Anime Blu-ray Review: Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter

Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter is the 21st film released for the Case Closed franchise, which was released to Japanese theaters in 2017.

Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter
English Publisher: Discotek Media
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: December 29, 2020

The focus of this film is on karuta, a Japanese card game where players have to quickly determine which card out of an array of cards is required and grabbing it before another player does. While there isn’t a lot of focus on the mechanics of playing karuta, I was still glad to have seen the first two seasons of Chihayafuru before watching this film. This gave me some knowledge about the game before going into this film, and I think it helped me to better appreciate and understand the karuta aspects in the film.

Kogoro is in Kyoto for an interview that includes the man behind the Satsuki Cup and the Satsuki school for karuta. He is accompanied by Ran, Conan, Ayumi, Mitsuhiko, and Genta. Ai decides to stay at home with Professor Agasa, and this fact becomes important when Conan needs help solving the mysteries that present themselves during this film. They are joined by Heiji and Kazuha, who are there to cheer on their classmate from the karuta club who is playing in a tournament against the current Queen (the best female karuta player in Japan). Although I question the inclusion of Ayumi, Mitsuhiko, and Genta. They really aren’t pivotal to the story and just seem to just be “there.” Honestly, I think this story could have worked without having these three characters being brought along for the ride.

When Heiji and Kazuha run into Momiji Ooka, the current Queen, Momiji says she’s happy to see her future husband. I realized that I recognized this character from some of the later episodes of the Case Closed anime that I’ve seen. It was an “a-ha!” moment to realize that this film serves as Momiji’s introduction into the series. Since I hadn’t seen this film prior to seeing Momiji in some of the episodes, I had assumed that Momiji was a weird rich girl who was stalking Heiji for some reason. When Heiji and Kazuha’s friend breaks her arm during one of the bombings, Kazuha goes into the karuta competitions in her friend’s stead, which leads to a subplot between Kazuha and Momiji. Through this subplot, we learn that Heiji’s mother is a former Queen. I thought this was an interesting fact to learn.

There are ultimately two mysteries involved in this story: who murdered a karuta champion and who is setting off bombs trying to kill particular karuta players. It was interesting to watch this story unfold, even if the scene on the roof of the television studio where Conan makes a rescue attempt to help Heiji and Kazuha came across as a little unrealistic. It was one of those scenes where you have to use your “willing suspension of disbelief” in order to accept that it was happening.

When all is said and done, I enjoyed Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter. It’s ultimately one of the more important films in the franchise, since it introduces a recurring character who appears off and on in the anime series. Without seeing Momiji’s introduction here, her appearances in the anime series don’t make sense, and you get a very different perception of the character without this introduction.

When it comes to the Blu-ray release, it has 1.77.1 16:9 / 1080p High Definition video. The audio includes English DTS-MA 5.1, Japanese DTS-MA 5.1, and Japanese LPCM 2.0. I had no complaints with either the video or audio quality for this release.

For bonus features, there was a clean ending, a teaser for the film, and two trailers for the film. I was glad to see that there were some kind of bonus features included on this release. Considering how hard it’s been to get anyone to release Case Closed in the west after FUNimation Entertainment lost the rights, I have a hard time nitpicking these Case Closed releases for their bonus features. I feel grateful to be getting any of these releases at all at this point.

It should also be noted that the outer slipcase labels the release as Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter, but the cover artwork on the Blu-ray box itself and the Blu-ray Disc labels the film as Detective Conan: The Crimson Love Letter.

If you’re a fan of the Case Closed anime and are trying to acquire home video releases for the series, I would recommend acquiring this release of Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter for your anime library.

Additional posts about Case Closed:

Anime Film Review: Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter

Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter is the 21st anime film released for the franchise.

Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter
Directed by: Kobun Shizuno
Written by: Takahiro Okura
Starring: Kappei Yamaguchi, Minami Takayama, Wakana Yamazaki, Rikiya Koyama, Ryo Horikawa, Yuko Miyamura, Megumi Hayashibara, Yukiko Iwai, Ikue Otani, Wataru Takagi, Kazuhiro Yamaji, Masako Katsuki, Naoko Matsui, Masaki Terasoma, Satsuki Yukino, Daisuke Ono, Kenichi Ogata, Daisuke Miyagawa, and Riho Yoshioka
Run Time: 112 minutes

The focus of this film is on karuta, a Japanese card game where players have to quickly determine which card out of an array of cards is required and grabbing it before another player does. Fortunately, I had seen the first two seasons of the Chihayafuru anime before watching Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter, so I already had some knowledge about karuta going into it. Because of this, I think I was better able to appreciate and understand the karuta aspects that are brought up in this film.

At the beginning of the film, the reigning champion of the Satsuki Cup is murdered while he is practicing karuta, and the cards that are spread around the room provide an important clue. But the murder isn’t the only mystery that takes place in this film.

Meanwhile, Kogoro is in Kyoto for an interview that includes the man behind the Satsuki Cup and the Satsuki school for karuta. He is accompanied by Ran, Conan, Ayumi, Mitsuhiko, and Genta. Ai decides to stay at home with Professor Agasa, and this fact becomes important when Conan needs help solving the mysteries that present themselves during this film. They are joined by Heiji and Kazuha, who are there to cheer on their classmate from the karuta club who is playing in a tournament against the current Queen (the best female karuta player in Japan).

Things get interesting when Hattori and Kazuha run into Momiji Ooka, the current Queen. She recognizes Heiji and says she’s happy to see her future husband. Hattori has no idea who this girl is, but of course, Kazuha becomes upset by this ordeal. As soon as I saw Momiji, I realized that I know her from some of the more recent episodes of Case Closed. I had an “a-ha!” moment here, when I realized that The Crimson Love Letter is Momiji’s introduction to the series. Since I hadn’t seen this film before encountering her in the anime series, I just thought Momiji was this weird rich girl who was stalking Heiji for some reason. It turns out they met in elementary school, when Heiji entered a karuta contest and won. Momiji has the belief that the two made a promise to marry someday, which is why she believes Heiji is her future husband.

The next mystery is revealed when a bomb threat is relayed to the television station where the characters are getting ready for the karuta match and the interview. Most of the characters evacuate in time, but Heiji, Kazuha, and their friend from school are trapped when the karuta player decides to save the special karuta cards that were brought to the studio for the match. After Heiji and Kazuha are separated from their friend, there’s an exciting scene of them trying to make it to the roof in the hopes of getting out of the smoke. It’s up to Conan to use his solar powered skateboard to rescue them. The excitement is amplified when Conan himself ends up in danger during the rescue attempt. I have to say that while this was exciting to watch, there were portions of it that felt unrealistic. I think in order to truly enjoy this rescue scene, you have to be able to use your “willing suspension of disbelief.”

Heiji and Kazuha’s friend breaks her arm during the incident, and Kazuha has to take her place in the upcoming Satsuki Cup match. Heiji calls in his mother, who is a former Queen, to help Kazuha train before the big match.

But there’s still another bomb to be dealt with, this time on a car being driven by one of the members of the Satsuki school. Conan and Heiji help to investigate both the murder and the bombings, and through various clues discover that a former rival of the Satsuki school could be behind the incidents. The story builds in intensity and leads up to the karuta competition for the Satsuki Cup, as well as revealing the truth behind the murder and the bombings. The truth behind Heiji and Momiji’s promise is also revealed, and it is quite amusing. Considering how intense this mystery gets, it was nice to get such a light-hearted scene at the end.

When I heard the karuta readers in this film, I thought they sounded an awful lot like the karuta readers in Chihayafuru. As I recall, Chihayafuru used real and certified karuta readers for those scenes, so those same readers could have been approached for Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter in order to help add a layer of authenticity to the karuta that’s depicted in the film.

