Case Closed: Episode 961 – "The Glamping Mystery"

This week’s episode is a stand alone episode, and it shows Ran, Conan, and Sonoko going “glamping.” What is “glamping,” you may ask? It’s basically “glamorous camping,” where beds and other amenities are provided by the campground in fancy “tents” (they aren’t what we would normally think of as tents, but I’m not sure how else to describe them). Anyway, this is basically the only way I could see a pampered princess like Sonoko agree to go camping. I can’t see her truly “roughing it.”

That night, Conan and the others hear a scream coming from a nearby “tent.” They see a woman by the body of a man wearing a wig and women’s clothing, a crab leg coming out of his mouth, scribbles on his face, and a note in his hand. Two other people arrive on the scene as well. The three people are the man’s wife and friend (who are the two who came after the scream), and a makeup artist that the man knows. The man is the president of a company, and had met the makeup artist during a photo shoot.

As usual, Conan instructs Ran to call an ambulance and the police. I’m sure she has those numbers on speed dial by now. As she’s making her calls, Conan determines that the victim is dead. Before the police arrive, Conan, Ran, and Sonoko hear from the three potential suspects about what led up to the scream that they heard. The wife discovered her husband’s body in their “tent,” and thinking that she’ll be found guilty, drags the body to the friend’s tent (the friend is a cook). She finds a crab leg in his freezer and sticks it in her husband’s mouth to frame the friend. When the friend finds the body, he drags the body to the makeup artist’s “tent” and uses her makeup to draw the scribbles on the victim’s face. When the makeup artist finds the body, she writes a note to frame the wife, and tries dragging the body back to their “tent.” But the body was too heavy, so she screamed. Oh, these are such “wonderful” people. Manhandling a dead body and trying to frame other people.

When the police arrive, it’s revealed that the victim is allergic to crab and gets anaphylactic shock, which is an often life-threatening reaction. After piecing some things together, Conan figures out who the guilty party is, and uses his stun gun watch on Sonoko so he can use the voice-changing bowtie to make his revelation and solve the mystery.

One thing I did like seeing was how, after the two who didn’t kill the victim let out a sigh of relief, Megure sternly tells them that they have to answer for abandoning a dead body. Good. I’m glad to see that they’ll have to answer for that behavior.

Like Conan (as Sonoko) says as the truth is about to be revealed, this was ultimately supposed to be a standard murder, but the three suspects had to go around muddying things up with all the stunts they pulled with the body.

In the end, this wasn’t a bad episode, but it wasn’t a standout one, either. It was pretty standard Case Closed fare.

But, there was one burning question that was never answered during this episode: why was the victim in women’s clothing and wearing a wig? This was one of things that was pointed out about the victim when Conan and the others first found the body, in addition to the crab leg, scribbles, and the note. The other three unusual things were addressed, but not this. It’s one of those things where, if it wasn’t important to the story, why even include it? Or if you are going to include a detail like this, make sure you explain it.

Case Closed: Episode 960 – “Miss Lonely and the Detective Boys”

As the title suggests, this episode focuses on the Detective Boys being part of a mystery.

At the beginning of the episode, the kids are playing soccer in the park. They run into a woman sitting at a park bench, with drinks set out for two… but she’s the only one there. Mitsuhide, Genta, and Ayumi decide to ask her what she’s doing, much to the chagrin of Conan and Ai. It turns out she’s recently widowed.

They end up befriending the woman, and she takes them to a botanical garden. Ayumi becomes lost and after a call is put out at the information center, a man brings Ayumi over. The man is the president of a men’s cosmetics company, and the woman works hard at charming this guy. To me, this jut felt kind of awkward, especially when we see a few days later that she’s changed her appearance to match the guy’s likes. She also makes sure to make a picnic lunch full of food that he enjoys. Not only that, but she’s always inviting the Detective Boys along on these dates. Unfortunately, the kids don’t really pick up on how awkward this is. Conan and Ai probably do, though, but just don’t say anything.

