Anime Review: Case Closed: Countdown to Heaven

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Looks like things are winding down in more ways than one. As most of you guys should know, July is coming to a close. That means it is at least one more month until the end of summer, or winter if anybody is located in the southern hemisphere, once July ends. Also, I have been reviewing the Detective Conan (Case Closed) movies recently and four of the six dubbed movies have now been covered. Today, I will be reviewing another of those movies, which is called Case Closed: Countdown to Heaven.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

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Some time after the events of the first movie, Gin and Vodka are on the scene again, in order to take out a traitor other than Haibara, who seems to have been acting weird lately. However, that is not all that is going on. There are also a rash of killings and Gin and Vodka add Haibara to their list of targets after all. They get their chance when they find out about Haibara going to a grand opening that is taking place. Who is Gin and Vodka after other than Haibara? Jimmy Kudo must now crack all of the cases before time runs out, literally.

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Although this not particularly my favorite of the Detective Conan movies, I enjoyed it. We find out a bit of what the Black Organization is like, considering that not many follow the manga where I live. It also kind of gives off the reason Haibara is on their hit list, though those who follow the Japanese anime episode releases or the manga already know that reason. It was also kind of funny how everyone thought the same person carried out the killings just because the same mark was left. Yes, chances are likely in that favor, but there is also the fact that there are people that mimic the crimes of others just to shift the blame from the true culprit. By allowing the assumption of the same individual being behind all murders, a person blinds himself or herself from the truth. It was also pretty fun when the kids tried out a machine that predicts how they will look in the future that everyone wanted to see want Haibara and Conan would look, but as we the audience should know from the opening of the movie, even if one does not follow either the anime episodes or the manga, they will be back to their original state. Of course, as very few people in the show know that Conan and Jimmy are the same, as is Haibara and Shiho Miyano (aka. Sherry), they would not know that, especially in Haibara's case because none of the cast knew her in her orginal state, and I only remember the Junior Detective League seeing Haibara in her normal state during a fairly recent case in the manga. I did like though how the culprit here was not obvious and that things played out very nicely. The best part though, like many of the previous movies, was the end, but as I do not want to spoil it, I will not be discussing it. Finally, I think that this one was the least ruined by the TMS edits, which still persist according to MagicBox. In the previous movies, we got ripped off at the end with frozen scenes as a backdrop to the credits. However, here, we get nearly the same credits experience as the Japanese in that we finally get the live action background as seen in the original Japanese release. Compared to having a frozen scene, I like this better as the scenes and fact that they are moving is enough to tide one over until we get to the movie's epilogue, which was quite funny. The fact that the culprit was not so obvious and the fact that this seems to be the least ruined by the TMS edits sure does give some good positives.

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Although I liked it, there were some issues I had. First, this is still not the original master, as the TMS edited master is used. Even though I said earlier that this seems to the least ruined by the TMS edits, the issues concerning it from the second movie still persist for those that prefer anime subbed. Due to the fact that this was the least ruined by those edits though, I will just lower this negative down to a non-issue, since most people prefer seeing anime in their native language. Second, and probably the biggest issue I have with this movie though, is that Haibara seems to be dumber in this movie. For being a former member of Black Org, I would expect her to do well to not do anything that would reveal that Haibara is Shiho to the world. On the other hand, she called Akemi Miyano, her sister, more than once in the movie, though she knew Akemi was dead. For how much effort Black Org members put into removing everything that links them to a crime, even if it means burning the evidence to ashes with the rest of the crime scene, that they would also search through the home of somebody they killed. Obviously, Gin and Vodka noticed her calls and tried to trace where she was calling from, which would have revealed to them that Haibara was Shiho. Lastly, the pattern seems to have been broken in this movie's dub. Every member in Black Org is given a code name based on alcoholic beverages, such as Gin, Vodka, Bourbon, Pisco, Vermouth, and Tequila. Shiho's code name was Sherry. Yet, in this movie, Gin called her Shelly. Since FUNimation should know that Haibara came from Black Org, one would expect that they would keep the alcohol-related code name, but they did not do that. This was supposed to be the pattern for identifying somebody was part of the Black Organization ever since Jimmy Kudo found out the two men who attacked him were Gin and Vodka in the manga version of anime episode 5. The latter two issues of Haibara being stupid and changing her code name really take a hit out of this movie.

Despite the fact that Haibara was an idiot in this movie and having her called Shelly instead of Sherry, I cannot really say that this was an entirely bad movie, since it was enjoyable. However, I can only recommend this to fans of the US English version of the Detective Conan anime and mystery fans. Those that have been following the Japanese of the anime or either variant of the manga might get up in arms over the fact that the part to code name for Black Org was broken, so unless one can get past that hiccup, I recommend those people skip this movie. As for everyone else, it was exciting enough to at least give it a try.

What are your thoughts on Case Closed: Countdown to Heaven? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.