Book Review: Case Closed Volume 56

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Things are definitely looking pretty good, huh?

While things have not gotten completely back to normal here, November has apparently been one of my most active months, mostly because of the eight books I got in the month overall.

Of those eight books, four were presents and I have covered each of those four until only one remained.

Today, I will be reviewing the last of those books, which is called Case Closed Volume 56 by Gosho Aoyama.

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

There is no rest for Jimmy, but after dealing with two cases that just cropped up, He gets word from Harley that he had found something on Eisuke and a parent that may have been a member of Black Org.

However, the information he gained, and trying to help Eisuke with what he really came to accomplish, leads him to two more cases, one of which may confirm whether or not Eisuke's father is member of Black Org.

I am not too sure about this book.

Unlike the previous three volumes, which either ended when cases were getting good or started up with the conclusion of such cases, most of the cases featured in this volume was self-contained.

This make it easy for newcomers to get into the series, without having to worry about missing a few things, though there are some references to earlier volumes, or some things will not make too much sense without the earlier volumes, but compared to series like Pandora Hearts, where things can easily be missed if a volume is skipped, that is not too much of a problem with Detective Conan.

After all, Detective Conan would not be so easy to pick up if things were not like this, even though I would still suggest anyone that wants to get into the manga, regardless of whether you saw the anime or not, to read the first 26 volumes instead of jumping into this one.

I also liked how a few of the cases were pretty good, though it had more to do with overall plot that good quality cases.

While I have liked most of the cases featured in the four volumes I recently got, I have also encountered many boring cases in the manga, or even cases that greatly disappointed me because I knew that Gosho Aoyama could do better than what I saw.

Of course, I am not alone in having these kinds of feelings, because if one were to ask others about authors or series they like, they will most likely be able to say that they have noticed a large drop in quality of the author's work and be able to voice that kind of disappointment with relative ease, because that author got their hopes up about something being good.

Fortunately, with Detective Conan, volumes do not tend to be bad overall all the time, since the quality of cases tends to go up and down a lot, which is why I try, if possible, to talk about each case, no matter whether I like it or not, especially considering that not all of the cases have anything to do with Jimmy's search for an antidote to APTX 4869 or Jimmy's efforts to bring down Black Org.

Still, that does not mean that a day will not come in which the number of cases that end up being dull will greatly outnumber the good ones, but the Black Org and Kid cases are mostly likely start to become stale before we start seeing something like that occur.

The case of the deleted photos was pretty decent, because I was pretty much misled about who was the one behind the deletion.

At first, I thought that some organization, whether it was Black Org or not, was responsible for doing that kind of thing.

However, when I think about it calmly, no organization like that is going to know that a photo was taken of one of their members like the one that Eisuke supposedly took as a kid, though whether or not it was Eisuke was not really confirmed until we saw the photo.

The thing that I liked about that particular case though was that I was kind of surprised to find out that Eisuke's father was a member of an organization that went by The Company.

As some people are probably not aware of, The Company is not some new group that Gosho Aoyama created just for the story, much like how Black Org and another syndicate, which has no name of any kind, even a nickname, were created so that Jimmy Kudo and Kaito Kuroba would have some enemies to pursue throughout the course of their respective series, but is actually a nickname that some people have given to none other than the CIA, which I can kind of confirm because there is supposedly a book about what the CIA did in the past with that name in its title and an interview that also uses that nickname in its title, but it would be better to do some searching on your own.

This really makes me wonder if the CIA will become involved in the efforts to go against Black Org, but since there is only one character that has already appeared that has been confirmed to be a CIA operative, though not until later on in the series, I kind of doubt that they have that big of a presence, unlike the FBI, but I can be wrong, since only a few things have been answered, even in the Japanese releases.

As for the scamming case, it was okay.

It had mostly everything that one would want in a case, but the largest draw was finding out whether or not Mizunashi Rena was Eisuke's sister.

Due to physical resemblance and the fact that he and Rena kind of did the same things to Jimmy, I really believed that they were siblings.

However, a difference in blood type seems to suggest that it is not.

Still, that does not mean that they could not be siblings, due to many different factors, such as the fact that this may be one of those situations in which what one believes is not correct.