The one thing I’m still puzzled by is the inclusion of Ayumi, Mitsuhide, and Genta. Yes, they wanted to see Kyoto, but when it comes to the actual plot, they really don’t do anything important. They basically just tag along with Ran or are just kind of “there.” Quite frankly, I think the story could have worked just as well without their involvement.

I thought the animation looked very nice for this film. Even though I found the rescue scene on the unrealistic side, I was still impressed by the animation that was used for this scene. I could just see and feel the danger of the flames and smoke on the roof of the building. And I thought that the animation worked well for the karuta match scenes.

But when all is said and done, even with the nitpicks I had with Case Closed: The Crimson Love Letter, I still enjoyed it. It’s ultimately one of the more important films in the franchise, since it introduces a recurring character who appears off and on in the anime series. Without seeing Momiji’s introduction here, her appearances in the anime series don’t make sense, and you get a very different perception of the character without this introduction. It’s definitely worth seeing if you’re a fan of the Case Closed franchise.

Additional posts about Case Closed:

Case Closed: Episode 1002 – “The Beika City Shopping Center Garbage Bin Mystery”

I’m going to start this by saying that the opening theme for this episode is the same opening theme that was used for the remake of “The Moonlight Sonata Mystery.” In the spoken opening for the new opening, Conan makes a comment about solving 1,000 mysteries or something along those lines. So the lines in the opening song that have to do with 1,000 and “congratulations” still make some sense, I guess. I think it’s safe to say this will be the new theme song for a little while.

This episode serves as a lead-in to The Scarlet Bullet, the film that was released to Japanese theaters on April 16, 2021.

The World Sports Games will be hosted in Tokyo, and everyone is getting ready for the event. Conan’s class is cleaning up garbage, while Ran’s class is brainstorming potential ideas for the visitors coming for the event. Most of the emphasis is put on the garbage aspect, though.

While Conan and the Detective Boys are cleaning up garbage in the business district, Ayumi comes across a cat. Their teacher recognizes the cat as belonging to a woman in the area who regularly came by and cleaned up garbage. The cat’s owner is currently in the hospital, so they think that cat has come out there to look for its owner. They discover that there’s one area where there used to be a garbage bin, but it’s gone and there’s garbage just sitting where the bin used to be. It turns out the bin has been removed due to arguing between the eateries and the non-eateries in the district. The non-eateries are blaming the eateries for encouraging their patrons to eat while they walk, which leads to garbage being thrown everywhere. The non-eateries are demanding that the eateries install additional garbage bins.

The Detective Boys take it upon themselves to find out who is throwing the garbage where the bin used to be. Ai sets up a camera to try to catch the culprit. I’m going to be honest here and say that after some information that was revealed in the episode, I already knew who the culprit was before it was revealed. But thanks to this revelation, the feud between the eateries and the non-eateries are resolved. This, along with the idea that Ran’s class came up with that is being implemented for the upcoming World Sports Games.

We also see Subaru (aka the FBI agent named Shuichi Akai). It’s thanks to an encounter Ran, Sonoko, and Conan have with him that leads to Ran’s idea that her class submits for the World Sports Games. However, we saw hints of Subaru around earlier in the episode. There are a couple of times when characters feel someone watching them (one is Ai, the other is Sera). It’s dark for Sera’s scene, so we have no idea who’s watching her. However, when Ai turns around to try to determine who’s watching her, we see Subaru (with his back turned toward the camera). This mystery is never answered in this episode, and I don’t know if it’s going to be addressed in The Scarlet Bullet (since I haven’t seen it).

Overall, the episode isn’t bad for one that serves as a lead-in to a film. While the main mystery of who was littering the location where the bin had been was easy to figure out, I think I was a little more forgiving about this because I knew this episode is here to lead into something bigger.

