Book Review: Case Closed Volume 53

November 28, 2015


It has been a while, has it not?

Even though I have made some posts this month, there were some titles I could not cover, due to the recent changes Barnes & Noble made to their digital catalog, which kind of frustrated me, because I am pretty much out of shelf space already, but there is nothing that I could do about it.

Fortunately, I got four books as presents recently, and one of them is one of those titles that I wanted to get to much sooner.

Today, I will be reviewing that book, which is called Case Closed Volume 53 by Gosho Aoyama.

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

Jimmy Kudo's troubles have taken a turn for the worst, as his new acquaintance's clumsy behavior begins to make Jimmy doubts his intentions.

Unfortunately for him, Jimmy has no time to investigate this new acquaintance because school life and three murder cases get in his way, and Kid is a prime suspect in one of them.

Even considering that it has been some time since I read the previous volume, I kind of liked this book.

The cases were all pretty decent and not too obvious, which is definitely a good thing because Gosho Aoyama has disappointed me in the past, but not as much as cases featured in the anime, such as episodes 6 and 120 (Japanese count on both), or cases featured in volumes not released in the US, such as anime episode 86 (Japanese count).

The case involving a musician was somewhat interesting, though it did have a lot of similarities to the case that happened in anime episode 4, except for the fact that Jimmy and the gang were not chasing after lights.

I really liked how that case went to show how unreliable human memory is, because the people who asked Richard for help could not clearly remember where they were when they younger of the two saw what they did.

Unfortunately, like I mentioned in my review of anime episodes 98-99 (Japanese count), this kind of information, which Richard and the gang label as circumstantial, is consider to be direct evidence in at least one, if not all, of the 50 States that make up the US, though the links featured in the review do not seem to work now for some reason. What really convicts people of crimes, such as prints, blood, and other forms of DNA, which many consider to be solid proof, is considered circumstantial, though they are much more reliable than eyewitness testimony, considering that it would take a bit more effort to make sure that things containing your DNA and prints are not left behind than it would to make other people claim that they saw something that really was not the truth.

The highlight of the case though was when Eisuke did something that Mizunashi Rena did with Jimmy back in the case that occurred in volumes 48 and 49 of the manga, which made me think that Eisuke belonged to the same organization as she did, though I already know from later chapters that they are not.

Still, it was funny how James Bond got mentioned quite in bit during the case, such as translating the name Mizunashi Rena as 007, and Richard being jealous of hoe James Bond would always get the girl.

As for the case that happens immediately after, I cannot think of anything to say since it looks like the next volume will feature its conclusion, but it definitely started out as interesting, even making me think that Black Org was involved.

The Kid case that started off this whole volume though that the absolute best of the bunch.

It made me think that something was up when reports were saying that Kaito Kuroba had sent a message saying that he was going after a painting, because throughout many of his appearances in both Detective Conan and Magic Kaito, his own series, Kaito Kuroba has mainly targeted jewels, in order to find the Pandora Gem and painting cannot really contain items like that object, since everything inside a painting is pretty much inanimate and the painting itself had not been framed yet.

The thing that really caught my interest though, and made me really want to invest some time in this case, however, was the fact that Kaito Kuroba was a prime suspect in a murder case, though we, as the audience, knew that he was in fact innocent and made me want to find out why the culprit wanted to pin his crime on an elusive thief.

Aside from the cases, there were quite a few others that I really liked.

For example, Viz did not really seem to cut out any content, as I did not really feel like anything was missing.

While some of you probably do not view this as that big of a deal, I can assure you that it not, because Yen Press, who has published a lot of great series, like Pandora Hearts, in English actually made one volume of one of the titles that they translated worse than it could have been because they cut out a lot of content that the series originally had, thus making a few things difficult to grasp and the whole volume hard follow along.

Fortunately, as annoying as Viz Media's releases can be to some, mainly because they do not use honorifics, which I think should only be used if the setting is appropiate (e.g. takes place in Japan or some other setting that is quite similar to Japanese culture), they have yet to do something as bad Yen Press did with Judge Volume 6, as far as I know.

I also liked how they handled the clues for shortest case featured in this volume.

Back when FUNimation was dubbing the anime, and even when they released the first two movies, people hated how the clues did not make much sense because the original clues relied heavily on knowledge of the Japanese language, or things that average people in the US would not be able figure out easily.

Here, however, Viz decided to put in the US English and Japanese names of everyone in Junior Detective League, except for Haibara, who has two official names in the US, depending on whether you use FUNimation's releases or Viz Media's releases.

By doing this, the clues actually made much more sense than they normally do, though I sometimes wish that Viz Media would realize that not everyone who buys their work understands kanji or characters that do not come from the Roman alphabet, which is widely used around the world, considering how many languages are based on Latin.

Unfortunately, things will not be that perfect, even if Discotek decides to license Detective Conan, though I am not too sure how good their subs are, since I did not get any copies of the Lupin III vs Detective Conan DVDs yet.

What I liked the most though out of the whole volume was the bonus content at the end.

Back in volume 49, Viz included the contents of mini booklet that was released in commemoration of the 500th chapter, which appeared in that volume, and I was really surprised about that.

Here, I noticed that there was a movie guide published to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Detective Conan anime, which was celebrated back in 2006, that featured summaries for the first ten Detective Conan movies, four of which were never released by FUNimation, and Gosho's comments on each of those ten, though this volume was released before the tenth movie, according to Detective Conan World, who says that this volume was released in February 2006, while movie 10 was released in theaters in April 2006.

Unfortunately, I cannot determine whether this guide was exclusive to the US release or not, but it does not change the fact that it was interesting to see what Gosho Aoyama thought about each of those movies, and I think that many fans of Detective Conan would enjoy it as well.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked.

The fact that the cases were generally pretty good and had some laughs, as well as the fact that Viz included Gosho Aoyama's thoughts on the first ten movies, made this volume rather enjoyable.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, when I went looking around, the only thing that really bugged me turned out to not be an issue at all, just a false belief.

As such, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.

Considering that there was quite a bit to like, such as some pretty decent cases and the movie guide, and nothing really wrong with the book, this was definitely worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, as well as fans of Detective Conan (Case Closed), though the latter would find more enjoyment in it overall due to the extras being contained.

As for everyone else, this is a good introduction to the series, as well as the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres in general, especially considering that most of the cases start and end in this volume.

What are your thoughts on Case Closed Volume 53? Did you like it or hate it? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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