Recently, in my church, people were talking about how what one believes is much more important than the truth, referencing Secondhand Lions, which is a favorite movie of mine, but people have done things that can be considered good and evil because of beliefs, and there are even those beliefs that we will never learn if it is true until either the world ends or it is our time to die.

In my eyes, beliefs should be a motivator of determining whether or not what we think is true, not blindly believing that is true even when it is revealed to be false, but I certainly will not stop people from thinking that it is true.

For now, we will have to wait and see, because Detective Conan World seems to suggest that this case is the first in what is considered to be the longest arc in the series.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of too much that I liked.

The fact that the investigation into Eisuke's family has led into the possible appearance of yet another organization and that an interesting set of events is about to occur makes this volume somewhat enjoyable.

Although there were things that I liked, there are some issues.

However, aside from some minor problems, only one thing really seemed to bug me.

While there some cases that seemed interesting, a lot of them were not really that good on their own.

The only thing that kept my interest in a lot of them was the fact that we actually learn more about Eisuke and that Rena might just be his long lost sister, but some of them, I could not really get into for one reason or another.

Honestly, if we need to be focused on finding out more about a character for a case to be interesting, then that case was not really that worth it, especially since our expectations get propped up because elements like these have led us into exciting cases.

If a person who likes stories in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres is going to be disappointed because of the fact that it is only interesting because of the presence of those elements that make things exciting.

The murder case of the mystery novelist was one case that pretty much disappointed me.

While the case was not exactly up to par with the usual quality, I was expecting something a bit more unique in terms of a trick used.

Here, however, we have tape of some kind used to plant a key the victims hand.

Yes, I know that there probably has not been anybody in the series that used cassette tape like this, but this kind of thing is reminding a bit a bit too much of the trick used in anime episodes 88-89 (Japanese count).

As I have already mentioned in my review of volume 54, fans of the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres do not really like having cases that are too similar to what they have already read.

While the trick is the only thing similar to what happened to in a case that only occurs in the anime, it was still enough to make me somewhat disappointed in the case.

Then again, seeing as many others have noticed that Gosho has used the same or a similar trick before, I cannot be too mad, because there are times when the only way things can be unique is when an author can put their own spin on it.

Unfortunately, you also get things like vampires in the Twilight series that do not differ enough from the ideas presented in what has come before.

The worst of those cases though, was the Mountain Hag case.

In most instances, the cases presented in Detective Conan usually meets everything that a story in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres needs to have.

However, in this particular case, the biggest mistake that Gosho Aoyama and his team made was that the culprit was a bit too obvious.

Now, I will give him credit that things were not as obvious as episode 6 of the anime, because I was certainly misled in a few areas, like what the weapon was exactly, but that does not change the fact that when I look back through it, the culprit's actions after finding one of his camping buddies dead seems to be a dead giveaway that he is guilty.

For example, when the culprit asks to use the restroom, he walks over to the fish before turning back and asking where it was.

I am not sure about you guys, but if I need to use the restroom for any reason in a place that I am not familiar with, I would ask where the restroom is at the same time that I ask if I can use it, though it could just be simplified by asking where the restroom is to begin with.

The fact that he does not do that automatically makes me suspicious of him, when criminals in these kinds of stories are supposed to mislead the detectives.

Then again, criminals are not all that smart to begin with in most situations, otherwise you would people that could give the likes of Sherlock a difficult time, such as Lupin, though I have not read all of the stories featuring him, or Hannibal Lector, who has been suggested in one of Gosho's Mystery Library segments to be a genius in his own right.

As such, I cannot be too mad, but that still does not change the fact that this is not something that should happen in a whodunit.

Other than those things, I cannot really think of anything else that bugged me.

While there was not too much to dislike about the book, the fact that many cases were not that interesting either because the only thing that did make it interesting was that it furthered the series plot, the trick used by the culprit was too similar to what was done before, or the culprit's action revealed their guilt to the audience, kind of hurt the quality of the volume.

Considering that there does seem to be some plot progression in this volume, especially since the longest arc in the series is about begin, and that many of cases would not have been interesting without the plot progression, this was only good enough to kill time.

I only recommend this to fans of Detective Conan (Case Closed), because the plot progression will please them the most, whereas the fact that many cases would not have been interesting without the plot progression would pretty much turn off fans of the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres.

What are your thoughts on Case Closed Volume 56? Did you like it or hate it? Were there things you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.