Anime Blu-ray Review: Case Closed: The Darkest Nightmare

Case Closed: The Darkest Nightmare is the 20th film released for the Case Closed franchise, and it was released to Japanese theaters on April 16, 2016.

Case Closed: The Darkest Nightmare
English Publisher: Discotek Media
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: September 28, 2021

At the beginning of the film, a Black Organization spy infiltrates the NPA Security Bureau Office, and steals the NOC list of MI6, BND, CSIS, FBI and CIA agents working undercover in the Black Organization. Yuya Kazami, an officer of the Public Security Bureau, catches her red-handed. The spy runs away, and Rei (aka Amuro and Bourbon) goes after her in hot pursuit. This leads to a car chase on a bridge. Akai Shuichi from the FBI joins in on the pursuit and shoots the tire of the spy’s vehicle. The spy’s car crashes and fall off the bridge. The spy escapes the car as it lands in the water, and she surfaces at the Tohto Aquarium.

The next day, Professor Agasa takes Conan, Ai and the other Detective Boys to the aquarium. Conan and Ai encounter the spy there, and she has amnesia. Her cell phone is broken from the car crash. Conan retrieves the broken phone, and also sends photos of the spy to Ran so she can send them to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. Conan gives the phone to Dr. Agasa so he can retrieve the data on it. The Detective Boys stay with the spy to try to help her regain her memory. After a couple of incidents involving the spy, Ai begins to suspect that the woman is a Black Organization agent. While retrieving data from the spy’s phone, Dr. Agasa discovers that she attempted to send the names of known NOC agents to the Black Organization. Meanwhile, Vermouth has discovered the spy’s whereabouts and is keeping an eye on her.

The film culminates with the PSB, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police department, the CIA, and the Black Organization trying to get their hands on the spy. Everything comes back to the aquarium, where the Black Organization has planted bombs as part of their plot to recapture their missing spy. Conan, Rei, and Akai work together to disarm the bombs and to take on the Black Organization. Things become complicated when the spy regains her memory during this epic finale for the film.

I was glad to see that one of the Case Closed films has a focus on the Black Organization, since they appear so infrequently during the anime series. It was also nice to see the FBI characters like Jodie Starling, since they also show up so little in the anime series. I guess one of the strengths of The Darkest Nightmare is the fact that it utilizes characters who have been introduced in the series, yet don’t show up all that often in the long run.

I thought the writing for this film was quite strong. The crux of the story is established with the very first scene, and the writer did a great job of getting Conan and the others involved in what was happening. In this story, the Detective Boys’ involvement didn’t feel forced. The pacing of the story felt right, and I thought the writer did a great job of building up both the story and the tension.

Overall, I enjoyed The Darkest Nightmare, thanks in large part to seeing it focus on characters that the audience doesn’t get to see as much of, as well as to the strength of the story that it was telling.

When it comes to the Blu-ray release, it has 1.77.1 16:9 / 1080p High Definition video. The audio includes English DTS-MA 5.1, Japanese DTS-MA 5.1, and Japanese LPCM 2.0. I had no complaints with either the video or audio quality for this release.

For bonus features, there was a clean ending and some Japanese trailers for the film. Unfortunately, the last three trailers felt repetitive, because the only difference was that the final two had something different tacked on at the end of it. Other than that, these final three trailers were exactly the same. As I’ve said with the other Blu-ray releases of the Case Closed films, I’m not going to criticize them too much because I’m just grateful that Discotek Media has finally made more Case Closed material available in the United States.

It should also be noted that the outer slipcase labels the release as Case Closed: The Darkest Nightmare, but the cover artwork on the Blu-ray box itself and the Blu-ray Disc labels the film as Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare.

If you’re a fan of the Case Closed anime and are trying to acquire home video releases for the series, I would recommend acquiring this release of Case Closed: The Darkest Nightmare for your anime library.

Additional posts about Case Closed:

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