Anime Review: Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street

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Everything must come to an end eventually. Even this blog will not be maintained forever. Fortunately, I do not have any plans to shut down the blog any time in the near future. I have been reviewing the Detective Conan (Case Closed) movies recently this month and I have covered one after the other, until only one movie remains. Today, I will be reviewing that movie, which is called Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street.

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

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Two years after a ten-year-old boy commits suicide, Jimmy Kudo and the gang are invited to a special event that demos a new technology for video games that allows players to experience games as if they were real life, with all five senses intact. However, it is not all fun and games for everyone. After a person behind the development of the virtual reality technology, as well as at least one of the games being demoed, is killed, an Artificial Intelligence, known as Noah's Ark, awakens and issues a challenge that unless somebody beats the game, even if it is just one individual, none of the players will be released. Because of a clue to finding the killer, Jimmy Kudo is amongst those players, determined to find the identity of the legendary killer, Jack The Ripper. Now, not only does the killer need to be found but Noah's Ark's plan also needs to be stopped. The question is, can he do it, since Noah's Ark is anticipating the moves?

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Out of all the Detective Conan movies, this one is my favorite. Now, there are a lot of fictional stories involving Jack The Ripper, many of which were Sherlock stories, but this is one of those rare occurrences, if it has ever happened before, that Jack The Ripper appears in an animated medium. The fact that to this day that the true identity of Jack The Ripper has not been found is certain to gain interest among those that like mystery, crime, or detective fiction. Considering that much of the audience following Detective Conan are already fans of mystery, crime, and/or detective fiction, we already got somewhat of an Arsene Lupin vs. Sherlock kind of feel with the rivalry between KID and Jimmy, so there is no doubt fans would like Jimmy to go head to head with Jack The Ripper, even if it is just a game. However, the investigation into finding Jack The Ripper is not the only interesting thing. For example, due to the fact that Sherlock, due to interference on Noah's Ark's part, was not at his home in 221B Baker Street because of The Hound of the Baskervilles case, Jimmy and the other must now seek out Sebastian Moran and Professor Moriarty. This leads into Jimmy's own confrontation with Moran. With help from Moriarty though, Jimmy was not killed, thus not damaging the item that Jimmy was using to put Moran in a corner. Outside of the excitement going on it the game world, I liked how the dubbing was handled. Unlike the third movie, where a character actually said something about speaking Japanese, there was no mention that they did speak Japanese, only a Japanese flag for the game's language selection, which just added the British accent to the NPCs of the game Jimmy is playing. Another nice thing about this movie is that unlike most detective fiction, where the audience is trying to discover the culprit along with the detective and his companion, we know who killed the man before Noah's Ark awoke and that the killer was related to Jack The Ripper. I know, I seem to be acting like a hypocrite right now, with how many times I complained about the culprit being obvious, but there is more than one way to have an interesting detective fiction story. In schools, we learn that other than having some mystery to intrigue the reader, a writer can lay everything out for the reader, while the characters try to answer the questions themselves. That is called dramatic irony and I have hardly, if ever, come across it in any mystery, crime, or detective fiction work. In this movie, it seems to have been handled quite well and certainly held my interest, while leaving only how the culprit was related to Jack The Ripper a mystery for the audience. The best part of this movie happen at around the. Normally, I tend to avoid discussing these things, but I think I safely discuss this one. In the review for the fourth movie, I complained that it seemed like Rachel was the cliched damsel in distress in the movies, but in here, although she was being held hostage, she sacrificed herself, in order to save Jimmy, though she still does not know Conan and Jimmy are the same person. Of course, she did that after speaking about the Incident that happened in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Final Problem. It seemed really touching because Rachel cares about Conan, and likewise Jimmy, a lot. It just seems more like a bond between a big sister and her younger sibling than the supposed kiss scene of the second movie. Of course, she has been practically saving Jimmy's life ever since the fourth movie, so I guess that makes up for her being taken hostage or targeted a lot. The dramatic irony present here and the fact that Jimmy Kudo gets his chance to head-to-head with Jack The Ripper alone are enough to make this interesting, but the fact that characters from the Sherlock stories but this up another level.

