This seems to be very surprising, huh?
Recently, I ordered four books from Barnes & Noble and expected them to arrive some time in the coming week.
However, all four of them shipped earlier than expected and I received three of the four I ordered, one of which was not supposed to be out until early in the coming week.
Today, I will be reviewing that title I got earlier than expected, which is called Case Closed Volume 57 by Gosho Aoyama.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Jimmy and the gang are busy as usual as they have to tangle a few more murder cases, and even being pursued.
However, Jimmy has gotten himself entangled in one of his biggest cases yet when he finds out that Eisuke has gone off the radar after saying that he may have found somebody who knew his father, as well as the possibility that Black Org has infiltrated the hospital where Mizunashi Rena is being kept, in order to locate their missing comrade.
Now, Jimmy and the FBI must not only find out the identity of the man spying for Black Org, but also make sure that Black Org does not find out that their missing comrade is indeed in that hospital and that the FBI's cover does not get blown.
I have to say that I really enjoyed this book.
With the exception of the last case found within the pages of this book, pretty much all of the cases presented were self-contained.
Seeing as pretty much all of the cases featured in the previous volume came to close towards the end, that does not really seem too surprising, but still, I really liked how I did not have to go back and look through my thoughts on the previous volume or skim through its pages to catch up to it, though it has only been about a month since I read the previous volume.
This allowed me to really immerse myself in each of the cases present here.
As nice as it is to have a reason to read the next chapters and/or volume in a series, it does not really work out too well for works in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres if one needs to have knowledge of what had happened in earlier volumes, especially considering that Detective Conan is only released quarterly where I live and that I had difficulties tracking down volumes 27-41 to catch up, since I already owned volumes 1-26 of the manga prior to getting volume 42.
Still, the kind of wait the Detective Conan fans where I live have to go through is not too bad when you follow it on a regular, so it is not that big of a deal, though it is still something to be happy to see.
Of course, being able to immerse myself in the cases is not the only benefit to having most of the cases be self-contained, but there is also the added benefit of it being easier for newcomers to pick up, which I talked about in my review of the previous volume.
The cases themselves were also pretty decent.
The murder that happened in the home where Eisuke's mother used to work seemed to be relatively good because things were not really that obvious, and I was certainly misled to believe that the mistress of the household had killed her son.
However, what really caught my eye was that it was kind of confirmed that Eisuke did indeed have type O blood, like he claimed, which does make it seem more likely that Mizunashi Rena is not Eisuke's brother.
On the other hand, if what I am told and my memory is accurate, this could just become one of the dumbest things out if Mizunashi Rena ends up being Eisuke's sister in more than just a legal sense, such as he or she was adopted or one of their parents got married to each other after losing their original spouses.
All I will say is that I would at least have a bit of time to confirm whether what I think will happen is possible or not, though this is a series where two people in their mid to late teens shrunk to the point where they look ten years younger than they actually are because of an experimental drug, so I should not be mad about Gosho Aoyama making up something up for the sake of convenience.
Still, this does kind of make me wonder who exactly is Eisuke's sister, since Rena does not have the same blood type as Eisuke, who had received blood from his sister on one occasion.
As for the murder case of the production company president, that was also pretty interesting.
Even though there was not the usual line up of multiple suspects and even saw the murder occur, I was kind of interested in figuring out how the killer went through the building practically undetected and got back to his dressing room and reapply his makeup before Jimmy and the gang found the place, though the fact that Junior Detective League and Agasa all got lost in the maze that the company building was.
While I could kind of see the trick of the criminal disguising himself, due to the demands he made for something to eat, and knowing his way around, due to the fact that he worked there, but reapplying the makeup seemed like it would take quite a bit of work, and I did not really think that the criminal would create a makeshift mirror like he did, which made things fairly interesting to go through, especially considering that this is one of those cases where mystery was trying to figure out how the criminal did what he did.
Even though this was probably not my favorite of the many cases where the point of the mystery is proving the criminal's guilty instead of finding him, the fact that the case did not seem to be disappointing at all makes me really want to congralute Gosho Aoyama, because coming up with interesting mysteries is not and easy task, especially when the people that are reading the work are those that have read quite a few stories in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres.