Then, we see Professor Agasa accompanying the kids to the woman’s house, since she has invited them over. The man is there, too, and just as they reach where he is, they hear a phone, and then the man trips and falls to his death. The true mystery begins.

As a viewer, I knew that the woman had done something suspicious from the way she had been acting throughout the episode prior to this. It was more learning from Conan how exactly she pulled this off. After this revelation, Genta discovers something in the house that shows that this woman is truly off her rocker. And in the end, we learn how she pulled this off, but we never truly learn a motive for why.

While this may not have been as bad as some of the episodes featuring the Detective Boys, it’s still not a great episode. The way the Detective Boys get involved in the story feels awkward and forced, and I don’t really feel there was much of a payoff for the viewer at the end.

Unfortunately, after watching the preview for the next episode, it’s not looking promising. Maybe the episode will turn out to be better than what the preview makes it out to be.

Case Closed: Episode 959 – “The Poodle and the Shotgun (Part Two)”

The episode opened with what I would consider a relatively short recap for a Case Closed multiple part episode. However, this shorter recap still got across the main points from the previous episode. Anyone who missed the previous episode would have enough information to figure out what’s going on.

As we saw at the end of the previous episode, Anna’s boyfriend Hyodo was murdered, and the police are now investigating this murder in addition to Anna’s. The other three people from Anna’s company who were at the party in the previous episode are called back in.

Shortly before the halfway point, Anna’s poodle Sally brings Conan the final piece of evidence he needs to piece together the truth behind both Anna’s murder and Hyodo’s murder. As usual, Conan uses his watch to stun Kogoro and reveal the truth.

I had figured out who had murdered Hyodo before the revelation, because I could tell by the silhouette figure that was used to depict the person killing him. But all of the other things that were revealed during this sequence I hadn’t even come close to guessing.

There were definitely twists to this case that I hadn’t expected. And that’s a good thing for a mystery story.

Oh, and it was nice to see that the poodle did play an important role in the story in the end, since Sally was referenced in the title.

Unfortunately, after seeing the preview for next week’s episode, I’m not terribly excited for it. It’s a story featuring the Detective Boys, and nine times out of ten, those tend to not be very strong episodes. While the occasional Detective Boys-centric story can be decent, most are just not enjoyable. Hopefully the story next week will be better than the last Detective Boys one featuring the “bug people.”

Case Closed: Episode 958 – “The Poodle and the Shotgun (Part One)”

The episode opens with Kogoro, Ran, and Conan arriving for a birthday party for a young and successful businesswoman named Anna. Just as they arrive, a masked person arrives and shoots Anna with a shotgun. Unfortunately, Anna passes away, and the police are called in for a murder investigation.

As the police begin their investigation, they find Anna’s secretary inside a locker. He had been hit over the head, had his hands tied and his mouth covered with tape, and then was stuffed into the locker. During the investigation, it’s revealed that the vice president of the company owns a shotgun, but that it had been stolen recently. He insists he filed a police report on the robbery.

The police learn about Anna’s ex-boyfriend, who turned out to be a conman. When others insist that Hyodo (the ex-boyfriend) had to be responsible, Kogoro suddenly gets pissed and runs off, with Takagi chasing after him. Then, we suddenly cut to Kogoro tackling Hyodo. But I was really confused by this, because there had been nothing to indicate that Hyodo was nearby. How did Kogoro know where he was? This was definitely one of the biggest issues with this episode. If Hyodo had been shown skulking around nearby, then this would have made a lot more sense.

Kogoro keeps insisting that Hyodo is guilty without evidence. Hyodo gives an alibi, which appears to be confirmed by a pet camera that Anna had installed in her apartment to keep an eye on her poodle, Sally. Oh, and it was mentioned earlier in the episode that Anna usually took Sally with her everywhere, so it was surprising not to see Sally at the party. I have a feeling this fact is going to prove important, more than just the fact that there was a pet camera in the apartment. Kogoro, with some help from Conan, keeps coming up with ways that Hyodo’s alibi doesn’t work 100%, but facts that had been kept hidden come out which disprove Kogoro’s assertions.

