To celebrate hitting the 1,000 episode milestone, the classic Case Closed one-hour special, “The Moonlight Sonata Murder,” has been remade into a two-part episode.
The first difference I noticed was the fact that one of the first scenes of the original story, when Kogoro, Ran, and Conan are on the ferry and talking about the letter written with newspaper letting Kogoro got, is now being used for the opening credits of this episode. Since the music is playing, we don’t get to hear the dialogue that goes with this scene. However, there is a shot of the note, and subtitles are provided for it, so this glance at the note lets the audience know a little bit about what’s going on. The song that’s playing as the opening theme for this episode seems to have to do with Case Closed hitting 1,000 episodes (in the subtitles for the opening song, I saw the number 1,000 show up a couple of times, and the song ends with the word “Congratulations”).
The episode actually begins with the three of them arriving at Moonshade Island. When they go to the village office, they find out that Keiji Aso, the man who sent the letter hiring Kogoro for a case, passed away more than 10 years earlier. They are also told the tragic story of what happened the night Keiji, a famous pianist from the island, passed away (which includes him playing “Moonlight Sonata” as he burned down his home). After hearing this, Kogoro thinks he’s the victim of a prank, but Conan points out that someone paid his retainer fee. Conan deduces that someone on the island wants Kogoro to investigate Keiji Aso.
The three meet Dr. Narumi, a doctor who moved to the island two years earlier. As they’re talking, one of the candidates running for mayor comes through with a campaign pitch, and this mayoral race plays a factor in this story. Through the doctor, the three learn that a previous mayor died two years ago, and how “Moonlight Sonata” factored into that death. A memorial service to recognize the anniversary of that mayor’s death is being held that evening, and, if you couldn’t guess, a murder that includes a connection with “Moonlight Sonata” happens during the service. The victim is one of the candidates running for mayor. At this point, Kogoro jumps in and gets involved, and of course, Conan figures some things out. It’s actually surprising that Kogoro found the tape recorder in the piano that had a recording of “Moonlight Sonata” on it.
I was kind of surprised, but not disappointed by, the fact that this remake didn’t try to find a way to modernize this aspect of the story. It could be that the blank space at the beginning of the tape is an important part of how the murder was committed, which would have made it harder to update the technology from a tape recorder to an MP3 player. And as of yet, I haven’t seen someone whip out a cell phone in this version of “The Moonlight Sonata Murder.” That could change in Part Two, but I have my doubts that it will.
The memorial service scene helps to establish potential culprits, which includes the man currently serving as the island’s mayor, as well as a man whose description when it comes up on the screen says he is currently unemployed.
When it comes to police presence on the island, there doesn’t seem to be much of one. They find an older gentleman who doesn’t seem to understand about not disturbing a crime scene. At least Inspector Megure makes it to the island the next day, which allows someone competent (outside of Conan) to finally become involved with the murder investigation.
While the various people who were at the memorial service are being questioned, they hear the second movement of “Moonlight Sonata,” and discover that the current mayor has been murdered. Conan becomes pissed off, because after getting the initial note that brought them to the island, two more people have died. He’s especially frustrated with this second murder, because he had figured out the true meaning of the note after the first murder yet was still unable to prevent someone else from dying.
When it comes to this remake, the animation quality is obviously different. It utilizes the modern animation style for Case Closed, which looks nothing like the style used in the early episodes of the series. Outside of the original first scene being used as the animation for the opening credits instead of being its own scene like in the original, I really didn’t notice any other deviations from the original version of “The Moonlight Sonata Murder.” If there were any differences, they were subtle.
I was happy to see that “The Moonlight Sonata Murder” was the classic episode that was chosen to be remade to celebrate Case Closed hitting the 1,000th episode milestone. It was one of the cases that made a strong impression on me when I first watched Case Closed, and it’s still among my favorite stories from the series. And from what I’ve seen so far, this remake has done a great job presenting this story to the audience again (or presenting the story for the first time for newer viewers of the franchise who have not seen the earlier episodes).
I’m looking forward to next week, so I can see the conclusion of this remake of “The Moonlight Sonata Murder.”
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