The episode opens with Kogoro, Ran, and Conan heading to Shimonoseki after being asked to come by Hiroki Oi, a detective they met during a previous case (the two-part episode, “Intrigue at Morikawa Mansion”). He is representing a client, the owner of a long-established puffer restaurant named Makoto Izumiya, as well as Makoto’s daughter, Kaede.

It’s revealed that someone broke into the Imzumiya’s home and stole an heirloom pot that their restaurant uses for special occasions. One such special occasion is coming up, which is a prestigious cooking competition that Makoto has won for several years. Even though the pot itself is expensive, Makoto and Kaede are more interested in getting the pot back because of the soup stock that it creates rather than for its monetary value.

Oi presents photos and information on the four individuals the police have narrowed down to be the suspects behind the theft. Each suspect has a motive for the crime, as well as an alibi for the time the crime was committed. Most of the rest of the episode is spent showing Kogoro, Ran, and Conan interviewing the four suspects.

The first suspect, Yasushi Kobayashi, was arrested two years earlier for robbing Makoto’s restaurant. He becomes quite angry and agitated when they come to question him about the theft. Later, he is seen talking on the phone to someone and demands that they not betray him.

The next suspect they question is Shinichi Fujii, the owner of a restaurant chain that competes with Makoto’s restaurant. Not only that, they also compete in the same cooking competition as Makoto. Fujii had tried to buy out Makoto’s restaurant, but his offer was refused. He’s pleasant enough during the questioning, but right as Kogoro and the others are about to leave, he mentions that they need to solve another mystery: how did any of the suspects get across the water that’s hard to navigate, since none of the suspects were seen on security footage shot at all the various non-water ways the suspects could have gone to get to the Izumiya’s house?

They then visit Satoru Daiehara, the owner of another restaurant. In the past, he had asked to buy the pot from Makoto, and of course Makoto refused the offer. Satoru is very cooperative in answering Kogoro’s questions, and very eager to provide pictures, information, and documents to support his alibi for the time of the theft.

The last suspect they question is Keisuke Ban, a former employee at Makoto’s restaurant that was fired. He claims that Kaede kept coming on to him, and when he turned her down, he was suddenly fired. For his alibi, he says that he was at an izakaya that he regularly goes to, and that the owner will be able to vouch for him. I have to say, though, I couldn’t blame Kogoro, Ran, and Conan for visibly showing that they had a hard time believing the story Ban told them about why he was fired.

Kogoro decides to check out Ban’s alibi first, since he’ll be able to drink while asking questions. The owner and employee can vouch that Ban was there the night of the robbery, but neither one can recall exactly what time he arrived. What made Ban’s visit memorable that day was the fact that Ban was buying a lot of expensive drinks and saying a buddy of his had gotten a lot of money and was treating him.

After leaving the izakaya, Conan gets a call from Oi. Apparently, Makoto received an anonymous phone call telling him that Yasushi’s friend had lied about Yasushi’s alibi. As Conan is taking the call, we see a shadowy figure following Kogoro, Ran, and Conan. The figure accidentally bumps into something, and Ran and Kogoro begin chasing them when they flee. The shadowy figure manages to lose Ran, and then approaches Kogoro and tells him to butt out of the case before hitting him over the head with a bottle. The episode ends with Ran and Conan finding Kogoro on the ground.

I can’t forget to mention that before Kogoro, Ran, and Conan go to the izakaya, we get a brief scene of Kaede furtively looking around as she leaves her house with a large duffel bag. Why was she being so secretive, and what’s in the bag?

After watching this episode, I came away from it thinking that all four of the suspects came across as suspicious, and the scene of Kaede also casts some kind of suspicion on her as well. While it’s possible Kaede staged this whole thing, I currently can’t tell from what was presented in this episode what she would have to gain by doing it. At least the four suspects have clear motives.

Before I forget, I want to mention a scene in this episode that amused me a little. When Kogoro, Ran, and Conan first meet up with Oi, the lawyer begins talking about the case and providing details to Conan. After a short bit, Kogoro clears his throat and tells Oi to explain the case to him. I remember that Oi was impressed with Conan solving the case in “Intrigue at Morikawa Mansion,” so I wasn’t surprised to see him sharing information with Conan right away. We also see Oi make a couple of phone calls to Conan during this episode, so we know that Oi is trusting Conan to actually solve the case. Inviting Kogoro was obviously an excuse to get Conan to Shimonoseki to solve this case and help his client.

This is one of the more interesting anime-only stories that I’ve seen in a while, and I really am no closer to having any idea of who actually stole the pot than when the mystery was first introduced in this episode. The writer also chose the perfect story beat to use as a cliffhanger to end the episode on. I genuinely want to watch next week’s episode to find out how this case is going to be solved.

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