This episode is an anime-only story featuring the Detective Boys, and it was shocking to see that the writer for this one remembered that Ai exists! In most of the anime-only stories featuring the Detective Boys, Ai isn’t with the group and nothing is ever stated to say why she isn’t with them. So I need to give this writer some props for remembering Ai.

The story begins with Conan and the Detective Boys going to the park to play some soccer, although it already looks like a storm is on its way. As they get to the park, they notice an abandoned vehicle without a license plate nearby and comment on it. When they get to the park, there’s a young woman with a voice recorder sitting on a bench. The kids start kicking the ball, and Genta accidentally kicks it toward the woman. She seems to grouse at them at first (although she’s really talking about herself), but then says she used to play in college and starts playing with the kids. But when it starts raining, she tells them to go home. She has to stay there, though, because she’s waiting for someone… and as she waits, she comments that whoever she’s waiting for is late.

The next morning, Conan and the kids see a news report that the woman they had met the previous day was found deceased in the abandoned vehicle. They rush to the crime scene, and when Takagi overhears that they had interacted with the woman, he starts asking them questions. Because the kids were the last known people to see the woman alive, they end up getting involved with the investigation. The investigation leads them two people: a delivery driver who is a former felon who had just gotten out of prison a short time ago, and a young woman who worked with the victim.

To be honest, I really can’t go into too much more detail because I run the risk of providing spoilers. All I will say, though, is that this turns out to be one of those cases where circumstances spiraled in such a way to lead to an unfortunate outcome.

While I liked how the case was ultimately solved, it’s a little frustrating that Conan and the Detective Boys ended up getting involved due to sheer coincidence. If they hadn’t to just happen to encounter the victim the day before she died and were the last known people to see her alive, they never would have been involved with this particular case. Unfortunately, since this mystery only lasts for one episode, the setup really couldn’t be much more complicated than this. And that, to me, is one of the weaknesses of a single episode mystery like this one, because the writer(s) have to either rely on coincidence like this episode did, or little to no time is spent developing the victim before something happens to them.

Outside of my coincidence complaint, though, I thought this was one of the stronger single episode mysteries I’ve seen in Case Closed for a while. From the preview for the next episode, it’s going to be another single episode one, and after seeing the preview, I really have no strong feelings about it either way. I’m going to be watching next week’s episode with no real expectations.

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