Book Review: Case Closed Volume 55

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Things seem to be going pretty well, huh?

As most of you know, I recently got four books, and covered half of them, leaving only two.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those remaining two, which is called Case Closed Volume 55 by Gosho Aoyama.

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

The showdown between the teen detectives continues on, as the remaining participants get closer to finding out the truth.

Fortunately for Jimmy, he does not have much more to worry about, because he is only has to deal with two other cases with a break in between that leads him down memory lane of a time where he met somebody who knew him and his family.

I really liked this book.

Just like the other two volumes, the cases were pretty decent, including the ones that were not murder cases at all.

The assault case against a foreigner was actually a pretty good case, compared to other cases that involve the Junior Detective League, or as some people call them, the Detective Boys, because it actually was funny a few places, especially with George being labelled as a suspect because of the victim pointing at him.

Of course, I am kind of glad that George's implied guilt was suspected, because out of the things that many people believe in our society, one of the only things that can be certain is that a child is not that capable of crime, though it is not unheard of, especially since the culprit in Agatha Christie's Crooked House was a child.

The thing that I liked about this case though was how well the victim hid the truth, even considering that his assailant was nearby.

Most of the time in Detective Conan, clues are usually in Japanese, unless the real hint is paying attention to the actions of the characters.

Here, however, the clues are in German, which adds a bit of difficulty for those that do not understand the language, though is it easier for me to figure out how it is pronounced because it used the Roman alphabet, instead of the other alphabet system out there.

The things that really made the clues being in German really fascinating though was that it made perfect sense for somebody who was trilingual, like the victim was, and it illustrated how words can mean different things, even if they are spelt right.

In the instance of a different language making sense, that should be kind of obvious because it is difficult for everyone to understand what is being said if it is not in a language they understand too well, and German is one of the languages where I know hardly any words at all, aside from those that people learn in school during history class and the German word for no, but that is nowhere near to other languages, where I know even less than that.

The different meanings of words, on the other hand, was what made things the most enjoyable because I actually feel like I learned something.

As most people should know, there are words out there that mean different things by the way they are spelled, such as site and sight, or spelled the same way but are actually different words, such as minute and read, but words can also mean different things in different languages.

Now, this is not going to be uncommon when one compares words from two different variants of the same language (e.g. US English and UK English, or, as I have heard from somebody I know who went to a different country, Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese), but most of the time it is not going to be as different as how to pronounce minute correctly. For example, what what would call fries in US English, would be called chips in UK English.

Here, however, I came across a word, which is verified in the text itself and various other sources, that really does mean different things in two different languages, even though they are spelled and pronounced the same way.

Yes, I have not read everything out there in the world, but this is certainly a rare sight to see, because in English, no matter whether one uses the UK vocabulary or the US vocabulary, the word refers to the creatures of folklore that many of us think of when we hear it, but in German, it is not a creature at all, instead translating to the number 11, whereas chips and fries at least refers to food in both UK and US English.

Seeing this, it looks like Gosho Aoyama and his team did a good job of doing research, since this is one of those times that multiple English translations match up to each other, though finding it was hard because Detective Conan World seemed to be off in chapter count this time.

Then again, considering that this series does basically fit into the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, this kind of research is definitely mandatory when one wants to use languages that are not your native tongue, though I would say it is also needed in other genres too, depending on why it is used.

As for the case that involved Eva Kaden, this was absolutely hilarious for so many reasons that I cannot even begin of how entertained I was.

While Detective Conan has mostly been pretty serious in many of the cases Viz recently published, as well as many featured in the Japanese releases, whose volume count is already in the 80's, it started out as a comedy and featured funny scenes quite a few times, but it has been some time since practically everything about a case was hilarious enough to laugh about, even if it is pretty much just the usual gags at this point.

The funniest thing though was how Eva thought that Richard forgot about the day they had their first date, yet Richard was all dressed up at a mahjong parlor, while Eva wore pretty much the exact same thing she wore on her first date.

I sure do hope that Eva and Richard get back together, but that will not likely happen until we see progress develop beyond what will happen in volumes 71-72, according to Detective Conan World.

What I liked most about this book though were two things in particular.

First, Jimmy's walk down memory lane ended up revealing quite a bit about the history of the world in which Magic Kaito and Detective Conan takes place.

Back in the volumes 34-35, which contains Jimmy and Rachel's trip to New York, we learn that Vivian Kudo and Sharon Vineyard, who we have known since volume 42, and will be confirmed again in volume 78, according to Detective Conan World, is Vermouth, studied the art of disguise under the same person.

While I already knew who taught the two women how to disguise themselves when I first read Viz Media's translation of the events in New York, I never knew who it was when I first saw its anime adaptation.

In Jimmy's flashback, we find out that Kaito Kuroba and Jimmy are actually pretty well connected to each other, though it probably is not by blood, unless the Magic Kaito and Detective Conan universes are merged together much more than they already are, considering that Hakuba does show up from time to time, with only Aoko Nakamori and Akako Koizumi being the only other notable characters that have pretty much stayed Magic Kaito exclusive characters.

Not only did Toichi Kuroba, who was revealed to be the original KID before Detective Conan was ever published, teach Vivian Kudo and Vermouth the art of disguise, but apparently Booker Kudo was the one who gave KID his moniker.

Even today, this little revelation was quite surprising, despite the fact that it was not my first time going through this case.

Another interesting thing about the case was that we find out that Jimmy Kudo and Kaito Kuroba are approximately the same age too, which makes me suspect even more that Kaito Kuroba does not really have to do much to make people think that he is Jimmy, which I already suspected because Gosho seems to love using Jimmy Kudo's character model for many of his male protagonists.

The other case that I really enjoyed was the Detective Koshien case.

While it did excite me back in the previous volume, I was a little bit leery as to whether this case was going to be good, because I thought that things might turn out to be similar to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, much like the case from volume 30.

Fortunately, things did not go that way and things were very misleading, which means that Gosho Aoyama really met my expectations of what I got from where this case stopped in the last volume.

This is what fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction actually expect, because culprits that are too obvious is not the only thing that can ruin an entire case, and Gosho Aoyama has not really made any of those mistakes in this case.

As a result, I think that Gosho Aoyama actually deserves a round of applause for not only making a decent case here, but for being able to deliver quite a few interesting cases three volumes straight, which is a very difficult thing to accomplish.

Outside of those things, there was not much else that caught my eye.

The fact that the Detective Koshien case did not disappoint me like I thought it would and that I actually learned something not pertaining to the worlds of either of Gosho Aoyama's works made this a great book.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues. However, aside from very minor issues that are going to be found in anything humans make and one case was not that exciting, which was made up for in the comedy department, I cannot really think of anything that really bugged me.

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

Considering that there was quite a bit to like about this book, this was definitely worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, as well as Detective Conan (Case Closed), though the latter would probably enjoy it more because more details about KID are revealed as well as who taught Vermouth the art of disguise.

As for everyone else, this is a pretty good introduction to the series, as well as the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres in general, but to fully enjoy this, I recommend reading the previous volume first, as one case is continued from there.

What are your thoughts on Case Closed Volume 55? Did you like it or hate it? Was there something you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.