gathers to use as evidence to find the person who injured the cat. The group takes the cat to a nearby vet, who says the cat will live but will need time to heal. As they leave the vet, a group of police cars with sirens blaring go by. Of course, Conan and the Detective Boys decide to find out what’s going on.

The group finds that the police, as well as Kogoro, are at the Bocchan Restaurant. A body has been found on the grounds, so they are launching a murder investigation. The Detective Boys notice that the victim’s shirt has colors that match the thread they found in the cat’s claws. Seeing this, they decide to stay for the murder investigation. As the story continues, they deduce that the cat must have been a witness to the murder, and that the murderer panicked and beat the cat up because it was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

When the employees of the restaurant arrive, it’s revealed that the restaurant is inspired by a novel titled, Bocchan. I liked that Mitsuhiko knew what this was, in addition to Conan and Ai, and that Mitsuhiko was the one who got to explain the story to the others. Normally, these types of explanations come from Conan, so it was nice to see this get shaken up a bit.

As the police and Kogoro investigate, they discover that the actors playing the characters from the novel are nothing like the characters that they portray at the restaurant. Which becomes important, because it seems like Kogoro, at least, kept trying to think of the actors’ personalities and motives as being like their characters, which could seriously affect deducing who committed the crime. It comes out that the victim and the owner were both rivals for the affection of the woman portraying the love interest in Bocchan, and that three other employees with known animosity toward the victim don’t have alibis that could be corroborated by others. Through talking with various employees, the Detective Boys start picking up some information on the potential murderers.

Near the end, the Detective Boys visit the cat at the vet, and discover the cat has two broken legs. This makes Conan realize that the park where they found the cat was too far away from the restaurant for the cat to have made it to the park on its own. With this information, the Detective Boys realize the murder had to have been at the park and not at the restaurant.

After this, it’s discovered that one of the potential culprits for the murder is hanging from a tree, with a suicide note scrawled into the dirt nearby, as well as the murder weapon for the first death on his altar. Conan feels suspicious that this was set up to make this person look like the murderer, but he doesn’t have any solid proof to back up this suspicion.

The way this is going, I feel confident that the case will solved in the next episode. I really can’t see this going past two parts. There’s one character in the story that doesn’t seem to have any issues with their alibi, but a piece of information revealed about them earlier in the episode makes me think they could have been somehow involved with the second death at the end of the episode. Outside of that, though, I haven’t really figured anything out. I’m curious to see what the “one truth” to this crime is that Conan will reveal. At least this one doesn’t have a solution that’s easy to guess, so that helps to make me want to come back next week to find out what happens. Oh, and I also have to add that this is one of the better episodes of Case Closed that features the Detective Boys.

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