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Although this is my favorite Detective Conan movie, there are some flaws. First, the TMS edits are still present, as confirmed by MagicBox. Now, before I go on my little rant, in the review of the third movie, I said that even though the TMS edited master issues were minor that there was one movie where it really affected the quality. Can anyone guess which movie it is? If you have been following my blog throughout the month of July or earlier, the answer should be obvious. The answer is this movie, The Phantom of Baker Street. In the beginning, and in many other parts, there were places where English was literally spoken in the original Japanese version, which debuted in 2002. In the movie, the Japanese apparently had their own subs for those scenes, so the audience could follow everything. However, as FUNimation got the TMS edits from movies 2 on up to this one, we get something really ridiculous. TMS literally placed gray boxes over the Japanese subs with the English translations inside them. While they do identify what was originally English in the Japanese release, it is rather annoying. I know some people would like to watch things with subtitles, even if the movie was dubbed in their native tongue, such as the hearing impaired, but these do not even count as closed captions as some words were changed in the US dub, even though those scenes were already in English to begin with. The wreckage done on the other four were all at least bearable, but as nobody needs a translation from English to English and those boxes do not do anything to help the hearing impaired either, it becomes the most annoying of the TMS edits and really affects the quality of the release. The only other problem I have with this movie is that it is not really accurate with the facts concerning Sherlock. For example, Irene Adler is not really Sherlock's love interest. In the original Conan Doyle works, Irene Adler only shows up once. In that story, she impresses Sherlock, but he does not really have strong feelings for any woman. I am not sure why people think she is or where they got it from, but my guess would have to be that case where she left quite an impression on Sherlock. Also, Moriarty is not really an arch nemesis to Holmes, as much as Jimmy Kudo and KID are archrivals or that Black Org is Jimmy's arch nemesis. However, the reason that people do think so can at least be identified. Conan Doyle supposedly got tired of writing Sherlock stories at one point, so he decided to kill Sherlock. To do this however, Conan Doyle needed somebody that was of the same caliber as Sherlock for the criminal underworld, kind of like how protons and antiprotons eliminate each other. Because of this, he created Professor Moriarty for the story known as The Final Problem. This was apparently supposed to be the last Sherlock story because some people reportedly noticed a change in Sherlock when Conan Doyle revived him. After The Final Problem, Moriarty is said, but I cannot confirm, to never appear again until a flashback in The Valley of Fear. Because of that, I can only guess that the arch nemesis thing stemmed from the fact that both he and Sherlock both originally died at Reichenbach Falls. While much of the things concerning Moriarty is based on what I could look up, I have read every Sherlock story up to The Hound of the Baskervilles, which I never finished, so I can definitely say that neither Irene Adler nor Professor Moriarty showed up after their original appearances up to that point. For this movie though, it does not really hurt movie, unless one is only a fan of the original Conan Doyle Sherlock stories, so it is just a minor issue. While the facts concerning the world of Sherlock may not be accurate, due to the fact that there are more stories featuring Sherlock that those written by Arthur Conan Doyle, do not hurt the movie much, the biggest problem comes from the TMS edits translating English to English.

Despite the mess that TMS edits made in this movie, which is supposedly the last Detective Conan movie to have an original master and an edited master, I can definitely say that this is one of the best of the 16 movies. I recommend this to fans of the Detective Conan manga and anime and those that are fans of mystery, crime, or detective fiction, especially if they like Sherlock. For those that only like Conan Doyle's Sherlock, I will probably say that one could enjoy it if one puts aside the fact that so much non-canon stuff has been mixed with what is canon, otherwise skip it. For those that prefer subs, I am not too sure about this one, as I only saw the original Japanese footage in Japanese and the TMS edits in English, but be prepared for two sets of English subtitles. For everyone else, this was exciting enough to at least give it a try, especially as an introduction to Detective Conan.

Also, before I open the floor to you guys, this is the last movie dubbed in the US. If you guys want me to cover Crossroad in the Ancient Capital, the 7th movie, and later, please support the efforts of Save Case Closed, and buy the movies and episodes, which I will most likely cover some time in the future.

What are your thoughts on Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Do you have anything to prove or disprove my claims concerning Sherlock, since I can only confirm up to The Hound of the Baskervilles (Arthur Conan Doyle works only please!)? Feel free to comment.

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