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July 12, 2010

Bento Bako Weekly: Case Closed vol. 35

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Written by: Kristin
Tags: , , , , ,

Title: Case Closed
Author: Gosho Aoyama
Publisher: Viz Media (Shonen Sunday)
Volume: Volume 35 (ongoing), 9.99
Vintage: 2001 by Shogakukan in Japan (as Detective Conan), scheduled for July 13 from Viz Media
Older teen, detective mystery, murder, slight gore, drama, some comedy

Oh, Case Closed, how I love thee.  The anime was one of my early forays, back during the days when anime was building Adult Swim (oh, how I miss those days).  Yet somehow, I had never seen its manga version.  At a daunting 35 volumes and counting (up to 68 in Japan), it’s hard to just pick up.  However, many of the cases and volumes are stand alone, so you could feasibly jump in anywhere you want without being too confused.  The most important bit, the reason the series exists, the impetus for the story, is written at the beginning of the volume.  Though since you likely don’t have this volume in front of you, I shall go ahead and explain what Case Closed is all about.

High school student Jimmy Kudo, son of a famous mystery writer father and actress mother, is well-known for being a brilliant detective, often solving cases that even the police can’t figure out.  One afternoon he takes his friend Rachel to an amusement park.  While there, he solves a murder case.  As they are leaving that evening, Jimmy spot a suspicious pair of men, and he leaves Rachel to investigate.  He is ambushed by a man in an alley, who forces a pill into his mouth.  The pill, meant to poison Jimmy, has an odd side-effect.  Instead of killing him, it turns Jimmy into a six or seven-year-old version of himself.  He seeks aid from his friend, Dr. Hiroshi Agasa, who advises Jimmy to hide his identity while he searches for an antidote; he also makes various gadgets for Jimmy to use, such as a voice changing bowtie and radar glasses.  Jimmy takes on the name Conan Edogawa, and moves in with Rachel and her father, Richard Moore, a local (mostly incompetent) detective.  As Conan, he helps Richard solve cases, and attends elementary school, where he makes several friends with whom he forms the Junior Detective League.  Eventually, he runs into a girl named Anita who used to work for the organization who poisoned him, but who took the poison herself to escape.  She now hangs out with the Junior Detective League and helps Jimmy solve cases.

Given all of that, the beginning of volume 35 might be pretty confusing.  It begins with the second chapter of a story that started in the previous volume.  As far as the plot goes, it’s easy to jump in.  However, Jimmy is in his teenage form, hanging out with his mother and Rachel.  Jimmy isn’t cured; this is a sort of flash back to an early case that Jimmy solved before he was poisoned (this is explained on the back of the volume as well).  The story is called “Golden Apple,” and makes up about a third of the volume.  Jimmy, his mother, and Rachel have been invited to watch a musical called Golden Apple, based on Greek mythology (specifically, when Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite ask Paris to choose which of them is the fairest, which leads to the capture of Helen and the Trojan War).  A strange box was recently delivered to the theatre, containing an apple spray-painted gold with the words “For the Fairest” written in blood (emulating the Greek myth).  Just before the show begins, a suit of armor plummets from the flyrail and almost hits one of the actresses.  Jimmy is rather disinterested, until the male lead is murdered right on stage.  With some help from Rachel and his mother, Jimmy quickly solves the mystery.  Rachel also learns a valuable lesson along the way.  The second story, “The Mystery of the Haunted House,” has Conan, Rachel, and Richard checking out the validity of a ghost story at an apartment building.  There’s much more to this ghost story than they could have ever guessed.  “Missing Mitch” is next.  Junior Detective League member Mitch has seemingly run away from home, and the club members, along with Dr. Agasa, set out to find him.  An escaped convict makes finding Mitch all the more urgent.  The final chapter, “Death Island,” starts another murder mystery.  Conan, Rachel, Harley Hartwell (Jimmy’s detective rival), Kazuha Toyama (Harley’s friend), and Richard Moore are at Okinawa for a detective competition between Harley and Richard.  While visiting the island where they are to investigate, Conan and Harley stumble upon a new mystery, as one of the crew members winds up dead on the beach.

It’s a pretty exciting volume.  Jimmy shines as our lovable know-it-all detective, Conan struggles to be taken seriously as a kid, the Junior Detective League solves a mystery, Richard lazes away with humorous incompetence…it’s all here.  A well-written, well-drawn, entertaining book.  There’s a reason both the manga and anime have been running for over a decade (the manga since 1994, the anime since 1996, and both are still going).  If you like mysteries and detective stories, you should definitely check out Case Closed.


Review copy provided by Viz Media



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Frankie Chemical and Kristin Bomba. Kristin Bomba said: Mornin'! New review: @Viz_Media's Case Closed vol 35 https://comicattack.net/2010/07/bbwcaseclosed35/ #manga […]

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