Case Closed: Sunflowers of Inferno is the 19th film released for the franchise.

Case Closed: Sunflowers of Inferno
Directed by: Kobun Shizuno
Written by: Takeharu Sakurai
Starring: Minami Takayama, Kappei Yamaguchi, Wakana Yamazaki, Rikiya Koyama
Run Time: 112 minutes

The film opens at an auction house in New York City, where a painting that has been declared to be one of Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” (which was thought to be destroyed during a U.S. air raid in Japan in World War II) is up for auction. At the auction is Jirokichi Suzuki and his niece, Sonoko, and it turns out Jirokichi wins the auction. At a press conference, Jirokichi announces a plan to gather all seven of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” paintings from around the world for a grand exhibition. The conference is interrupted by a card being thrown onto the platform, and it’s from none other than Kaito Kid. Inspector Charlie, a New York Police Department professional who is part of the team to protect the “Sunflowers,” chases after Kaito Kid but loses him. As the film progresses, we see that Charlie has made it his mission to catch Kaito Kid and take him down.

When it comes to the section that takes place in New York, it was interesting to note that everyone in these scenes spoke Japanese. In the past, when events take place in America, there are at least some characters (usually the Americans) speaking English. To see that the Americans are all speaking fluent Japanese rang a little false to me, especially knowing that other times in the franchise, Americans are depicted speaking English. I know it’s a slight nitpick, but this really jumped out at me.

It turns out that Kogoro Mori is part of Jirokichi’s seven specialists to oversee the exhibition and protection of the “Sunflowers,” and this is how Conan gets involved with the story. The action really gets going when the plane that Sonoko, her uncle, the “Sunflowers” they purchased, as well as some of the seven specialists are on has an explosion and needs to make an emergency landing. It looks like Kaito Kid is behind it, yet he makes sure to rescue the “Sunflowers” and put it in a safe spot to be found. Charlie is insistent that Kaito Kid is behind what happened and will do anything to get his hand on the “Sunflowers,” but Conan doesn’t believe it. What’s happened up to this point doesn’t fit with Kaito Kid’s M.O.

Meanwhile, another one of the “Sunflowers” is currently being exhibited at a museum in Tokyo, and Dr. Agasa takes the Detective Boys to see it. At the exhibit, Ai talks to an old woman who is sitting looking at “Sunflowers,” and it’s revealed she comes every day to look at that painting. Kaito Kid sends another card, warning about the theft of this “Sunflowers.” But when the police go to transport this one to safety, another Kaito Kid card is found on the lid that declares that the original has already been taken and replaced with a fake. Just when it seems like one of the seven specialists will be taking the painting to examine it at her workshop, Kaito Kid reveals that he’s there in disguise and takes the painting. A ransom is placed on the painting in order to get it back, and there’s quite a scene to get it back.

The film culminates with Jirokichi’s “Sunflowers” exhibit, where an action-packed climax ultimately reveals the truth about Kaito Kid and the real culprit behind everything that has happened. There’s also an interesting reveal that takes place regarding one of the “Sunflowers.”

I was riveted as I watched Case Closed: Sunflowers of Inferno. The opening scenes establish what the story is going to be about, and they also get Kaito Kid involved right from the get-go. I also thought the story found ways include action and excitement as the story built without it feeling forced. In some respects, though, the final danger for Conan during the climax felt like it was a little overboard, but this is something I’ve come to expect from the Case Closed films. And especially after all the excitement from some of the previous scenes, they had to find a way to top that.

Before writing up this review, I did some quick research on Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers.” The writer of the film obviously did their homework, because I found a lot of the basic facts concerning the paintings presented in the film matched what I found while looking online. Obviously, the plot point about one of the “Sunflowers” almost being destroyed in an air raid in World War II was created for the film, but this had to be done in order to make the story work.

Another thing I really liked about this film is the fact that it utilizes the character of Kaito Kid. He’s a character in the series that I like, but he doesn’t show up a whole lot in what I’ve seen of the series. Getting to see Kaito Kid play a major role in one of the films was a treat.

Case Closed: Sunflowers of Inferno is worth viewing at least once for fans of the Case Closed franchise.

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