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.

Case Closed: Episode 950 – “The Radio Questions and Concerns Show (Solution Arc)”

The episode opens with the recap that we normally get with a multiple part episode. However, instead of Conan narrating the recap, it’s the distorted voice that’s associated with the “shadow suspect.” I thought this made for an interesting change of pace.

Once the story gets going, Kogoro wants to leave the radio station. But Conan still has some things he wants to check out first, so he claims that he saw Yoko Okino, which sends Kogoro running around to look for her. This is actually an amusing bit, and it also helps Conan accomplish what he needs in order to piece things together. Conan has it figured out before the first commercial break, and is even starting to convey what he’s learned (through the usual dart and voice-changing bowtie routine). Then most of the second half is used to uncover the truth.

I ended up being right about who the culprit was when I guessed who it was while watching the previous episode. However, what I hadn’t figured out was the motive. The motive that was revealed made sense. I kind of felt for the culprit, but murder was not the way to deal with the situation.

Overall, this was a decent murder mystery for the Case Closed franchise. The twists in the first episode were interesting, and it kept me wanting to know more. Even though the culprit was easy for me to figure out by the end of the first episode, the motive didn’t become clear until Conan’s explanation.

Case Closed: Episode 949 – “The Radio Questions and Concerns Show (Challenge Arc)”

The episode opens with the “shadow person” suspect getting a plan in motion, and making it clear that they believe the police and detectives will never figure out the truth of the crime they’re about to commit. What do they do to get their plot in motion? Send in a card to a radio show that has guests give advice for listeners’ problems.

We then see that Kogoro has been invited as a guest for the show. The producer mentions that it’s been said that Kogoro does his best work after he’s had a drink or two, so he insists that he has something in his green room before the show. Well, Kogoro gets drunk before the show, and says some terrible things in response to the listener’s concern about her upstairs neighbor. Instead of getting mad, the producer just laughs it up in the control room.

We then see who is supposedly the listener and the upstairs neighbor in an argument. Apparently, a CD copy of the show was put into the upstairs neighbor’s mailbox, along with a note.

The next day, the woman who supposedly sent in the question to the radio show is found murdered, and Kogoro is called in as a witness since it appears the show he was a guest on is involved with the case. Conan tags along, and the police are questioning Kogoro and the show’s staff at the radio station. An interesting fact is revealed: the victim is the wife of the producer. The two are separated, and the wife doesn’t believe in divorce. Suddenly, the producer has a motive. And it looks even worse for him after the neighbor has someone who can provide an alibi for her at the time of the murder. And it turns out that the listener who sent in the card wasn’t his wife, but someone else with the same initials. It’s also determined that the producer was the one who put the CD and note into the downstairs neighbor’s mailbox. This only helps to make the producer look even more guilty.

But Conan picks up that two of the staff members hate the producer, so this gives them motives to want to frame the producer. But there’s one other staff member, a female writer who claims she owes her career to the producer. Yet, there’s something bothering me about her, because I notice some minor things going on with her, that raise my suspicions about her.

Throughout the episode, we get the “shadow person” suspect giving commentary about what’s going on, such as “things are going as planned.” Right at the end, the commentary says something along the lines of, “Even if the boy suspects something, it’s too late.” Of course, if you’ve watched this show enough, you know that Conan will figure out the truth and reveal who the culprit really is.

It was interesting to see how this investigation went from seeming like it was going to be easy to figure out what happened to having some many twists and turns, that you have no idea what really happened. I have a few thoughts in my head, and it’ll be interesting to see if my thoughts are anywhere near close to what Conan reveals.

Just a quick note, I will be away from my computer at the time I normally watch Case Closed, so I will be watching the next episode likely two to three days later than usual.

Case Closed: Episode 948 – “The Man Crushed by a Dinosaur”

This episode sees Professor Agasa and the Detective Boys watching a show at a dinosaur museum. We see the host of the show, and he helps Ayumi when she falls after getting frightened by the animatronics. But after the show, there’s a loud crash, and it’s discovered that the museum director was crushed below a large dinosaur fossil that had fallen.

Professor Agasa and the kids are there when Megure and Takagi arrive and start interviewing the three key suspects. Megure shoos the kids away, but they find an outside door they can open up and eavesdrop. At the same time, Conan starts noticing clues that appear to have been overlooked by the police.

The way this mystery was set up, there were three suspects, and one (the show host) appears to have a perfect alibi. It’s quickly revealed that the other two suspects have clear motives for wanting to kill the museum director. I don’t know why, but I had this strong feeling that the murderer was somehow the character who seemed to have the perfect alibi. As Conan found clues, it seemed my feeling was being supported.

Since this was a single episode, there was no way for the writers to make this mystery too terribly complicated. However, it seemed to rely a little too much on Conan finding clues that the police missed. One of the clues I could understand, since it was hidden away in an area that didn’t seem to be connected to the case. However, how the other two clues were missed by police, since they were in areas that they went to or were nearby the crime scene, I have no idea.

