Anime Review: Case Closed Episodes 53 & 54

April 1, 2013

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Well, this is somewhat surprising. After going a whole season without any episodes that were at least an hour long, the start of FUNimation's third season of Detective Conan (Case Closed) is exactly that, according to MagicBox. Today, I will be reviewing Case Closed episodes 53 & 54 (Detective Conan episode 52).

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

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While taking a trip into the mountains, Richard's car gets a flat tire, leaving Jimmy, Richard, and Rachel stranded in the woods.

Fortunately, Jimmy finds a temple nearby, whose priest allows them to stay the night.

However, the peaceful atmosphere is ruined when the priest is found hanging from the ceiling. The most surprising thing though is that the death was similar to what happened two years earlier. Everyone suspects suicide, but Jimmy is not convinced and is determine to find out who killed the priest and how he got up to where he was.

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I somewhat enjoyed this. As this was the first episode released onto DVD, after the first four episodes of the series, I liked how it gave a little recap of how Jimmy became a kid again. Even though this episode was not immediately after the last case shown on Adult Swim, I did not really feel lost at all, not even the very first time I saw this episode, which was before FUNimation finished releasing the singles that were originally considered season 5, whose episodes are listed on my episode list. As much as I would like to give FUNimation credit for this, the real credit goes to the Japanese, according to Detective Conan World. At the same time, I doubt that Japan really could have predicted that such would be nice. After all, according to the link I shared, this episode originally aired in 1997. The case presented was somewhat set up well. The only thing obvious, at first glance, is that this is a murder case, and not a suicide. That is certainly a good thing, considering how obvious episode 6 was. As always, Jimmy seems to notice what other people do not, which means that his skills have yet to diminish. I also like how one of the funniest moments in the episode turned out to also be a clue as to who killed the priest. Earlier in the episode, Rachel finds a mask scared her father, making somebody rush to see what the commotion is all about because they thought they heard a woman scream. I would have to say that was pretty embarrassing for Richard, but it is even more surprising that it has some relevance to the case. Of course, one never really knows what is relevant in any kind of investigation, so I guess this goes to show that even most the minutest details important. I also found it funny that the culprit wished Richard was around two years ago. Going by the fact that volumes 21 and 35 of the manga state that Jimmy started his detective gig one year before the series started, I really doubt Richard could have made a difference at that time. Besides, Jimmy is the one responsible for Richard's success as a detective. Because of that fact, the culprit should have wished that Jimmy began his detective gig two years ago. Then again, nobody knows yet that Jimmy and Conan are the same person, with few exceptions. I also liked how this was very faithful to its manga counterpart. Pretty much everything I saw also happened in the manga, except that we do not see the trio around the cherry blossom trees and the priest seems to respond quicker to Richard than he did in the anime. If only more episodes were like this one, then there would not be the plot hole of how Jimmy knew the names Gin and Vodka or how he knew they were part of a syndicate that uses names of alcoholic beverages as aliases or the plot hole made by FUNimation to fix one Japan had caused because episode 5 was not as faithful as it should have been to its manga counterpart. Outside of that, nothing much good comes to mind. The fact that it provides a good starting point for those who watched the show on Adult Swim and that it was very faithful to its manga counterpart, as well as the fact that some of the humor has some relevance to case, definitely makes it seem like the third season is getting off to a good start.

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Although I enjoyed the episode, there are certainly some issues. First, the case was not that interesting. It could be that the fact that the previous season ended with stuff that had some importance to the series. Also, I do kind of remember this case enough to know whom the culprit was, so that is definitely a possibility. However, I think the real reason is the next issue I had. The method behind the trick was just too obvious. Taking into account everything that was said during the episode, and how things looked, I do not really see how anyone that has followed the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres for quite a while, or even a newcomer to those genres, cannot notice how the trick worked. The best cases of most well known fictional detective all have some interesting trick that is not immediately obvious and just make things a bit more interesting. Here, however, such is not present, making this less interesting than it was when the case started. On the other hand, I will give Gosho credit, since this was a faithful adaptation from the manga, that the materials used in the trick were not as obvious the method, since the one part that does reveal the method is not shown until later in the invesigation. I also did not like how there was neither a next episode preview nor a Next Conan's Hint. However, in the Japanese version, which I yet again had to look up a fansub version for because I cannot trust FUNimation's Japanese track to give me such details, both the hint and the next episode are shown, so this seems to be FUNimation's fault. At the same time, seeing as the previous episode had a preview of the episode after this one, though I am still not sure if it is like that on the second season set, it kind of makes senses. As for the hint portion, I am not too sure why it is missing and it does not make sense. While neither is a big deal to me, I really would not like to have what appears to now be some foreshadowing of how FUNimation handles the newer season sets. Since I do not have the third season set, just the singles that comprise it, I cannot say that things are like that in the set itself, but I sure hope not. Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything I noticed wrong. While the episode seems to have been done pretty well on Japan and Gosho's side, the fact that this episode now seems like it foreshadowing what will happen in future season sets does not let me feel completely satisfied.

Considering that much of my problems came from FUNimation and the fact that the episode does a nice recap for those who followed the Adult Swim airing, I would have to say that this was definitely worth watching. I recommend this to fans of Detective Conan (Case Closed) because of how faithful it was to the manga counterpart and the recap. As for fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, I would not probably not recommend starting the series here, due to how obvious the trick is. As for everyone else, I would definitely recommend this as a good place to get introduced to the series, but maybe not the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres in general.

What are your thoughts on Case Closed episodes 53 & 54? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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