After the ending credits, there is a final scene that shows someone coming up behind Hyodo and hitting him over the head with a shotgun. I think it’s pretty clear that somehow, Hyodo is the one who murdered Anna, but that there’s still something else going on here now that Hyodo has been targeted. It’s going to be interesting to watch the next episode and see how all of this comes together to solve the mystery of Anna’s murder.

Case Closed: Episode 957 – “The Mystery-Solving Water Taxi (Part Two)”

The episode opened with a recap that perfectly recounted the facts that were presented during the previous episode. I thought it worked as a great refresher to remind the audience of what happened in the previous week’s episode.

When the story continues, Conan and Kogoro go to the restaurant that served as the alibi for the former student of the woman whose son was murdered at the beginning of the previous and episode (and then she died in a fire in her house at the end of last episode). Conan discovers something fishy in the security footage, and he and Kogoro piece something together. However, they technically still don’t have any concrete evidence. But even so, Kogoro decides to confront the former student again, thinking he’ll simply confess if they point out what they discovered about his alibi. Oh, Kogoro. *facepalm*

When Kogoro and Conan confront the former student as he’s leaving work for the day, the student gets onto a nearby water taxi, thinking he’ll get away from Kogoro and Conan. Unfortunately for him, they also get on and start talking with him.

Most of the rest of the episode is set on the water taxi. While there’s really not a lot of ways to have action in this kind of setting, the discussions they have and the flashbacks are interesting enough that it makes the viewer forget that the characters are on a water taxi and are limited in what they can do. When you think about it, characters simply talking sounds like boring viewing, but the director found a way to make this work. I think the fact that the case itself was riveting, especially with the twists and turns from the previous episode, helped to make what would have otherwise been a boring episode much more interesting to watch.

When it comes to my thoughts from last week, I was on the right track on one idea I had, but still wasn’t entirely correct. I had also suspected something was off with the teacher’s older son, especially in regards to his temper.

But the ending of the episode was a little on the heartbreaking side, though. I’m not going to say why in order to avoid providing spoilers, but this was definitely a heartbreaking ending that Case Closed has been good at doing over the years.

Case Closed: Episode 956 – “The Mystery-Solving Water Taxi (Part One)”

The episode begins with Inspector Megure and the police investigating a murder. Kogoro and Conan happen to be in the area, so they jump right in and help with the investigation. What’s interesting here is that over the course of the entire episode, Kogoro and Conan are essentially observers. You expect that out of Kogoro, but surprisingly, Conan didn’t come up with any deductions yet. Of course, that might be due to the fact that it seems that both of the prime suspects in this murder case appear to have an alibi.

OK, so let’s set up the story. The murder victim is a young man with a bad reputation in his neighborhood with a penchant for drinking. He has a brother who is a government employee, and the two of them live with their mother (their father died five years earlier). The mother was seen with a lot of injuries, so rumors were going around that the delinquent son was abusing her. Both the mother and the brother deny that there was any domestic violence going on. The police decide that the older brother is the prime suspect, and take him down to the station to be questioned. However, by the time they finish interviewing him, the older brother’s alibi is confirmed by two different people. The police let him go, but the brother huffs about never forgetting the humiliation he endured by the police for being treated as a murder suspect. He definitely came across as someone with a bit of a temper, if not an attitude problem.

It’s also revealed that a well-built man in his 30’s has been asking around the neighborhood about the family. The police get security footage of him and take it to the mother and brother. The mother knows that the man is a former student of hers from when she taught at an elementary school. She said he was a rowdy kid, but insists he was a good kid with a heart of gold. Like she did with her son, she is also adamant that this former student wasn’t capable of murdering someone. Apparently, the mother and the student had encountered each other about a week or so earlier. She starts to say at the hospital, but quickly changes from “hospital” to “in town.” The mother was obviously trying to hide something, but it appears that neither the police nor Conan noticed, since this was never mentioned.