Additional posts about Case Closed:

Crunchyroll Announces Simulcasts for the Spring 2021 Anime Season

Crunchyroll has announced that it will simulcast the following anime for the Spring 2021 anime season:

  • My Hero Academia Season 5
  • Tokyo Revengers
  • To Your Eternity
  • Zombie Land Saga Revenge
  • The Slime Diaries (The Slime Diaries: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)
  • Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood
  • Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro
  • Fruits Basket the Final Season
  • Osamake: Romcom Where The Childhood Friend Won’t Lose (Osananajimi ga Zettai ni Makenai Love Come)
  • Farewell, My Dear Cramer
  • Odd Taxi
  • I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
  • Those Snow White Notes
  • Cardfight!! Vanguard overDress
  • Fairy Ranmaru (Fairy Ranmaru ~Anata no Kokoro O-tasukeshimasu~)
  • Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway (Hige o Soru. Soshite Joshi Kōsei o Hirou.)
  • How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Ω
  • Koikimo (Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui)

The following anime are continuing simulcasts:

  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
  • Case Closed
  • Digimon Adventure:
  • Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai
  • Kiyo in Kyoto: From the Maiko House
  • Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure
  • One Piece
  • So I’m a Spider, So What?

Source: ANN

Case Closed: Episode 1001 – “The Moonlight Sonata Murder (Part Two)”

The episode opens exactly where the previous episode ended, before launching into the opening credits. We hear the same opening song as we did in the previous episode, and the initial footage starts out the same. However, most of the footage in the opening credits for this episode actually came from the previous one. In a way, this kind of allowed the opening credits to serve as a “recap” of last week’s episode.

At the scene of the current mayor’s murder, it’s discovered that “sheet music” has been written in blood on the floor. By looking at this, as well as the sheet music left at the first murder scene in the previous episode, Conan realizes that there’s a code there. With some help from Ran, Conan figures out what the code means and can decipher what each one says. Figuring out this code is important, because it ultimately helps Conan crack the case.

When the elderly police officer mentions that there’s sheet music that survived the fire 12 years earlier because it was stored in a special safe and that he put it in a safe in the community center, it looked like he was actually going to be helpful. Conan goes with him, and he does reveal some important information on their walk to the police substation when they go to retrieve the key. However, when they get to the police substation, it takes the officer over an hour to find the key to the safe.

Unfortunately, this delay allows a couple of events to occur. When the officer and Conan go to open the safe at the community center, they find Nishimoto hanging from the ceiling. Sheet music was left at the scene, and the code tries to make it look like a suicide note. However, Conan correctly surmises that there was no way for Nishimoto to hang himself without something to step on… and there’s nothing under his feet. But at the same time this is discovered, Conan is checking out a strange noise he heard in the piano room. He sees a shadowy figure jump out of the window, and that Murasawa is lying on the floor, unconscious.

Once the officer finally gets the safe open and finds the sheet music from Aso Keiji’s home, Conan looks at the code written on the sheet music and pieces everything together. He knocks Kogoro out, and uses the broadcast room to announce to everyone what he figured out. It turns out the murderer is someone with a connection to Aso Keiji, and that this person is on the island under a fake identity. Just like in the original, the culprit meets a tragic end, and it’s through this experience that Conan vows to never let another culprit die ever again.

After watching both parts of the remake of this story, I have to say that I am very happy with how this turned out. The story was the same, but the animation is done in the current style, which obviously gives it a different look from the original. The main difference is that a different opening theme song is used for this remake. My main question, though, is whether this opening theme will only appear in this two-part remake, or if it’s going to appear on future episodes of Case Closed. There was no preview for the next episode at the end of this one, which is usually a sign that there won’t be a new episode next week. Looking at the fact we’re coming up on the last couple of weeks of March, I’m expecting that there may be a two-week break before getting more episodes of Case Closed. We’ll just have to wait and see in order to find out when we can expect to see new episodes of the series and how those episodes will continue to progress the story and the characters.

But hitting 1,000 episodes is a major milestone for any series, whether it’s animation or live-action. Congratulations on hitting this milestone, Case Closed, and I can’t wait to see where this series goes in the future!

