Case Closed: The Fist of Blue Sapphire is the 23rd film released for the franchise.

Case Closed: The Fist of Blue Sapphire
Directed by: Chika Nagaoka
Written by: Takahiro Okura
Starring: Minami Takayama, Wakana Yamazaki, Kappei Yamaguchi, Rikiya Koyama, Naoko Matsui, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Megumi Hayashibara, Kenichi Ogata, Koji Ishii, Yuki Kaji, Ikusaburo Yamazaki, Ryan Drees, Mayuko Kawakita, Jeff Manning, Yu Asakawa, Hiroki Takahashi, Charles Glover, Kurt Common
Run Time: 109 minutes

The film opens in Singapore when Leon Lowe, a former criminal behavior psychologist, is meeting with a lawyer named Sherilyn Tan. The meeting doesn’t go well, and Sherilyn is later murdered. While investigating the crime scene, one of Kaito Kid’s “calling cards” is found in the elevator where the murder apparently happened.

Makoto Kyogoku, Sonoko’s love interest, is in Singapore to compete in a karate championship being held there. Kogoro, Ran, Sonoko, and Conan are invited to come and cheer him on. Conan, who doesn’t have a passport to be able to travel overseas, begs Ai to give him the antidote so he can be Shinichi for the trip. Even with his pleading, Ai refuses to give in. As Conan is leaving Professor Agasa’s house, he’s kidnapped. The next thing he knows, he awakens inside a suitcase, and his glasses and gear have all been taken from him. When he opens the suitcase and lets himself out, he finds that he’s in Singapore, and that Kaito Kid is posing as Shinichi. Conan learns about the murder and the Fist of Blue Sapphire, a large sapphire that was found in pirate ship that sank during the 19th century, while talking with Kaito Kid.

Kaito Kid has brought Conan to Singapore to help him figure out why someone is framing him for the murder of Sherilyn Tan. Of course, Kaito Kid is also interested in acquiring the Fist of Blue Sapphire, which is on the belt that will be given out to the winner of the karate competition. Conan has to come up with a new identity and cover story in order to hide the fact that he’s in Singapore. He claims to be a local boy named Arthur Hirai, and that his parents have gone overseas and left him alone in Singapore.

Meanwhile, it’s established that Leon wants to get a hold of the Fist of Blue Sapphire for himself. He’s not confident that his champion and bodyguard will be able to beat Makoto during the competition, so Leon uses what he knows about psychology to try to convince Makoto drop out of the competition. After Sonoko is hurt, Makoto blames himself and drops out, which frustrates Sonoko and puts her relationship with Makoto to the test. At the same time, Kaito Kid is trying to get the sapphire, and in the process of the attempted heist, he finds himself being framed for a second murder.

Even though I figured out early on that Leon was a shady character, I was still interested in watching Case Closed: The Fist of Blue Sapphire in order to find out what else was going to happen and how Conan would become involved and solve the case. The film included a few twists, and a twist would usually pop up around the time that I thought that perhaps I might have figured out the truth behind the case. Like with Case Closed: Sunflowers of Inferno, Kaito Kid is brought into the action early on in the story, although it wasn’t in his usual capacity this time around. In fact, we never see Kaito Kid use his typical “calling card” technique during this film, and I think this is due in large part to the fact that he was posing as Shinichi and didn’t have as much freedom to do things as he normally would. I also liked the fact that this time, Kaito Kid wasn’t the villain and that he needed Conan’s help to clear his name as a murderer. While Kaito Kid is a gentleman thief, he would never resort to murder.

With Case Closed: The Fist of Blue Sapphire being set in Singapore, there’s actually quite a bit of dialogue in the original Japanese language version that’s in English. The new main characters in this film, such as Leon, can speak both English and Japanese. However, there are several scenes taking place at the hotel and the surrounding area where background characters are only speaking English. I guess the decision was made that since the area around the hotel would have tourists, that it would make it feel more realistic if the dialogue from the tourists was in English. That’s not something you normally see in either the Case Closed television series or the anime films, so this really stood out to me.

I also liked seeing the relationship between Sonoko and Makoto playing an important part in the story. I’ve seen Makoto a handful of times in the more recent episodes I’ve seen of the Case Closed anime. However, I still haven’t seen how they met, and I assume their meeting took place in one of the episodes that’s in the large chunk of the series that has never been released in North America either on home video or through streaming.

As usual for a Case Closed film, The Fist of Blue Sapphire reaches a very exciting climax, although there were at least a couple of things that happened during it that felt a little unrealistic. Usually, I’m able to exercise my willing suspension of disbelief for the climax scenes of the Case Closed anime films, but seeing Conan running down the side of a building at one point kind of stretched believability.

The animation used in the film is the higher quality I’ve come to expect from the Case Closed anime films. If there was any CG used during it, I didn’t really notice. Either it wasn’t there, or it was done in such a way that it didn’t stand out much from the other elements around it.

I was happy to see another Case Closed film that utilizes Kaito Kid in a major role. In more recent years in the anime series, Kaito Kid’s appearances have been few and far between… much more so than in the earlier years of the series. I like the character of Kaito Kid, and it’s been a little disappointing how little we’ve seen of him in the series over the past few years.

If you’re a fan of the Case Closed anime and haven’t seen Case Closed: The Fist of Blue Sapphire yet, I would recommend it. It’s worth viewing at least once for fans of the franchise.

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