The police go to question the former student, and he’s not the least bit surprised that they have come to see him. His reaction to the murder of his former teacher’s son was on the unnatural side as well. But, it turns out the police can confirm that alibi that the student gave them. Just as they do, Megure receives a call that a fire has broken out at the home of the murder victim’s family.

Megure and the others rush to the scene, where the murder victim’s brother is being treated for minor injuries. It’s revealed that his mother died in the fire. The former student had come with the police, and his reaction to the situation was also rather unnatural.

The episode ends with Conan trying to figure out how these two cases may be connected. He can’t believe that both of these incidents happening to so close together could be a coincidence.

Now, *THIS* is the type of story I expect from Case Closed, not the horrible “insect man” story from a couple of weeks ago. When it comes to solving the mystery, I have a couple of ideas, but I have a feeling they’re all wrong. I’m looking forward to seeing next week’s episode to see how Conan pieces things together and how the mystery falls into place. As it is now, it seems we’re missing some important information, which is why no one, not even Conan, can come up with any real theory of what happened for both the murder and the fire.

Case Closed: Episode 955 – “The Secret of the Insect Man”

When I saw the preview for this episode a couple of weeks ago, I feared that it wasn’t going to be a good episode. However, now that I’ve seen it, the episode was even worse than I feared.

The Detective Boys, minus Ai, go to Kurunoso. Genta is dressed like a bug catcher, and the others ask why he’s dressed like that yet is carrying a huge net. Uh… why didn’t Mitsuhide or one of the others ask while they were on the train there or even when they first boarded the train?

It turns out that Genta has heard about an Insect Man Ranch and wants to catch an Insect Man. Again, why hadn’t the kids asked to details about why they were going to Kurunoso before getting there? Kids are naturally inquisitive, so you’d think they would have asked these questions sooner.

When they hear a strange noise, Genta thinks it’s the cry of an Insect Man. What they find is excavation equipment at the shrine. Adults glare at them, and they run off. When they get into the village, they find a teenager in a bug costume. The teenager, along with his younger sibling, tell the story of what’s going on through a picture presentation (i.e. pictures drawn by the kids). It’s an odd story, having to do with the mayor and some kind of treasure being in the forest surrounding the shrine. Conan decides to go off on his own to investigate.

When Conan goes around the village, he finds that all of the adults are gone, and their kids are running their various businesses. When he talks to the teenager at the clinic, she acknowledges patient confidentiality, but says she could be persuaded to tell him if she can give him a checkup. Sure enough, she spills the beans about the mayor who is central to the backstory, with her examination consisting of putting a stethoscope on Conan’s forehead. After that, he goes to the main building in town, and the kid there just lets Conan looks at a book that was put together by a teacher documenting the history of the town. With what he puts together, he realizes that the treasure doesn’t exist and that this was some kind of scheme put together by the mayor.

We then see that the other Detective Boys put on insect costumes and were dumb enough to wander into the forest where the adults are working. When they’re surrounded by the town’s adults, they are accused of trying to steal the treasure. Between how they treated the Detective Boys, and the fact that all of these parents and adults left their children to run the village themselves while they were off chasing treasure, they came across as major assholes. And, wow, all of the adults were actually gullible enough to fall for the fake treasure? You mean there wasn’t a single one of them who thought to look through the town’s history to confirm the existence of the treasure?

And you know how this ends? Conan tells the adults about the treasure not being in the history book and how the mayor really died and his motive for the treasure map, and they simply believe him. That just felt so unrealistic. These adults simply go from accusing Conan and the kids of lying to just believing him because he said a couple of things.

Honestly, the only thing I enjoyed about this episode was picking up on a couple of One Piece references. The straw hat Genta wears at the beginning of the episode bears a very strong resemblance to Luffy’s. And later, when Conan encounters a kid working on his cicada impersonation and Conan says he’s doing a good job, the kid breaks out into the laugh that young Nice Robin learned from Saul on Ohara. Outside of that, the episode was simply garbage. Ai should feel grateful that she was excluded from this trainwreck of an episode.

I now dub thee The. Worst. Episode. Of. Case. Closed. That. I Have. Ever. Personally. Seen.