Book Review: Case Closed Volume 32

August 20, 2012


Man, what a troublesome time things have been. However, that cannot bring down my mood. Recently, I got four new books from Barnes & Noble. Today, I will be reviewing one of those books, which called Case Closed Volume 32 by Gosho Aoyama.

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

Jimmy, Harley, and the gang are still the middle of a new case that cropped up in the previous volume and three suspects appear. They all seem interested in a treasure associated with a famous historical figure. However, things do not seem so simple. Later, Richard is invited by his favorite pop idol, Yoko Okino, to an engagement party because one of her friends wanted to meet him. Just when everybody is having a good time at the party, the bride-to-be is found in the bathroom, barely alive. The police think it was an outside job perpetrated a stalker, but Jimmy does not agree. Now, Jimmy must find the person responsible before they can get away with murder. Also, the Junior Detective League visits the circus and makes the acquaintance of a foreigner who they think is related to the people running the circus. They are not the only ones that thought so too though. In fact, that foreigner is kidnapped, thinking that he is worth a lot of money. Knowing that the foreigner was not the man they thought, Jimmy must now figure out a way to save the foreigner before his kidnappers realize they have the wrong man. Finally, Detective Sato's mother nags her about just lying around on her day off and decides to have an omiai with the person Sato chooses. Hearing about the upcoming omiai, Yumi plan to have somebody get Sato. However, before anybody can get her, a robbery is reported with three suspects, but the witnesses do not seem to agree on the details on the robber. Can the robber be found with such vague information?

Although I did not get the previous volume, which I suspect went out-of-print, I have to say that I enjoyed the book. The murder case in Osaka was a nice mystery with very little being obvious. Of course, I find it funny that Harley and Jimmy were used to apprehend the true culprits. I was also surprised about which of the three was innocent, as I was misled to believe that he was guilty, but I am not too sure if I could say the same had the previous volume become so difficult to get. The thing that seemed funnier though was Richard's reaction to the engagement invitation. Of course, that is believable, considering his reaction when he first met in the case that happens in anime episode 3. I guess he wants her to himself. Another nice thing about the case is that it misled me. I was suspecting the man who Jimmy told to open the bathroom door. After all, his facial expression seemed weird for a fiancé. All I can say is that Jimmy did beat me to the punch in this one. The foreigner kidnapping case was also interesting. However, I knew right away that the foreigner was not the Mr. Hawk everyone thought he was, since we saw Hawk's picture. I also found it interesting how Jimmy caught on to the fact that the foreigner was not English because of what he said about his driving. Since there was enough detail that I could easily say this uses dramatic irony, I enjoyed how Jimmy and the gang figured out that the foreigner was in a police car from only three characters. It was also surprising that the foreigner figured out what Kudo's plan was. On the other hand, for those who already know who foreigner is, that would not seem so shocking. As for Sato's discomfort with the idea of going through an omiai, I kind of sympathize with her. After all, people are trying to get me do things that I either have no desire to do or do not find necessary. I know, that may sound selfish, but I am not really in that stage of life where I have to do things that I both have no desire to do and find unnecessary. Besides, outside of marriage, being a parent, and possibly an elder sibling, I cannot really think of any point in a person's life where anyone will do something they have no desire to do when it is unnecessary. They will, however, do something when it is necessary or if they have the desire. I cannot really say how good the case will be though, since it got started. The fact that the cases were interesting and that almost nothing was obvious, except for details concerning the kidnapping case, I can say that these are definitely positives.

Although I enjoyed this volume, there are definitely some flaws. One thing did come to mind. On the other hand, after thinking about it, I guess that I was wrong about it being a major issue. Even though it was interesting that Jimmy knew the foreigner was not English due because of what he said, the way it was phrased could have been better. At first, I wanted to say that Viz got it wrong, but realizing that it was in fact right, I cannot say that now. It would have been much better to state something about the steering wheel being on the right or something, considering that Detective Conan (Case Closed) is a children's series over in Japan, even though it is targeted towards an older audience in America. Outside of that, I cannot really think of anything else bad. While the part about cars being what clues in the audience that the foreigner is not English could have been phrased better, although obvious when thinking about it, it does not diminish the quality of the volume.

Despite the fact that there could have been better translation somewhere, I can say that the kidnapping case and the Osaka case made this volume worth reading. I recommend this to fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, as well as the Detective Conan (Case Closed) anime. For everyone else, this is a good introduction to the series, as well as the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, as long as one does not overlook the obvious like I almost did in this volume.

What are your thoughts on Case Closed Volume 32? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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