This was an OK murder mystery, all things considered. Because of its length, it couldn’t be terribly complicated and there was no way to truly “humanize” any of the suspects. But, in the episode, the museum director was portrayed as an incredible jerk. While that doesn’t make murdering him right, he came across as a rather unsympathetic victim.

Case Closed: Episode 947 – “The Cursed Tears of Borgia (Part Two)”

This episode did a good job of recapping what happened in the previous episode, and it also reminded me of the cliffhanger that ended the first part. Kogoro had gone to meet his drinking buddy, who apparently had information on the case, and Kogoro discovered the building was on fire. After the fire at the Kyoto Animation building this week, this scene was more awkward to watch than it would have been otherwise.

It turns out that Kogoro only had a few minor scratches, but his drinking buddy perished in the fire. But, it’s revealed through forensics that the man wasn’t killed by the fire, because he was already dead when it was set. He was strangled to death.

So now Conan has to try to figure out who killed Kogoro’s drinking buddy, as well as how the woman was killed 40 years ago. Through a conversation with Professor Agasa, it’s revealed that Conan has already figured out who the recent murderer is, so he’s focusing on the 40 year old cold case. But thanks to a preserved copy of the final scene of the drama, and a detail Conan notices in it, he comes up with a theory on what happened 40 years ago.

Thanks to the dart and bowtie trick, Conan is able to reveal the truth about the recent murder through Kogoro. After that’s resolved, Conan uses the bowtie to sound like Agasa to explain the theory of what happened 40 years earlier.

While the theory of what happened 40 years earlier showed that the killer who was I had guessed it was, I however didn’t figure out the real situation behind what happened. So while it was obvious who was guilty in the cold case, the situation behind it was a surprise to me.

Overall, this was an enjoyable two-part episode, although it was a little startling right at first to see the building fire at the beginning of this episode in the wake of the Kyoto Animation fire.

Case Closed: Episode 946 – “The Cursed Tears of Borgia (Part One)”

The episode begins with a pair of construction workers at a dried out dam, and one of them comments that the area is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years. They have discovered a car, and inside is a skeleton with a fruit knife sticking out of it. Naturally, the police are called.

It turns out the body found in the car belongs to a woman who had disappeared 40 years earlier, when she was an assistant working on a drama program and was supposed to be transporting a famous ring to a shooting location. At the time, she was accused of stealing the ring.

The woman’s granddaughter goes to Kogoro to ask for help, in the hopes that they can determine what happened to her grandmother. We learn that one of the men who discovered the body is a drinking buddy of Kogoro’s, and he learns about the knife being in the body through him (since the police didn’t release that piece of information to the media). From talking with the police, Kogoro learns that because of the condition of the car, there’s really no evidence to show what truly happened. While the knife could show she was murdered, it could also be that the woman killed herself. Kogoro says there’s nothing he can do to help.

But Conan and Ran end up taking up the case on their own. The studio where the drama was shot is in the process of being torn down, so they go there to see if they can discover anything. While there’s nothing left of the building, they run into an older gentleman who mistakes the granddaughter for her grandmother (they have an eerie resemblance, which serves as an important plot point). The gentleman worked on the production with the grandmother, and he lets them know that no one on the crew thought the grandmother was a thief. He also explains a bit about the drama and how production on it was done. An important detail is that the grandmother worked directly with the lead actress, who was the daughter of one of the sponsors who had terribly stage fright. To help calm her nerves, the grandmother taught the actress how to peel apples. The actress now lives in a nursing facility because of trauma she experienced.

Conan, Ran, and the granddaughter go to see the actress to try to talk to her. When the actress sees the granddaughter and mistakes her for her grandmother, she goes into hysterics and starts screaming out apologies. The staff ask the three of them to leave. As they leave, they encounter the professor who was hired to declare that the famous ring was legitimate and not a fake. Well, this guy apparently had the hots for the grandmother, since she was the only one who believed him when he said that the famous ring was just a legend and never existed. And since he keeps mistaking the granddaughter for her grandmother, it becomes an awkward situation talking with him.

Near the end of the episode, Kogoro goes to see his drinking buddy, because he apparently called and said he had information about the ring. But when Kogoro goes to see him, his friend doesn’t answer. In the process of going through the building, he’s caught in a fire. The episode ends with Ran getting a call from Inspector Megure informing her of what happened with Kogoro. The final shot shows the building in flames, and the audience is left wondering how Kogoro is doing.

There’s a lot to unpack here, and right now, from what we’re shown, it appears that the actress may have somehow been involved with the grandmother’s death. But at that same time, that just seems too easy and convenient. Could this professor have somehow been involved, perhaps too obsessed with either her or with the fact that the sponsors didn’t want to believe that the ring was fake? And what about this fire at Kogoro’s drinking buddy’s location? Obviously someone wanted to shut him up, or at least make sure Kogoro doesn’t try to track down the truth. But who?

I think next week’s episode is going to be quite interesting, because Conan needs to piece a lot together before he can make his deduction. As you can see from the previous paragraph, I really can’t make any guesses as to what the truth could be. I can’t wait for the next episode to find out what really happened in regards to this mystery.