Additional posts about Case Closed:

Case Closed: Episode 1000 – “The Moonlight Sonata Murder (Part One)”

To celebrate hitting the 1,000 episode milestone, the classic Case Closed one-hour special, “The Moonlight Sonata Murder,” has been remade into a two-part episode.

The first difference I noticed was the fact that one of the first scenes of the original story, when Kogoro, Ran, and Conan are on the ferry and talking about the letter written with newspaper letting Kogoro got, is now being used for the opening credits of this episode. Since the music is playing, we don’t get to hear the dialogue that goes with this scene. However, there is a shot of the note, and subtitles are provided for it, so this glance at the note lets the audience know a little bit about what’s going on. The song that’s playing as the opening theme for this episode seems to have to do with Case Closed hitting 1,000 episodes (in the subtitles for the opening song, I saw the number 1,000 show up a couple of times, and the song ends with the word “Congratulations”).

The episode actually begins with the three of them arriving at Moonshade Island. When they go to the village office, they find out that Keiji Aso, the man who sent the letter hiring Kogoro for a case, passed away more than 10 years earlier. They are also told the tragic story of what happened the night Keiji, a famous pianist from the island, passed away (which includes him playing “Moonlight Sonata” as he burned down his home). After hearing this, Kogoro thinks he’s the victim of a prank, but Conan points out that someone paid his retainer fee. Conan deduces that someone on the island wants Kogoro to investigate Keiji Aso.

The three meet Dr. Narumi, a doctor who moved to the island two years earlier. As they’re talking, one of the candidates running for mayor comes through with a campaign pitch, and this mayoral race plays a factor in this story. Through the doctor, the three learn that a previous mayor died two years ago, and how “Moonlight Sonata” factored into that death. A memorial service to recognize the anniversary of that mayor’s death is being held that evening, and, if you couldn’t guess, a murder that includes a connection with “Moonlight Sonata” happens during the service. The victim is one of the candidates running for mayor. At this point, Kogoro jumps in and gets involved, and of course, Conan figures some things out. It’s actually surprising that Kogoro found the tape recorder in the piano that had a recording of “Moonlight Sonata” on it.

I was kind of surprised, but not disappointed by, the fact that this remake didn’t try to find a way to modernize this aspect of the story. It could be that the blank space at the beginning of the tape is an important part of how the murder was committed, which would have made it harder to update the technology from a tape recorder to an MP3 player. And as of yet, I haven’t seen someone whip out a cell phone in this version of “The Moonlight Sonata Murder.” That could change in Part Two, but I have my doubts that it will.

The memorial service scene helps to establish potential culprits, which includes the man currently serving as the island’s mayor, as well as a man whose description when it comes up on the screen says he is currently unemployed.

When it comes to police presence on the island, there doesn’t seem to be much of one. They find an older gentleman who doesn’t seem to understand about not disturbing a crime scene. At least Inspector Megure makes it to the island the next day, which allows someone competent (outside of Conan) to finally become involved with the murder investigation.

While the various people who were at the memorial service are being questioned, they hear the second movement of “Moonlight Sonata,” and discover that the current mayor has been murdered. Conan becomes pissed off, because after getting the initial note that brought them to the island, two more people have died. He’s especially frustrated with this second murder, because he had figured out the true meaning of the note after the first murder yet was still unable to prevent someone else from dying.

When it comes to this remake, the animation quality is obviously different. It utilizes the modern animation style for Case Closed, which looks nothing like the style used in the early episodes of the series. Outside of the original first scene being used as the animation for the opening credits instead of being its own scene like in the original, I really didn’t notice any other deviations from the original version of “The Moonlight Sonata Murder.” If there were any differences, they were subtle.

I was happy to see that “The Moonlight Sonata Murder” was the classic episode that was chosen to be remade to celebrate Case Closed hitting the 1,000th episode milestone. It was one of the cases that made a strong impression on me when I first watched Case Closed, and it’s still among my favorite stories from the series. And from what I’ve seen so far, this remake has done a great job presenting this story to the audience again (or presenting the story for the first time for newer viewers of the franchise who have not seen the earlier episodes).

