Anime Special Review: Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small

Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small was a television special for the 20th anniversary of the Case Closed (aka Detective Conan) anime. It’s a re-telling of the first episode and part of the second episode of the anime series.

Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small
Original Japanese airdate: December 9, 2016
Directed by: Yasuichiro Yamamoto
Runtime: 94 minutes

The special opens with Sherry working on an experiment for the Black Organization. It turns out what she’s working on is an experimental poison. This is then followed up by two members of the Black Organization, Vodka and Gin, approaching a man at a bar to discuss a “rat problem” in the organization. After their conversation, the man is seen getting into a car that explodes. These two scenes are completely new for this special, and I appreciated the inclusion of both. The audience already knows who Sherry will end up being in the series and her connection with the poison that becomes important in this story, so getting to see this was a nice touch. And I also thought having this new scene with Vodka and Gin worked as an introduction for these two characters, so they don’t just appear out of the blue like they did in the original story.

We also see Ran losing her new smartphone down a grate, because she wasn’t aware that it was in her hood. Shinichi admits to putting it there after using it to figure something out for a case, and she insists that he buy her a new phone. Later, Shinichi also finds himself making a promise to take Ran to Tropical Land if she wins her next karate tournament. On the day they’re supposed to buy the new phone, Sonoko comes over and drags Ran and Shinichi to her place so they can try some new confection. But while they’re at Sonoko’s house, they discover her parents has a visitor. The man, Takanori Sewa, is in a wheelchair, and he talks about threatening letters he has received before his New Year’s Party. Shinichi offers his assistance as a high school detective who has helped the police, but Sewa declines. The meeting with Sewa was also a newly added scene for this special, and I appreciated that Shinichi and Sewa have this introduction and connection to lead up to Shinichi being involved with that storyline later.

During Ran’s karate match, Shinichi receives a call from Inspector Megure about a case, and he has to leave in the middle of the match. Ran, who’s up against a strong rival, sees Shinichi mouth to her that he’s leaving, she gets upset and then ends up winning the match… which ultimately sets up the main storyline that takes place at Tropical Land.

Shinichi arrives at the crime scene, which is at Takanori Sewa’s party. One of the guests was found murdered, and the police are trying to figure out who committed the crime. This is actually the case that opened the first episode of Case Closed, and Shinichi figures out the culprit. In this version, he ended up getting his first clue during his initial meeting with Sewa at Sonoko’s house. This case brings major attention to Shinichi in the media, and he starts getting fan letters and being recognized. Unfortunately, this means that this is also bringing his name to the attention of the Black Organization.

We then get the same story at Tropical Land that was shown at the beginning of the Case Closed anime. The main difference here is that the scene where the head is decapitated on the roller coaster ride is a little more gruesome than it was in the original telling. Also, everything from Shinichi being given to poison to being taken to live with Ran and her father, Kogoro, is pretty similar.

But then, we start getting scenes that moves the story ahead in time. I recognized some of them from the anime episodes that FUNimation Entertainment released, but there were also a few scenes that I didn’t know or recognize, which I’m sure come from the episodes between the last one FUNimation released and the first episode that Crunchyroll began streaming. The most interesting of these was the on of Sherry breaking into Shinichi’s home and finding the evidence she needed to put two and two together that Shinichi and Conan are the same person. The final scene sees Sherry going onto a computer and finding a list of persons who need to be investigated. She changes Shinichi’s status from “Unknown” to “Dead.”

For the ending credits, there are shots from the early episodes of Case Closed incorporated into it, and this shows just how much the animation style changed over the course of 20 years. I have to say that the character designs and animation are much cleaner in the later episodes than in the earlier ones. It’s not to say that these elements were bad early on, it’s just that they look just so different after watching more recent episodes of the franchise over the past few years.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small special. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of this remake of the establishing story of the series, but it exceeded my expectations. It preserved all the important material from the original story and added scenes to help flesh out that material. As a viewer who has seen some of the episodes that are much later in the franchise, I also appreciated the references to characters who weren’t introduced until later in the story.

If you’re a fan of Case Closed and haven’t already seen the Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small, I would highly recommend finding a legal way to do so. It’s definitely worth it.

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