The episode is set during the J League 30th Anniversary Match, and it begins with a skirmish match between kids who won a lottery and some of the players from each team. It just happens that all of the Detective Boys won the lottery and are playing together on the same skirmish team. After the skirmish match is over, the players give the kids pointers on how to be good soccer players.

Later, we see in the stands that Ai is frustrated because the team that Higo, the player she has a crush on, didn’t make it into this match. She makes it quite clear that she had wanted to come onto the field holding Higo’s hand. She’s usually so unemotional, so to see her expressing these feelings was kind of amusing. Just then, Sanada, one of Higo’s teammates, comes up behind them. He’s trying to disguise himself because he’s scouting out the competition, but the kids recognize him, anyway.

The mystery gets going when the group realizes that the seats behind the opposite goal are completely empty. Conan and the others find this odd, because the tickets for this match were sought after and not easy to come by. Ai also sees on a livestream that there’s an argument taking place outside of the gate, which is being caused by ticketholders’ QR codes being rejected as invalid tickets. Conan also notices a man in the stands who’s not watching the game and just keeps looking at his watch, and they all find this man to be acting suspiciously. Conan sends a picture of the man to Detective Takagi, and through facial recognition software, determine he is a terrorist who recently got out of prison after serving time for one of his crimes.

Conan and Takada team up to try to figure out what the terrorist’s plan is. Thanks to observations made by the Detective Boys in the arena, as well as information Ai gathers, they realize that the plan is to assassinate someone, and the target is a bit of a surprise. But thanks to help from Conan, Detectives Takagi and Sato are able to help protect the intended victim. But it’s also thanks to Conan and Takada that the plot is foiled as well. I also liked seeing how the advice the players gave after the skirmish match came into play during the episode when Ai started getting frustrated when she was trying to figure out who the assassination target could be.

Does Detective Conan have some kind of arrangement or deal with the J League? I only ponder on this, since this isn’t the first episode to focus on the J League. I know of at least one other that aired back in 2018. At least with this story, the J League wasn’t overshadowing the mystery, which is better than the previous episode about the J League. From what I found online, it appears this year does indeed mark the 30th anniversary of the J League kicking off its first official season, so that’s accurate. What I find fascinating, though, is discovering that the two teams depicted as playing the match in this episode are the exact same teams that played a match in Japan on the day that this episode aired there.

In the end, this was a decent episode, and I thought it was better than the previous episode that featured the J League. Next week’s episode is another single episode story, and I really didn’t have any thoughts on it either way after watching the preview.

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