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.

Case Closed: Episode 954 – “The Unsolved Cocktail Case (Part Three)”

The episode opened with just enough of a recap to help the audience remember what happened in the first episode and a brief bit of Amuro’s flashback from the second episode. But the recap makes it clear that the flashback helps Amuro to get an idea of something related to the poisoning case that they’re currently investigating.

The resolution to the case itself ended up being the cliche that I feared that it would be during the first episode of this story arc. There was also a bombshell revealed about Kogoro’s rich client. However, a viewer who had paid attention to some of the dialogue in the second part would have likely pieced this bombshell together before it was revealed (which is what I ended up doing). So this revelation didn’t surprise me nearly as much as it did the characters in the episode.

But after the case is solved, we finally circle back to the opening scene of the first episode of this arc, where Amuro and Akai are facing off and pointing guns at each other. We learn that Amuro has broken into the Kudo’s home and that Akai has caught him. After a tense build up, the resolution to this scene is actually rather humorous. I’m not going to say what it is, though, in order to avoid providing spoilers.

According to the end of the episode, Case Closed will not be airing in Japan next week. However, from seeing the preview for the next episode, I’m not entirely excited to see it in a couple of weeks. It’s an episode that features the Detective Boys, and the premise that’s being presented just seems a little silly. While there have been the occasional decent episode that focused on the Detective Boys, these episodes are usually weaker than the stories that don’t have a strong focus on them. I’m hoping to be proven wrong about the quality of the next episode in a couple of weeks, but I’m going into it expecting it to be on the weaker side. Well, I guess I’ll find out in a couple of weeks!

Case Closed: Episode 953 – “The Unsolved Cocktail Case (Part Two)”

The episode opened with a recap to remind the audience of what had transpired in the previous part. A lot of the episode itself was focused on Megure questioning the potential culprits. Conan and Amuro pick up some information from the rich man’s bodyguards, and Megure also receives some important information from a couple of the other employees at the restaurant. The employee who is a culprit also receives a phone call, which reveals more to a potential motive she would have for wanting to do harm to her co-worker.

However, the most fascinating part of this episode actually has to do with Amuro. At first, he has brief thoughts of someone he had encountered as a child whenever injuries are mentioned, but right near the end of the episode, he has a full flashback to his interactions with his individual and her family. It turns out the woman and her family are very important to the Case Closed franchise, and I thought the idea of Amuro having interactions with this particular family was quite fascinating. This leads me to believe that this particular case is canon from the manga series, because this flashback is an important reveal that connects to the overarching story of the series.

What’s also amazing is the fact that this episode is going to be a three-parter. From the episodes I have been able to see of Case Closed, this is the first time I’ve seen a story go for more than two parts. I believe there was one in the group of episodes that have never been available legally in North America that ran for much longer, but of the episodes that are legally available, this is the longest one that I’ve encountered. And the fact that this is a longer story than usual also leads me to believe that this story is indeed canon.

Even with the information that was revealed in this episode in regards to the actual case, none of it truly eliminates any of the three potential suspects. I still haven’t been able to figure this one out, so at this point, I’m looking forward to seeing Conan (and also likely Amuro) solving the case and revealing the truth.

Detective Conan Manga to Take an 11-Issue Break in Japan

This year’s 40th issue of Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine has announced that Gosho Aoyama’s Detective Conan manga will take an 11-issue break, from the 41st through 51st issues. The manga will resume in the magazine’s 52nd issue on November 27, 2019. Aoyama will conduct research during the hiatus.

The manga previously took a four-issue break in the magazine’s 24th through 27th issues from May to June 2019. It also previously took two other one-month breaks from January to February 2019 and in the magazine’s 16th through 18th issues from March to April 2019. Aoyama also conducted research during those three breaks.

Source: ANN

Case Closed: Episode 952 – “The Unsolved Cocktail Case (Part One)”

The episode begins with Amuro and Shuichi encountering each other and holding the other at gunpoint. After this brief scene, we go back in time to nine hours earlier, when AMuro arrives at Kogoro’s place to deliver sandwiches, only to discover that Kogoro, Ran, and Conan are about to head out. It turns out they’re going to a restaurant to talk to a wealthy client who has received a threatening letter, and Amuro is invited to join them.