I’m looking forward to next week, so I can see the conclusion of this remake of “The Moonlight Sonata Murder.”

Additional posts about Case Closed:

Case Closed: Episode 999 – “Troublesome Kindness”

The episode sees Kogoro, Ran, and Conan eating out at a restaurant. Nearby, Conan overhears a man bragging to his companion about a couple of strange things that happened and how he called the police on suspicious people. But both times, the man made assumptions about what he was seeing and called the police on innocent people. We see that for the second man he did this to, this caused him to lose his job. The man telling the story brags about how good of a person he is and the kindness that he does. A nearby patron wearing a hoodie reacts to both of the stories the man tells but tries to conceal this. Conan, however, has been eavesdropping on the situation and notices the other patron’s reactions.

When the bragging customer leaves to go to the bathroom, we see the man in the hoodie get up shortly afterward. We then cut to the man in the hoodie going inside the bathroom and grabbing a couple of things from a utility closet. When the other man comes out of the bathroom, we see him attack the man with a broom and place toilet paper in the hand dryer. It seems to be rather cut and dried, but considering how early in the episode this was, I knew there had to be a catch of some kind, since there has to be a mystery here.

A little while later, the bragging man’s companion is heard shouting, and they find him sitting outside the bathroom and pointing at the other man’s body inside. As usual, Ran is instructed to call an ambulance and the police before Kogoro discovers that the victim is already dead. But Conan notices something unusual both when they first run up to the scene and in the bathroom. Naturally, these two things Conan noticed end up being important clues to the mystery.

It’s really hard for me to go into too much more detail because anything else I say will spoil the mystery. But what I will say is that there is a twist here, yet I was kind of confused on how this twist worked. I felt like there was an explanation that wasn’t blatantly given, that the audience had to make an assumption.

In the end, this was a decent episode of Case Closed, even if the twist presented for the case confused me a little. I’m looking forward to the next episode, which is Episode 1,000… a major milestone that will be marked with a two-part remake of “The Moonlight Sonata Case.” I’m looking forward to seeing the next two episodes, since the original “Moonlight Sonata Case” story is among my favorite Case Closed stories of all time.

Additional posts about Case Closed:

Anime Blu-ray Review: Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small

Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small was a television special for the 20th anniversary of the Case Closed (aka Detective Conan) anime. The special, which aired on Japanese television in 2016, is a re-telling of the first episode and part of the second episode of the anime series.

Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small
English Publisher: Discotek Media
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: July 28, 2020

With a 94-minute runtime, additional scenes were added to expand out the story. To me, the new scenes helped to flesh out the story and add more detail that wasn’t available to the viewer originally. These new scenes include Sherry doing an experiment on the poison that becomes important in the story, another scene of Black Organization members Gin and Vodka to help establish them as characters before they appear at Tropical Land, and a scene at Sonoko’s house that helps to explain the murder at the party that opened the original series.

Another thing I appreciated was the references to characters who didn’t exist originally in the story but came about later in the series. As a viewer who has seen the more recent episodes of Case Closed, it was kind of exciting to see these characters making appearances in this story.

Even though the story that takes place at Tropical Land, as well as what happens after Shinichi shrinks down because of poison, is similar to what was seen in the original, there were still the occasional difference. Probably the most notable difference was the fact that the decapitation scene on the roller coaster is a little more gruesome than what was depicted originally.

The ending credits for the special include some of the footage from the original episode, and it really emphasizes just how much the character designs and animation has changed over 20 years. I have to say that the character designs and animation are much cleaner in the later episodes than in the earlier ones. It’s not to say that these elements were bad early on, it’s just that they look just so different after watching more recent episodes of the franchise over the past few years.

I really enjoyed the Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small special. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of this remake of the establishing story of the series, but it exceeded my expectations. If you’re a fan of Case Closed and haven’t already seen the Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small, I would highly recommend it.

