Everyone has those series that they for get about for some reason or another. Of course, like me, they can be drawn back to the series sometime later. There was a series that I was following, but cannot find it at my local bookstore anymore, and the current chapters got kind of dull. However, as I finally found it in a bookstore and the currents chapters are interesting again, I decided to pick it back up. Today, I will be reviewing a book in that series, which is called Case Closed Volume 42 by Gosho Aoyama.
Jimmy Kudo is a high school detective that has helped law enforcement solve many cases, enough so that he has been named the modern day Sherlock Holmes within the nation of Japan. However, on the night that he visits Tropical Land, an amusement park, he stumbles across a blackmail that is in process of being completed by one of the two men he met earlier in the day. Caught in the act of eavesdropping on the activity, Jimmy is attacked from behind by the other man he met earlier. In order to silence him, the two give a drug that is supposed to kill him, but instead he becomes a kid again. Now, under the alias of Conan Edogawa, he must track down the men and find a way to regain his normal body by solving various cases.
In this volume, Jimmy Kudo wraps up the case from the previous volume and tells Haibara what he found in the bathroom and lets her listen to the contents. Later, Rachel and Serena get wrapped up in a case of their own involving a friend from middle school. Their friend's boss thinks she is a thief, but Rachel and Serena have their doubts and must proved her innocence. Afterwards, Haibara is still sick, so Jimmy is still at Agasa's, but his plan to remain there are interrupted by a phone call from Rachel asking about a letter that claims to be from Vermouth. Suspicious, due to the reaction Haibara displayed, Jimmy plans to set a trap for Vermouth. However, since this Vermouth knows the true identities of Haibara and Conan, things may not be so easy.
Even though it has been a while, I sure did enjoy the book. The incident involving Vermouth was as exciting as I remembered it, though I originally saw it in the anime. There were plenty of hints in the being leading up to this point, which provides a bit of nice foreshadowing. It was also nice that Rachel solved a case without Jimmy's help, even though she did try to confirm it with him. This is also the first time in my memory that Jimmy was one step ahead of the people he was chasing. Of course, that was all thanks to the help of his mother. The pacing here is much better than the other volumes, considering that the series is full of cases not related to the men in black. Outside of those, I cannot really say anything else without major spoilers, considering most people familiar with the English version of the series only reached episode 123 (There are tons of differences in numbering between the Japanese and US versions that make the English anime 130 episodes, instead of the 123 that Japan recognizes), and not many follow the manga. The cases are pretty much related to the plot of the series and are thus nicely paced.
Although I enjoyed the volume there were somethings I did not like or might confuse people who have only been following the anime. For example, Viz seems to have mistyped the name of the drug that shrunk Kudo as APTX 4969. Throughout the series there are numerous references to Sherlock or other famous fictional characters. However, 4969 has nothing to do with Sherlock. Yet, in volume 18, where Haibara makes her debut, they translated it as APTX 4869. It is supposed to be the latter, as that name supposedly makes more sense with how many Sherlock references (both Doyle and non-Doyle references) crop up in the series, such as the name Prototype Detective and an incident that occurs earlier in the series. Second, Haibara has multiple names in the English translations. When FUNimation was originally planning to have her debut, they called her Anita Hailey and Viz followed suit using the name in the manga. However, when FUNimation finally had her make her debut, even though it was only in the movies, they called her Vi Graythorn. When such a name difference last occurred, Viz supposedly put in a wrong translation in order to remedy the situation. However, they kept the name Anita Hailey even up to this volume. Because of this, people that are just discovering the manga, after having had much experience with the English version of the anime, will probably have a hard time getting used to her being called Anita instead of Vi. One would think that Viz would make that correction, if they changed the names Melkior and Kaspar, mentioned in volume 4, to Gin and Vodka. After all, Viz has been using the same names as FUNimation for characters like Shinichi Kudo and Heiji Hattori. On the other hand, the name Anita has been around long enough in the Viz translation that it would cause some problems if they finally changed it to Vi. Because of this, I am going to be referring to her using her Japanese alias of Ai Haibara, since that is what I am more used to anyway. The multiple names for the English debut of Haibara may cause problems for those shifting from the English anime to the manga. Outside of those problems, I cannot really think of anything else that would take down the quality of the work. The drug's name, while it may be a typo, really breaks the references to Sherlock that have so far been present throughout the series. The multiple English names for Haibara may cause confusion for those that have so far only been following the anime, since Viz never made an effort to change to her name, like they did others.
Despite the issues of breaking a reference and the fact that Haibara has no official name in English, this volume was definitely a good read. I would recommend this to fans of mystery, crime fiction, and current fans of the Detective Conan manga. As for those that have been following the English anime, I really suggest reading the first 26 volumes before jumping into the cases you will most likely never see dubbed, since there have been no plans made by FUNimation in years to dub episodes 124+ (131+ (FUNimation count)), in order to get used to Haibara's other English name.
What are your thoughts on Case Closed Volume 42? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.
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