When they arrive at the Black Rabbit Club, they discover that it’s a bunny girl restaurant, complete with waitresses dressed as bunny girls. Poor Ran is so embarrassed, and even blurts out that if she had known what kind of place this was, she never would have brought Conan.

The wealthy client arrives with this butler, and they show the note to Kogoro. It’s an old fashioned threatening letter, with newspaper cutouts for the text. Kogoro even comments on how old fashioned this is. Anyway, the note threatens the wealthy man to stay away from the Black Rabbit Club or someone will get hurt. Not surprisingly, Kogoro is incredulous that the client wanted to come to the location since the note tells him to stay away. He gives an explanation that comes across as kind of flimsy, at least to me.

The client is a known customer at the restaurant, and he has a particular waitress who waits on him all the time named Yuri. But we quickly see another employee at the restaurant who gives Yuri jealous glances. After having Yuri order food and everyone starts having their drinks, the jealous waitress purposefully bumps into Yuri and spills some of her drink on Yuri’s white cuff. Yuri has to go change it. While she’s gone, a couple of suspicious things take place. But when she comes back and starts to eat and have more of her drink, she suddenly collapses. Once again, Ran has to be the one to call an ambulance and the police.

And guess who shows up from the police to investigate? If you guessed Megure and Takagi, you’re right! Anyway, they determine that Yuri was poisoned by arsenic that was placed in her drink. From a report that’s given, Yuri has finished being treated at the hospital, but has not regained consciousness.

Amuro deducts that only three people could have possibly poisoned Yuri’s drink: the wealthy client, his butler, and the jealous employee. And that’s basically where the first part of this story ends.

When it comes to the culprits, it seems that the jealous employee has the motive, but this just seems to be too easy of an answer. The suspicious things that happen right around the time Yuri leaves are both tied in with the butler, but I really hope it’s not the cliche of “the butler did it.” I have a hard time believing it was the wealthy client, but maybe there’s something that hasn’t been revealed yet.

And, my biggest question of all: how do we get to the opening scene of Amuro and Shuichi holding each other a gunpoint? To me, that’s as much of a mystery as the actual mystery that’s taking place in the story!

Case Closed: Episode 951 – “The Whistling Bookstore 2”

This episode of Case Closed is a little on the unusual side, since it’s billed as a sequel to a previous episode, “The Whistling Bookstore,” which aired back in 2017.

At the beginning of the episode, Conan and the Detective Boys accompany the owner of the bookstore to the home of someone who is wanting to sell a lot of books. It turns out there are several rare ones in the mix, but when the bookstore owner learns that the woman he is speaking with is the wife of the owner, he asks her to get permission from her husband before selling the books. Ayumi discovers a silverfish in one of the books, and the owner shows a technique to help repel them, and this includes using some very distinct paper that Ayumi gives him.

Later, a man comes into the shop with a picture of some books on his phone. The owner looks at them, says they look valuable, but he would need to see them in person. Shortly after, the woman from earlier says her husband gave permission to sell the non-rare books. But after the bookstore owner leaves the house, the rare books are stolen from the house, and the wife accuses the bookstore owner.

Things get more intense when the man with the photo comes back to the shop with a bag of books, and it turns out they’re the ones stolen from the woman’s house, which is proven through one of Ayumi’s pieces of papers falling out of one of them. After a confrontation, the man is found dead by the bookstore owner after the owner receives a call to meet with the man. The bookstore owner is framed for the murder, and it’s up to Conan to piece everything together and clear the bookstore owner of suspicion.

When it comes to this mystery, it obviously had to be solved in this episode, since it wasn’t a multiple part episode. I thought it was rather easy to figure out who the real culprit of the murder was, even without the clues that Conan brings forward through Ogasa and bowtie trick. There aren’t that many potential suspects to begin with, and the only other suspect had been acting suspicious right from the start. The mystery to me was more what clues Conan would need in order to reveal the true culprit than it was identifying who the actual culprit was. It wasn’t a bad story, but for a mystery, there really wasn’t a lot to try to figure out. Oh well.

According to something said at the end, there won’t be an episode of Case Closed next week. But the preview shows the next episode will be the first of a multi-part one, so when Case Closed comes back, it will be guaranteed to have at least two episodes airing back-to-back.