I also liked that there were some funny scenes present.
Most of them occurred in the case where Richard was being pursued, which did seem to be an interesting, but was more funny that anything else.
For example, when Richard was going around town, it was kind of funny that his supposed pursuers knew practically everything about him, which made me wonder what kind of trouble Richard got himself into.
However, later on, when it is revealed who was chasing Richard, I was laughing because Richard had played right into hands, much like Jimmy played right into the hands of his parents when it was first revealed that they knew Jimmy's secret back in anime episode 43 (Japanese count), which occurs in volumes 5 and 6 of the manga, according to my review of FUNimation's second season of the anime.
Not only was it funny to see Richard play into the hands of the Junior Detective League, but Jimmy, who was expecting to get quite a bit of money out of a Japanese tradition on New Years day where adults give kids some money to use as they wish, which Viz Media does make note of during the case.
Speaking of Viz making things make more sense, I also liked how they did not try to have me pronounce Kanji characters.
As many probably know from from other reviews, I have problems reading things that are not written using the Roman Alphabet, as I do not really have any idea of where to start in trying to pronounce the weird characters, especially when the exact placement of the character determines how it is pronounced, much like the pronunciation of minute and read change depending on where they are in a sentence.
In this volume, Viz was kind enough to put how the character was supposed to be pronounced, or what Takagi thought it should be pronounced as, since he was not too sure that the exact character he saw in blood was what he thought it was.
By doing this, Viz has actually made things a bit easier to understand, while also keeping the original clues intact, since it was important for the clues of the case to be in Japanese, but those with knowledge of Japanese and its various systems of writing are still going to have much more of advantage of figuring things out than people like me, who hardly know the language at all, and does get my praises.
The thing that I liked the most though was the mystery surrounding the spy from Black Org.
While the case itself was not that great, because the identity of the spy was a bit too obvious, it really suggested that something big was about to happen because Mizunashi Rena, who was supposedly in a coma, suddenly awoke the moment that the FBI were handing around photos of the three people suspected to be the spy, and then again when Jimmy left her room to put his plan of how to weed out the spy into action.
At this point, it is obvious that Mizunashi Rena is feigning her coma now, and I wonder why she does not want anybody, not even Jimmy or the FBI, to know that she regained consciousness.
For all I know, even with my knowledge of what will occur, she has some reason to not be found out, but the way she is feigning her coma seems to be too good for an amateur, since a medical professional thought she was still in a coma.
If I had to take a guess, though I will not confirm that it is the case until the future volumes reveal it, Mizunashi Rena has to be a member of a government organization, since many intelligence agency and military groups seem to teach its agents and soldiers things like how to fool lie detectors and even fake their death.
Still, since it has been some time since I have read these chapters, I could definitely be wrong about my guess because things are not always the way we remember them, even though I did say in my review of the previous volume that there was somebody among the characters who have already appeared that are members of the CIA.
For now though, I will just let you all guess who that CIA operative is so that you can have some fun.
Not only are Mizunashi Rena's actions suspicious, but even Akai seems to have noticed that something is up and wants to keep Rena there for as long as possible.
This makes me believe that Black Org is about to do something that will bring about one of the biggest mysteries the series has had right up until around the time that Jimmy and the gang find out that Black Org's second-in-command, whose identity is currently a mystery in the Japanese releases, started to move, and makes me excited to find out what happens next.
The fact that most of the cases were funny or interesting, and that it seems like something is about begin between the members of the FBI and Black Org, and maybe even the CIA, made this book fairly interesting.
Although I liked the book, there are some issues.
However, nothing really seemed to bug me too much while reading this book.
As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.
Considering that many of the cases were funny and/or interesting and that things are about to get exciting in the series, this was definitely worth reading.
I recommend this to fans of the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, as well as fans of Detective Conan (Case Closed), because the cases were relatively good, though the Detective Conan fans will probably enjoy this the most due to the hints of an upcoming skirmish with Black Org.
As for everyone else, this may serve as a nice introduction to the series, as well as the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres in general, but the excitement of this volume is really generated by the expectations fans have developed from reading the earlier volumes, which I suggest trying instead before jumping into this one.
What are your thoughts on Case Closed Volume 57? 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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