When it comes to the Blu-ray release, it has 1.77.1 16:9 / 1080p High Definition video. The audio includes English DTS-MA 5.1, Japanese DTS-MA 5.1, and Japanese LPCM 2.0. I was surprised and impressed that this release included Japanese 5.1, because that isn’t common for North American anime releases. I had no complaints with either the video or audio quality for this release.

Unfortunately, the only bonus feature included on this release is a clean opening. Normally, this would disappoint me, but with how hard it had been to get Case Closed releases in the United States after FUNimation lost the license, I’m grateful to have the chance to even have this release be available for North American fans.

It should also be noted that the outer slipcase labels the release as Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small, but the cover artwork on the Blu-ray box itself and the Blu-ray Disc labels the special as Detective Conan Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small.

If you’re a fan of the Case Closed anime and are trying to acquire home video releases for the series, I would recommend acquiring this release of Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small for your anime library.

Additional posts about Case Closed:

Anime Special Review: Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small

Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small was a television special for the 20th anniversary of the Case Closed (aka Detective Conan) anime. It’s a re-telling of the first episode and part of the second episode of the anime series.

Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small
Original Japanese airdate: December 9, 2016
Directed by: Yasuichiro Yamamoto
Runtime: 94 minutes

The special opens with Sherry working on an experiment for the Black Organization. It turns out what she’s working on is an experimental poison. This is then followed up by two members of the Black Organization, Vodka and Gin, approaching a man at a bar to discuss a “rat problem” in the organization. After their conversation, the man is seen getting into a car that explodes. These two scenes are completely new for this special, and I appreciated the inclusion of both. The audience already knows who Sherry will end up being in the series and her connection with the poison that becomes important in this story, so getting to see this was a nice touch. And I also thought having this new scene with Vodka and Gin worked as an introduction for these two characters, so they don’t just appear out of the blue like they did in the original story.

We also see Ran losing her new smartphone down a grate, because she wasn’t aware that it was in her hood. Shinichi admits to putting it there after using it to figure something out for a case, and she insists that he buy her a new phone. Later, Shinichi also finds himself making a promise to take Ran to Tropical Land if she wins her next karate tournament. On the day they’re supposed to buy the new phone, Sonoko comes over and drags Ran and Shinichi to her place so they can try some new confection. But while they’re at Sonoko’s house, they discover her parents have a visitor. The man, Takanori Sewa, is in a wheelchair, and he talks about threatening letters he has received before his New Year’s Party. Shinichi offers his assistance as a high school detective who has helped the police, but Sewa declines. The meeting with Sewa was also a newly added scene for this special, and I appreciated that Shinichi and Sewa have this introduction and connection to lead up to Shinichi being involved with that storyline later.

During Ran’s karate match, Shinichi receives a call from Inspector Megure about a case, and he has to leave in the middle of the match. Ran, who’s up against a strong rival, sees Shinichi mouth to her that he’s leaving. She gets upset and then ends up winning the match… which ultimately sets up the main storyline that takes place at Tropical Land.

Shinichi arrives at the crime scene, which is at Takanori Sewa’s party. One of the guests was found murdered, and the police are trying to figure out who committed the crime. This is actually the case that opened the first episode of Case Closed, and Shinichi figures out the culprit. In this version, he ended up getting his first clue during his initial meeting with Sewa at Sonoko’s house. This case brings major attention to Shinichi in the media, and he starts getting fan letters and being recognized. Unfortunately, this means that this is also bringing his name to the attention of the Black Organization.

We then get the same story at Tropical Land that was shown at the beginning of the Case Closed anime. The main difference here is that the scene where the head is decapitated on the roller coaster ride is a little more gruesome than it was in the original telling. Also, everything from Shinichi being given the poison to being taken to live with Ran and her father, Kogoro, is pretty similar.

