Book Review: Case Closed Volume 35

conan35.jpg

This is certainly a surprise. I already got as many posts this month as I did last month, but if we count this post too, that would mean I already surpassed last month's total, though not totally surprising to readers. Anyway, I recently got four books from Barnes & Noble. I reviewed half of them now and two remain. Today, I will be reviewing one of the remaining titles, which is called Case Closed Volume 35 by Gosho Aoyama.

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

Before Jimmy was shrunk as a result of APTX 4869, he and Rachel took a trip to New York at the invitation of Vivian Kudo, Jimmy's mother. They were to see a play and meet the actors with the company of Sharon Vineyard, a friend of Vivian Kudo. However, the trip is not so peaceful when Jimmy gets wrapped up in two cases. First, an actor is killed during the play seemingly from a balcony, but Jimmy thinks that the shooting was perpetrated elsewhere in the theater. Now, Jimmy must take the spotlight once again for his second murder case and find the true culprit. Once the case is closed, having his mother explain the deduction to police, Jimmy and Rachel hail a cab to go to a hotel, but Rachel loses the handkerchief and wants to retrieve it. They find it in the railings of a building but when Rachel hears about a serial killer from the person she thought Vivian warned them about, she rushes to find Jimmy. Later, Jimmy, Rachel, and Richard go to investigate reports of a haunting at an apartment building. However, when hearing about a murder four years ago and most of the residence who knew about it moved out because of hauntings, Jimmy suspects that somebody is trying to hide the truth. Now, Jimmy and the gang must find out not only the person behind the haunting but also what they have to hide. Afterwards, Mitch goes missing and Jimmy and the Junior Detective must find him. When they get close to his location, they find out that somebody from an old case in Osaka has escaped through the same forest where Mitch was supposed to be. Now, Mitch must be found before a criminal gets his hands on him. Finally, Jimmy, Richard, and Rachel go on a trip to Okinawa, where Richard and Harley are to go head-to-head to see who is better. Harley decides to visit, with Jimmy as company, the place where the competition is to take place. However, when they wonder where one of the crewmembers were, Jimmy and the gang find the person dead with a message in the beach sand.

I got say that I really like this volume. Although I was not able to get the previous volume, at least at this time, I did not really feel like I missed anything, unlike the other volumes where I was not able to read the volume previous. Unfortunately, not all of the cases are like this. This one certainly gives me more detail to go on to be able to draw some suspects. I also liked how Rachel's suspicions were clarified when she thought she saw Akai somewhere before. I also found it funny, although obvious when one thinks about it, that nobody took Jimmy seriously. To me, this seems exactly like how he was treated when he did eventually return to childhood, thanks to APTX 4869. By this point in the serious, we know how good Jimmy is, but with New York being his second murder case, we get even more of the very thing I talked about in anime episodes 2 and 5, though he is a teen now instead of a child. Now that I read the New York trip in the manga, I immediately connected the dots between what have been established in volume 42. However, it is not blatantly obvious to the audience, so I doubt anyone who has not read up to volume 42 or seen up to anime episode 345 (Japanese count) would be able to connect the dots outside of what is obvious. Looking at the first of the two New York cases, I certainly found it interesting. The case here misled me a bit, since we did not know everything about the stage and what was going on in the play, but I definitely did suspect one of the actresses. Unfortunately, my suspicions were not raised before Jimmy voiced them, so I cannot say I was one step ahead of him in this case. I only suspected such when we heard their conversation. The second New York case, on the other hand, was not much of a case, but there was something I did like. When Jimmy and Rachel rescued a serial killer from falling to their death, Jimmy said that there was no need for a logical reason to save somebody and that he hated trying to find out why a person kills another. Honestly, I am not too sure whether or not I would save a killer, if I were in that kind of situation. At the same time, I think I would need to be in that kind of situation to begin with. However, I doubt very many people would take the time to save somebody that tried to kill their friend or family member, even if it worked out to their benefit. This makes me think quite highly of Jimmy's character, no matter how cocky he gets. As for the next case, I am not too sure about that one, but I can say that the explanation certainly was the best part. I also liked how the method that was behind the trick was not immediately obvious, which certainly makes it a decent mystery. As for the case involving Mitch's disappearance, I can definitely say I liked it better than the previous one. Mitch certainly did a good job of hiding himself from people, but he still drew attention, according to what Jimmy and the Junior Detective League found out. That is certainly correct that people will notice if somebody is trying to hide something. However, those that follow normal are not entirely transparent. After all, we all have things we want hide and nobody wants to be looked down upon for giving us their honest opinion. That is why students in school will give teachers the answer they want to hear, even if that answer is incorrect or not the individual's true opinion, just like Light Yagami from Death Note explains. The other thing interesting is that Haibara seemed to recognize the criminal that escaped into the forest. She even questioned why she did not notice. This criminal was the same person who attacked Jimmy during a case in Osaka, so it definitely made me suspicious when Jimmy was not the only one who recognized him and describe him to the utmost detail. Of course, we do not find out for sure until Haibara does explain things. I found the resolution though very sweet when we find out why Mitch disappeared. I also liked that unless one is familiar with Japanese history and myth, not much was obvious in this case. As for the Okinawa case, I cannot really judge this one fully, since it continues in the next volume, but it certainly seems interesting. Also, with the exception of the disappearance of the crewmember, nothing seems obvious in this opening chapter. The fact that we get to see Jimmy solve the second murder case of his life as a detective is definitely nice, since we get to see Jimmy's first case at a much earlier point. However, the facts that almost none of the cases were too obvious and the fact that Haibara recognized somebody we saw in a case in Osaka certainly make this volume interesting.

Although I enjoyed this volume, I cannot say that everything was great. The haunted apartment case, while the explanation was interesting and very little is obvious, did not appeal that much to me. It just seemed like another episode of Scooby Doo to me. Yes, Cartoon Network still played that show on television when my generation was young. Fortunately, unlike that show, there was no man in a costume, and never has been to my knowledge in the cases Jimmy covers that come from rumors of the supernatural. On the other hand, it is only a minor issue in overall perspective. Outside of that, I cannot really think of anything else that I thought was bad. While the apartment haunting case seemed like just another episode of Scooby Doo, it is not bad enough to affect the quality of the volume or the series.

Despite the fact that one case was not that interesting, the New York cases and Haibara recognizing somebody Jimmy met in a case in Osaka certainly made this volume worth reading. I recommend this to fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, as well as fans of the Detective Conan (Case Closed) anime. For everyone else, I think this is a good introduction to the series, as well as detective, mystery, and crime fiction.

What are your thoughts on Case Closed Volume 35? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

Use an app on your phone (e.g. Scan for Android) to capture the image above. If successful, you should be taken to the web version of this article.

Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.