Book Review: Case Closed Volume 44

November 10, 2012


I know I would have been reviewing Inuyasha: The Final Act, but the books I got recently takes priority. Speaking of the books, one by one, I have covered each book I preordered until one remains. Today, I will be reviewing the last of those books, which is called Case Closed Volume 44 by Gosho Aoyama.

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

Jimmy and Harley are still busy, trying to find the person who calls him or herself the demon of Koshien. However, just when they think that things are over, the demon of Koshien ups the ante. Now, they must truly corner this so-called demon before innocent lives are taken. Then, rumors have been going around that Takagi is being sent away to deal with a joint robbery investigation and there are mixed feelings amongst his coworkers. However, before he can leave, Inspector Meguire and his superior assign him to a recent murder case. With the help of the Junior Detective League, the suspect is narrowed down to one person. Now, Jimmy and the gang must determine whether or not the person is guilty and how he did it. Later, After Jimmy, Rachel, and Serena got out of the movie theater, they meet an old man who Serena claims is her uncle. He recently obtained a gem and intends to use it to lure KID. The announcement of the challenge appeared to be an obvious trap, but KID accepts, saying that he will walk right up and take the gem. It is time for another battle wits and Jimmy is determined to not let KID get away. Finally, Rachel asks her father to look into rumors of the school being haunted, but Richard refuses and Jimmy decides to go his stead. When they think it was confirmed as a false rumor, they find a desk in a courtyard that is completely dry, including the note on its surface, and there are no footprints to be found.

I really enjoyed this volume. As it has been quite some time, since I read or watched either the previous volume, since Barnes & Noble waited until all four books were released before shipping my order, or an episode of the anime, I can really appreciate this, especially due to the fact that Un-Go has very few interesting cases and not quite so easy to follow. The Koshien case was still very exciting as I last remembered it. Things were definitely not so obvious here, unless one really knew baseball, not just play it for fun. The only things that were obvious were what the numbers in brackets stood for and the last number, but those were explained during the case itself. The person calling themselves the demon of Koshien was also a mystery up to the end because there were no suspects and no detail about any particular individual, except for the color of a hat. Considering that this is a baseball game, I certainly would not find it weird for more than a single individual to wear a baseball cap. However, since Koshien is a high school event, I doubt the schools participating actually have caps with their logo, at least that can be purchased by the public. I could be wrong though, so feel free to correct me in the comments. The Teiten ghost case started out dull, but it did get interesting, which is not always the case with this series. If a case is dull, I do not think anybody but the most dedicated fan would continue on. That counts towards even fans of mystery, detective, and crime fiction. I just hope that the case remains interesting. However, the best part of this volume is the KID case. Other than Black Org cases or incidents, the only thing that is pretty much guaranteed to be interesting is a KID case and like the ones preceding and many of the ones after this, I was not disappointed. Very little was obvious, especially behind KID's trick. In fact, like Richard, I thought he was using a sheet of glass, but that was quickly dismissed because of the weather. Since this is the first time Jirokichi appears, not much is known about him or his mannerisms, except for the fact that he wears contacts and wants to be in spotlight, since he wants his all his exploits on the front page of the newspaper, just like they were before. I thought that people his age would have been living a quiet life, but people say everyone ages differently, so I am not so surprised. One thing I found funny though is that KID said detectives and thieves were essentially the same, even though we all know they are on opposites sides of the law. When Jimmy and KID met, which is the manga counterpart of only episode featuring KID that FUNimation dubbed, however, he seemed to look down on detectives. I do agree with KID though that detectives are nosy. They need to be, in order to find the truth. Of course, that would also mean that IT professionals are the same too. After all, they ask questions about what users do and examine the environment, just like a detective. Outside of that, I cannot really think of anything else that I have not talked about. Because of the fact that a dull case became interesting and very little was obvious in most of the cases, as well as the fact that the Koshien case stayed exciting and a KID case finally cropped up makes this book great.

Although I liked the book, there were definitely issues or annoyances. The only thing that comes to my though is the Takagi's murder case. It was set up well and not much was obvious, which may not seem so bad because those are good things for a mystery. My problem with it though is the fact that I was not that impressed with it. Even though there was not a whole lot that was obvious, what was obvious was the suspect was definitely guilty. In my review of episode 21 (Japanese count) of the anime, I mentioned that facial expressions could reveal the party responsible. Even though that was expression of fear, that is not the only expression that can expose a criminal. When Chiba, who was the roommate of the suspect, tried to establish an alibi, he asked his roommate if what he said was correct. The facial expression when he agreed with Chiba's account just did not seem to be that of a person that just woke up or was tired, as he appeared to be when we first saw him. It just seemed like a person who did not really have an alibi, especially the way he agreed with Chiba. Also, since he was the one the Junior Detective League, it just became an open and shut case. Because of that, the case was not really that interesting, especially since the humor was the only thing that kept this from being the worst chapter of the series. While the culprit was obvious due to facial expression, the good points about this volume outweigh any damage that this could have done.

Despite the fact that not all the cases were interesting, the fact that the excitement of the Koshien case did not die and a great KID case was present certainly made this worth reading. I recommend this to fans of Detective Conan (Case Closed), as well as fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction. As for everyone else, this is a pretty decent volume to get introduced to the series, as well as detective, mystery, and crime fiction.

What are your thoughts on Case Closed Volume 44? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Did I get anything wrong, especially concerning my doubts of Koshien? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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