But then, we start getting scenes that move the story ahead in time. I recognized some of them from the anime episodes that FUNimation Entertainment released, but there were also a few scenes that I didn’t know or recognize, which I’m sure come from the episodes between the last one FUNimation released and the first episode that Crunchyroll began streaming. The most interesting of these was the one of Sherry breaking into Shinichi’s home and finding the evidence she needed to put two and two together that Shinichi and Conan are the same person. The final scene sees Sherry going onto a computer and finding a list of persons who need to be investigated. She changes Shinichi’s status from “Unknown” to “Dead.”

For the ending credits, there are shots from the early episodes of Case Closed incorporated into it, and this shows just how much the animation style changed over the course of 20 years. I have to say that the character designs and animation are much cleaner in the later episodes than in the earlier ones. It’s not to say that these elements were bad early on, it’s just that they look just so different after watching more recent episodes of the franchise over the past few years.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small special. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of this remake of the establishing story of the series, but it exceeded my expectations. It preserved all the important material from the original story and added scenes to help flesh out that material. As a viewer who has seen some of the episodes that are much later in the franchise, I also appreciated the references to characters who weren’t introduced until later in the story.

If you’re a fan of Case Closed and haven’t already seen the Case Closed Episode One: The Great Detective Turned Small, I would highly recommend finding a legal way to do so. It’s definitely worth it.

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Case Closed: Episode 998 – “The Frying Pan of Hatred”

The episode opens with Naoyuki Omura, the president of a venture company, criticizing a frying pan made by Masakazu Koshiro, the R&D chief. This leads to the two of them getting into a heated argument, which is broken up by two employees: Tomi Mizusawa and Tetsuo Taguchi. But right from the get-go, we can see a hint of where this story will be headed.

Ran, along with Kogoro and Conan, attend a demonstration of the company’s new frying pan, which is being hosted by Tomi and Tetsuo. Right at first, I was wondering why they were there, and it wasn’t until later in the episode that Ran mentions that she volunteered to be a reviewer for this new frying pan. I kind of wish this explanation had been made earlier, so I wouldn’t have found myself questioning why they were at the demonstration in the first place. When the demonstration reaches a point where there’s supposed to be a word from the president, he doesn’t enter the room. A nearby scream reveals that Omura has been stabbed. Kogoro and Conan rush into the nearby room and declare that Omura is dead. Kogoro calls out to someone to call from an ambulance, but he didn’t specifically call out Ran this time… shocking! But a jar of sleeping pills and some kind of valve are discovered on a nearby table. The guess at this point is that Omura was the victim of a robbery, since his wallet is missing and it appears someone escaped from the room out of an open window.

When the police arrive and ask if all the parties are gathered, Tomi and Tetsuo mention that there’s an adjoining building where the research team works. Just as Megure tells someone to gather those people in with the others, the research building explodes. Kogoro and Conan find Koshiro laying on the floor, and he’s also dead. Conan notices a wallet and a bloody knife nearby. The wallet is determined to be Omura’s, and that the blood on the knife has been identified as Omura’s. A suicide note is also found in the research building.

On the surface, it looks like Kohiro murdered Omura and then killed himself. But I thought this explanation was too easy, especially since we still had a significant amount of the episode remaining. Conan seemed to think so, too, especially after some information that Tomi and Tetsuo relayed to the police. Naturally, Conan takes it upon himself to do some of his own investigation, and he stumbles across a couple of things. Surprisingly, the police already noticed, and Conan claims to Detective Takagi that Kogoro wants access to the reports on these things.

When Conan figures out the truth, he gets lucky that Kogoro comes by at the right moment. A shot from the stun gun later, Conan is able to use his voice-changing bowtie to relay what he’s deduced and eventually get the guilty party to admit their guilt. With this case, there really could only be two potential suspects, since there were only two employees focused on in addition to Omura and Kohiro. It was just a question of which one of them it was. I had been leaning toward the eventual culprit, since the other one didn’t seem to be acting when it came to their emotions about the deaths of the two victims.

For a one-episode murder mystery, this wasn’t bad. A tad predictable, maybe, but it wasn’t bad. It was definitely a more enjoyable episode than last week’s. But then again, just about anything would be a better and more enjoyable episode than last week’s!

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