Anime Film Review: Case Closed: Zero the Enforcer

Case Closed: Zero the Enforcer is the 22nd film released for the franchise.

Case Closed: Zero the Enforcer
Directed by: Yuzuru Tachikawa
Written by: Takeharu Sakurai
Starring: Minami Takayama, Wakana Yamazaki, Rikiya Koyama, Kappei Yamaguchi, Megumi Hayashibara, Yukiko Iwai, Ikue Otani, Wataru Takagi, Gara Takashima, Kazuhiko Inoue, Yukimasa Kishino, Nobuo Tobita, Aya Ueto, Daikichi Hakata, Mina Tominaga, Tokuyoshi Kawashima, and Toru Furuya
Run Time: 110 minutes

At the beginning of the film, it’s established that a newly built and integrated resort and convention center “Edge of Ocean” is going to be hosting an upcoming Summit Meeting. At the same time, an unmanned Martian mission craft is supposed to be returning to Earth. Both of these facts are revealed when Conan and Ai are watching television at Professor Agasa’s house. The other members of the Detective Boys are there, but they’re focused on Professor Agasa showing off the new drone that he built. While Conan and Ai are watching the news coverage, one of the buildings at “Edge of Ocean” explodes. When footage from a security camera is shown on the broadcast, both Conan and Ai swear they see Amuro running away from the explosion.

Conan becomes personally involved in this story when Kogoro’s fingerprints are discovered at the crime scene, and other evidence is found on his computer. Kogoro is arrested, and Conan makes it his mission to prove that Kogoro is innocent. Ran tries to enlist her mother’s help, but all Eri can do is try to help find a lawyer to take the case. This makes perfect sense, since it could be viewed as a conflict of interest if Eri were to represent Kogoro in court. A freelance attorney named Kyoko Tachibana approaches them about representing Kogoro, but it comes across that she doesn’t think that Kogoro can win. I had to agree with Conan that something just felt “off” with her from the moment she came into the story.

Conan asks Ai to help try to figure out what set off the explosion. After piecing together what information she can from the crime scene, it’s determined that the explosion was set off by a pressurized cooker. It’s later figured out that the gas valve and the pressurized cooker were connected to the internet and were accessed via Nor (a site resembling Tor). Unfortunately, we see that the pressure is on to get Kogoro’s trial going before they can truly build a motive for Kogoro. But on the day that the summit is supposed to take place, internet connected devices start malfunctioning, and it’s quickly realized that they are being accessed through Nor. Fortunately for Kogoro, this happens while he’s in prison, so he can be ruled out. This ultimately helps to get the charges dropped against him.

But throughout the film, Conan starts figuring out that Amuro, along with an officer who was injured at the explosion, are working together for the law enforcement organization they report to, trying to build their own case. He also figures out the truth about Kyoko.

The climax of the film is exciting, and the culprit behind the explosion and the internet attacks ended up being someone I wasn’t expecting. The motivation for the culprit was pretty standard for Case Closed, though. And the stakes are upped when it’s revealed that the culprit has hacked into NAZU (the franchise’s version of NASA) and tampered with the program for the unmanned Martian mission craft. I liked how Professor Agasa’s drone ends up playing an important role in the climax to stop the craft from crashing into police headquarters. I also thought it was a nice touch how Ayumi, Genta, and Mitsuhide play an important role in the climax but don’t realize that they are. I do have to give Zero the Enforcer credit for the fact that it included the Detective Boys in a much more important role than the previous film, The Crimson Love Letter, had.

On a personal note, I was quite tickled to discover that in one of the scenes, Amuro is seen in a warehouse store. When he’s standing by the freezer, I thought it looked like Costco. Other shots in the store, such as going down the aisles and standing near the meat department, confirmed it for me because I would recognize that color scheme anywhere. The animators definitely did their research, because they truly captured the look and feel of a Costco. And for those of you who are wondering, the Case Closed version of Costco is known as “Cosdo.” And speaking of the animation, I was quite impressed by it in this film.

Overall, I enjoyed Zero the Enforcer. I liked that this was a film that had a focus on Amuro and what he does in his law enforcement capacity, because this is the side of him the audience hasn’t seen much of when Amuro gets screen time in the anime series. I like Amuro as a character, so it’s always welcome when I get to see him appear in a storyline. This film is definitely worth seeing if you’re a fan of the Case Closed franchise.

Additional posts about Case Closed:

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